Pregnancy Essentials: 20 Must Have Products for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy Essentials Checklist – You Didn’t Know You Needed

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sanjana Sainani (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Pregnancy inevitably leads to other ‘P’ words – planning and purchasing! As you ponder over the changes in your life and think about the mandatory buys like a new crib or a stroller, do not lose sight of the little things that could make your life a tad bit easier during the term. In this article, we shall discuss some of the most recommended products you must invest in to make your pregnancy comfortable and enjoyable. These pregnancy must-haves are sure to make your pregnancy journey breezy and composed with everything in a hand’s reach for optimal comfort. Read on to know more.

Video: Pregnancy Essentials Checklist: Things You Will Need

Infographics: Pregnancy Must-Haves

Pregnancy Must-HavesPregnancy Must-Haves for Every Expecting Moms

Before planning pregnancy purchases, it is important to take a look at all the available pregnancy products and then decide what to buy. The key is to know how the products would be useful. This list should help you shortlist your pregnancy essentials.

1. Total Body Pregnancy Pillow

Yes, pregnancy is tough on the body! Daily chores get harder to do. Simply bending down also feels uncomfortable. And then, one afternoon, you prepare yourself for a light nap after a heavy lunch and woah! How did sleeping become hard as well? That’s where total body pregnancy pillows come to the rescue. They are designed to hug and support the contours of your body so that lying on your side doesn’t feel like another punishment meted out by gravity.

Pregnancy pillowWhen Is It Required?

It is wise to get a supportive body pillow as your tummy begins to grow. It becomes essential toward the later stages of your second trimester and throughout your third trimester.

2. Bra Extenders

Often it isn’t your cup size but your band size that will need changing, at least in the first few weeks of your pregnancy. Your mammary glands are spread over your chest and even to the sides. As they grow large, you may notice that your old cup size serves you fine, but the straps don’t meet at the back. Bra extenders are the cost-effective, practical solution to this.

When Is It Required?

Your breasts will begin growing at around 6 to 8 weeks. So, it is handy to get some extenders towards the middle of the first trimester. They will be used throughout your pregnancy.

3. Maternity Bras

Yes, your breast size could go up by one or two cups during the course of your pregnancy and beyond, as they begin producing milk. Find yourself some good quality maternity bras that are well-fitted and comfortable.

Maternity braWhen Is It Required?

You will want to buy new bras in your second and third trimesters and a specialised one for breastfeeding your baby after the delivery.

4. Tennis Balls

Why do we have this on the list? Because they make for excellent lower back massagers, of course! The strain of carrying an unborn human in your belly is felt most on your lower back. Have your husband or a family member roll the ball over your lower back, applying pressure from their palms. The massage will relieve the usual lower back discomfort or pain you’ll have during pregnancy.

When Is It Required?

Your tennis ball massages become essential in the third trimester, as your tummy gets heavy and puts a strain on the lower back.

5. Massage Oil or Lotion

As your pregnancy progresses, the strain on your internal systems increases, and blood circulation to your hands and feet decreases. Massaging your hands and feet boosts blood circulation. The use of good massage oil, moisturising cream, or lotion helps regulate circulation and combat skin issues like dry hands, dry feet and ankles, which are common during pregnancy.

Massage oilWhen Is It Required?

Dry skin can occur right from the first trimester, so a good massage oil or lotion can be useful throughout your pregnancy term!

6. Ginger

Ginger is a natural remedy to keep morning sickness at bay. This is especially useful for those days when the “morning” in morning sickness is forgotten by the “sickness” part, and you end up feeling nauseous all the time. Ginger can be added to your green tea and used in all your meals. You can also get some ginger candies, which are a great tidbit to keep handy in your purse, especially if you are stepping out during pregnancy!

When Is It Required?

Morning sickness is experienced during the second half of the first trimester, so definitely keep some ginger candies at hand during this time.

7. Hot Water Bottle

A hot water bottle could be your best buddy when you have an aching back, sore feet, etc. You can even get yourself a battery-operated massaging hot water bottle that stimulates the water, giving the effect of a light massage.

Pregnant woman with hot water bagWhen Is It Required?

Your hot water bag will become an indispensable home item during your second and third trimesters.

8. Antacid for Heartburn

Heartburn is caused by the build-up of acid in your stomach, pushing into the oesophagus. This occurs commonly in pregnant women, as a result of their womb expanding and applying pressure on surrounding organs – stomach, in this case. Make sure you have an antacid handy during your pregnancy.

When Is It Required?

Acid reflux is experienced by pregnant women from the very first trimester until the very last one. Hence, antacids are a constant requirement.

9. Flat, Comfortable Shoes

Believe it or not, your feet will get bigger during the course of your pregnancy! And that’s not including the non-permanent swelling. So, investing in a pair or more of some comfortable, flat loafers or “athleisure” shoes is a great idea!

Comfortable flat footwearWhen Is It Required?

Your old shoes will grow tighter towards the middle of the second trimester. Feet sizes keep increasing until the end of the pregnancy, so when buying shoes, care to buy one or two sizes larger.

10. Sleep Mask

Exhaustion, ache, pain, soreness and nervous thoughts can all be a part of pregnant life. Getting some solid sleep is vital to recuperate and relax your body; however, your increased sensitivity to light could stand in the way. And for that reason, a sleep mask is much required.

When Is It Required?

You can buy a sleep mask when you need it the most. However, it is recommended you get one in your first trimester, as it can be of use throughout your pregnancy.

11. Maternity Belt

Maternity belts come in a few different variations. They support your belly, a little like how your bras support your breasts! These are a blessing and a relief for your overstrained back and hips.

Woman wearing maternity beltWhen Is It Required?

A maternity belt is required in the second or third trimester when the backache increases.

12. Multivitamin Supplements

Supplements, especially folic acid and vitamin D, are pregnancy must-haves as they are absolutely essential for the baby’s development. We recommend going for a daily pregnancy multivitamin that also includes these two nutrients. Taking multivitamins ensures you get your daily dosage of the nutrients that foods fall short of. However, any medicines you take must be prescribed.

When Is It Required?

Ideally, a gynaecologist should prescribe pregnancy multivitamins as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. Avoid taking normal multivitamin tablets that are not specifically meant for pregnancy – they may contain ingredients unsuitable for your baby.

13. Maternity Jeans

Most moms-to-be think of pregnancy as a 9-month-long phase they can muscle through without going overboard on maternity clothes. But that is never the case, and they find themselves struggling with something as basic as clothes. A pair of maternity jeans can come in handy to tackle this issue. This one item of clothing can be worn on pretty much all casual outings. Get a few pairs of super-stretch maternity jeans, and you are good to go!

Maternity jeansWhen Is It Required?

Nowadays, pregnancy jeans have enough stretch to accommodate the changes in your body throughout the pregnancy while still being comfortable. The second trimester is a good time to go shopping for a pair.

14. Stretch Marks Oil or Lotion

Your body takes on the additional weight and expands faster than your skin can regenerate when you are pregnant. This causes stretch marks, itchiness and sometimes even burning and a general feeling of tightness. Using a moisturising, anti-stretch mark oil can soothe your skin and also keep it healthy.

When Is It Required?

You should start this routine in your second trimester as your body begins changing.

15. Tissues

If you aren’t a regular tissue user, this is the time to become one. It is okay to treat yourself to a few good cries. Pregnancy can be overwhelming at times. Plus, this ‘habit’ will prove important once your baby comes along. Cleaning a bit of drool, wiping down bits of cereal on the tabletop, patting yourself dry after breastfeeding, you’ll require tissues almost daily!

When Is It Required?

We’d recommend you bring the convenience of tissues into your life immediately, whichever trimester you may be in!

16. Healthy Snacks

Okay, this one seems a little basic. But it’s worth listing because it’s simply too important not to speak of. Pregnancy means high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension and even haemorrhoids. Also, poor nutrition of a pregnant mother could put her child at risk of being overweight or developing diabetes. So, whenever you get your pregnancy hunger pangs, consume some healthy snacks. That’s the only way you can provide nutrition to your body and worry less about any possible health issues.

Pregnant woman snackingWhen Is It Required?

As with the pregnancy multivitamins, improve your diet as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed if it isn’t already pristine.

17. Face Care Products

Acne, just like in your teens, crops up during the early stages of your pregnancy as your hormone levels fluctuate. Use a mild, oil-balancing face cleanser and moisturiser to keep your skin healthy. Do not go for powerful anti-acne washes and other skin ‘clearing’ products. Your skin will clear up as your body stabilises to the change.

When Is It Required?

Safe and mild face care products are most important during the first trimester.

18. Shoe Inserts

The quick weight gain that comes from pregnancy is not similar to gaining weight over a long period of time. Your legs do not get the chance to strengthen at the same speed at which your pregnancy advances. Therefore, you need footwear and inserts that support your feet. Shoe inserts, in particular, are extremely helpful in supporting the arch of your feet. The other times, you could always ask your partner for an occasional foot rub.

Shoe insertsWhen Is It Required?

Give your feet all the support they can get during your third trimester of pregnancy.

19. Soft Toothbrush

A change in the toothbrush should be a part of your maternity essentials because, on average, half of all pregnant women experience swollen and bleeding gums due to pregnancy-induced gingivitis. If you do not use a soft bristle brush already, change to one as soon as you can.

When Is It Required?

Upgrade your oral hygiene in your first trimester itself.

20. Reading Material

Your friends, family and extended family will be brimming with advice for you to follow during your pregnancy. But, it is your pregnancy journey. Reading up and gaining some knowledge about what you are going through will help you gain the courage that will take you through the nervous phases. From bestselling books to magazines and the online world, information is everywhere. Make sure you refer to a trusted source for your share of knowledge.

When Is It Required?

Essential all through your pregnancy and beyond!

21. Bath Salt

Bath salts can soothe the aching muscles and cramps, which are commonly experienced during pregnancy. Throw in a tablespoon or so of bath salt in half a bucket of water to soak your feet. You may also dissolve half a cup of bath/Epsom salt in the bathtub for a nice warm bath.

When Is It Required?

Bath salts can be used as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed or as and when you feel muscle fatigue.

22. Compression Socks

As the pregnancy progresses, you’ll experience issues like swollen feet, leg cramps, etc. Good shoes are required to support your feet during this time; however, you will also need a good pair of compression socks to support your calves and feet. Compression socks are particularly useful for those pregnant women who are constantly on their toes.

When Is It Required?

You may get a pair of compression socks in the middle of the second trimester. That’s when your shoes won’t fit you too.

23. Comfortable Layers

During pregnancy, your body temperature may take a mood swing and make you uneasy at times. Keeping a comfortable layer of clothing like a shrug in your wardrobe is a smart way to keep you warm at all times.

When Is It Required?

You can get a shrug or any other comfy layer right from your pregnancy journey.

24. Pregnancy Books

If you are the one who likes to keep abreast and be aware of all things ahead in your itinerary, then reading pregnancy books will not be much of a task for you. Pregnancy books are top must-have pregnancy items to invest in for early pregnancy. Whether you’d like to read right from the early trimester or in the last trimester of your pregnancy, it will help you out with many things.

When Is It Required?

We recommend having pregnancy material from the first trimester onwards.

25. Water Bottle

Hydration is your key to keeping several pregnancy-related problems like dehydration, indigestion and more at bay. Plus, enough hydration is very important to maintain during pregnancy. If you are the one who keeps forgetting to drink water, carrying a bottle around can help you stay on top of your hydration game. Therefore, a water bottle is one of the important pregnancy must-haves for moms-to-be.

When Is It Required?

Right from your first trimester, you can start carrying a good water bottle around.

26. Maternity Dress

1-2 maternity dresses in the wardrobe are a must. You are not going to be cooped up in the house until you deliver, right? Plus, there are so many occasions that you may have to attend. With old clothes and dresses now unfit, you will need 1-2 stylish and comfortable maternity dresses to flaunt your belly bump. Whether you want a comfortable flowy dress or one that accentuates your belly, there are plenty of options to choose from.

When Is It Required?

You can go for maternity dress shopping second trimester onwards.

27. Slip-on Shoes

With a heavy belly and indigestion, it can be impossible to bend down to tie your shoes. This is why you need slip-on shoes that are easy to wear and remove.

When Is It Required?

We suggest buying a pair a month in advance before you are unable to bend, anytime between the end of the second trimester and the third trimester.

28. Birthing/Exercise Ball

As the due date nears, it gets difficult to find a comfortable position to relax. The couch, the bed, the cushions, everywhere it gets difficult to relax. A birthing ball or an exercise is a cost-effective option to provide your relief from all the soreness and help open pelvic muscles to prepare for the birth.

When Is It Required?

It is required in the third trimester.

29. Nursing Pads

In the last leg of the third trimester, many pregnant women’s breasts start leaking in preparation for delivery and breastfeeding. Keeping nursing pads in reach before and after your little one arrives will be of great help and save you from unwanted embarrassment when outside.

When Is It Required?

Shop for these in the third trimester.

30. A Hydrating Moisturiser

A hydrating moisturiser is one of the top must-haves for pregnant moms. In many pregnancy cases, the skin of pregnant women becomes dry and flaky, and they even have eczema. In such cases, keeping a good, hydrating moisturiser can be of a ton of help.

When Is It Required?

Use a good-quality moisturiser daily from the start of your pregnancy to keep your skin healthy.

31. Bullet Journal

Pregnancy can be breezy for some, while it can be challenging for some due to morning sickness, nausea, and tons of other pregnancy symptoms. Whether difficult or happy moments, you can pen down your thoughts in this journal and keep your mind stress-free. You can click plenty of pregnancy photos and turn your journal into a part scrapbook.

When Is It Required?

It is best to keep a journal from the beginning of your pregnancy.

32. Maternity Coat

For seasonal winters or if you live in colder regions, a maternity coat would be a must-have pregnancy item. Look for a premium-quality maternity coat with enough room to cover you and your bump.

When Is It Required?

It is required for people living in colder regions or during the seasonal winter season.

Finally, we are at the end of the pregnancy essentials list. We hope you found these must-haves during pregnancy helpful and will keep a note of them while shopping for your pregnancy.


1. What stage of pregnancy should I start buying things?

Well, the perfect start can be when you confirm your pregnancy. You may start preparing your space with newborn essentials and whatever you may need in future and make a list of the items you will need to make your pregnancy journey easier. Being mindful of things you shop for during your pregnancy is very important, as impulse buying does nobody good.

2. When should I start buying baby stuff?

You should start with baby stuff shopping until after your second trimester. You can also plan the shopping after your baby’s gender reveal around 20 weeks of pregnancy. If you can’t hold your excitement of baby essentials shopping, then sopping around 15-20 weeks of pregnancy for onesies and jumpsuits won’t hurt.

These are some basic, but much-required pregnancy essentials you must invest in. They will make your life convenient and help relieve a lot of the pregnancy-related physical and mental strain you will be going through. We do know that expenses skyrocket during pregnancy, but with proper planning and budgeting, you can pave your way to a happy, unstressed pregnancy!

Also Read: 

Checklist for Baby’s Arrival
Maternity Hospital Bag Checklist
Checklist of Things to do Before Planning for Pregnancy

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