Maybe you just found out you’re pregnant, or maybe you’re inching closer to that second trimester. Wherever you are in your pregnancy journey, it’s time to consider your needs.
Because we bet all you’ve been thinking about is the arrival of your baby. You’ve been in super-mom-mode thinking of every little thing your bundle of joy might want or need. But it’s important to slow down and put yourself first while you can.
Let’s be honest: the period of maternity is the perfect (see also: last?) time you can really be selfish. Lean into the freedom and invest in some maternity essentials that’ll help you look and feel your bestest before you start to look and feel exhausted.
If you’re looking for a new pair of favorite jeans for your new belly or maybe some more holistic solutions to your first trimester symptoms — look no further.
We know exactly what kind of maternity essentials will distract from that morning sickness–or at least will soften the blow of that third wave of nausea. And you should consider these maternity essentials to help.
Maternity Is a Highway…
The fourth trimester is the time following the birth of your baby through about 40 to 90 days following. This trimester comes with a lot of growth and change as your baby adjusts to life outside the womb and your body adjusts to new motherhood.
The term fourth trimester was coined by Dr. Harvey Karp in 2002, with the goal in mind to spend a few weeks trying to recreate life in the womb for your new baby. By prioritizing methods, activities, and tender moments with their baby, new mamas can ease their baby out of womb life and into line in the real world.
Sometimes a detailed overview is the best way to process when your brain is jumbled with What To Expect handbooks and your own mom’s insistent tips & tricks.
Here’s our quick guideline to map out your expectations:
The First Trimester
Ah yes, the first trimester — often considered the most sentimental, exciting, and challenging trimester of pregnancy.
Your first trimester is super essential for the development of your baby-to-be. Your body undergoes changes like tender breasts, nausea, and of course, your growing belly. You’ll probably also experience some (extreme) fatigue… Yeah, that urge to snooze when the sun’s still out is totally normal.
Along with headaches, cravings, and mood swings, your pregnancy hormones are pretty much throwing a rager in your body. But that’s only because they’re working tirelessly with your body to bring your baby to life.
By the end of your first trimester, usually 12 weeks, your baby will start to form all of its essential organs, form a regular heartbeat, and even grow its fingers and toes.
The Second Trimester
We can see the light, mama. Can’t you?
The second trimester, from weeks 14 to 27, is typically much less stressful than the first. Your body will be much more well adjusted to its changing form and thus be much more comfortable.
While things will mostly settle, you’re done with change. There will definitely still be new changes to your body as it continues to expand and adapt to support your growing baby. Some of the changes are to be expected, like your growing bump, and some are internal.
Your second trimester usually ushers in skin sensitivities, stretch marks, dry patches, and even skin darkening in specific areas like the areolas or even your face. This also means you might expect some itchiness.
Thanks to your increased blood flow, you could notice swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet.
Meanwhile, your baby is also picking up the pace. They’re developing tons of new functions and even growing their skin, nails, and hair.
The Third Trimester
After the relative break of the second trimester comes the third and final trimester of your pregnancy. This usually lasts from the 29th week to the expected final, 40th week. As your baby gets closer to meeting you face to face, your body makes more preparations.
You might experience some less than stellar symptoms, including heartburn, insomnia, and even shortness of breath. And, well, we didn’t want to mention this one, but we’re good friends… look out for hemorrhoids, too.
Luckily, all these changes just mean you’re getting closer to the finish line. And by now, your baby will have fully formed lungs, hardening bones, and probably poke around that belly to get your attention and confirm that they are almost ready to come out.
The Fourth Trimester
The first few three months or so of postpartum are colloquially referred to as the fourth trimester. This time is filled with great change and growth, and of course, really important for the relationship between you and your baby.
These weeks are filled with swaddling, feeding, and skin-to-skin contact. Your baby will be adjusting to life outside of the womb and getting to know you face to face. No, really, they’re going to want to look at your face all day… and all night. Sorry, mama; sleep is sadly for the child-free.
The fourth trimester might be overwhelming, but it will also be one of the most intimate periods of time you share with your baby.
Finally, the Essentials
Whether you just took your first pregnancy test or are putting the finishing touches on your baby’s nursery, you’ll want to make sure you have the essentials every mama needs.
Continue reading for a list of our ten recommended maternity essentials:
- Leggings for Chilling
Pregnancy takes energy that you didn’t even know you had. Equip your closet with our number one maternity closet staple: maternity leggings. Your regular leggings probably won’t cut it once your baby bump comes in, and you’ll want the extra support.
Leggings are super versatile, too. They can be worn at home when you’re indulging in your first weird pickle craving or out to buy that velvet-lined stroller you haven’t been able to stop thinking about.
Why not stroll in style? Oh, and comfort.
The Ultra Soft Before, During, and After Legging from Hatch is perfect because it rolls down or up to sit below your belly or to cover it. It’s also super soft and stretchy. Get cozy, mama.
- The Dress That Thrills
Growing a baby doesn’t mean giving up your life. Your body is the ultimate multi-tasker: it can create life and go to the cocktail party to schmooze over a lemonade and all the hors d’oeuvres. In fact, you should, especially when you’ve got a cute new bump to show off.
Yes, mama, we know the perfect dress to dress you up: The Charlotte Dress. With silk that drapes your belly and off-the-shoulder ruffle detailing to complement your natural curve. Bonus: it’s lined with silicone tape to keep everything in place while you charm the room.
- Jeans To Play
Once that second trimester hits, you might just be energetic enough to get back out there for some serious brunch-hopping and window shopping. It might have made sense to skip the last couple of weekends when your morning sickness was still kicking, but it’s time to play, mama!
We know how hard it is to find the perfect jeans, so we’re here to be your guardian angel: it’s these Cropped Maternity Jeans. These jeans feature a raw hem and three different washes to suit the mood of any playful mama.
- The Bra That Has Your Back
If you plan to nurse when your baby is born, you’ll need to be prepared. New babies need frequent care, and they’ll certainly let you know when they want it (even if they can’t say what they want). And unlike that for one mean boss you had, you’ll actually want to provide on-demand.
Make nursing easier with a reliable everyday nursing bra. A front-side clasp one of these makes for easy access to feed without needing to undo your whole bra. Opt for something wireless and made of cotton for optimal comfort, and you can’t go wrong.
- The Bra We’re Pumped About
Speaking of nursing, nature doesn’t sleep, and it also doesn’t run on any schedule. Some moms are pumped about pumping, and we’re here for that.
Pumping becomes a whole lot easier when you’ve got a bra that wouldn’t dare slow down your groove. Hatch has the perfect pumping bra to do the trick. Seamless, soft, and hands-free, your work-life balance just leveled up with this one.
- Spoil Mamas with Belly Oil
Growing belly means changing skin, and changing skins means extra skincare! And let’s admit it, mama, you’re always kind of excited to buy new skincare. It’s like an at-home spa, sort of.
Our favorite solution to the dryness, sensitivity, and stretch marks of an evolving baby bump is high-quality belly oil. The right ingredients can instantly hydrate your skin and help treat and prevent unwanted scarring and stretch marks.
Mama’s Come First
You may not always be inclined to put yourself first, especially once you have a brand new baby to care for. But during the early stages of your maternity, you owe it to yourself to take stock of what would make you feel good.
Give yourself a pat on the belly for the incredible process of pregnancy by securing a few key maternity essentials that make your life better. And feel free to spring for the extra goodies while you’re at it.