7 Things That I Had No Idea I Desperately Needed for Pregnancy

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Your first pregnancy is overwhelming and confusing. This is a solid list of 6 things to add to your pregnancy shopping checklist. Everyone is always telling you to buy this and that for baby; but this is the pregnancy stuff I had no idea I needed!

Some of us plan our pregnancy down to the date (been there). Others (like myself the first time) are taken a bit by surprise and jump in with both feet into the whirlwind that is pregnancy.

things that you need for pregnancy that I had no idea about

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Pregnancy Stuff You Need But Might Not Know It

Pregnancy is something entirely new. Everything in your body is changing and rapidly! These are 7 things I didn’t even know I needed to add to my pregnancy checklist. This pregnancy stuff is what you never knew you desperately needed!

When I got pregnant the first time I felt like an idiot. Not BECAUSE I was pregnant, but because I had no idea about babies, kids, or pregnancy. I didn’t know what to expect or what I needed.

I ran right to the local library and picked up Pregnancy For Dummies. No joke. Because that’s how I felt at that point. Along with virtually every other book in the pregnancy section.

And I read them all. But my absolute favorite was What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It was so well written I picked up the updated version for my second pregnancy! And now there’s a 5th edition available, which I hear is amazing and can’t wait to devour next time around.

But none of the books really break down what you REALLY need. 

  • Eat healthy
  • Limit eating fish
  • Don’t drink or smoke
  • Don’t use any chemicals on your skin or food
  • definitely don’t eat any chemicals

But what about the details? Even when our mothers were pregnant with us the things available were way different from what we have available now. What should you have on your pregnancy shopping checklist?

Even after one pregnancy there were things I had no idea I’d need for my second. Because every pregnancy is different. Way different. 

So I created this list for you. For the 7 things that I didn’t even know were available or that I needed until I was already to that point in pregnancy!

Pregnancy Stuff I Had No Idea I Desperately Needed

A Sleep Pillow

Sleeping can be tough when you are pregnant. The first few months were fine for me. I was so exhausted from my body growing this tiny person inside me I could pass out easily! Not my normal MO.

Then you start getting larger. You get more uncomfortable. Your body parts swell and your blood volume increases. Your hormones are all over the place. You start feeling pressure and getting leg cramps.

Sleep quickly becomes difficult as week after week your body gets bigger. I started adding pillows all around me. First one by my side. Then one between my knees because oh my gosh my hips hurt so bad otherwise. Then eventually another between my legs! It was my only hope of getting ANY rest.

Why I waited so long before picking up a simple giant pregnancy sleep pillow I have no idea. Oh yes I do, I’m a ridiculous penny pincher. Buying a nice pillow seems like a huge indulgence. And you know what? It is!

And it’s a very small indulgence that will lead you to finally getting some extra sleep you need and deserve so desperately right now. But let me tell you, the simplicity of having one Pregnancy Body Pillow to whip out and stuff under all your sore and growing parts is amazing!

A pregnancy pillow makes pregnancy so much easier and rest so much easier. And right now mama deserves some rest!


High Quality Affordable Prenatal Vitamins

I knew I need to be taking prenatal vitamins. The books all tell you that. But then as with any vitamin, it is so hard to know what is actually ideal to take!

Which vitamins are high enough quality that are actually affordable?

First off, if you aren’t pregnant yet and are planning on becoming pregnant any time soon, you should already be taking prenatal vitamins. I had no idea! The first month is very important for neural tube development of the fetus and those nutrients ideally should already be stored before pregnancy!

The BEST affordable high quality prenatal vitamin I’ve found is called Essential Prenatal. They:

  • are extensively researched and tested
  • contains clean critical nutrients for mama and baby
  • contain the right form of folic acid that can actually be absorbed by the body (almost all prenatals do not)
  • have vitamin D3, directly associated with a healthy birth weight
  • contain Omega 3s and easily absorbed DHA

There are so many prenatal vitamins on the market. Ranging from cheap brands from Walmart to high-priced brands from the health food stores. 

What does a prenatal vitamin need to contain?

FOLIC ACID AND IRON: Folic acid protects the brain and spinal cord and also protect against neural tube defects.

Unfortunately, the form of folic acid in most prenatals can’t even be readily absorbed by almost half of women! Sad, but true.

Essential Prenatals contains a special form of folic acid called MTHF folic acid. That your body can absorb and actually use to preserve those precious and important parts of baby in those vital first 28 days.

DHA: During pregnancy you needs 200mg of DHA to help with babies’ brain and eye development.

Many prenatals do not contain DHA so I love that Essential Prenatals includes that in one price and one high quality pill to support your baby with the best growth possible!

I had no idea that you should be taking prenatals if you are planning to become pregnant, while pregnant (duh), AND while breastfeeding! Oh and did I mention that the capsules are specially formulated to deter causing nausea? 

Huge preggo mommy win. Because nausea can become a day to day drag. (And not only in the first trimester for some, myself included.)

RELATED: Postpartum Padsicles: What Every Mom NEEDS in Her PostPartum Kit

i was shocked i needed this pregnancy stuff for my pregnancy checklist

A Belly Only Pregnancy Plan

You’re eating for two right? So it’s ok to double your calories while pregnant… right? Umm, sadly no. Imagine my disappointment when I realized you only need 340 extra calories a day while pregnant!

My body is now craving ice cream every meal… so that means it’s ok to indulge right? My body is telling me what it wants after all!

But many cravings actually point to other vitamins and nutrients our body actually needs. For instance, my insatiable ice cream cravings probably pointed toward magnesium and calcium deficiencies. Bummer.

It’s totally ok to indulge in some cravings, but you will have so much more energy if you eat healthy nutrient dense meals that are totally satisfying. My favorite list of all the most delicious and satisfying pregnancy meals are available in The Belly Only Pregnancy Program

The Belly Only Pregnancy Program details handfuls upon handfuls of satisfying and delicious recipes to have just that, a belly only pregnancy. Without feeling deprived!

Plus the amazing program details the second piece to having an energy filled (as much as possible!) and healthy pregnancy… staying active! Easier said than done when your body is growing, swelling, and aching all over the place!

The Belly Only Pregnancy Program details pregnancy safe workouts for each trimester, for strengthening your pelvic floor, and for diastasis recti. This is one of my all time favorite preggo online resources and I will redo it for every pregnancy!


A Free Prenatal Course

Prenatal classes these days do not only detail the out of date Bradley method of breathing “he-he-hoo.” 

Hospitals often offer prental classes but in our busy modern-day lives there are now extremely helpful courses online! And some are totally free!

With a stellar free online prenatal course you can learn all about 3rd trimester testing, common labor fears, and amazing after birth tips! We all need a little support and guidance with this challenging and new experience!

A free online prental class fits into your schedule! Helps alleviate pregnancy fears. And connects you with real moms who have been there!

More knowledge, and more preparation make for a more comfortable birth! 

RELATED: How to prepare the perineum for childbirth and prevent perineal tearing


Compression Pants and Socks

Did you know that while you are pregnant your blood volume increases by up to 50% or more? I surely did not! Increased blood volume means just what it sounds like:

you body literally contains a substantially higher amount of blood than it ever has before. That doesn’t sound so bad, until you take into account the amount of strain that puts on your poor blood vessels.

This is exactly why varicose veins appear during pregnancy. They most often occur in your right leg. But varicose veins due to pregnancy can appear from your calf, to your thigh, through your vagina, and throughout your abdomen.

It’s a scary and painful thought, but its something you should be aware of!

If you notice any bulging veins or begin feeling a lot of pressure in any of these areas it is essential to fight this off with compression. This definately wasn’t on my list of pregnancy stuff that I knew I’d be needing!

There are compression socks and compression leggings that go all the way up to your bump to help alleviate the exacerbation of weak veins during pregnancy. Once again I had NO IDEA…

until I got them.

If you have even a moderate problem with swelling veins during pregnancy, these are well worth the price for your comfort. I personally had a huge problem with this, top of the line.

If you are feeling pressure or seeing bulging veins only in your legs some compression stockings can work wonders.

Keep them by your bed, as the blood hasn’t had a chance to pool and swell while you are laying down cuddling your pregnancy pillow. Slide them on BEFORE getting out of bed for the best results. For summer pregnancies these can totally suck. Who needs more heat when you are sweating already?

But the pain they alleviate is amazing. 

Depending on your level and location of vein discomfort these are the top rated stockings!

pregnancy stuff you really need on your checklist


Essential Oils

When you are pregnant it is a good idea to stay away from phthalates. (Say Tha-lates.) Phthalates are a large group of chemicals linked to many major health concerns which are also endocrine disruptors. They are hidden in almost every cosmetic product out there.

Phthalates can cross the placenta and can be transmitted through breast milk as well. So it’s a good idea to avoid them and all synthetic fragrances as well until we better understand their direct link to all these health concerns.

are a clean and natural way to keep yourself and your home clean and fresh without the potential harm to yourself or your fetus. There are some essential oils to avoid during pregnancy so be sure to give that list a check. Essential oils should definately be on your pregnancy shopping checklist!

Not only will essential oils help keep you and everything around you smelling good and fresh during pregnancy and breastfeeding but they also are insanely helpful for preparing the perineum for childbirth to avoid tearing! AND they are STELLAR for creating postpartum padsicles!

Make a Solid Plan to Avoid Tearing in Childbirth… because it Sucks!

With only a handful of and the right methods you can prepare your perineum for the rigorous stretching it’s about to endure. I completely avoided any tears with my second pregnancy and I know it was directly related to actually prepping my perineum the right way!

With my first pregnancy I didn’t even want to think about that. The idea of perineal massage made me totally squeamish. But the difference that preparing that part with essential oils made was huge! Your lady bits will thank you.

And if “padsicles” is a totally foreign term to you they are large maxi pads soaked in healing and soothing aloe and oils that you keep in the freezer. They are AMAZING and I’ll never go through another postpartum without padsicles.

If you pick up the oils from may that is 100% pure and WAY CHEAPER than the other guys you can even get a FREE big box of goodies to go with your oils plus a $20 off coupon in your email if you decide to pick up their subscription box. Just enter code ALLIELAVIGUEURFREE at checkout.

Even without a subscription, I’m confident in saying you will not find this high quality of oils anywhere else at anywhere near their prices!

RELATED: Avoid Perineal Tearing With Essential Oils

RELATED: Postpartum Padsicle Recipe and Directions


Maternity Clothes

Yes this seems super simple. But I was convinced I could get through pregnancy with just sizing up or adding a rubber band to my pants. If you have the luxury of not working in a typical 9 to 5 job that works just fine, leggings are phenomenal as well!

But when you’re still plugging away at your day job, those silly looking stretchy pants have to come out at some time! At least for me! And that wardrobe that is only applicable for a very limited time can become super pricey!

I was able to pick up some amazing pieces at a yard sale and got the rest from Steep Discount Mart. Which have really cute options and I can offer you 15% off their entire pregnancy and maternity collection through my special link! Using my code MATERNITY15OFF at checkout.

Because a working mama’s got to pick up a few quality pieces at a great deal for those last few months.


I hope this post didn’t scare you, and just made you more prepared for the awesome job of motherhood you get to embark on! I’m not gunna lie, it’s draining. But it is also the best thing ever on so many levels.

RELATED: How to Heal your Pelvic Floor Postpartum

RELATED: What to Eat for a Belly Only Pregnancy

RELATED: How to Avoid Getting Postpartum Depression

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