First Trimester Pregnancy Must Haves
Having just finished my first trimester with my second child, I realized one thing…
Pregnancy must haves can be different from one pregnancy to another.
Here were all of my pregnancy must haves with my first child.
As you can see, some of the products were the same.
With different symptoms during my second pregnancy, I needed additional things.
So I started connecting with other women and realized…
There’s definitely a range of first trimester essentials depending on your pregnancy.
That’s why I’ve created an ultimate list of first trimester must haves – one that can apply to any pregnancy.
11 First Trimester Must Haves
1. Morning sickness bags and tissues
In my previous first trimester with my first child, I didn’t vomit once.
In my recent first trimester with my second baby, I regularly vomited.
Of course, the urge would often come up when I was in the car.
Luckily, I had sick bags for morning sickness. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I was unprepared.
I could have been sitting in my own vomit for 30+ minutes. And then there’s the clean up job in the car…
I highly recommend having barf bags available.
What I like most about these morning sickness bags is:
- They’re dark so you can’t see the vomit once the bag is tied up.
- It’s great quality – medical grade.
- There’s a wide, cup-like ring so it’s easier to use and filter the contents into the bag – therefore minimal spillage.
On a side note, a great thing about having these bags is that even if you don’t use it for morning sickness, you can use it for:
- Dirty diapers: There were many times when I had to change diapers in the car and there was no garbage can in sight e.g. road trips, trips on the highway. Having a disposable bag in the car came in handy!
- Pet waste
I also recommend having a tissue box in the car. You’ll want to have something to wipe your face down with.
Up to 30% of pregnant women can get pregnancy rhinitis, which is a stuffy nosed caused by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. It can start as early as the first trimester and last for 6 weeks or more.
I had pregnancy rhinitis with my last pregnancy and it was horrible! I suffered for months!
It wasn’t until we were preparing for my daughter’s birth that we got a filter free humidifier.
A humidifier adds moisture to the air and helps to loosen mucus to help you breathe easier. It also helps moisten dry, irritated skin.
When my daughter got sick at seven months, we put on the humidifier that night and noticed that she could immediately breathe easier.
I recently got nasal congestion with my second pregnancy and used the humidifier and it cleared it up that night!
Looking back, I can’t believe I suffered with sleepless nights for months in my last pregnancy just because I didn’t get one earlier!!
3. Pregnancy journal
The first trimester is often an emotional time. Your body and hormones are changing. The nausea and fatigue can be overwhelming.
You’re constantly fearful about miscarriage and uncertain about when to tell your family and friends about the pregnancy.
To manage this change in mental and emotional states, I know some women who write in a journal in their first trimester.
It helps get their feelings out of their mind. It’s therapeutic and rewarding.
A journal is also a special record of this time in your life.
It’s not only a useful tool for when your doctor has questions, it’s a collection of memories you can share with your child when he or she’s older.
What types of journals are available?
1) You could get a pregnancy-branded journal. It gives you a comprehensive structure of the pregnancy milestones to work within.
I particularly like this one with its fun xoxo and gold foil heart design.
It includes prompts like how you felt when you found out you were pregnant, the names you’ve discussed, cravings etc.
Some questions can feel as though you’re keeping a medical record (e.g. weight, belly measurement). Some can also seem more geared towards first time moms (e.g. medications to avoid, how to prevent acid reflux).
If you’re looking for more of a book where you can write your wishes for your baby…
2) This Letters to my Baby book contains 12 letters (with envelopes and stickers to seal) you can fill out to give to your child in the future.
Here are some of the letter titles:
- My wishes for you are…
- What I want you to know about me…
- The world I want to give you is…
- One really special thing about you is…
- On the day you were born…
There are 2 letters at the end that you can write about whatever you like!
All in all, it’s a lovely keepsake to look back on.
3) If you want something for the whole baby journey including pregnancy and postpartum, you could get this classic modern baby book!
It’s gender-neutral and has a linen cover!
There are long sections covering pregnancy all the way up to age 5!
The emphasis is not so much on the pregnancy (like details about your first to third trimesters), but more so about your baby’s first year and beyond.
A forewarning: This book is very detailed with even pages for other people to give their accounts about the birth story.
If you’re looking for a more straightforward and colorful baby book, you should check out this baby book instead.
And if you want something that’s more customizable…
4) You could use the classic Moleskine journal. You can get it with lined, dotted, squared or blank pages.
That way you’re not restricted to just writing about what the pregnancy journal prompts you to write. You’re also not restricted about how much you want to write about a certain topic.
If you’re artistic and want to draw pictures, I recommend getting the ones with blank pages.
4. Pregnancy photo props
Documenting your baby bump from your first trimester is an amazing memory to look back on. This is something I didn’t do with my first pregnancy that I regret.
It’s inexpensive if you already have a phone or camera.
You can also use props in your pictures to make it both fun and provide immediate awareness of how far along you are in your pregnancy.
One common prop are the wooden blocks, which are nice.
I like the versatility of the chalkboard sign more.
You can use the chalkboard sign to document your pregnancy and baby’s growth (e.g. 1st month, 2nd month) as well as other special occasions (e.g. first day at school).
You can also use it to teach your child in the future.
It comes off easily with a wet paper towel or baby wipe. It’s much clearer and bolder for photos.
5. Water bottle
Early on in my first pregnancy, I started getting very thirsty, especially in the middle of the night.
I realized I wasn’t drinking NEARLY ENOUGH water during the day.
According to the National Institute of Health, your body needs even more fluids than normal to support your baby’s blood circulation and amniotic fluid during pregnancy.
You should have at least 10 glasses of water a day.
10 glasses of water is a lot!
It’s difficult to remember to drink that much water every day.
I found what helped is carrying a water bottle around with me everywhere.
I use this Voss water bottle that I’ve had for years. I love that it’s extra large and made of glass so there’s no unwanted flavoring from the material.
If I didn’t have this bottle, I would probably get the Lifefactory water bottle. My mom friends swear by this! They have multiple and place them all over the house!
This water bottle is also made of glass, but has this silicone sleeve for easier gripping. It has a handle so it can be carried around.
It also has an opening that’s large enough to put ice cubes in if you just need to chomp on cubes. Speaking of ice cubes…
In my second pregnancy, I noticed that sucking on ice cubes helped me with nausea and headaches.
If you don’t have an ice cube tray or need an extra one, I find the Rubbermaid ice cube trays work well.
6. Nausea relief
My nausea during my first trimester was way worse with my second child than with my first.
Not only did I feel nauseous in the morning, I felt it ALL DAY LONG.
There would be some days when I would be sitting at my desk with a report due in a few hours and my nausea was at its peak.
The discomfort was horrible.
During those times, the only thing that would settle my stomach and help me focus was ginger tea.
My nurse recommended it, but said I should drink a MAXIMUM of 2 cups per day.
You should know – there are some herbal teas that are unsafe during pregnancy like pennyroyal and chamomile (in high doses).
While I’ve often heard peppermint tea as recommended to help with nausea during the first trimester, I’ve also read reports about how peppermint tea can cause mild uterine contractions and should possibly be avoided during the first trimester.
If your nausea is more severe and you can’t stomach ginger tea, there are also ginger candies:
- Ginger chews: This one has a stronger ginger flavor.
- The Ginger People Gin Gins: This one is sweeter.
Another thing that helped with my nausea was crackers!
It gave me exactly what I needed to ease my queasy stomach. I basically had a box of crackers with me everywhere in my first trimester, especially in the morning.
I also found snacks really helped with the nausea. It seems counter-intuitive, but whenever I felt like vomiting, if I filled my stomach, I felt 100 times better.
If snacks don’t help with nausea for you, it’ll most definitely help by the 2nd and 3rd trimesters when starvation hits you during the worst times.
For example, I’ve been starving while stuck in traffic on the highway with no grocery store or restaurant in sight. It felt like I was being eaten alive. I’ve never felt that kind of hunger in my life!
If you’re like me, you’re binging on candy from your pantry if you don’t have healthy snacks accessible, which is not good for you or your baby.
Another snack I often have with me all the time is almonds.
If you have gestational diabetes like me, almonds help you stay full while not going over your carbohydrate count.
7. First trimester clothing
You might be wondering, what week should you buy maternity clothes?
Will I need maternity clothes in my first trimester?
When I was pregnant with my first child, you could hardly tell I was pregnant in my first trimester. My bump was tiny.
It wasn’t until I was part way through my second trimester that I had to get maternity clothing.
With my second pregnancy, I looked 6 months pregnant by the end of my first trimester! I started wearing stretchy clothing at 4 weeks.
By 6 weeks, I had fully switched over to maternity clothes.
Everyone’s body is different. I’ve heard with second pregnancies, it’s common to look pregnant very early on.
Here are my first trimester clothing must haves.
Leggings will be your best friend during pregnancy. They’re soft, comfortable, flexible and look great on! When you’re postpartum, you’ll still be able to use them. Yes – you’ll still look 6 months pregnant after you give birth! It takes several weeks for your uterus to shrink.
When I was looking for maternity leggings, I wanted to buy as few pairs as possible – ideally 1-2 pairs that work for both casual and work environments.
These maternity leggings worked for me!
They look like skinny pants so you might be able to use them at work depending on how formal your work environment is. They’re thick and have fake back pockets.
They also stay up (you don’t have to constantly pull them up like other maternity leggings), but they’re not tight around your belly (the material seems to be thinner around the waistline to accommodate a growing belly).
If you’re in the in between stage when your maternity pants are too big, you can use your regular stretchy leggings.
Or if you have pants that have a button and a zipper, you can undo just the button or unzip depending on how tight it is. Loop a rubber band or hair band into the button hole and wrap it around the button like this:
It gives you that little bit of give before you have to transition to maternity pants.
I’m not a fan of jeans during pregnancy because your body changes and the jeans don’t always adapt to fit around the changes. Something somewhere feels too tight or uncomfortable.
I know some women that love jeans and can’t bear to wear leggings.
The thing with selecting maternity jeans is you need the stretch if you want these to last throughout your pregnancy.
As such, I would highly recommend maternity jeggings – looks like jeans, but feels more like leggings.
I love them because they’re not necessarily just for “maternity wear”. You can wear them as comfortable, loose-fitting tops after pregnancy.
Infinity scarf to cover up during the first trimester
You might be wondering how to hide the bump in early pregnancy?
This is something I tried to do in my first trimester. With the risk of miscarriage in the first trimester, I didn’t want people to find out at my office.
With my growing belly, it became more and more difficult to hide the pregnancy.
What I found worked well was an infinity scarf.
You can layer an infinity scarf so the short loop is hugging your neck and the long loop is draped over your belly.
If you pair a dark infinity scarf with dark clothing, you’ll barely see the bump.
Slippers that are easy to step into
In your first trimester, your growing belly is making it increasingly difficult to bend over and do things. The nausea and exhaustion accompanying this time adds to this challenge.
Instead of fumbling around, trying to balance on one foot to put on and take off socks, you can get a pair of comfortable slippers you can slip into easily.
Slippers provide that extra bit of comfort and convenience that will be especially appreciated as your pregnancy progresses and when you’re postpartum – constantly getting in and out of bed to feed, change diapers and use the bathroom with the cold bathroom floors!
A pair of slippers provides that extra comfort that can make a big difference when you’re a mom.
Maternity pajama pants
If you’re the type of person who can’t sleep if you feel at all constricted in your clothing, you might need maternity pajama pants.
I like these maternity pajama/lounge pants because they’re soft and comfortable and they stay up without squeezing your belly.
When you’re pregnant and postpartum, your boob size is constantly changing.
The most I went up in my first pregnancy and postpartum was 2 cup sizes. In my first trimester with my second pregnancy, I was already up 2 cup sizes!
To manage your changing boob size, you can get a nursing bra.
Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll breastfeed, it’s a good idea to get a nursing bra when you’re pregnant because they’re designed to comfortably support a changing breast size.
It’s also cheaper than getting multiple bras to fit different cup sizes.
This nursing bra is comfortable and inexpensive. I’ve tried similar nursing bras without underwires from other retailers and this one is the cheapest for relatively good quality.
With my first pregnancy, I didn’t buy maternity underwear. I was fine because I already had stretchy low cut underwear.
During my pregnancy, my underwear did stretch out and didn’t quite come back to its original shape with multiple washes, but it was still wearable.
I don’t think maternity underwear is entirely necessary if you have stretchy low cut underwear.
That said, I was talking to other moms.
If you only have high waisted underwear or underwear that you don’t want to stretch out, you might want to consider maternity underwear.
This especially applies if you also gain weight in your bum. That means you’re stretching out your whole underwear, which might make it unusable post-pregnancy.
This Kindred Bravely maternity underwear has many great reviews on Amazon. It’s designed for extra comfort during pregnancy with a cross-over low waist design to hug your belly without digging into your skin.
Just be careful with how you wash it and follow the care instructions: Machine wash cold, gentle cycle, tumble dry low. Otherwise, it won’t last very long.
Maternity sleep shorts
If you’ll be experiencing summer during pregnancy, live in hot climates, or just prefer to sleep or lounge in shorts, you’ll want to consider getting maternity shorts.
In my second pregnancy, I will be giving birth in the summer. The summers are hot where I live!
I have no shorts that stay on comfortably. I had to get maternity shorts.
These Motherhood maternity shorts are designed to fit comfortably, especially when you sleep (no tight waistband). They’re light and soft.
If you need a dress for a formal occasion, due to the warmer weather, or you just prefer dresses, you’ll want to consider getting a loose dress (if you don’t have one) during your second trimester with your growing belly.
You don’t need to get a maternity-specific dress like this one.
You can just get a maxi dress that’s a soft and stretchy material. This dress comes in multiple colors, but the lighter colors are more sheer.
After your pregnancy, you can still wear it!
8. Pregnancy information
My co-worker lent me this Pregnancy Day by Day book and I loved it.
If she didn’t lend it to me, I could see myself getting it anyways. It’s a useful resource we’ve spent a lot of time with!
When you’re pregnant, you have so many questions and concerns.
This book offers a day by day look at what your baby, you and your family are experiencing.
It offers that peace of mind, particularly in the first trimester. It’s very informative!
There are great photos of what the baby looks like throughout. It offers lots of tips and advice during pregnancy and questions to ask your doctor.
My husband and I used to read this every day. It was a fun way to count down to when our baby was born!
If you prefer apps, I’ve heard the What to Expect When You’re Expecting app is good.
It’s based on the popular What to Expect When You’re Expecting book.
9. Prenatal Vitamins
You probably know that prenatal vitamins are important for the development of your baby.
What you might not know is – according to my doctor, you need to start taking these vitamins before trying to conceive.
Here are a few other things I learned when selecting prenatal vitamins.
1) There are tasty gummy prenatal vitamins, but they often seem to lack nutritional value. Many gummy prenatal vitamins don’t contain iron.
If you have blood sugar issues like gestational diabetes, these are not the best choice.
2) This prenatal vitamin is less yummy, but it has over 25 essential vitamins and minerals including iron, folate, and vitamins A, C, D, and B.
It’s vegetarian and gluten-free and contains no wheat, soy, milk, or artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
As this prenatal vitamin contains iron, it might make you nauseous so take note of the nausea relief products above.
3) If you’re in Canada and you have extended health insurance with your employer, you can possibly get your prenatal vitamins covered completely or partially.
Just ask your doctor to write you a prescription for prenatal vitamins. You’ll likely get Pregvit.
4) There are some prenatal vitamins with DHA like this one, but they usually contain much less DHA than a separate DHA supplement.
If your prenatal vitamin doesn’t have a DHA supplement, you might want to get a separate prenatal DHA supplement.
Just to clarify, this is not a prenatal multivitamin. It’s a DHA supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamins.
10. Pregnancy Pillow
I REALLY didn’t want to buy a pregnancy pillow. It’s ridiculously expensive for what seems like a few pillows connected together, but…
I’m a back sleeper and around my 2nd trimester in my first pregnancy (it was my 1st trimester in my second pregnancy that this happened), I had to start sleeping on my side.
The growing weight was just too uncomfortable on my back. Then I read that experts actually recommend not sleeping on your back in your 2nd and 3rd trimesters as it can interfere with circulation, which can reduce blood flow and nutrients to the fetus.
That was not something I was willing to risk!
But I just couldn’t adjust to side sleeping! I put a pillow between my legs and one on my back, and I was still uncomfortable.
Out of desperation to get a good night’s sleep, I finally caved in and got the Snoogle pregnancy pillow. I loved it so much, I still use it today and I have a toddler!
I actually lent it to my mother-in-law one night because she was complaining of back pain. She ended up getting one for her and her sister!
This pillow has been 100% worth it! The first few weeks postpartum were tough! I’m so glad I got the quality sleep I needed (thanks to this pregnancy pillow) before my daughter was born.
Now I can’t go without it. I realized you just can’t put a price tag on good sleep.
11. Belly Cream
With my daughter, I got quite a few stretch marks. I didn’t use a belly cream and I regret it.
With my second pregnancy, I already started noticing new stretch marks in my first trimester.
So I started using a belly cream for prevention. This belly butter has great reviews and certainly lives up to its hype!
12. Mineral sunscreen
Now that I’m pregnant, I’m using my daughter’s mineral sunscreen.
The big reason is because mineral sunscreens are made with natural minerals and not chemicals.
Another reason is that chemical sunscreens take 20 minutes to be absorbed into the skin before it starts working, which you might forget about.
13. Coconut water
I love water. It’s my drink of choice.
During my pregnancy, my preferences changed. I no longer enjoyed the flavor of just water.
Coconut water is a bit of a splurge, but it’s much healthier for you and the baby than other flavored drinks.
Most coconut water tastes disgusting. Zico Coconut water actually tastes like what you would get from a fresh coconut.
It only has one ingredient: coconut water. There’s no added sugar or other ingredients.
This coconut water is naturally fat, gluten, and cholesterol-free. It actually has as much potassium as a banana per bottle.
Final Thoughts on First Trimester Pregnancy Essentials
First trimester essentials will vary from parent to parent. I hope this list provides you with an overview of what you could possibly need in early pregnancy.
Here were all of my pregnancy must haves with my first child.
Here are two ways you can save money for your pregnancy and baby:
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Summary of First Trimester Must Haves
- Sick bags for morning sickness, tissue box
- Filter free humidifier
- Pregnancy journal: Pregnancy Journal, Letters to my Baby book, modern baby book, moleskine journal
- Pregnancy photo props: wooden blocks, chalkboard sign, liquid chalk markers in white, liquid chalk markers in color
- Water bottle: Voss water bottle, Lifefactory water bottle
- Nausea relief: ginger tea, ginger chews , the Ginger People Gin Gins, crackers, healthy energy bars, almonds
- First trimester maternity clothing: maternity leggings, maternity jeggings, oversized sweaters and oversized shirts, slippers, maternity pajama/lounge pants, nursing bra, maternity underwear, Motherhood maternity shorts, maternity dress, maxi dress
- Pregnancy information: Pregnancy Day by Day book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting app
- Prenatal vitamins: gummy prenatal vitamins, comprehensive prenatal vitamin, prenatal DHA supplement
- Snoogle pregnancy pillow
- Belly butter
- Mineral sunscreen
- Zico Coconut water
Related Pregnancy and Baby Articles:
- Realistic Hospital Bag Checklist (What I ACTUALLY used!)
- Must Haves for a 6 Month Old Baby
- Free Baby Stuff (Most is shipped directly to your door)
- How to have a Baby on a Budget
- Postpartum Essentials for a more comfortable and speedy recovery
- 33 Gifts for New Moms
- Useful Baby Shower Gift Ideas
- Best New Dad Gifts (vetted by my husband)
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