How to Buy Maternity Products

Having trouble sleeping? Feeling back strain? Wishing you could hear that oh-so-precious heartbeat from the comfort of your home? All moms-to-be should enjoy these wonderful months in maximum comfort and with a mindset at ease.

Carrying a baby is a lot of work, so pregnant women deserve to be pampered during this special time. There are many maternity products on the market today that are designed to make pregnancy more comfortable. In addition to the physical discomforts, nearly every mom experiences anxiety about how her developing baby is doing. A fetal heartbeat monitor is a wonderful way to ease your mind and feel closer to your baby.


Purchasing a fetal heartbeat monitor

Any expectant mom will tell you that the best part of her monthly obstetrician appointment is hearing her baby's heartbeat. So why not listen to it any time you want? Companies such as BeBe Sounds offer prenatal heart listeners that do double and triple duty. If you'd like the reassurance and joy that comes from hearing your baby's heartbeat, select a monitor that is non-intrusive and safe for everyday use. If you and your partner both want to listen, make sure that it comes with two headsets. For ultimate convenience, consider a fetal monitor that allows you to record the sounds of your baby's heartbeat for posterity and can also record your heartbeat. This is especially useful as a comfort measure for your baby after his birth.


Products for mom's comfort

One of the most useful pregnancy products is a maternity body pillow; it's hard to look or feel your best if you're not sleeping well. For added versatility, look for a pregnancy pillow that can be utilized long after your baby is born. One that can be used in a variety of different configurations—or disassembled to offer breastfeeding support and aid in baby's tummy time—is one way to get maximum value for your purchase. When selecting pregnancy body pillows, make sure they're machine washable and made of non-allergenic materials.


A maternity air bed is another solution to the can't-get-comfortable challenge that most pregnant women have. Look for an air bed with a washable surface that also features soft material on top to hold your sheets in place. And for your convenience, select a model with a quick inflation and deflation rate and one that includes an air pump.


Many pregnant women experience back and body fatigue as the baby grows. The prenatal cradle and other products designed to support an expectant mom are a great answer. Since this product is made to be worn daily, look for a support that can be worn with your regular undergarments and is machine washable. If you want a more compact product that still offers similar benefits, consider a mini cradle. With either model, ensure that the cradle support is available in a variety of sizes to guarantee a snug yet comfortable fit.


Other prenatal considerations

When purchasing products to keep you comfortable and connected to your baby during your pregnancy, consider choosing items for your baby registry at the same time. Putting together a list of items that you want to shower your precious bundle with is a time saver for your friends and family members. It's also a great way to review baby checklists, allowing you to organize and keep track of the supplies you have and what you still need to purchase.


The Bottom Line

A fetal heartbeat monitor is a practical way to stay connected to your baby during pregnancy and can also record your heartbeat to soothe your baby after his birth. Maternity products such as pregnancy pillows, air mattresses, and support cradles are designed to keep moms-to-be as comfortable as possible while they're expecting.


Our Mom Expert

Caron Webber, 37, is the mother of five children, ages 2 to 12.

"I'm a stomach sleeper, but of course when you're pregnant, that's not really an option. Much to my relief, I discovered a pregnancy body pillow while I was carrying my second child, and I slept so much better than I had during my first pregnancy. But I found another use for the pillow between babies. My husband travels frequently on business, and I've always found it difficult to sleep well when he's gone. On a whim one night, I pulled that body pillow in bed with me, and I was out like a light. Apparently it's a great sleep aid whether you're pregnant or not! Now my husband jokes that he's afraid of being replaced by that pillow permanently."

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