These days there is literally a product for anything, and pregnancy is no exception to this. There are thousands of products marketed to expectant mothers with the every imaginable intent, from making mom comfortable to getting a head start on baby’s education. Some are super helpful while the necessity of others is questionable. By the third trimester, it’s likely any expectant mother has at least a handful of these items.
The third trimester is full of aches, pains and anticipation of baby’s arrival. "[The] baby is really busy during the third trimester, putting all the finishing touches on their development as they get ready to enter the world. They’ll be [growing bigger]—it starts to get cramped in there—and brain and neuron development [happen] during these weeks,” shares BabyList.com on the details of the third trimester.
Whether mom is trying to deal with third trimester discomforts or just interested in the hype, it’s very likely any pregnant mama-to-be has tried at least a few of the items listed below. Keep reading for 10 items that Moms need by the third trimester and 10 that are just waste of money. From pillows to creams and even headphones, there’s a pregnancy product for just about everything. Feature image courtesy of Katy Conway.
20 Need: Pregnancy Pillow
One item that is a pregnancy must is a pregnancy pillow. There are several varieties available but they all seek to ensure you can get as comfy as possible at night. TheBump.com recommends Boppy’s Total Body Pillow. “Prepare to be a blissed out by Boppy’s Total Body Pillow. Its C-shape cradles you from head to toe, even taking the place of your regular pillow. One end is for your head and neck; the other tucks between your legs to realign your hips as you sleep. This pregnancy body pillow by Boppy is among the best because it’s soft enough to fold into any position and comes in very handy during waking hours too; tuck one end behind you on the couch and use the other end us a lap desk, for instance,” writes TheBump.com.
19 Waste Of Money: Pregnancy Books
When it comes to saving your pennies, those pregnancy books are one way to cut expenses. Your hospital will likely give you a reference book, and it is probably the only thing you need. All other information can be found through your doctor or through the internet. Look for apps such as the Ovia Pregnancy Tracker and the What To Expect App. You can also opt for e-books that would be handy to reference. Keep an eye for sales and freebies on Amazon.com.You will be thankful you don’t have hard copies of books collecting dust on your bookshelf.
18 Need: Maternity Undies
“As your belly expands along with the rest of you, wearing your old underwear will become increasingly difficult. Just remember you’re shoving two people into that pair of underwear now, not just one. So don’t feel bad about outgrowing your favorite underwear — you’ll be back in them soon enough,” shares MomLovesBest.com.
Another must on the maternity must have list is maternity underwear. Around the second trimester you will realize your undies are simply not fitting the same way. Whether you opt for the maternity underwear that rest under your belly, or the ones that go up over your bump, maternity underwear are definitely worth the investment. And they’re not that expensive, so you can even try a few pairs until you find what you prefer.
17 Waste Of Money: Belly Headphones
Do you ever hear of a product and think, “Does this actually exist?” That was my reaction to finding out you can buy headphones specifically for your bump. WavHello.com explains the concept of items like bellybuds, “BellyBuds are specialized speakers that gently adhere to your baby bump and allow you to safely play memory-shaping sound directly to the womb. Whether it’s a soothing tune or a bond-forming voice message, BellyBuds is a safe and effective first step in connecting with your soon-to-be bundle of joy.” Save your money and just put a regular pair of headphones over your belly if that’s how you are wanting to connect with your little peanut!
16 Need: Cocoa Butter Lotion
There are a lot of marketed products advertised to expectant moms to help with their growing bodies. Truthfully, there’s not much any mom can do about the inevitable stretchmarks, and we’ll explore that a bit more further down the list. One thing that is actually helpful, though, is a good cocoa butter lotion. “Cocoa butter works well as a moisturizing agent because it's a lightweight fat, explains LiveStrong.com. It melts at body temperature and is easily absorbed into not only the top layer of the skin but also the dermis layer where the body is able to retain more moisture,” shares TheSpoiledMama.com on the moisturizing benefits of cocoa butter.
15 Waste Of Money: Inflatable Stomach Sleepers
Marketed towards moms who miss sleeping on their stomach, there’s an inflatable stomach sleeper on the market for just that! Save your money and just invest in one of the cozy pregnancy pillows mentioned above. Sleeping on your back or side is better for you and baby, anyway. “The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby,” writes AmericanPregnancy.org. Just say no to anything inflatable while you’re pregnant, for that matter!
14 Need: Exercise Ball
“The key is you want to avoid reclining in big couches, gliders and beds. As tempting as it is, it's best to sit upright with your pelvis slightly forward. Sitting on an exercise ball is wonderful for pregnant mamas. Be sure your ball is firm enough and high enough so that your hips are higher than your knees,” recommends MamaNatural.com. One of these exercise balls will be especially helpful, not to mention super comfortable, during your third trimester. Sitting on one of these can take a lot of pressure off of your lower body and help you relax. Bouncing on the ball is also a great way to induce and progress labor when the time is right!
13 Waste Of Money: Fetal Doppler
“Fetal heart monitoring is part of every pregnancy checkup. It’s combined with other tests for a closer look if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other conditions that could cause problems for you and your baby. Fetal heart rates also can help count your contractions and tell if you’re going into labor too early,” shares WebMD.com. Your Doctor will check your fetal heart rate at everyone of your check-ups. You can opt to buy the at home version of this tool, but having one of these in your arsenal may drive you more crazy than anything. Plus, it’s safer to not do it too often.
12 Need: Belly Band
There are several different varieties of belly bands and maternity belts that you can buy, however a belly band can really last you from the second you can no longer button your jeans all the way through the postpartum stage. “When you find yourself unable to zip up your pre-pregnancy pants once you hit the second or third trimester, you’ll turn to your belly band. All you have to do is slide your belly band over the top of your pants and the zipper, button or snap. It’s easy to put on and it will give you coverage and help hold your pants in place even though you can no longer fasten them,” states MomLovesBest.com.
11 Waste Of Money: Pregnancy Subscription Boxes
There’s a subscription box for just about anything these days, and pregnancy is no different! A quick Google search leads me to at least ten different options for bump boxes. If you’re going to treat yourself, save the money you would spend on these subscriptions and go all in on a really nice bathrobe or something that will last you. Most subscription boxes are mostly sample-sized items that will more than likely end up in your junk drawer. Turn to Etsy instead and find yourself a nice personalized silk robe, be sure to get a big size to accommodate your bump. You will appreciate this luxury even more postpartum!
10 Need: Several Good Bras
A good bra or two is an investment you definitely will want to make for yourself during your pregnancy. You may opt to jump right to a nursing bra, as you can wear those throughout your pregnancy and after. “Nursing bras differ in one way from maternity bras: They feature clasps on the straps that allow for easy breastfeeding access. If you buy a nursing bra to wear during pregnancy make sure there is enough room for you to grow as your breasts tend to go up another cup size or more after your baby arrives,” writes WhoWhatWear.com. In my own opinion, the nursing bras are definitely the most comfortable!
9 Waste Of Money: Stretch Cream
“Moisturizing abdominal skin while pregnant, or when skin is otherwise rapidly expanding, can help support fragile skin, but there are no studies to show that any particular creams can really help prevent stretch marks.
“The tendency to develop a stretch mark is largely genetic,” says Rao. So basically, some people are more likely to get them than others,” states WomensHealthMag.com. Like it or not, stretch marks are hard to avoid. Save your pennies and skip on the expensive creams. A good cocoa butter moisturizer will do the trick in replenishing nutrients and is just as likely to work in helping fight off stretch marks just as good as anything else.
8 Need: Tums
A lot of expectant mothers experience heartburn during pregnancy. Even if you’ve never experienced it before, pregnancy is sure to show you what you’ve been missing out on. Luckily, Tums are totally safe to use while pregnant, so you will likely find that you will have them on hand. Here’s what AmericanPregnancy.org has to say on the topic, “TUMS provides safe heartburn relief for women who are pregnant. TUMS also adds calcium to your body. When you are pregnant, your body may need between 1,000 mg and 1,300 mg of elemental calcium per day. Be sure to take TUMS at a different time than you take iron supplements. It is recommended to space doses of these antacids and iron supplements one to two hours apart, to get the full benefit from each medicine or dietary supplement. You should consult with your healthcare provider before taking any antacids containing sodium bicarbonate.”
7 Waste Of Money: Belly Casting Kit
In case you are wondering if you can paper mache your belly so you have a giant keepsake for the rest of your life? Heck yes you can, and you can even buy a nice pre-assembled kit to do so. If you really want a cast of your belly, good for you! You absolutely do not need to spend money on a special kit, though. Turn towards the internet to save yourself from money and DIY that belly cast! “A belly cast is created by applying several layers of wet plaster strips to the front of your body. After the strips have set, they will hold your shape and the cast will come away from your body and you will have a permanent record of your pregnant shape,” shares PregnancyAndBaby.com on the process of belly casting.
6 Need: Cozy Shoes
Pregnancy causes many aches and pains, and your feet are no exception to this. After all, they take the brunt of carrying around all of that extra weight. Not to mention the third trimester swelling. Investing in a good pair of shoes, or two, from the beginning will make you much more happy in the long run. MomTricks.com recommends looking for a shoe that is; easy to put on, supportive and comfortable, stylish and roomy. “Yep, your feet are probably going to swell up at some point during your pregnancy. If you’re shopping for shoes and they haven’t yet, seriously consider buying a half or full size bigger than you normally wear,” writes MomTricks.com.
5 Waste Of Money: A Ton Of Maternity Clothing
It can be tempting to go out and purchase a ton of maternity clothing throughout your pregnancy. Nothing is more frustrating than trying on clothing piece after clothing piece of stuff that just doesn’t fit your right anymore! This is an area you really want to focus on quality over quantity. Rather than splurge on a ton of maternity clothing items, buy a few transitional items that will work for you through pregnancy and the awkward postpartum stages.
Here are some questions to consider before you start shopping for maternity clothes, “How much can I afford to spend on clothing this pregnancy? How many different types of clothing do I need? Casual, professional, exercise, etc… (I’ve survived with a lot less variety during the pregnancies I was staying home compared to when I was working a professional job.)How in style do I want to be? Styles will change! All my pregnancies were within less than 6 years of each other, and the styles were already different…” shares TuneMyHeartBlog.com.
4 Need: Humidifier
“Trust me, a humidifier in the bedroom is the secret to a decent night's sleep when you're pregnant with a cold or flu. And guess what? Chances are you're going to need that humidifier after the baby is born, so might as well get a good one now,” writes TheStir.CafeMom.com. Even if you aren’t sick, a humidifier is a great thing to have in your room to help you get a good night's rest. Along with my pregnancy I got insufferable allergies for the first time in my life, and a humidifier really helped me sleep at night comfortably.
3 Waste Of Money: Pregnancy Cookbooks
Though it might be tempting to pick up a pregnancy cookbook to help you stay on track with your dietary goals during your pregnancy, just say no. With a little time and effort, you can make your own Pinterest board full of delicious meals, snacks and even pregnancy goals. “A pregnant woman needs more calcium, folic acid, iron and protein than a woman who is not expecting, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG),” shares LiveScience.com. Just make sure whatever you eat, that you get plenty of the nutrients listed above! And don't’ forget to treat yourself a little bit every now and then!
2 Need: Pregnancy Journal
Someday you will look back on your pregnancy (or pregnancies) and you will long for those days. Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can track the memories of your pregnancy so you can always look back on them. You can take weekly photos, journal, or buy a pregnancy journal that includes writing prompts. Whatever you do, you will be so glad to have something to remember this time in your life!
Wondering how to get started? BabyCenter.com suggests, “Make it sacred. Unplug the phone, sit on the porch under the stars, or revel in the peacefulness of predawn. On those days when your life feels crazy, just grab the time when you can. Try to write for at least half an hour, but even 10 minutes produces powerful results.”
1 Waste Of Money: Prenatal Educational Tools
I cannot make some of this stuff up. There is actually a product on the market to help your little peanut get a jump start on their education. Listen, save the learning for when it’s actually relevant. All you need is your voice to soothe and comfort your baby, and you don’t need any special tool for that. Your voice, and your partners, are all your baby will really retain from their time in utero.
“Perhaps the most significant one a baby hears in utero is his mother's voice. Around the seventh and eighth month, a fetus's heart rate slows down slightly whenever his mother is speaking, indicating that mom's voice has a calming effect. By the time they're born, babies can actually recognize their mother's voice,” states Parenting.com.
References: www.babylist.org, www.thebump.com, www.momlovesbest.com, www.livestrong.com, www.thespoiledmama.com, www.mamanatural.com, www.whowhatwear.com, www.americanpregnancy.org, www.momtricks.com, www.thestir.cafemom.com, www.babycenter.com, www.wavhello.com, www.webmd.com, www.womenshealthmag.com, www.parenting.com, www.pregnancyandbaby.com, www.tunemyheartblog.com, www.livescience.com, www.pinterest.com, www.etsy.com,