The Ultimate Pregnancy Survival Kit: 25 Things Every Expecting Mom Needs
Inside: Use this pregnancy essential items checklist to put together the ultimate pregnancy survival kit! It’s also the perfect guide if you need to grab a gift for a mom-to-be friend.
Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Now the real work of growing another human begins.
People seriously underestimate what your body goes through to host this little baby for nine long months. That baby takes everything it needs from YOU.
Of course, expecting a new baby is a joy and privilege, especially when you hear so many heartbreaking fertility stories these days.
But that doesn’t mean pregnancy is a walk in the park either.
Some moms seem to enjoy every minute of being pregnant and have ridiculously easy pregnancies (don’t get me started on the nearly painless contractions either).
I wasn’t one of them.
While pregnancy can be exciting, it can also be pretty dang hard. From the fatigue to the nausea to being in between regular and maternity clothes, every newly pregnant mom deserves some serious pampering.
That’s why every expecting mom needs a pregnancy survival kit.
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Whether you’re putting together one for yourself or a friend who’s expecting (experienced moms need these, too!), every single one of these essential pregnancy items will be uber-appreciated.
Take it from a mom who’s done this six times now: you’re going to want every item, especially #19. I’m paying now for NOT getting this earlier.
But I promise, it will all be worth it (yes, even the stretch marks) when you hold that sweet baby in your arms.
So, pamper yourself – you’re growing a HUMAN – and add these items to your Amazon cart right now for the best pregnancy survival kit EVER (and start your baby registry while you’re over there, too, because sadly, Babies R Us is no more 😭).
If you’re planning on making one for a friend or new mom, put it all in a pretty laundry basket like this one. She can use it for baby laundry later!
25 Essentials for the Best Pregnancy Survival Kit
1) Ginger Drops
First trimester nausea sucks. Many moms find these ginger lozenges help ward off the urge to hurl every other hour (because unfortunately, morning sickness isn’t just in the morning).
Grab a bag or two – one for home and one for work/car.
2) Ginger Ale
I know, I know. Canada Dry got in trouble for claiming to use “real ginger” in their marketing and – gasp – they don’t (though apparently this brand actually does).
But if you’ve ever sipped Ginger Ale during a bad case of the stomach bug and it helped calm your angry stomach, you probably don’t care about whether or not they use real ginger. You just want to feel better.
If Ginger Ale worked for you when you had the stomach bug, there’s a good chance it will help with pregnancy nausea, too.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends keeping “a stash of crackers or dry cereal by your bed so you can put something in your stomach as soon as you wake up” (source).
One mom of 7 swears that the key to fighting the nausea is to keep something in your stomach at all times. Never let yourself get extremely hungry.
4) Sea Bands
I only recently learned about these anti-nausea bracelets from a blogger friend. While I can’t personally vouch for them as I didn’t get a chance to use them during any of my pregnancies, she swears by them.
If you decide to add one to your pregnancy survival kit, please do let me know if the comments if/how they work for you!
5) Ginger Tea
Ginger, ginger, and more ginger. Ginger in allllll its forms!
Grab some ginger tea to add to your anti-nausea arsenal. We love Celestial Seasonings Teas, and they have a lemon ginger flavor. Even if you’re not normally a tea drinker, don’t reject anything that might help.
Besides, pregnancy is a funny thing. This last one, I craved iced tea for the first time in my life and couldn’t stand coffee, which I normally love. So you never know!
6) Hilarious Mug
To go with your ginger tea, you could grab a cute coffee mug like this one. Just reading some of these are cracking me up right now!
It’s a great way to sip away the nausea and remember the funnier side of momhood (you know, for when you’re puking and trying to remember why you ever thought this whole pregnancy thing was a good idea).
You could even pass it on to a friend when she’s expecting to add to her pregnancy survival kit.
7) Breath Fresheners
If throwing up unfortunately becomes part of your regular first trimester routine, you’ll want to keep some strong breath fresheners on hand.
Strong mints like altoids, chewing gum and mouthwash (this is the one I use) can be a life-saver to get rid of that nasty puke smell right before a meeting at the office. The smell of mint may also help fight the nausea as well.
The American Pregnancy Association does recommend spacing prenatal vitamins and TUMs in order to get the maximum benefit from both.
While the overall consensus is that antacids are safe to use during pregnancy, be sure to confirm with your healthcare provider during one of your prenatal visits.
9) Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is priority number one during pregnancy, so a quality water bottle is a must-have for your pregnancy survival kit.
I personally prefer tumblers with straws because for whatever reason, I end up drinking more water (this 32 oz. one would be perfect for pregnancy and postpartum – you are SO thirsty the first few weeks of breastfeeding).
But if you’re going to be toting your water bottle around in a purse or tote, you will probably want one with a sealed lid.
Having more than one is a good idea. You can keep one at work and one at home, so you’re never without a way to get the hydration you need.
Besides water, Gatorade (or sports drink of your preference) is a great way to rehydrate and safe during pregnancy (source).
When you’re nauseous, flavored beverages sometimes go down – and stay down – easier than plain water.
If you already have a favorite flavor, get that one. Otherwise, grab an assortment for your pregnancy survival kit.
11) Lip Balm/Hand Lotion
Again, with the puking comes a lot of dryness. Try as you may to keep up with the fluids, your lips and skin still might stuffer. Give them a pick-me-up with some lip balm and lotion.
I used Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in this flavor and Yes To’s Coconut Hand and Cuticle Lotion throughout my entire fifth pregnancy, and they’re still going strong!
Once the first trimester has passed – and hopefully, the endless nausea – you’ll be able to eat the good stuff again. You don’t want to overindulge in sweets because as much fun as it is to “eat whatever you want” during pregnancy, losing that weight on the other end isn’t quite so much fun.
Add some high-quality chocolate to your pregnancy survival kit. It will satisfy your chocolate cravings with less.
If you haven’t tried barkThins yet, you need to (this flavor is the best one by far, in my opinion – I’ve tried almost all of them).
13) Salty Snacks
Not a chocolate girl? Then bring on the salty stuff!
You will want to add the healthy stuff of course, but don’t forget to get a couple of things to satisfy your less than healthy salty cravings, too. After all, indulging every now and then is one of the perks of pregnancy.
During your first trimester, you may not be able to focus on anything except feeling less nauseous and exhausted. It’s the perfect time to read pregnancy and parenting magazines.
Some favorites are Fit Pregnancy and Parents. You can get a year’s subscription to Parents on Amazon for ridiculously cheap the last time I checked!
Donate them to your local doctor’s office when you’re done (declutter like a boss). You’ll certainly be there often enough to drop off the latest issue!
15) Parenting Books
When you have the ability to digest some deeper reading material, break out the parenting books, particularly all things baby stage.
My all-time favorite parenting book for baby’s first year is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer.
When I quit Babywise, I found that the Baby Whisperer offered a gentler alternative to baby sleep schedules in the form of routines.
The companion reference book is absolutely worth the purchase as well. I referred to it constantly with my first and second babies!
16) Belly Cream
Come the third trimester, your belly will get tighter, and probably stretch marks. While there is no guarantee that applying cream to your swollen belly will prevent stretch marks, a girl’s gotta try, right?
This one is by far the most commonly recommended and what I used during my first pregnancy (with babies 2-5, I kind of stopped caring about the stretch marks).
17) Long Tanks
Long tank tops are a must for your pregnancy survival kit, and I personally found that they ones specifically designed for maternity wear didn’t hold up long-term.
You can find inexpensive long tanks at H&M. Also, these tank tops get great reviews from pregnant moms (and women with long torsos).
Anytime you can purchase something that will work before and after pregnancy, jump on it.
I’ve done the hair-tie trick to fit into your pre-pregnancy pants longer (and on the back end, to fit back into those same pants), but a bellaband makes that possible longer.
Plus, bellabands just look better.
They can also be useful when you’re breastfeeding to give you a little more coverage on your abdomen if you’re using nursing bras primarily (though I recommend using nursing tanks exclusively the first couple months postpartum).
19) Electric Toothbrush
I never see these make the “pregnancy essential items” lists floating around Pinterest, but let me tell you, they most definitely should be on every single one!
Maybe I was the last one to make the switch to an electric toothbrush, but at my dentist appointment after my fifth pregnancy (where I was told I needed no less than 7 fillings and two crowns), they recommended I switch to this electric toothbrush to try to avoid more dental work in the future.
To my surprise, the electric toothbrush recommended by the dental hygienist was super affordable! She said you really don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on one.
This inexpensive one works just as well and is comparable to the brush they use to polish your teeth during a cleaning.
Five babies later, trust me, you’ll save a fortune on dental work later on by adding this to your pregnancy survival kit.
Speaking of dental work, switching to flossers (see these if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about) make you much more likely to actually floss. Order a bag and try them to see if they help make it easier to stick with the flossing habit.
Just so you don’t freak out though, keep in mind that pregnancy makes your gums more sensitive. If you’ve already been on a flossing hiatus, your gums will definitely bleed when you start up again.
They may continue to bleed when you floss throughout your pregnancy, but don’t let that stop you from flossing!
21) Calcium Chews
Getting all the calcium you need is already important for women, but during pregnancy, it’s extremely important.
Remember, babies will take what they need, and if you aren’t consuming enough of a certain vitamin or mineral, your body will suffer later on, especially your bones and teeth!
Calcium supplements are one option, but the tablets are on the larger side. If swallowing pills makes you nauseous, calcium chews can be a great (and yummy!) alternative.
22) Prenatal Vitamins
You probably already know you need prenatal vitamins, but seriously, don’t skip them. Make sure you and baby are getting everything you need.
And how did I not know that they have GUMMY prenatal vitamins?!! I could have saved myself almost puking while taking them.
I’m going to grab these gummy ones after my current stash run out. I’m not pregnant anymore, but I am nursing.
And if you decide to breastfeed, you can also benefit from continuing to take prenatal vitamins until you are done breastfeeding.
Also, if you are planning on having more kids in the near future, taking them on a long-term basis is a good idea. Babies need the folic acid before you even know you’re pregnant (source).
23) Sleep Mask
If you are going to be napping at work (or in your car on your lunch break), a sleep mask can help you get the most out of those 20-minute naps!
Unfortunately, you can’t use Ibuprofen while you’re pregnant. While tylenol is a sad substitute for the real deal, having something is better than nothing.
Be sure to put the ibuprofen away to avoid accidentally taking it instead of the tylenol.
25) Restaurant Gift Cards
Finally, you might not be feeding yourself much of anything except ginger drops and crackers for the first couple months of pregnancy, but your husband still needs to eat.
Maybe he likes to cook for himself? If he does, I’m jealous. But even that can get old after a while, and you probably aren’t going to want to cook because the smells can send you running for the toilet.
Treat dad-to-be with a few of his favorite take-out gift cards to pick up dinner on his way home from work (and hopefully keep the odors far, far away from you).
26) Body Pillow
Into your second trimester, sleeping is going to get super uncomfortable, especially if you are typically a stomach sleeper. At the very least, make sure you have an extra pillow.
But these body pillows designed specifically for pregnancy women can make getting comfortable so much easier, and they will seriously save your back.
Keeping Your Pregnancy Survival Kit Organized
You can keep everything in your pregnancy survival kit together and organized with a basket or two. Invest in one that you can use in baby’s nursery after you’re done with it.
You could also repurpose it toward the end of your pregnancy for keeping your after birth care kit supplies together, too.
Last tip: investing in these clear, air tight containers can be a great way to keep your crackers or salty snacks fresh.
You’re Ready to Take on This Pregnancy
Having all the supplies you need can make this new pregnancy experience a little less scary and a whole lot more fun.
I can’t recommend enough getting an Amazon Prime membership if you don’t already have one. If you don’t use it now, you most likely will want one after you deliver.
Even if I didn’t have 5 kids, going anywhere with a newborn can be like walking on eggshells. Little errands can take so much longer if you have to stop to nurse or change a blow-out!
I literally put in an order for a different thing every day this week because I’m so scatterbrained with a new baby. And I don’t have to pay for shipping or take kiddos to the store – we are a walking circus in Target now.
Plus, it comes with a ton of other perks like kindle unlimited, Amazon Family (which equals big savings on diapers, wipes and breastfeeding pads later on), Amazon Prime video and more.
I also find that our Amazon Prime membership saves us a ton more than it costs us. Why? Because I’m not walking the aisles of Target in a sleep-deprived, emotional state.
Even as a minimalist, so much ends up in my cart that we don’t need without even realizing it. Online shopping actually saves us money and clutter.
Prefer brick and mortar shopping? Grab this free printable pregnancy survival kit checklist to take with you.
Are you an experienced mama, too?
What items would YOU include in a pregnancy survival kit?