What do you really need to get your house ready for your baby?
You’ve already spent the last few months preparing your body with adequate hydration, varied nutrition and supplements for conception. You might have had to clean up your diet, budgeting habits or your lifestyle with your partner.
Turn your attention to home. It’s a good idea to prepare your house with things you’ll need during the first trimester. I hate to say it but chances are you’ll be too sick to want to drive to the store and grab these things once you’ve got a bun in the oven.
Don’t worry – the morning sickness won’t last forever (throwing up is no fun but definitely worth it once you feel and hold your baby). My husband has bought so many things to help with first trimester pregnancy symptoms. In this list of household essentials I hope you’ll reap the benefits of our efforts and buy these things before conception.
♥Honest Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and decide to purchase an item, I’ll receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you. This has in no way changed how I feel about these products or skewed my opinion of them. I only promote products that I have either purchased and used, or researched thoroughly and believe to be the best on the market.♥
1.) Prenatal Vitamin: I know…I’ve talked about the importance of prenatal vitamins over and over on this blog. That’s because they are SO important for the health of you and your baby. Prenatal vitamins are #1 on this list for a reason – if you don’t have any yet go out, buy some (preferably raw) prenatal vitamins and start taking them now.
If for some reason you cannot afford prenatal vitamins I urge you to contact your state agency or Planned Parenthood centers. They will often have programs that can provide you will free prenatal vitamins. If you can afford to purchase your own, raw vitamins like Vitamin Code Raw Prenatals are the best because more of those nutrients will be absorbed into your body for your baby.
2.) Large Water Bottle: The second item on our list is a big, 48-ounce water bottle. Proper hydration is very important in pregnancy. By the time your baby comes, your body’s blood volume will have increased by 50%. You will also have grown a new organ (the placenta) and just over 4 cups of amniotic fluid in your belly. You need a lot of water to make these things happen and to properly deliver nutrients to your baby. Proper hydration during pregnancy also lessens a bunch of pregnancy symptoms including headaches, body aches, swelling, constipation, acne, fatigue and UTI’s (which we all know are zero fun).
Having the water bottle with me at all times has really helped me remember just how much water I’ve had throughout the day. When pregnant, you need 12 to 13 eight-ounce glasses of H20 every day. That’s two 48-ounce water bottles every day which is a lot easier than it sounds.
Click here for proper hydration: Nalgene Everyday Silo Water Bottle, 48 Oz. Blue One Size
3.) Pregnancy Pillow: Why is a pregnancy pillow on this list? Isn’t this supposed to be used by women who are very pregnant? No. I would recommend women use a pregnancy pillow as early as 6 weeks into their pregnancy. During early pregnancy you will feel very exhausted from the hormones flooding through your body. Shortly after the exhaustion hits the majority of women will start to experience morning sickness. A “C-shaped” pregnancy pillow will offer your body the support and comfort it needs during this time of adjustment.
I purchased the original Leechco Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow in pink during the first few weeks of my pregnancy when I absolutely could not leave the couch due to nausea, fatigue and headaches. This pillow was a lifesaver and the washable slipcover has been very easy to clean and stuff the polyester pillow back into. There is also a 100% cotton option. I would recommend both. My husband was initially concerned that it would take up too much room but my pillow easily fits in our queen-sized bed with my husband and I. Plus a rested pregnant wife equals a happy dad-to-be!
Click here for better sleep: Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow
4.) Hot Pad or Microwavable Wrap: It’s common for women to have cramps throughout pregnancy. The cause of the cramp will change as your pregnancy progresses but the symptom will always be the same – discomfort. During my first trimester hormones and my growing uterus gave me really uncomfortable abdominal cramps. Between the first and second trimester I’ve experienced anything from gas pains to round ligament pain as my hips and pelvic muscles stretch to accommodate my growing baby.
A good heat wrap will help all these pains go away. It doesn’t have to be an expensive brand either. My first pregnancy heat wrap was a cheap, polyester sack filled with flax seeds. I used this wrap so often for cramp comforts that I actually burnt the filling. The bag disintegrated on me by month 3. I replaced that heat wrap with a large electric heat wrap by Sunbeam that I got off of Amazon. I love it. Seriously, I don’t know how I could manage the pain of growing a baby without this wrap. It has 6 heat settings for me to choose from (I prefer settings 4 and 5) and can wrap around my back or my stomach.
Be advised that babies should not be heated to over 101 degrees. If you use your heat wrap properly and avoid falling asleep with it over your belly the risk is minimal.
Click here for pain relief: Sunbeam King Size Heating Pad, 12 x 24-inches
5.) Sports Bras: Every woman gains weight at a different rate throughout pregnancy but almost every woman will experience some initial bloating after conception. This means that your hips, stomach, thighs and boobs might grow. If you notice your normal bras are slightly more snug around your ribs make the switch to sports bras.
The minute my husband and I conceived none of my bras fit me (which is sad because I have a lot of cute bras). Thankfully I had two old sports bras lying around. They weren’t pretty but I was comfortable. That was all I cared about those first few weeks.
If you are ever tempted to keep wearing your super adorable, underwire bras even after they get snug I empathize. Of course you want to wear them. They’re adorable! But don’t do it. Once your bras get snug it’s time to move on to something more comfortable. Many doctors say that wearing underwire bras during pregnancy can inhibit milk production as your breasts get larger. Sports bras are the safest option for you and your baby. Also, you don’t need to worry about buying maternity bras yet. Unless you cannot find a sports bra that fits you, maternity bras usually fit better towards the end of the first trimester or the beginning of the second.
6.) A Journal: Journals can be a very important, personal part of your pregnancy. It can be easy for pregnant women to forget things as their bodies adjust to hormones. This is often called “pregnancy brain” While some scientists claim it is a psychosomatic myth I can tell you from personal experience that “pregnancy brain” exists and it can be frustrating. Not only will you want to remember important personal information – like what you planned to ask your doctor at your next appointment, or when that appointment was scheduled – you will want to remember the emotional and physical changes that you went through as your pregnancy progressed.
Journaling is a wonderful way to accomplish that. Buy a super cute journal at your local Target and keep it out in the open where you’ll see it. Spend a few minutes every day jotting down a few sentences to remind you of your pregnancy. You can write about your symptoms, what you’re going through that day or how you and your partner are feeling about the new baby. You can even use a journal to keep track of your weight gain. It’s as versatile a tool as you can get during pregnancy. Don’t skip it.
7.) Yoga Mat: Exercise is very important throughout pregnancy. Regular exercise – meaning 30 minutes 4 to 5 times a week – will make your labor shorter (which hurts less). The oxytocin that your body produces with regular exercise will give you a happier, healthier baby. Your center of gravity will constantly shift during pregnancy, which leads to body aches. Regular exercise will minimize this pain. It will also help your body easily return to its pre-pregnancy shape (and get you into your favorite pair of skinny jeans sooner)!
Many mothers don’t begin exercising regularly until their nausea passes at the end of the first trimester. You should still purchase a yoga mat and exercise as often as you can during those nauseous periods. There’s plenty of time before conception and during the first few weeks of pregnancy to get into an established exercise routine. If nausea stops you from exercising temporarily you can always resume the routine once it passes and you begin to feel better.
Make sure when you do exercise that you engage in pregnancy safe activities. Anything risky that might lead to falling, twisting your body, or changes in blood pressure should be avoided. These include contact sports, scuba diving, mountaineering, horseback riding, and any exercise routine that is much more intense than your pre-pregnancy routine. Regular yoga and pilates can also be risky for your baby because they involve twisting. Twisting during pregnancy can sometimes cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall. This is not good. To be safe, engage in prenatal yoga or prenatal pilates classes which are safe for mom and baby.
If you are not used to working out, start with 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 to 6 days a week. As you get larger, prenatal swim classes offer lots of opportunities for cardio exercise. The water will take the pressure off of your back and pelvis.
Click here for a healthier pregnancy: Gaiam Premium Print Yoga Mat, 5mm
8.) Miralax or Fiber Supplements: By the middle of my first trimester I had horrible headaches that would not go away no matter how much water I drank. By process of elimination I figured out that my discomfort was due to constipation. This is common for many pregnant women. You have a lot of calcium and supplements that your baby needs you to take every day. Combine this with hormones slowing down your digestive tract (to allow the baby to absorb more nutrients) and you have a recipe for irregularity.
Fiber helped keep me regular for a little while but the amount of calcium that I was taking made it necessary for me to use a mild laxative every four days. Miralax is the pregnancy-safe laxative that my doctor recommended. Once I started taking it my headaches disappeared. Grab it now so that you won’t be running off to the store with severe abdominal cramps and a horrible migraine.
Click here for better regularity: MiraLAX Laxative Powder, 26.9 Ounce
Click here for smoother digestion: Metamucil Daily Fiber Supplement, 100% Natural Psyllium Husk
9.) Tylenol: Pain relief during pregnancy is interesting because so many of the medicines we take regularly are off limits for our babies. Many pain relievers have a blood-thinning side effect. It is very mild in adults but can cause problems for our unborn child. Regular-strength Tylenol is one of the few pain relievers that are safe to take a few times every month during pregnancy.
If you find that you’re taking a lot of Tylenol to combat headaches or body pain, please contact your doctor so you can discover the root of the problem rather than masking it with a lot of painkillers. Too much Tylenol isn’t safe for your baby either.
Click here for fewer headaches: Tylenol Regular Strength Tablets
10.) Lemon-Ginger Herbal Tea: Remember how I talked about first trimester nausea earlier in this post? Its official name is morning sickness. It can strike at any time of day and may actually cause you to vomit (or just be queasy). 75% of pregnant mothers will experience some form of morning sickness in their pregnancy. A much lower amount of women will have nausea throughout their entire pregnancy. This is uncommon.
Some herbal teas are off-limits during pregnancy because they contain herbs that have been known to lead to miscarriage. The first trimester is a particularly fragile time in any woman’s pregnancy and even pregnancy teas (like red raspberry leaf) are only recommended during the second trimester and onward. Lemon-ginger herbal teas are some of the safest for expectant mothers, provided that they do not contain any licorice root. It offers wonderful nausea relief and is very relaxing. Pick up a box at your local supermarket before you conceive.
Click here for nausea relief: Stash Tea Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea
11.) Low-Sodium Soup Packets: This might seem like a strange pregnancy essential but trust me, soup packets and crackers are wonderful for morning sickness. The first trimester queasies might stop you from getting proper nutrition for a few weeks. You might hate the sight of any vegetable or meat. Your sense of smell will also kick into overdrive (thanks to hormones) and then every food will send you rushing to the toilet. Except soup packets. They provide your body with enough salt and liquid to keep you hydrated while you’re nauseous.
Try to find a brand or soup packet that doesn’t have too much sodium. You’ll also want to choose one with high quality noodles over the usual Ramen brand. It will give your baby more nutrition. There are a variety of whole wheat and organic noodle soup packets available online if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the grocery store.
12.) Dental Floss: Last but not least on our list is dental floss. Do you floss regularly? If you do, good for you! I didn’t before I became pregnant. Dental hygiene is extremely important during pregnancy.
During pregnancy your gums become very sensitive and more prone to infection. Should your gums or teeth get infected the bacteria will pass through your body into your baby. This germ sharing can cause birth defects and miscarriage. You can easily prevent gum disease by flossing your teeth every night before you go to bed, after you brush your teeth. It takes 5 minutes.
Have you stocked up on any essentials for the first trimester? Let us know in the comments below.