Any product that’ll make your pregnancy journey that little bit easier is worth considering, but with so many different pregnancy products on the market, it’s easy to end up confused as to whats going to work for you. That’s why we recruited real mums-to-be to test out all the products in these categories, collecting their honest feedback on everything from pregnancy pillows to luxury toiletries.
We didn’t just focus on the glamorous categories, either. While there’s definitely a place for beautiful gift sets and loungewear, we’ve also got mum-approved recommendations for maternity bras, vitamins, TENS machines and even a postnatal peri bottle (trust us on that one). We judged all these items on everything from efficacy to whether they’re worth the money, to ensure you’re properly kitted-out for the next 9 months and beyond.
Key features we tested/judged – Supportiveness, Comfort, Quality of material, Firmness, Ease of use, Worth the money
Gold – BellaMoon Full Moon 7-in-1 Pregnancy & Nursing System, £199
Why it’s a winner: Scoring well with all of our mums, this pillow impressed with its multifunctional set up to provide support in pregnancy, nursing and beyond. It even transform into a small cocoon to support lateral breastfeeding, which tester Rachel, mum of 3, used it for and found it was “great to have a good back support”. A chic and subtle design with soft, yet supportive padding make this a go-to pillow, plus a built-in nursing cover can be unzipped and taken on the go. The higher price point meant our testers would be putting it on their gift list, agreeing that it is a luxury item but “well worth the money.”
In the words of tester Leanne, mum of 5: “This is a top quality product offering amazing support. I love the shape, it feels like you’re being snuggled. It’s also super comfortable – I’ve actually been able to nap and makes bonding so much easier.”
Buy from: BellaMoon
Silver – DockATot La Maman Wedge, £91
Why it’s a winner: Testers loved the chic design of this pillow, making it feel less like a baby product and more a stylish piece of home décor. Despite its good looks, our mums raved about its practicalities too, with tester Lorraine, mum of 1, calling it “stylish and supportive” and “the breastfeeding support you need.” The cover is removable and washable, yet tester Nia, mum of 2, noticed it is also “forgiving in case of spills”. Rated as incredibly comfortable, this cushion kept its shape and offered both our mums and their babies the support they needed.
In the words of tester Lorraine, mum of 1: “This ticks all my boxes. It’s firm, yet soft and flexible and and a lifesaver for my arms and back. It can be used to support almost any breastfeeding position.”
Buy from: DockATot
Bronze – ClevaMama Therapeutic Body & Bump Maternity Pillow, £74.80
Why it’s a winner: Cocooning and supporting your body to encourage a restful night’s sleep, the therapeutic body and bump pillow is designed to offer support throughout pregnancy and while feeding. The ergonomic design follows the natural curve of your body to support key areas like your neck, bump, pelvis and knees throughout pregnancy. Testers found it was great to lounge with throughout the day-time and tester Liz, mum of 1, added that it “really helped to relieve some of the pain in my hips.”
In the words of tester Liz, mum of 1: “It’s very supportive both when used for laying down and for sitting. It is quite firm and showing no signs of flattening down in the areas that are taking the most pressure.”
Shortlisted: Hippychick Nursing & Maternity Pillow
Pregnancy health product
Key features we tested/judged – Effectiveness, Ease of use, Quality of product, Value for money
Joint Gold – First Days Maternity Supplies Reusable Hot & Cold Pack, £12
Why it’s a winner: “One of those things you didn’t realise you needed until you have it!” and “brought instant relief” was just some of the praise received for these reusable hot and cold packs. Their multiple uses, including a perineal hot pack for labour, perineal cold pack for post-birth, and soothing relief from pregnancy and postpartum haemorrhoids, made the packs an invaluable addition to labour and those recovery days afterwards. They were also praised for being easy to use, with a handy sleeve that clips them into place on your underwear.
In the words of tester Andrea, new mum of 1: “I like the design of the pads, they’re not too bulky and fit perfectly onto my underwear. I also love how they can be used for numerous things beyond perineal care which makes them so much more useful than other products on the market.:
Joint Gold – Babycare Elle TENS 2, £75
Why it’s a winner: The Elle TENS 2 machine was a big hit with helping our testers to tackle the early stages of labour head on. Tester and new mum Lauren commented: “Using the TENS machine allowed me to feel in control, I wasn’t scared of the contractions knowing I could control them with the different settings.” Handy features of this stylish piece of kit include a contraction timer, in between contraction timer, preset modes and a boost button for contractions. Our mums all agreed that this product was incredibly effective and definitely worth the money for making labour easier.
In the words of tester Gemma, mum of 1: “Overall I would highly recommend the Elle TENS 2 for managing pain relief in early labour, however I was surprised to find that even postpartum the machine is really effective at managing back and other pain – so well worth the investment!”
Silver – My Expert Midwife Peri Prep Your Bits, £15.50
Why it’s a winner: Developed by midwives, this perineal massage oil is packed with a unique blend of natural and essential oils, such as lavender, avocado and sweet almond, to to encourage the skin to stretch more easily during child birth. Tester Wing, mum of 2, found that by constantly applying the massage oil she “felt relaxed, more confident and less stressed about delivery”. The oil comes in a handy bottle, only dispersing small drops at a time, so there’s less mess and wastage. This appealed to our testers who felt it was a luxury item to have towards the end of their pregnancy.
In the words of tester Liz, mum of 1: “This is a lovely product with a really nice scent and feels like it makes your skin softer with each use. It’s well worth the cost for the size of the bottle.”
Bronze – Spatone Apple with Vitamin C 28 Day, £12.49
Why it’s a winner: Easy to use in convenient daily sachets, Spatone’s iron supplement is more easily absorbed into the body and gentle on the stomach to reduce the unpleasant side effects often experienced with some iron supplements. The apple flavour also helps to make these easier to drink . Some of our testers noted that these are a great basic supplement including Gemma, mum of 2, who said, “Overall I think if you are feeling fatigued, pregnant or not, it’s a high quality product that can be trusted.”
In the words of tester Katie, mum of 3: “I definitely felt more energised, plus the sachets tasted nice and did exactly what they said on the tin. Perfectly good quality product.”
Key features we tested/judged – Supportiveness, Comfort, Effectiveness, Ease of use, Quality, Style, Value for money
Gold – Latched Everyday Nursing Bra, £18
Why it’s a winner: Our home testers loved this nursing bra, all commenting on how comfortable and supportive it is. Tester Jody mum of 2 said: “I liked how easy it was to access for feeding with one hand, it was so comfortable without rubbing or irritation, I barely knew I was wearing it!” Our mums also noticed how well it washed and dried quickly and at under £20 it proved great value for money, with tester Jody adding: “At this price I could justify having more than one.”
In the words of tester Jody, mum of 2: “Overall the bra is fantastic value for money and very comfortable and stylish. The material is very soft and stretchy, so fits when your breasts are full or even at night.”
Buy from: Latched
Silver – Nurturally Hands Free Pumping Bra, £21.95
Why it’s a winner: Nurturally’s pumping bra aims to give mums who are expressing more freedom to move, and some much needed hands-free time, which it achieves with its patented bottle-holding sling design. The adjustable shoulder straps have been designed to hold the increasing milk load as you pump which tester Nicola, mum of 1, praised: “The adjustments are good for getting the right hold while expressing.” If you spend a lot of time expressing but want to be able to multi-task, then this nursing bra could be a game changer for you, plus it’s far prettier than similar products which can look like big, black bandages.
In the words of tester Nicole, mum of 1: “This bra has good, equal suction and hold which has made expressing both sides at the same time more effective, this alone has saved time for me. The materials are soft and comfortable and the bra is well made.”
Buy from: Amazon
Bronze – Hotmilk Warrior Plunge Nursing Bra, £34.99
Why it’s a winner: For comfort, support, style and flexibility this nursing bra ticked all the boxes. Beautiful lace detailing combines with simple rose gold magnetic nursing clips to take you through pregnancy, nursing and beyond. Our mums loved the look of the bra, with many saying how great it made them feel, and noted that the magnetic clips were a unique feature. Tester Charlotte, mum of 2, commented, “The design is beautiful and I definitely felt more attractive in it,” while tester Morgan, mum of 3, added, “The magnetic clips are the best invention ever!”
In the words of tester Morgan, mum of 3: “I would recommend this bra to anyone planning on breastfeeding their baby. There hasn’t been another nursing bra that I’ve put on that has made me feel great and was able to nurse from with ease.”
Pregnancy fashion/active wear
Key features we tested/judged – Comfort, Style, Material, Effectiveness, Ease of use, Quality and Value for money
Gold – Natal Active Artemis Total Comfort Nursing Sports Bra, £45
Why it’s a winner: This breastfeeding sports bra impressed our home testers, providing all the support and comfort needed for sports as well as everyday wear. The brand impressed with its wide range of cup sizes from C to H as well as how easy it is to clip and unclip one handed. And with a colour matching bra extender included, the size can be adjusted throughout pregnancy and postnatally as your body changes. Our testers also loved the small pad in the cup that helps ensure against leaks, while its quick drying properties means it isn’t damp after feeding either.
In the words of tester Jessica, mum of 2: “The support is great, without being too tight. The quality is brilliant, it washes well and supports me in the way it should and will last throughout my pregnancy and my feeding journey too.”
Buy from: Natal Active
Silver – Latched Maternity Leggings, £40
Why it’s a winner: Branded a maternity wardrobe staple, these leggings boast a high quality squat proof material meaning you don’t have to worry about see-through areas. “They never felt like they were see through even when stretched towards the later stages of pregnancy,” commented tester and mum-to-be Amy. The addition of “handy” pockets well placed on each leg for phone and keys was an impressive touch that our tester appreciated, while they also agreed that the leggings were reasonably priced for the quality. Plus, with the ability to be worn under or over the bump, they can adapt well to your changing body throughout pregnancy.
In the words of tester Lucy, mum-to-be: “Great multipurpose leggings for exercising, wearing around the home and whilst out. They fit comfortably over my expanding bump with lots of room to grow.”
Buy from: Latched
Bronze – Tilbea London Sarah Hoodie Dress, £69
Why it’s a winner: The Sarah hoodie dress packs a punch in the style stakes and doesn’t lose out on practicality either. Designed with invisible zips, it helps to make nursing easier as tester Anika, mum of 3, found, “The zips are discreet and also placed in exactly the right position so nursing is easy in this dress.” The bold leopard print design is distinctive and the soft 100% organic cotton material helps up its green credentials too.
In the words of tester Laura, mum of 2 “We like to go on walks and this dress made it a lot easier, especially on those chillier walks when little one wanted feeding. I also like that the zips are well hidden so it’s not super obvious what the dress is made for.”
Shortlisted: Latched Marble Sports Bra
Pregnancy skincare & toiletries
Key features we tested/judged – Ingredients, Texture, Effectiveness, Application, Quality of product and Worth the money
Gold – Little Butterfly London The Pamper Gift Box for Mothers, £85
Why it’s a winner: This pamper gift box went down a treat with our mum testers, with the selection including stretch mark butter, toning body serum, cooling leg gel and a super soft wash cloth. The toiletries were a big hit leaving skin moisturised and healthy feeling, while the cloth came in handy for cleaning hands after use. Tester Jennie, mum of 8, felt like the gift box would “make a great gift for any expectant mummy” and another tester Abigail mum of 2 agreed it was “a real luxury to use”.
In the words of tester Jennie, mum of 8: “The different products were nice to use and never felt greasy – they were all a real treat for me and I couldn’t fault them. Plus the products were boxed beautifully with lovely presentation.”
Silver – My Expert Midwife Fantastic Skin Elastic, £19.50
Why it’s a winner: A whole host of essential oils combine to make this product one of the favourites including nourishing coconut oil, soothing lavender oil and calendula oil to heal dry or itchy skin. Our testers love how it feels on their skin like mum-to-be Eloise who commented: “It significantly reduced the itching which is a common side effect of developing stretch marks. It’s also fantastic that the lotion is 99.9% natural and paraben free – always a bonus when putting anything near bump!” A little goes a long way so our testers felt that it offered fantastic value for money too.
In the words of tester Eloise, mum-to-be: “I have recommended this product to anyone who has mentioned stretch marks to me – even if they haven’t been pregnant! The pump is easy to use and the lotion itself smells lovely and the scent lasts a while too.”
Bronze – NESSA Organics New Mother Essentials, £62
Why it’s a winner: Our mums felt that this set of multi-award winning products was of “excellent quality” and, due to the high price point, would make a great gift for expectant mums. The trio of products, Nipple SOS, Scar Saviour and Vagina Victory Oil, “work extremely well for their purpose” and offers mums a more practical solution to the skincare affects of pregnancy and child birth, all bundled into a beautiful keepsake box. The apothecary-style packaging and tongue-in-cheek names also offer a nice alternative to the pastel-coloured toiletries that often dominate this market.
In the words of tester Alison, mum to be: “I loved all these products. They are excellent quality and work extremely well for their purpose. Each product is vegan, organic, cruelty free and fragrance free which is an added bonus.”
Buy from: NESSA
Shortlisted: Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil | Little Butterfly London Fresh Meadows Cooling Leg Gel | Always Dailies Fresh & Protect Normal Pantyliners
Key features we tested/judged – Ingredients, Application, Texture, Effectiveness, Quality and Worth the money
Gold – Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter, £24
Why it’s a winner: Not only is this tummy rub butter vegan and cruelty-free, it’s packed with ingredients such as avocado oil, inchi oil and argan oil to help keep your skin supple and strong throughout your pregnancy. Tester Catherine, who is pregnant, commented: “I can tell that if I continue to use this my belly will have fewer stretch marks and be much more supple. It’s a dream to apply and a beautiful quality cream.” Despite being a more premium option, our testers thought it was well worth the money taking into account the ingredients and the luxury feel when applying.
In the words of tester Aysha, mum of 2: “The butter made my skin feel nourished and stretchy, and lasted for quite a long time without feeling sticky on application. It feels great to use and comes in an easy to carry container too.”
Silver – Bio-Oil Skincare Oil, from £9.99
Why it’s a winner: A firm family favourite, Bio-Oil skincare oil uses plant extracts to help improve the appearance of scars, both old and new. The nourishing blend of vitamin A and E is suspended in PurCellin Oil, which reduces the thickness of the formulation to make it easier to absorb. Our soon-to-be mums praised the quality of the product and the positive effect it had on any stretch marks. Plus, it’s suitable for sensitive skin and can be used over the whole body.
In the words of tester Lucy, mum of 1: “It’s a good quality product that does exactly what it says on the bottle, it smells great and feels great. It does seem to be having a good effect on existing stretch marks.”
Bronze – Little Butterfly London Cocoon of Bliss Stretch Mark Butter, £27.50
Why it’s a winner: Our testers loved how this stretch mark butter smelt, and how its indulgent packaging made for a great treat during pregnancy. They felt the body butter was easy to apply and didn’t feel sticky after application, and they were impressed with the ethics of the brand and the organic ingredients. The product uses nourishing shea butter and sea-algae to improve skin texture and and arnica flower calm itchiness (a common side effect of stretch marks). Tester Kirstie, mum of 2, found it was particularly helpful in clearing up itchy, dry patches on her arms and underarms.
In the words of tester Kirstie, mum of 2: “This product has made my skin feel so much softer. It doesn’t feel sticky on your skin, like some creams do, and it dries quickly so you’re ready to go! My bump feels lovely and soft!”
Baby shower gift
Key features we tested/judged – Worth the money, Effectiveness and Quality of product
Gold – BirthBag Pre Packed Hospital Bag, £39.99
Why it’s a winner: This pre-packed hospital bag takes the stress out of planning the essentials a new mum might need for labour. Tester Meryam, mum of 2, commented: “I love the feel and quality of the tote bag, very light and can easily fit lots inside.” It contains all the essentials, as well as a selection of eco-friendly toiletries, a baby hat and booties for your new arrival. Our mums also loved the separate bags for ‘Baby’s first outfit’ and ‘Mama’s washbag’ to help keep things neatly organised, and feel that for the price point it “makes a lovely gift and also a nice treat for mum to herself”. Tester Aneesa, mum of 1, even said, “I used everything that was included in the box during my labour.”
In the words of Tester Emma, mum of 1: “Overall its a good product for someone that is on a budget and pretty much everything you need. I love the fact the some of the products are made of bamboo like the toothbrush and the nappies are from bamboo and organic.”
Silver – BullaBaloo Mummy & Baby Twinning Lounge/Nightwear, £55
Why it’s a winner: This stylish loungewear set scored big with mums, who loved the material, design and feel to each of the loungewear items. Tester Laura, mum of 2, commented: “The stretchy material makes the sleep suit easy to put on a wriggly baby and the double zips really help with nappy changes.” Another major plus point were the pockets on the “soft and lightweight” robe, which could “even hold a large MAM bottle and lots of other baby paraphernalia!”
In the words of tester Franciska, mum of 2: “My baby, who is super wriggly, is happy and comfy in it. The robe has a luxurious feel and keeps me warm on those cold winter days.”
Buy from: BullaBaloo
Bronze – First Days Maternity Peri Bottle, £10
Why it’s a winner: The maternity Peri Bottle is a practical, essential for any mum-to-be. The ergonomically designed head helps you direct the flow exactly where it’s needed with ease, as tester Alpha, mum of 1, found: “I particularly valued the fact that you could increase the pressure by squeezing the bottle and the way the water comes out feels very gentle.” Testers agreed that this product is good for both pre and post-natal, making it worth the price.
In the words of tester Alpha, mum of 1: “It’s practical, has a gentle flow and is good value for money. The bottle is very practical and has a good grip which is important when your hands are wet. The angled head makes it so easy to reach all the places you can’t without straining yourself.”
Shortlisted: Lola & Lykke Motherhood Starter Kit Gift Box | Chiming Pregnancy Bola Necklace by HexNex