My Pregnancy Essentials

maternity essentials - maternity style - pregnancy style - 38 weeks pregnant - pregnancy must haves - nursing camisole - maternity camisole - pregnancy clothes - best shoes for pregnancy - low maintenance pregnancy - non-maternity clothing that works with a bump - maternity shape wear - maternity shorts - maternity pajamas - pregnancy pajamas - maternity leggings - amazon colorfulkoala leggings - pregnancy leggings -beautycounter body butter - stylish maternity clothes

I try to be pretty low maintenance when it comes to pregnancy.  I don’t like to buy a whole bunch of things specific to pregnancy (maternity shorts and some dresses and tops are the exception), and overall I don’t feel like I’m missing too much.  I’ve never bought a pregnancy pillow or a belly band, though I know lots of people swear by those.  Today I wanted to share the things that have helped me get through this pregnancy with relative ease and at maximum comfort.  Many of the clothing items will work during postpartum/breastfeeding days (and beyond) too, so it’s nice that a very small investment will last through multiple phases.


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maternity essentials - pregnancy must haves - nursing camisole - maternity camisole - pregnancy clothes - best shoes for pregnancy - low maintenance pregnancy - non-maternity clothing that works with a bump - maternity shape wear - maternity shorts - maternity pajamas - pregnancy pajamas - maternity leggings - amazon colorfulkoala leggings - pregnancy leggings -beautycounter body butter - stylish maternity clothes

1.  Maternity/Nursing Camisole:  This is the only maternity/nursing camisole I’ll wear, all others are a waste of money and aren’t nearly as comfortable.  The bra part is all part of the outer layer of the cami, so there isn’t a built in elastic strap inside the tank cutting around your back, and the removable pads are actually supportive and provide coverage.  The straps are convertible too so you can cross them in the back.  I wear a size small.  These are the only tanks I wore while nursing Caroline and I’ve worn them all pregnancy too.  I now own 3 white ones and 1 gray one.  They’re seriously the best!  They also cover your belly when you’re nursing which is great for on the go breastfeeding.

2.  Secret Fit Shaping Panty:  I wear these shaping shorts whenever I wear a dress that’s form fitting, lighter in color, or when I don’t want a panty line.  I bought them when I was pregnant with Caroline and love them so much, I don’t know why I only own 1 pair.  They fully cover your bump and they just smooth everything out which is nice.  I wear the S/M size.

3.  Belly Balms and Oils: I’m very prone to stretch marks and I know that they’re inevitable each pregnancy.  That’s just how my skin works even though my mom has none on her belly after having 2 kids!  This pregnancy I’ve used Beautycounter Body Butter (so thick and creamy and not sticky at all),  Beautycounter Melting Body Balm (smells like a vacation), and Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil.

4.  High-Rise Amazon Yoga Pants:  These $25 non-maternity yoga pants have been a lifesaver (and I loved them way before I got pregnant too).  I used to be a lululemon snob but then I met these pants and I never looked back.  Don’t even bother with maternity yoga pants or leggings.  My normal size small has gotten me through 9 months, though the one pair that I’ve sized up on (to medium) does fit a bit more comfortably at this point.  The waistband is smooth so it doesn’t dig in at all, the compression feels nice, and there are 2 large outer thigh pockets (big enough to fit a phone).  Can’t say enough good things about these!  I own 4 pairs and would love to add more to my wardrobe.  Oh and they work for yoga, running, weight lifting, and work well as “normal clothes” too with a longer shirt and a cardigan or sweatshirt on top.

5.  Nursing Bras:  I’m a weirdo and love nursing bras…anyone else?  They’re just so stinking comfy and I wear them even if I’m not nursing.  Once my boobs start growing during pregnancy they’re pretty much all I wear.  I hate underwire bras and I’ve found some great and affordable ones ($16.99) that fit so nicely.  (I’m normally an A cup when I’m not pregnant so if you’re larger chested then you may need more support.  I find that these aren’t lacking in support though.)  This one has lots of eyes on the back so after you have your baby and start losing weight you’re able to adjust the band size a good bit without having to buy a new bra.  The straps can be crossed in the back too.  It’s so comfy!  This bra is another new addition that is very comfy.

6.  High-Rise Athletic Shorts (for under dresses):  I wear these comfy shorts under most of my looser fitting dresses.  They’re high rise so they don’t dig in and they make it so that I don’t have to worry about revealing something when I’m chasing after the kids.  I normally wear a 6 at lululemon (typically size down to a 4 for align crops though) but sized up to an 8 because I knew I’d wear these all pregnancy.  I’ll wear them after pregnancy too because I really like not worrying about underwear showing when I wear a dress.

7.  Water Bottle:  I’m a huge water drinking and never go anywhere without a refillable water bottle.  I’m always extra thirsty when I’m pregnant (and even more so when I’m nursing) so a good-sized water bottle that keeps water cold is a must.  The ones from Healthy Human are my favorite and they’re a great price (and on Prime) too.

8.  Birkenstock Sandals:  It’s winter for most of y’all so you probably don’t need sandals, but if you ever find yourself pregnant in the summer then get yourself a pair of Birkenstock sandals.  My feet haven’t been sore at all this pregnancy, and I attribute that to basically living in Birks.  They’re so supportive and I love the copper/gold pair that I have!

9.  Maternity Clothes:  I’m often asked about my favorite places to shop for maternity clothing, and I always recommend H&M and TargetH&M typically runs small so size up one or two sizes from your pre-pregnancy Target or J.Crew size, but they have the cutest and largest maternity selection at a fantastic price point.  Great for basics as well as stylish piecesTarget is my other recommendation and the denim shorts, swimsuit, and some t-shirts that I’ve lived in this pregnancy have come from there.  (This is my favorite t-shirt because it’s a nice crew neck and has no shirring on the sides and is only $12.99!)  I also swear by the non-maternity high-neck cotton tanks by Time and Tru at Walmart (not available online, unfortunately).  They’re between $3 to $5 and I wear them over a maternity cami 4-5 times a week.  They’re the perfect basic for all phases of life!  (I own them in sizes Small and Medium, and at 39 weeks pregnant the Mediums are obviously a bit longer.  I always layer both sizes over the nursing cami linked above though, so I don’t have any issues with my belly hanging out.)

10.  Comfy Nightgown:  When I don’t feel like wearing something with a waistband I’m obsessed with this nightgown.  It’s super cute and if you size up there is ample room for even a 9 month belly.  With the white trim they look really expensive but they’re only $19.99.  I’m bringing one to the hospital when I give birth and I know I’ll wear one often while nursing too.

11.  Cardigans:  Whenever I wear a formfitting dress or yoga pants and a tank I like to layer a cardigan, sweater blazer or vest over top.  It just pulls the look together and covers up my butt too.  I’ve had most of my cardigans for close to a decade (ranging from Walmart to Tory Burch) and they are a great way to get good use out of non-maternity clothing.  J.Crew sweater blazers are a great cooler weather option that really help elevate a simple outfit.

12.  Comfy Pajama Sets:  It’s no secret that I love pajama sets.  At 39 weeks the tops are getting a bit short, but these $21.99 incredibly soft sets have been very comfy.  Just size up one size from your normal size.  I’m normally a small but wear a medium in these during pregnancy and can wear them afterwards too, they’re just a bit oversized once I’ve lost the weight.  Great for nursing too!  I own 4 pairs…safe to say I’m obsessed and they really do help you feel pulled together even when you’re in bed or just bumming around at home!

13.  Cool Racer Back Tank Tops:  I first started collecting these athletic tanks back in 2011 and they’ve gotten me through 3 pregnancies without getting stretched out at all.  They seriously bounce right back and you can wear them once you’re not pregnant too!  The reason they work well is because they’re longer in length and extra stretchy, so they work perfectly with a growing bump.  I wear these almost exclusively when I work out while pregnant (and not pregnant) and even though they’re a bit pricy I 100% recommend them due to their versatility.  Most of mine seriously are 5-8 years old.  I wear my normal size 6 in lululemon clothing, no sizing up required at all.  (Though my lululemon size (6) is one size up from my J.Crew size (4).)

Well I hope this has been helpful!  If you have any questions or need any other recommendations just let me know!


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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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  1. Emily
    April 10, 2020 / 5:32 pm


    I am on my third pregnancy, and I need some leggings! My stomach is HUGE. I am only 16 weeks, so I have a ways to go. Did the waist just sit below your belly? I tend to gain about 40 pounds each pregnancy, but I think I am going to gain more with this one – blaming Coronavirus.

    I am 5′ 8″ and probably 145 – 150 pounds now. Would you suggest the medium on #4 (the leggings you suggested)?

    Thanks a million!

    • April 15, 2020 / 1:48 am

      Hi! These leggings are incredible for pregnancy! I gained 50 this time around (5’5″ and 178 lbs at the end) and could still squeeze into my normal size smalls, but the 1 pair of mediums I had did fit better and more comfortably towards the end. I’d go with medium based on you stats. They go up and over you lower belly (staying under belly button) and I think the little extra support felt nice. Hope that helps! And if you do happen to buy them I’d really appreciate it if you’d do so after clicking the link on my site. I’ll receive a small commission from the sale and it won’t cost you any extra. Thanks and congratulations on baby #3!

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