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Health & Pregnancy

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Pregnancy Gear 101: Guide to Essential Pregnancy Gear

If you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant, make sure you are equipped with the right pregnancy gear.
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Everyone's pregnancy experience is unique, but certain types of pregnancy gear can help smooth the way no matter what type of pregnancy you have. Here's WebMD trimester-by-trimester guide to essential pregnancy gear.

Pregnancy Gear: Preconception/First Trimester

Preparing for pregnancy should begin before you even conceive, says Pamela Bertens, MD, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

"Folic acid prevents neural tube defects, so you need to start taking a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid even before you conceive and continue taking it throughout your pregnancy," Bertens tells WebMD. According to the March of Dimes, all women should take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before pregnancy and during early pregnancy.

And when you do become pregnant, you'll need "a good commonsense resource about what is normal and what's not normal, whether a book or a close girlfriend's phone number," Bertens tells WebMD." A supportive spouse helps too."

Finally, add skin moisturizer to your pregnancy gear list, Bertens says. "A good moisturizer also helps as many pregnant women complain of dry, itchy skin."

Pregnancy Gear: Second Trimester

Comfort is key as your body starts to expand, experts agree, so your pregnancy gear must-have list should include items that pamper you and your changing body. Bertens recommends that you try a maternity belt. Maternity belts are thick elastic straps that go under the stomach for extra support.

Comfortable shoes are also on WebMD's list of essential pregnancy gear. "Spiky heels may be fashionable, but they are not good for pregnancy," says Bertens. The main problem with high heels is that you are more likely to fall, and that can have devastating consequences during pregnancy.

You will also need to do some bra shopping as breasts typically increase by at least one cup size during pregnancy. "If you go to a specialized bra shop that is good at this, the saleswoman can help you get one bra for pregnancy and one for after if you decide to nurse that that will be the right size," says Bertens. Breastfeeding will increase your cup size still more.

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