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Pregnancy health centre

21 essential pregnancy must haves

WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

When you are pregnant thinking of all the stuff you may need for the baby can be mind blowing. How do such tiny things need so much clobber? But don't jump the gun - they're not even born yet so concentrate on the pregnancy must haves that will make YOU feel better along the way.

Here are 21 tips, starting before you conceive and taking you through each of the 3 stages of pregnancy, called trimesters.

Pregnancy must haves for the first trimester

1. Folic Acid - Taking a folic acid supplement, ideally before you conceive, and then every day for the entire first trimester will help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. A daily 400 mcg (microgram) supplement is recommended for most women. Some women need a 5mg (milligram) daily dose so check with your doctor if this applies to you.

2. Vitamin D - You may also want to take a vitamin D supplement. The Department of Health advice is to consider taking a 10 mcg (microgram) daily supplement. Vitamin D helps keep bones, muscles and teeth healthy and it can be hard when pregnant to get the amount you need from food and sunlight alone.

3. Sickness bands – The first 12 weeks of pregnancy is the time when morning sickness can often make you feel wretched. Morning sickness acupressure bands that you wear around your wrist may help alleviate that nauseous feeling that affects around 80% of women.

4. Ginger - Ginger is known for its anti-sickness properties. Some women find than sipping ginger ale or nibbling on a ginger biscuit can help make them feel less nauseous.

5. Waist band extender – In the early stages of pregnancy you may not be ready for full-on maternity wear but a simple waist-band extender may be a godsend to stop your normal skirts and trousers feeling too tight and digging into you.

6. Bump band – Another clothing must-have is a pack of bump bands. They come in T-shirt jersey type material and are usually sold in black, white and grey. You wear them over your bump with your usual tops as well. It just means that you cover your growing belly with material and keep it warm, and it doesn't look like you are wearing a crop top.

"Brilliant for when your usual clothes don't fit but your bump is too small for maternity wear," says Jo Wheatley from Netmums.

Pregnancy must haves for the second trimester

7. Stretch mark products – Stretch mark creams, oils, lotions and butters can be slathered on your growing bump to keep skin smooth and supple and may help prevent stretch marks.

8. A good baby book - Buy a baby book that doesn't preach to you, scare you or make you feel guilty, but gives you an honest and helpful guide to pregnancy, birth and babyhood.

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