When you're busy growing a tiny human, it can feel like you're in a grueling endurance challenge. Whether you're suddenly up at night tossing and turning, experiencing constant lower back pain or leg aches, or have an irritatingly itchy belly, it's easy to go down a Google hole looking for some much-needed relief. But what's hard is sorting through all the pregnancy gear out there, and trying to determine if it's a gimmick or worth the investment. To help, I've rounded up the maternity items worth buying, no matter how silly them seem or look. It turns out, some of these strange contraptions are kind of awesome.
Of course, it's worth noting that no pregnancy is the same, so what works for one pregnant mama might not even be necessary for the next. It's actually pretty fascinating to compare pregnancy notes with other women who've gone through the pregnancy gauntlet. For me, the one pregnancy item I couldn't live without was a full-length body pillow. Swinging my leg over it was the only way I could get comfortable enough to sleep. It took up a heck of a lot of space in my already cramped Brooklyn bedroom, but worth it. Totally worth it.
So if you need some relief, here are six items that might make your pregnancy experience just a little more manageable — because 40 weeks (give or take) is a long time. Plus, all of these items can be used after childbirth during the postpartum/breastfeeding phase so you really feel like you're getting your money's worth.
1Maternity Belt/Belly Band
Whether you're experiencing lower back or pelvic pain, or just feel like your belly could use some more support, a belly band can be a total lifesaver. I like this one from Pretty See because it can also be used during the postpartum phase as a body shaper.
Your belly isn't the only thing expanding during pregnancy. That's right, your boobs might also need some "maternity wear." Maternity bras tend to be softer and more supportive than regular bras, although they also can be decidedly unsexy. I like this one from Gratlin because it not only still looks sleek, it also can be used as a nursing bra when baby arrives (though that depends on how big your breasts get when your milk comes in).
My OB was always telling me to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, but it was a real challenge trying to drink as much as I was supposed to (10 cups! Gulp!). Infusing water with fruits, veggies, and herbs was a game-changer. This cool infuser water bottle from Bevgo even includes a hydration tracker to help you meet your goals. Plus, it's great for helping you stay hydrated while breastfeeding.
As I mentioned earlier, I swore by my Snoogle body pillow. It wraps around your belly and is easy to tuck in between your legs so you don't have to toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position. I also used it for breastfeeding support so it scores points for working double duty.
A good pair of maternity jeans are worth their weight in gold.I love these Levi Strauss skinny jeans because the denim is super stretchy and comfortable, but they still look stylish and not like frumpy "mom" pants. They also can be worn postpartum because, hey, who doesn't love a stretchy waistband?