Having a GREAT and HEALTHY pregnancy is important, so here are 9 essential items and 1 nice-to-have to help.

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Newly pregnant moms need 3 things for sure:

1. a progress tracker to let you know what's common in certain stages of pregnancy (#5).
2. information on how to eat for pregnancy (#6 & #7).
3. a quality prenatal vitamin (#9).

These are great items to get in the 1st trimester, or as early as possible (even before pregnancy).

The other items on this list are great for the 2nd and 3rd trimesters when your bump is larger and your body has more outward physical changes.

Let's start with the essential items.

#1 - Belly Belt

Amazon rated 4.4 stars

This is the exact belt I had. It takes the pressure off of the lower back and belly.

Super helpful if:
- you're on your feet for a while - even just cooking a 30-minute meal.
- you have discomfort from your belly hanging.
- you're in the last trimester.

It doesn't claim to do so, but I believe it helped me avoid stretch marks by offering such great support.
This belt uses velcro, not hooks, to close.

#2a - Pregnancy Pillow

Amazon rated 4.5 stars

Pregnancy pillows offer great support while sleeping. They may look bulky, but they often help pregnant women find more comfort and sleep better.

This works because (1) you get better sleep and as a result you feel better overall, and (2) sleep is directly related to blood sugar so better sleep helps prevent gestational diabetes.

#2b - Belly Wedge

Amazon rated 4.6 stars

A belly wedge offers support and comfort for the belly while you sleep. It's great if the pregnancy pillow doesn't excite you.

#3 - Compression Socks

Amazon rated 4.7 stars

Swollen feet happen in almost every pregnancy - especially if you have a desk job or are on your feet a lot. Compression socks significantly reduce swelling.

I wore them while pregnant in culinary school and was so grateful to have them after having elephant legs for a few weeks.

The footies are for swelling in just the feet (more prints and colors available).

Amazon rated 4.5 stars

The tube socks are for swelling in the legs and feet (more prints and colors available).

#4 - Bra Extension Hooks

Amazon rated 4.6 stars

I didn't know these existed, and as a result I wore sports bras through each pregnancy. Sports bras were awesome, but they didn't work with every outfit. These bra extension hooks would've been great.

#5 - Pregnancy Progress

Amazon rated 4.7 stars

A friend got me this book. It has great information to alert you to what you may be experiencing and have questions about.

It was a great reference to have when I couldn't talk to my doctor right away, or when my mom couldn't remember.

If you don't like reading, sign up for progress alerts through a pregnancy app. I did this as well and I liked it much better.

The alerts told me the baby's progress, and mine, and helped me identify symptoms that I was unsure about.

#6 - Feel Good Pregnancy Cookbook

Amazon rated 4.7 stars

Even though I didn't have this during pregnancy because it's newly released, I consider it an essential.

I've worked with the author, Ryann, and followed her work for years now. This book tells you a little about pregnancy progression, but what's unique is that it tells you which foods are important during different stages of pregnancy, and gives recipes for them.

#7 - Real Food for Pregnancy

#1 BEST SELLER - Amazon rated 4.8 stars

This book is a favorite of mine because it nerds out on pregnancy nutrition, but in an easy way. I highly recommend it so you can have a healthier and overall better pregnancy, but especially if you plan on having more pregnancies.

It wasn't published when I was pregnant, I reference it often to produce the content on this blog.

Lily is the author, and she also authored Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.

I recommend Real Food for Pregnancy over Real Food for Gestational Diabetes because the first book goes into greater detail and addresses pregnancy in general, and Lily has the same food approach for all pregnancies. The book specific to gestational diabetes is more about giving the mom comfort while struggling with diagnosis.

#8 - Knee Wedge

Amazon rated 4.3 stars

Knee wedges are placed in between your knees as you lay to relieve pressure.

If you're experiencing hip, joint, back pain, leg pain, or sciatic (common in late pregnancy), it's worthwhile to try this to relieve your pain.

#9 - Quality Prenatal Vitamin

Rated 4.7 stars

Quality prenatals are actually hard to come by because there's a lot of fluff and misleading advertising in the supplement industry, not to mention the guidelines on pregnancy nutrition are outdated.

There's a full article on choosing the best prenatal vitamin with the top 3 recommendations if you're interested.

The #1 recommended prenatal is Full Circle Prenatal, as shown above.

Full Circle is a company rooted in evidence-based research and updated research on prenatal nutrition. They don't take shortcuts in sourcing or production, and they're made by a dietitian mom who's passionate about quality health in pregnancy.

That does it for the essential items, so here's the nice-to-have.

A Letter Board

Amazon rated 4.9 stars

Commemorate this experience by taking weekly pictures with the letter board (more colors available) and what you're experiencing.

Example - "XX weeks. Baby is the size of a melon. I just want to eat one."
Example - "XX weeks. Counting the weeks until I don't have to count carbs anymore."

That does it. If you're interested in more information about pregnancy nutrition but don't want to buy the books above, check out these links.
- How to Eat for Pregnancy
- 7 Easy Ways to Implement Healthy Changes
- 7 Pregnancy Superfoods
- 8 Easy Food Swaps for a Healthier Pregnancy
- 3 Unnoticeable Changes to Eat Healthier Pregnancy
- FAQs
- Recipes
- Free meal plans