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Vitamins

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

Ideally you should start taking certain vitamins to support a balanced diet a couple of months before you try to conceive to get the full benefit of them. You then continue to take them throughout pregnancy and after birth. They are to support you and your baby's health.

Find out more

Boots Pharmaceuticals Folic Acid
Boots | £ 5.99
Pregnacare Tablets
Boots | £ 11.69
Sanatogen ProNatal
Boots | £ 5.21

Books

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

As you might expect, there are a great many books for parents to be! We have included some of the most popular books for parents to read before the birth of their baby and within the first year.

Our mums say:

"I found reading books on topics such as routine, sleep, weaning and development very reassuring."

What to Expect When Expecting
Amazon | £ 9
The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth
Amazon | £ 11.29
The Blokes Guide to Pregnancy
Foyles | £ 8.99
The Blokes 100 Top Tips for Surviving Pregnancy
Amazon | £ 6.99
The Expectant Dad's Survival Guide
Amazon | £ 9.09
Baby Names 2013: Over 7,000 of This Year's Favourite Baby Names
Amazon | £ 6.99
Bring Back Beatrice!
Amazon | £ 6.99
Out Of Stock -  Life After Birth
Foyles | £ 13.99
Caesarean Recovery
Amazon | £ 4.42
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
Amazon | £ 11.38
The Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer, by Tracy Hogg
Amazon | £ 9.09
Annabel Karmel's New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner
Amazon | £ 7
River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook
Amazon | £ 10.49
New Toddler Taming, By Christopher Green
Foyles | £ 12.99
What Mothers Do: Especially When It Looks Like Nothing, By Naomi Stadlen
Amazon | £ 7.19

Stretch mark cream

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

Cream to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. You won't know until too late whether you really need this, so if it's something that concerns you, best to start using it in advance - from 12 weeks.

Our mums say:

"You don't know if you'll need it until it's too late...better to try and prevent it as there's less you can do about it afterwards!"

"It's actually nice to massage your bump with anyway!"

Find out more

Palmers Cocoa Butter
Boots | £ 4.15
Derma Mum Stretch Mark Cream
Boots | £ 12.99
Cussons Mum & Me Bump stretch Mark Cream
Boots | £ 4.99
Weleda Pregnancy Body Oil
Feel Unique | £ 15.95
Bio Oil
Boots | £ 19.99
Out Of Stock - Champneys Blissful Bump Stretch Mark Body Oil
Boots | £ 6.67

Fetal doppler

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

This is a home fetal monitor allowing you to hear your baby's heart beat and movements. This can be very reassuring in between visits to hospitals and GPs - especially for women that have miscarried or experienced problems with previous pregnancies. However, be warned - many health practitioners dislike them as they can cause unnecessary anxiety in parents. Fetal dopplers are also available for rent.

Our mums say:

"I had problems with my first pregnancy and it helped to be able to hear the baby in future pregnancies before it actually started to move around and kick enough for me to feel it myself."

AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector (Doppler)
Amazon | £ 21.97

Maternity underwear

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

This is supportive underwear designed for your expanding body.

Our mums say:

"Maternity bras are essential, but you won't necessarily need maternity pants."

"Just buy some bra expanders if your boobs aren't growing too big too fast - I found them invaluable."

Bra Extenders
Marks & Spencer | £ 5
3 Pack - 3 Hook Bra Extenders
Debenhams | £ 5
John Lewis Value 38mm Bra Extender
John Lewis | £ 1
2 Pack Maternity Bras
H&M | £ 9
Vertbaudet
Vertbaudet | £ Prices vary
Mothercare
Mothercare | £ Prices vary
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer | £ Prices vary
Babes with Babies
Babes with Babies | £ Prices vary
John Lewis
John Lewis | £ Prices vary
Seraphine
Seraphine | £ Prices vary

Maternity clothing

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

Most women don't need pregnancy clothes until they're about 16 weeks in to the pregnancy. However, it's worth buying a couple of essentials a few weeks in advance, otherwise you risk waking up one morning to find literally nothing in your wardrobe fits! Many high street shops now offer maternity ranges and there are also several specialist shops. We have suggested some below, but there are any more many featured in both our Browse and Search sections. To find them on either the Browse or Search pages, select Stores by Category, then Women, and then Maternity.

Belly Belt
Amazon | £ 15.50
George at Asda
Asda George | £ Prices vary
Jojo Maman Bebe
Jojo Maman Bebe | £ Prices vary
Boden
Boden | £ Prices vary
Isabella Oliver
Isabella Oliver | £ Prices vary
Tiffany Rose
Tiffany Rose | £ Prices vary

Maternity support

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

An elasticated belt which will support your bump throughout your pregnancy, particularly the later stages.

Our mums say:

"I bought a black and a white support bandeau which was useful because it meant I could wear normal tops and vests without the bump flesh showing. I didn't find they offered much support though."

Babybelt Maternity Belt
Amazon | £ 27.12
Nexcare Maternity Support
Amazon | £ 34.43

Pregnancy pillow

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

This is a pillow to support pregnant women later in pregnancy as their bump grows and the body needs extra support.

Our mums say:

"I used one because I had problems sleeping and my husband was fed up of me using him as a pillow!"

DreamGenii Maternity and Nursing Pillow
Amazon | £ 37.95
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow
John Lewis | £ 45.99
Multi-Purpose Body Support Pillow
Jojo Maman Bebe | £ 45
DreamGenii Nursing Pillow Cover
John Lewis | £ 15.99

Perineal gel

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

This helps prepare and sooth the perineal area before and after birth.

Our mums say:

"It's worth using this to avoid tearing during birth. You can also use olive oil instead."

It's Your Body Perineal Gel
Mothercare | £ 4.99

Lavender oil

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

Lavender oil is said to help relax the body in late pregnancy. Lavender is believed to have a calming effect, and is also thought to have both antiseptic and pain relief qualities. It also makes a great “first bath” after delivery.

Our mums say:

"This is great if you're having a water birth!"

Botanics Aromatherapy Pure Essential Oil
Boots | £ 5.49

Pelvic floor exerciser

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

Giving birth can weaken your pelvic muscles. Weakened pelvic muscles can cause problems, such as urinary incontinence (being unable to control when you pass urine) and reduced sensitivity (feeling) during sex. A pelvic floor exerciser will help strengthen these muscles. However, it should not be used for a period of time after giving birth - normally 6 weeks. You should wait for your doctor to clear you before resuming this exercise.

Our mums say:

"The first thing my friend said to me when I told her I was pregnant was 'Get a pelvic floor exerciser and use it as soon as possible - it will make a huge difference!'"

Find out more

Aquaflex Pelvic Floor Exercise System
Amazon | £ 16.39
Body Clock SensaTone Compact Digital Pelvic Floor Stimulator/Post Natal Incontinence Relief
Amazon | £ 49.95

Exercise DVDs

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

There are various exercise DVDs designed for use before and after birth.

The Tracy Anderson Method Presents Post-Pregnancy Workout
Amazon | £ 48.47
Davina My Pre and Post Natal Workouts
Amazon | £ 7.98
Effective Birth Preparation: A Self Hypnosis CD Programme
Amazon | £ 11.99
The Complete Pregnancy Workout [DVD]
Amazon | £ 14.70

Birthing ball

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

A soft exercise ball to help with support and exercise in pregnancy and very supportive whilst in labour.

Our mums say:

"I couldn't have got through my first birth without one."

Birth-ease Birth Ball & Pump (65cm)
Amazon | £ 19.99

Raspberry leaf tea

(During pregnancy and onwards) Back to top

Raspberry leaf tea is thought to tone the muscles of your uterus (womb) to help it work better during labour. The idea is not so much to speed up your labour, but to help it to progress at a nice, steady pace. Because raspberry leaf tea takes several weeks to accumulate in your body, it won't work to bring on labour if you are overdue. It's hard to say for certain whether it genuinely works, as there is little research into the effects. If you do decide to take it, you should let your doctor know, and you shouldn't take it earlier than 37 weeks into your pregnancy.

Our mums say:

"It doesn't work in my experience, but if you're overdue, you're desperate! "

"You can also buy this in tablet form, which I took and I believe it helped with the birth."

Find out more

Heather & Heather Raspberry Leaf Tea
Amazon | £ 5.19
Natures Aid Raspberry Leaf Tablets
Amazon | £ 5.66

TENS machine

(During labour) Back to top

TENS machines deliver small electrical pulses to the body via electrodes placed on the skin. This is thought to help ease pain during labour.

Our mums say:

"I coped much better with my second birth using a TENS machine. I'm not sure whether it eased the pain, but it gave me a feeling of control and was a distraction from the pain."

MamaTENS Rental Voucher
Amazon | £ 29.50
Tens Care MamaTENS Digital Control Pain Relief Unit
Amazon | £ 52.99

Arnica tablets

(During labour) Back to top

Arnica is a homoeopathic treatment with various uses. In the case of pregnancy and childbirth, it is often used during and after childbirth to help heal bruising. It has not been clinically proven to work, however.

Find out more

Arnica Tablets
Boots | £ 4.49

Maternity / Maxi pads

(After Birth) Back to top

These are like very thick sanitary towels. Immediately after labour you will essentially experience a very heavy period, which could go on for a couple of weeks. You may find you can use standard sanitary towels later on, but to begin with you will need proper maternity pads.

Our mums say:

"You will need at least two packs and maybe more!!"

Pack of 10 Maternity Pads
Boots | £ 1.29
Natracare Organic Cotton New Mother Maternity Pads - 10
Ethical Superstore | £ 2.59
Pack of 24 Mothercare Maternity Towels With Wings
Mothercare | £ 4.99

Post natal girdle

(After Birth) Back to top

Helps healing, alleviates pain associated with post delivery stress and discomfort, flattening the tummy, supporting your lower back, and preventing pain. Also assists in returning your stomach to your pre pregnancy shape. Can also be very supportive after a C-Section.

Our mums say:

"Your tummy feels a bit like jelly after giving birth - you go from feeling very pregnant, with a tight stomach, to suddenly feeling very flabby. A little extra support can do wonders for your body confidence in the first few tiring months of having a baby."

Underworks Post Delivery Girdle Belt
Amazon | £ 16.99
Deluxe Post Natal Abdominal Support Belt
Amazon | £ 31.99
Belly Bandit Original- Postpartum Belly Wrap
Amazon | £ 49.95
C-Section Support Belt
Amazon | £ 19.90

Baby record book

(From 0 months +) Back to top

A book in which you record your pregnancy, birth and the first year of your baby's life. Most books have sections to include photographs, a snip of first hair, baby hospital id band and other important souvenirs.

My First Year: Your Baby's One-year Record
Amazon | £ 6
Winnie the Pooh Baby Days
Amazon | £ 2.80
New Baby Book
Not On the High Street | £ 11
The Original Peter Rabbit Baby Book - My First Year
Amazon | £ 7.01
Once Upon A Time - Record Book
Mamas & Papas | £ 18.95
Made With Love Record Book
Mamas & Papas | £ 18.95
Personalised Leather Baby Record Book
Not On the High Street | £ 36.99
Love You Baby Record Book
Foyles | £ 12.99

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