Bra clip extensions, weird shaped pillows and morning sickness sweets. A bit like baby items you really don’t need, they don’t half try and sell you a load of rubbish when you’re expecting.

With baby number three on the way I’ve learnt through trial and error what it is and isn’t worth buying, and as a result I’ve hardly bought anything at all this time around.

The only maternity items you'll ever need

Here’s what I think it is worth investing in.

The only maternity items you’ll ever need

1. A good quality multivitamin. Being pregnant means your body is doing two things: keeping you up and running and growing and nourishing another human being too. So it’s not surprising you’re going to need a bit of help on the vitamin and mineral front.

I take Zita West Vital Essence, a professional grade pregnancy supplement (£26.50, but you can get it a lot cheaper on the likes of eBay and Amazon) which comes in three different options specifically tailored for the first, second and third trimesters. Not only are you getting exactly what you need for each stage of your pregnancy, you take them three times a day with meals so you’re constantly getting ‘topped up’ instead of taking all the vitamins, many of which can’t be stored by the body, in one hit.

The only maternity items you'll ever need

2. Stretch mark cream. Whether you’re prone to stretch marks or not, the chances are that when your tummy and cleavage start to expand your skin will start to itch (yet another thing they don’t warn you about pregnancy). This is where a decent stretch mark cream comes in (oil just doesn’t cut the mustard), and the thicker the better because it takes longer to absorb and therefore gives greater relief.

My favourites are Palmer’s Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks and Bepanthen stretch mark cream, the former because it’s nice and thick and cheap as chips (£3.99) and the latter because it smells absolutely divine (£12.99).

The only maternity items you'll ever need

3. Comfy bras. If you’re a fan of underwired bras there’ll come a time when you just can’t stand them anymore. But there’s no need to choose comfort over style – there are all sorts of stylish maternity and nursing bras out there to choose from. Try Cake Maternity, Heidi Klum Intimates and Seraphine.

4. Over-the-bump leggings. Whether you’re the sort of person who goes everywhere in leggings if you can possibly get away with it or wouldn’t be seen dead leaving the house in a pair, invest in a pair of these. A bit like that feeling you get when you get home and can finally take your bra off, that’s how you’ll feel when you slip a pair of these on. Bliss!

Black leggings meme

5. A belly belt. If you haven’t heard of one of these, go and get one. This little invention from Love Your Bump (£14.99) means you can carry on wearing your normal jeans and trousers throughout your pregnancy without needing to shell out on maternity clothes.

Love Your Bump BellyBelt review

It’s basically a strip of elastic threaded through a panel of material which you attach to your regular trousers so you can still do them up.

Love Your Bump BellyBelt review

You get black, white and blue panels to use depending on the colour of your trousers and the strip of elastic comes with both button and hook and eye fittings, meaning at 29 weeks pregnant I can still wear my size 10 skinny jeans. Win win!

Love Your Bump BellyBelt review

6. Maternity vests. With one of these underneath you can get away with wearing normal clothes for your entire pregnancy if you want to. The vest will cover your growing bump nicely so it really doesn’t matter if whatever you choose to wear on top rides up. If you’re planning to breastfeed invest in nursing maternity vests – my favourites are Jojo Maman Bebe’s (£19) because they feature a hidden support panel – to kill two birds with one stone.

What are your maternity must-haves? Is there anything you couldn’t live without?

I was sent the Love Your Bump BellyBelt free of charge for the purpose of review. As always all opinions are my own and based on my own honest experience.

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