What *not* to buy when you’re pregnant

September 22, 2014

What should and shouldn’t you buy when you’re pregnant? What do you actually need…and not need? I completely forgot that pregnancy makes you a huge target market for all sorts of goods and products you never knew you needed, doesn’t it? (Oh, and a target for every single mailing list ever).

It’s the run-up to eternal shopping list of motherhood. Congratulations; now comes the consumerism. But don’t believe the hype.

I’ll be writing a list of products I have used and found useful (edit: here’s my list of pregnancy essentials), but to start with, here’s my list of my pregnancy non-essentials; all the things you really don’t need to buy, no matter what all the books and websites say.

Make sure you also read my weekly pregnancy diary with pregnancy one and pregnancy two, early signs of pregnancy and the secrets of the first trimester

What not to buy when you're pregnant - what do you need and not need? All the things that are a waste of money (and what works)

Here’s what not to buy when you’re pregnant:

Bump band
Everyone told me this was a must-have, so I dutifully bought one last time. However, I wore it a grand total of once before deciding it was so annoying that I cast it aside and never thought of it again. Designed to bridge the gap between your ever-expanding stomach and clothes, It adds a double layer of fabric round your waist, at a time when you really have no need for any extra padding in that area.  If you need to keep your early pregnancy a secret it does you no favours. Just wear longer vests under tops instead (and these have the added breastfeeding bonus later on).

Pregnancy support pillows
I know these do help lots of people. But you don’t automatically need to get one. I’ve never used one or felt like I’ve needed to (although maybe I’m in a minority?) Most of them are huge, too; where do you fit your partner and the wriggly toddler who’s likely to end up with you at some point in the night? They don’t strike me as cosy bedfellows.

Pregnancy books written by celebrities
Women have been pregnant since the dawn of time, with books written on the subject for as long as there have been books. So really, what can Tess, Denise, Jules et al add to the debate? (And shhh, but most of these are ghostwritten by someone else anyway).

And on that note…

Pregnancy books in general
They are all very heavy, and difficult to read in bed (I remember being squashed several times under a copy of What to Expect last time, probably while watching a marathon showing of ‘I didn’t know I was pregnant’). Get the Kindle version, or the app, or just look online instead. There are so many websites that will tell you exactly the same info, for free.

Pregnancy snacks
And finally in the list of what not to buy when you’re pregnant…snacks specifically aimed at pregnant women…really? These were a new one to me this time round. What’s wrong with half a packet of biscuits and an innocent smoothie chaser, I ask you?

What NOT to buy when you're pregnant - everything you don't need to buy when you're expecting - make sure you read this post! #ttc #pregnancy

(Am I completely wrong? Is there something useless I’ve missed off..? Let me know).

If you liked my post on what not to buy when you’re pregnant, make sure you also read my posts on the pregnancy secrets of the second trimester, the weird things that happen to your body after pregnancy no-one mentions and what they DON’T tell you in NCT antenatal classes (but totally should)

15 Comments

  • Polly

    September 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I’m with you on all but the maternity pillow. I haven’t had one in my previous three pregnancies, but got sent one this time. And Oh.my.goodness. it’s the best thing ever! Honestly, makes sleeping so much more comfortable. I was really surprised at what a difference it made!

    1. gillian

      September 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Wow, really? Which one did you get? x

  • Lynette

    September 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    My sister loved her pregnancy pillow, she said it was the only thing to help her sleep at night, especially in the last few months

    1. gillian

      September 30, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      I’ve just never really needed one – they do look super-comfy though! Scared there wouldn’t be any room for me in the bed with one 🙂

      1. Lindsey

        October 11, 2017 at 5:57 pm

        Luckily my husband agreed to a California King bed upgrade because you’re right it does take up much room. And, it acts as a force field so no snuggling tends to happen when I use mine.
        However, I’ve found it to help significantly with the discomfort of sleeping and I do sleep better with it. Pros and Cons… as usual!

        1. gillian

          October 19, 2017 at 10:02 pm

          I bet it’s SO comfortable though! x

  • laura redburn

    September 22, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    pregnancy snacks? that’s crazy! ‘half a packet of biscuits and an innocent smoothie chaser’ made me laugh, haha.

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    September 22, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I didn’t ever buy anything aimed at pregnant women but I did very nearly buy a pregnancy pillow second time round as sleeping was so uncomfy! x

  • Adele @ Circus Queen

    September 22, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I am so weirded out by the pregnancy snack thing. Just eat a balanced diet and take vitamins! I have to say that I’m a believer in books, though, but the ones with information rooted in actual research and written to empower women rather than scare them witless. I’d take anything Ina May Gaskin over What to Expect any day!

  • Kathryn (@KatGotTheCream)

    September 24, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Aye very true! Nodding my head at this post (even though it was a little while back now) x

  • Vicky

    September 24, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I agree with all of those things – although I loved Jools’ pregnancy book but hers was the only one I read. Bump bands are the single most irritating invention known to man – they don’t even stay in the right place!

  • fritha

    September 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Oh pregnancy books written by celebrities! only thing worse is parenting books written by celebrities! x

  • Laura

    September 27, 2014 at 1:20 am

    It’s crazy how many things you are told you need to buy. I never bought half of these things. Although we did buy one book that was invaluable for us – we used it all the time – first time parents I think – helped us with so many things

    Laura x

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    February 20, 2015 at 11:18 am

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    March 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm

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