Pregnancy Must Haves – Helpful Items for the First Trimester

Now that I’m almost 15 weeks pregnant and can say peace out to the first trimester, I thought I’d share some pregnancy must haves, specifically for the first trimester.

I had no idea going into pregnancy what to expect, especially because no pregnancy is alike. So while some of these things didn’t make me feel 100% like my old, non-pregnant self, they helped make me feel a little less like death warmed over.

Pregnancy must haves for the first trimester

1. body pillow
I always assumed uncomfortable sleep was a result of having a big baby belly. Nope. I started having issues with uncomfortable sleep around 8-9 weeks. I’d toss and turn all night, waking up 6-7 times. But then Brad surprised me with this body pillow for my birthday in January. I slept like a baby the first few weeks after using the pillow. Now I’m starting to get hip and shoulder pain at night, but I blame that on our crappy mattress. Note: the pillow I have is ginormous and takes up at least half of our queen size bed. I told Brad he’ll just have to deal, and that he was the one who purchased the pillow so…

2. BPA free water bottle
You basically turn into a camel when you’re pregnant, well, at least I have. Pregnant folk are supposed to drink water. Lots of water. At least 64 ounces of water a day to be exact. I’ve used these water bottles for years and love them for staying hydrated. They’re 32 oz. bottles so I down two a day. Sometimes more than two.

3. prenatal vitamins and prenatal DHA
Gotta start poppin’ those pills. By pills, I mean prenatal vitamins and prenatal DHA. Personally, I’m taking these prenatal vitamins and prenatal DHA. But do your own research, talk to your doctor, do what’s best for you. Yada yada yada. Just make sure you’re taking some form of prenatal vitamin.

4. peppermint tea
Around weeks 6-10 I had some crazy bloat and digestive issues going on. I’ll spare you all the details, but I’d be straight up miserable after dinner. It got to point where I’d have to eat tiny meals for dinner because if I ate my normal amount of food I’d be in pain for hours after eating. To help soothe my stomach, I’d drink peppermint tea (naturally caffeine free) like KoolAid.

5. crackers
Thankfully, I didn’t have too much nausea and no vomiting. I’m pretty sure the nugget knows my extreme hatred for vomiting, and I thank it for that. So I hear regular ole saltine crackers are nauseous mama-to-be’s weapon of choice when it comes to combatting nausea. Keep them next to your bed, in your purse, and hidden throughout your house. At least that’s what I’m told.

6. peppermints
I used peppermints to combat the little nausea I experienced. Sucking on a peppermint or two seemed to do the trick for me if I couldn’t eat something immediately. I’ve also heard of preggie pops, ginger candy, and ginger ale working well for nausea and morning sickness. I’ve also seen some women swear by peppermint essential oil, but check with your doctor first.

7. body moisturizer
My motto is always “prevention is key” when it comes to all things skin related. So invest in a good body moisturizer early on. There are like 500 different belly butters, belly oils, and belly lotions out there to help prevent stretch marks. (Although I don’t think it’s been scientifically proven that they 100% work.)  I’ve been using this one and I like it so far. I lather it on at night after I shower. Since it’s an oil, I wouldn’t recommend putting on nice clothes after slathering it on because you don’t want to stain anything.

Update: I used this belly oil for both of my pregnancies and never got stretch marks.

8. antacids
If I eat anything spicy for dinner, I typically have to pop a couple Tums before going to bed because the second I lay down, heartburn starts. The Tums always work. At least for now.

9. stretchy pants
I highly recommend investing in a few good pairs of stretchy pants. If you’re anything like me, you won’t need to buy more because you already have 10+ pairs. These are my current favorite stretchy pants. When I’m at home, you better believe I’m in stretchy pants.

10. toilet paper
Make sure you have plenty of toilet paper on hand because you’re going to be using the bathroom more often than you ever thought you would. I read something about bladder tone decreasing during pregnancy so when you do go to the bathroom you may not be fully emptying your bladder. Which will explain why you feel like you’re going to pee your pants and you barely pee at all. You’re welcome for that short anatomy/physiology lesson.

Disclaimer:  These pregnancy must haves are products that worked for me. Every pregnancy is different, so some of these products may not work for you or may not apply to you. Also, I’m not a medical professional. So there’s that.

Nursery planning? Wondering what you should pack in your hospital bag? Check out all of my pregnancy and baby posts HERE!

What must haves did you need to survive the first trimester of your pregnancy/pregnancies?

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  1. I had a terrible time trying to drink water when I was pregnant with my daughter, but my cousin introduced me to powerade lemonade–it’s basically like crystal light, a powder you put in your water. But it worked! and it helped me stay hydrated. I also learned that staying away from large quantities of dairy significantly improved the amount of morning sickness I had. Of course, I didn’t figure that out until the second pregnancy…

  2. I have the same pillow and it really does take up half of a queen sized bed. I need the pillow around the same time you did and it def helps. My friend told me about this specific pillow — it’s gotten her through several pregnancies so hubby ordered it for me and it was joyous, lol! I’m so excited for all of your baby posts. We’re due around the same time. I’m 15 weeks tomorrow. Ohhhh yeaaah! August babies! *high five* Now…I need some water =P

  3. mmmm stretchy pants! I now have a 4 month old and still rock the stretch pants whenever possible. I also LOVED my body pillow and then MY DOG ATE IT! Seriously. He killed it while I was at work one day. It is still the only thing in our house, besides his own toys, that he has ever destroyed. Enjoy! The second trimester is the best!

    1. Do you think your dog was trying to tell you something? Hah! Yeah, I was rocking the stretchy pants pretty regularly pre-pregnancy so I’m pretty certain I’ll rock them post-pregnancy as well.

  4. Peppermints helped with my nausea too, I had to have them stashed in my car so I could drive because apparently I had motion sickness. Now I can’t even smell peppermint without feeling nauseated. Fun fact: I never actually threw up during my pregnancy until I was in labor. I was so mad that I had gotten through 9.5 months and that last 24 hours got me haha.

  5. Peppermints were/are my jam. Everyone was all “ginger, ginger, ginger!” but it did nothing for me. Even now at 24 weeks, sans nausea, I always have a handful in my purse like a grandma or something 🙂

    PS – if you ever want to talk about pregnancy, email me! It’s my first too. I don’t have any friends who are pregnant (only a couple are even married), and empathy, sharing tips, talking about birthing classes and prenatal appointments, etc. with someone going through what you’re going through is nice!

  6. The best “product” I recommend for the whole pregnancy is kegel exercises. Do them regularly and religiously!!

  7. I am with you on the yoga pants, antacids, crackers and body pillow! And I am TOTALLY with Erin on the kegel exercises! In my third pregnant and in my second trimester, I feel like I pee every time I sneeze (TMI?) Nausea and heartburn were the WORST this time around so nothing lasted as far as remedies went …if I ate another mint or ginger drop I would have vomited for sure. But, some if my faves that had a little more staying power–
    Sea bands, vitamin B6 and ginger supplements, mint tea (I would actually sticky nose on a cup of it when smells bothered me), fresh air, ice cold water, salty foods (saliva and nausea are gross together), lots of carbs spread out through the day, and sleep (sometimes I felt like there was nothing led to could do but lay down and try to sleep).

  8. I just had my baby 2 weeks ago. Some products I loved was prego pops for the nausea, definitely Tums, mustela for stretch marks, slippers for swollen feet. Congrats and I’m excited for you!

  9. My must have is an exercise ball. It was great for keeping the strain off my lower back in the first trimester and as I got bigger it enabled me to sit in a position where I could stretch my hips. I used it as an office chair throughout (I cheated and bought one that had a base), I used one at the hospital when I was in labor, and now it’s helping me to gain back core strength postpartum.

  10. The hip/back pain probably doesn’t have much to do with your mattress. We have a good, newish mattress, and I had terrible hip pain just from having to lie on my side all the time. The thing I was happiest about after delivering my twins was finally being able to lie on my back again!

  11. Great list, these are truly must haves.

    I have to agree with Hutch: I loved my exercise ball all through my pregnancy. Totally helped with the low back and pelvic pain.

    Here’s to a very comfortable 2nd trimester for you!

  12. Congrats to you Chelsea! I have two kiddos, 16 mos apart. Ages 2 and 3. I love peppermint and it’s great it’s helping you through the nausea. I must warn you though, kick the habit before giving birth if you plan to breast feed. It reduces milk production. Who knew? I ended up taking loads of fenugreek pills (herbal supplement) to help increase it again. Wishing you all the best.

  13. Love your list! I share your pain with the lack of comfort after any meal. Despite my lack of nausea, I still ended up losing about 15 pounds in my first trimester… it was that bad! I found a nice bowl of cereal and milk to be easy to stomach (although I’ve heard that dairy can be a trigger for morning sickness for some). And gummy prenatals! I had a hard time with the prescription ones my doc gave me, but knew the gummies were easier to stomach. She checked them out and gave them the ok!

    If you are having pain in your hips, it could just be from the fact that we are “forced” to sleep on our sides for 8+ hours. We have a good mattress and I still feel it in my hips and shoulders in the morning. I’ve found that using extra pillows to prop me up (like if you have a bad cold and need to be more upright to breathe) and a couple under my knees to be a comfy way to sleep that isn’t on my side. You look like a ‘w’ and your dog might look at you like you are nuts, but it is so worth it!

  14. These are some great tips! I used a body pillow a lot with my first pregnancy, but the second one has been a lot easier. My morning sickness wasn’t as bad this time either, but I attribute some of it to being home this time – being able to eat what/when I needed to, lay down (or in weird position on the floor to try and stretch) when I needed to, and staying in comfy pants 24/7 seemed to help! I did notice that on the scale of abating nausea, candy was a quick fix that only lasted about as long as the candy itself (I kept a giant bag of Jolly Ranchers around). Carbs were usually easy to get down and lasted a little longer – but if you can find any kind of protein that sounds edible, it lasts the longest. I’d go way out of my way to get a chicken sandwich from one specific place because it sounded good when the chicken sandwich right down the street sounded nasty – but I’d feel better for 2-3 hours after I ate!

    And for some reason, cinnamon helped me more than peppermint, specifically cinnamon gum!

  15. Congrats! This is so exciting! I, too, had little nausea with my pregnancy, but I loved mint tea when I was nauseated. I never did get a body pillow, but I definitely could have used one, especially during the tail end of the third trimester when I couldn’t sleep comfortably at all unless I was sitting up.

    One thing that did help me a ton was to lean forward when peeing – it helps empty your bladder more fully so you’re not rushing to the bathroom every ten minutes, at least at first. CJ didn’t like my bladder invading her space, so I had to keep it mostly empty during the third trimester, or else she’d do a jig on my bladder.

  16. Great tips and recommendations. One thing no one told me about was to stop wearing my wedding rings when my limbs starting swelling in the summer. ( I was due august 14th but had our daughter august 21st) My fingers swelled so badly that I couldn’t get the rings off and ended up going to the emergency room to have them cut off. (The rings not my fingers 😉
    So happy for you and your husband. You guys will be wonderful parents.

  17. okay…i didn’t read all the posts, but I have to tell you that I had the worst GAS EVER with my second pregnancy. It was so bad and awful I actually called the doctor and thought something was seriously wrong. I mean the stench was incredible. So, my point…if that happens to you apparently it’s normal. Let me just say my family was NOT appreciative of that side affect. UGH Blessings to you and your family.

  18. I am due in June and the body pillow was a lifesaver. this is baby #3 and after 2 boys I am carrying much lower. I have had to get a belly belt. Counting down the hours, days, weeks for that magic moment when you feel the relief when they finally arrive. Helps to have a Mom who lives 15 minutes away that is for sure. Good check list for Moms

  19. I randomly came across your blog tonight and I am just loving it! I’m following you on Facebook and Pinterest now, and I have about 15 tabs open of different posts from you that I want to read!

  20. Thanks for the list! I was looking for a recommendation on the body pillow. I am due in October and definitely re-reading your posts to get some much needed advice. I’m the only one in my cirlce of friends who is having kids so my online friends and bloggers are my greatest resource.

    I know this post is a few years old and Owen is cute little toddler now, I am curious as to what became of your pillow post-pregnancy?

    1. Congrats!

      I used the pillow for a few months post-pregnancy. But once I was done with it, I cut it open and used the stuffing to make a dog bed for our dog since I didn’t want to store it for a year or more.

  21. I’d never had Tums pre-pregnancy, but I bought them in every flavor and form soon after learning I was pregnant. I didn’t have nausea (I too, HATE vomiting, and just refuse to do it), but I was plagued with heartburn and indigestion (22 weeks now, STILL dealing with it, though my Tums intake has decreased substantially). I did eat Saltines, mostly because no food ever sounded good to me (except fruit), and I HAD to put something filling in my belly. My cousin is also pregnant, two months ahead of me, and suggested I try the mini Saltines. Those suckers were love at first bite! They don’t go stale immediately after opening like the traditional Saltines, and I think they taste way better!

  22. I had terrible headaches my first trimester so I started going to acupuncture and it totally saved me. I only had to go a few times and then they were gone. I ended up going back for the entirety of my third trimester and it was amazing for all my ailments as well as my metal well-being.

  23. Well from two and half months I m using this site and found it very useful for my stage of pregnancy so far. Everything is clear and simple here. I contacted once a doctor from this website and she helped me like a mother do. Very nice people

  24. Taylor Jane says:

    I am about 7 weeks pregnant and this is my first. As my chunky boyfriend is a great body pillow for now , I get lower stomach cramps often 🙁 any relief for that? And I’m tired often too any way to keep me up and going for the day ??

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