Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be challenging. Thankfully, we know there are plenty of products out there that will make your life that little bit easier. Whether you’re in your first trimester and battling nausea, or counting down to your due date and making your birth plan, our 2022 award winners will help you on your journey to parenthood.
We recruited a team of mums-to-be to help us test everything from maternity clothing to stretch mark creams, and they didn’t hold back, rating products for comfort, efficacy, quality and value for money, amongst other things. We combined their feedback with the expert knowledge of midwives and the MFM team to come up with the ultimate list of pregnancy must-haves. From baby shower gifts to more practical items like cool pads and perineal massage oil (if you know, you know), you’ll find it all here.
See the winners in:
- Maternity/Nursing Bra
- Pregnancy Fashion/Activewear
- Pregnancy/Nursing Pillow
- Pregnancy/Birth Product & Service
- Pregnancy Skincare & Toiletries
- Stretchmark Cream/Oil/Lotion
- Baby Shower Gift
Key features we tested/judged — Supportiveness, comfort, effectiveness, ease of use, quality, style, size offering, value for money
Gold – FittaMamma High Impact Maternity and Feeding Sports Bra, £39.99
Why it’s a winner: Our home testers were very impressed by the great quality of this high impact sports bra, with the added benefit of it also being a comfortable nursing bra. The adaptive stretch in the material is a great for accommodating changes in breast size. Testers found the material also offered longevity even after washing. Tester Carly commented “No shrinking/fading or bobbling – this product has been fab, it isn’t suitable for tumble drying however I have found that it dries super quickly”.
In the words of tester Chloe, who is pregnant: “I really enjoyed wearing this, it’s so comfortable, practical and easy to use when nursing! I liked the colour of it and the material felt good quality. Overall, I’m very pleased with this product.”
Buy from: FittaMamma
Silver – Bravado Designs Sustainable Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, £36
Why it’s a winner: Home tester Rachael was impressed: “This is the most comfortable maternity bra I’ve worn and it fits really well. The material feels lovely which was a great surprise given that it’s made with recycled materials!” She wasn’t the only judge to comment on the comfort, support, and all-round ease of use of the Bravado. If the high impact sports support of our gold winner is not for you, the Bravado may very well be your winner as more of a day-to-day option.
In the words of tester Tori, who is pregnant: “Great, very supportive bra and gave great shape – nursing clasps are easy enough to undo with one hand but stayed secure when not in use.”
Joint Bronze – Hofish 3 Pack Seamless Clip Down Nursing Bra Maternity Bra 3-pack, from £18.99
Why it’s a winner: Our testers liked how easy the Hofish bras were to use during feeds. The one-hand access and drop cups make nursing time quickly accessible and convenient. Tester Lauren noted that the bras are “Very easy to put on and do up”. Unlike our gold and silver award winners, our testers found the Hofish bras offer very light support so may be most suitable for sleep or lazy days at home. Expert judge Zeenath Uddin, a midwife, commended the bras for providing extenders and clips to accommodate body changed during pregnancy and post-birth.
In the words of tester Lauren, who is pregnant: “As a nursing bra, the clips make for easy access. Washed very easy in the machine and haven’t noticed any changes after one wash.”
Buy from: Amazon
Joint Bronze – Tutti Frutti Maternity/Nursing Bra by Cake Maternity, from £39.90
Why it’s a winner: The stylish design of this bra was a hit with our parent testers. They liked the plunge neckline and racerback, and it’s clearly a good quality bra, although some did feel the design is best suited to smaller breasts. Tester Giulia, who tested this with her 4 month old points out, “Whilst the bra is comfortable enough during the day, it’s really not suitable for night use”. If you’re after a night time solution, the joint bronze winner from Hofish may work well alongside the Tutti Frutti.
In the words of parent tester Giulia, who tested this with her 4 month old: “It has soft, comfortable bra cups that are padded, which provides added support and cushioning of the breasts – very important when breastfeeding.”
Key features we tested/judged — Comfort, style, material, effectiveness, ease of use, quality and value for money
Gold – Happy Mama Maternity Nursing Nightwear Set, £22
Why it’s a winner: A huge hit with our home testers, the Happy Mama nightwear set ticked all the important boxes; practical, affordable and great for nursing. Many felt the price point was just right – making it a great gift or something they would buy for themselves. Tester Mehek adds, “I absolutely loved this set, my little girl has had high bilirubin levels and has been needing to sit in sunlight as much as possible, wearing this has enabled me to have skin to skin contact easily and also have quick access for breastfeeding.” The set includes a nightdress and dressing gown and there are a number of colours on offer.
In the words of tester Emma, who is pregnant: “The affordable price doesn’t compromise the quality, it’s really comfortable. Washed & dried brilliantly. I was really impressed by how fast it dried on my airer – always a bonus!”
Buy from: Amazon
Silver – Happy Mama Maternity Nursing Midi Dress, £18
Why it’s a winner: This high quality and affordable nursing dress especially impressed our judges because of its comfort and soft fabric, not to mention the bargain price! An added bonus is that the dress is versatile and timeless in style. Tester Lauren commented, “I love the design of this dress. It’s classic and can be easily dressed up or down depending on the occasion”. Combined with the gold award winning nightwear set from Happy Mama, this midi dress will ensure nursing mums are comfortable at all hours of the day.
In the words of tester Lauren, who is pregnant: “I would assume the dress would be around £40 but for £18 it is an absolute bargain for the quality and style. You could buy several due to the flattering colours. I have also washed the dress twice and there has been no fading or shrinkage.”
Bronze – Artemis Total Comfort Maternity/Nursing Sports Bra, £45
Why it’s a winner: This breastfeeding sports bra impressed our home testers with how it provides stretch and adjustable straps for when breasts are full. The versatility continues in the many ways the bra can be worn and adapted. Tester Catherine, who is pregnant, said “I really like the designs of the straps to offer a bit of freedom with how you choose to wear it. The clips are really easy to get to and even offer a nice amount of support while feeding”.
In the words of tester Carly, who is pregnant: “Fantastic product – well thought out design. I liked the eco packaging and the extra bits to ensure longevity of use.”
Shortlisted: Happy Mama Maternity Hoodie Pullover | Happy Mama Maternity Nursing Hoodie
Key features we tested/judged — Supportiveness, comfort, quality of material, firmness, ease of use, worth the money
Gold – BellaMoon ‘New Moon’ 4-in-1 Pregnancy & Nursing Pillow, £109
Why it’s a winner: Comfort scores from our testers were very high for good reason. “Everyone knows that sleeping in late pregnancy is a challenge and you often wake up with aches and pains, however the BellaMoon pillow really makes sleeping so much easier and adds support in all the right places,” commented tester Kate, who is pregnant. The modular design of the Pregnancy & Nursing Pillow means it can be configured and adapted to a multitude of needs from early pregnancy through to childhood. Our testers felt the product longevity, quality and supportiveness make it worth the money.
In the words of tester Kate, who is pregnant: “I love this product for many reasons but particularly because it is multi functional and therefore isn’t wasted after pregnancy. It makes for an excellent breastfeeding pillow as well as for propping up baby – even my toddler enjoys leaning against it.”
Silver – DockATot La Maman Wedge, £80
Why it’s a winner: The DockATot La Maman Wedge came out tops with our judges for ease of use. “You literally pick up the pillow and place it on your lap! No instructions needed, although the pillow is dispatched with a helpful feeding guide for a few feeding positions you could try with the pillow – this might be reassuring for a first time mum,” commented tester Charlotte. Our testers were also blown away by the eye-catching and very stylish design. However it was noted that it was less multifunctional than our gold category winner.
In the words of parent tester Sherin: “The product is definitely a life changer when it comes to feeding. For a first time mum getting used to feeding (breast and bottle), it’s been hard to know what position works but the DockATot helps so much with that.”
Bronze – Feeding Friend The Original Self-Inflating Portable Arm Support Pillow, £39.99
Why it’s a winner: Our testers were impressed by the self-inflating feature on this arm support pillow, “In terms of inflating the cushion, it was incredibly simple to remove it from it’s bag, open the valve and watch the cushion inflate in seconds,” noted tester Gabrielle. Our mums found the wedge shape useful as its slope allowed for perfect height positioning and they could achieve a higher resting point compared to other pillows they had used. What our testers did miss, compared to our gold and silver winners, was a cocoon or curve shape to help keep little ones in place.
In the words of parent tester Catherine: “I really like the fabric on it. It’s really soft on my baby’s skin and I really like that it comes with a carry bag too.”
Key features we tested/judged — Worth the money, quality and design, effectiveness, suitability
Gold – The Hypnobirthing Digital Pack, £39
Why it’s a winner: The Positive Birth Company hypnobirthing program is packed full of great content including 6+ hours of video content on hypnobirthing and 8 MP3s covering guided meditations, positive affirmations and breathing practice. Mums loved the comprehensive and easy to follow program which they felt offered great value. Tester Sian, who is pregnant noted, “It is/was logical and easy to navigate from section to section.” For our testers who followed the program but didn’t have a natural birth they still reported a very positive overall experience having followed the course during pregnancy.
In the words of tester Sian, who is pregnant: “It has made me genuinely look at the stages of labour and hypnobirthing principles in a different perspective and opened my mind up as to how this can be applied in practice.”
Buy from: The Positive Birth Company
Silver – My Mindful Midwife app, £2.49
Why it’s a winner: With all the planning and organising that goes into welcoming a new family member, our testers found the My Mindful Midwife app extremely useful, supportive & versatile. “You can put everything into the app unlike others. I was able to put hospital numbers and midwife contact numbers on and have it with me at all times rather than carrying round my notes,” noted tester Danielle. The app is fully inclusive to all birth preferences and paths to parenthood – users can even switch birth preferences at any time – extremely helpful if you’re still deciding or your circumstances change.
In the words of tester Katy, who is pregnant: “I’m all for any way of promoting positive mental well-being particularly in pregnancy and labour. This app provides great additional support and I would recommend it to friends.”
Joint Bronze – My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits, £19.50
Why it’s a winner: Carefully selected premium essential oils help this perineal relief spray soothe and promote healing. Tester Emma who is pregnant was particularly impressed, “Gives a lovely soothing sensation to ease the discomfort in the perineum / vulva area during the later stages of pregnancy. Baby due in March & I feel a sense of relief knowing that I have this product to hand to help with my recovery, especially as the recovery from my previous episiotomy was particularly difficult”.
In the words of tester Melissa, who is pregnant: “Definitely soothes and eases the discomfort. I sprayed it on a maternity pad as well as directly and it was a lifesaver.”
Joint Bronze – Lola&Lykke Core Relief Pregnancy Support Band, £83
Why it’s a winner: This Support Band is ergonomically designed to lift the weight of a growing baby bump and therefore ease pressure on expectant mums’ back, pelvis and bladder. Our testers noticed how much easier life became when they wore it. Tester Charlotte commented, “in previous pregnancies I’ve found the school drop off difficult in the latter stages of pregnancy. I’m confident it will help make this easier for me!” Being the most expensive product in the category, it does require an investment, but for those struggling with hip and lower back pain, it could be worth splashing out.
In the words of tester Chloe, who is pregnant: “The product was very simple and intuitive to fit and to reposition as needed. I also liked that there was an additional support band which made adjustment easy as the first layer was already fastened and secured.”
Buy from: Lola&Lykke
Shortlisted: First Days Maternity – The Original Peri Bottle | Mindful Birth Bump & Beyond online course |Myrtle & Maude Raspberry leaf | Plastfree Organic & Plastic-free maternity sanitary pads, | Take Five Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy Baby Shower Box
Key features we tested/judged — Ingredients, texture, effectiveness, application, quality of product, design and worth the money
Gold – Burt’s Bees Mama Leg and Foot Cream with Peppermint and Coconut Oils, £12.99
Why it’s a winner: Our mums found this to be the perfect product after a long day on (swollen) feet. Peppermint oil and rosemary extract make up the key ingredients of this soothing cream, which aids tired and aching muscles but may not directly reduce swelling. It applies wonderfully too, tester Hannah adds “This cream was easy to apply, and, unlike many creams, left absolutely no sticky feeling or residue on my hands or feet. I did not feel the need to wash my hands after rubbing it into my legs or feet.”
In the words of tester Lauren, who is pregnant: “Often creams are absorbed so fast you have to constantly reapply, whereas this went a long way and allowed me to really relax without worrying about running out in just a few uses.”
Silver – My Little Coco Baby Mama Hydrating Bump Sheet Mask, £5.99
Why it’s a winner: A really fun idea and great gift – at an affordable price point. The My Little Coco Baby Mama Hydrating Bump Sheet Mask is infused with aloe to hydrate the skin and rosehip which works to help reduce stretch marks. Tester Sadia was very impressed, “it was best product I ever used during my pregnancy. It was easy to apply and gave a cooling sensation”. It was noted by our judges that the sheet size could be limited to smaller bumps and probably wouldn’t be right for for expectant twin mums (!) but it’s still a fun, indulgent product for a bit of pre-baby pampering.
In the words of Influencer judge Sophie Bradbury-Cox: “Quality is gorgeous, smells incredible, feels so moisturising and is a perfect way for an expectant mum to take 15-20 minutes to relax!”
Buy from: Boots
Bronze – My Expert Midwife Peri Prep Your Bits, £15.50
Why it’s a winner: This perineal massage oil by My Expert Midwife makes this important but arduous task easier – and a lot lovelier – according to our testers. “The instructions given are pretty clear and simple. It mentions every step in detail and uses simple language. I followed the instructions and it worked well for me,” said parent tester Siena. The affordable price and fact that a little goes a long way left our testers happy. Unlike the other winners in the category – although it’s undoubtably a core pregnancy toiletry – the massage oil missed the pampering factor our testers so appreciate.
In the words of tester Siena, who is pregnant: “I love how the essential oils in it help nourish, protect and promote skin elasticity. It worked well on my skin and left my skin moisturised and soft!”
Shortlisted: Little Dish fresh toddler meals
Key features we tested/judged — Ingredients, application, texture, effectiveness, quality and worth the money
Gold – My Expert Midwife Fantastic Skin Elastic, £19.50
Why it’s a winner: Our testers really liked the feel of this serum and found it’s application much nicer and easier than using oils – absorbing into the skin better and visibly reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Our mums could also feel the tightness of their bumps noticeably eased upon application. Tester Emma, who is pregnant, commented “I have quite delicate skin on my hands with eczema and I’ve other products which can worsen this however this didn’t and actually helped the dry skin on my hands as well.” The fact that the brand is midwife-led provided our mums with additional reassurance.
In the words of tester Emma, who is pregnant: “The pump dispenser is easy to use and gives out just enough product to use on your skin without any wastage. It has a citrusy smell which isn’t overpowering and reminds me of the smell of a spa.”
Silver – Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, £19.95
Why it’s a winner: Influencer Sophie Bradbury-Cox was impressed, saying “the labelling is great including diagrams for how best to use the product, also love that the bottle’s made of recycled glass.” Our testers also liked the smell and application of the oil. Tester Julia commented “I like the fact that it’s made from all natural ingredients – my skin is very dry and sensitive at the moment in pregnancy so I’m careful about what I put on my skin.” Both at a very similar price, it was noted that you get more product with our gold winner.
In the words of tester Rebecca, who is pregnant: “Smells absolutely gorgeous – the mixture of rose, neroli and myrrh is subtle but relaxing. Absorbs quickly leaving skin feeling soft and moisturised without greasiness. I love that there is extract of arnica in this product and hope that, as my bump grows, this will help with any uncomfortable itchiness!”
Joint Bronze – Nuture Nourishing Skin Treatment Oil, from £8.99
Why it’s a winner: Beyond the oil impressing our testers, they also appreciated some of the extra touches such as the bottle design and overall branding – giving high scores all round for quality and design. Tester Jerry, who is pregnant, commented “the product sinks into your skin very quickly and you don’t feel too oily after applying it. I also like how it’s a glass bottle with a pump as it makes it very stylish and durable to use.” Our testers also liked the accessibility of an affordable smaller sized bottle.
In the words of tester Leah, who is pregnant: “I used this product twice a day on the stretch marks I have and since using it (about 2 weeks) they have definitely become less defined.”
Joint Bronze – Nessa Body Saviour, from £34
Why it’s a winner: This luxurious butter felt like a treat to our testers! Being an intensely nourishing stretch mark treatment, the texture is dreamy, and our judges loved applying it. “This body butter certainly rehydrates the skin and gives a soft silky feel to my ever-growing bump. Even my dry winter elbows are benefitting from this!” shared tester Carly. If your baby bump is in need of some high-end pampering this is the product for you.
In the words of tester Carly, who is pregnant: “The rich texture of this body butter gives that luxury feeling when applying and subtle fragrance reflects the natural ingredients used. Price is placing this product in the luxury body butter market.”
Shortlisted: Secret Saviours Stretch Mark Prevention Kit
Key features we tested/judged — Worth the money, quality and design, effectiveness, suitability
Gold – Take Five Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy Baby Shower Box, £30
Why it’s a winner: The needs of expectant mums are at the forefront throughout this well-priced and carefully curated baby shower box. “It has so many different aspects to it, carrying you through from pregnancy, labour and postpartum,” noted tester Emma, who is pregnant. Included in the luxury hamper box are a room mist, a “Trimester Trio” of pulse point rollerballs, and a candle. Our judges loved the trio of aromatherapy rollerballs, each one designed for a different trimester. The third one contains clary sage, an ingredient that is said to encourage labour, so it’s best stashed away until after the due date!
In the words of tester Victoria, who is pregnant: “Excellent quality, packaged really well, instructions of use and ingredients are clear and easy to understand. I love the revive which helps me with my nausea which I suffer from mainly in the mornings when I’m at work.”
Buy from: Take Five Aromatherapy
Silver – First Days Maternity – Reusable Hot and Cold Gel Packs, £11.49
Why it’s a winner: In the spirit of “when you know you know”, these gel packs make the ideal gift for a close friend or family member who needs to know! The hot gel pack can be applied to the perineal area during labour to relax the tissues and aid stretching, reducing the chance of tearing. The cold gel pack reduces swelling and bruising after delivery. Beyond the delivery room, our testers found the packs had many uses for the whole family. “Good that they are reusable and have multi uses. Reduces landfill waste,” commented tester Vicky who is pregnant.
In the words of tester Mehek, who is pregnant: “This is brilliant for natural birth. I have also utilised these for my breasts to soothe them during my breastfeeding journey. The best part is that I’ve also been able to use these for my toddler, she grazed her knee & I popped a pad on her knee to soothe!”
Bronze – Hallie + Harlow Newborn Gift Box, £29.99
Why it’s a winner: Available in pink, blue or neutral colourways, each box comes with 3 muslins, a bamboo hairbrush and a Hello World plaque. “I loved the extra touch of the wooden plague. It is so personal and sweet” reflected parent tester Christine. Our judges found the organic & eco friendly products were good quality and the box felt premium. Although our gold winner in this category is at a similar price point you may prefer the Hallie + Harlow Newborn Gift Box for someone you don’t know so well, but still want to impress.
In the words of tester Laura, who is pregnant: “Really stylish gift in modern, elegant packaging. I thought this gift was beautiful and I’d buy it to give to friends. The gift box could be reused as a memory box as it’s nice and sturdy. Nice, clean branding.”
Buy from: Hallie & Harlow
See all our MFM Award winners:
- Prams, pushchairs, lightweights and double buggies – 2022 winners
- Baby carriers, slings and wraps – 2022 winners
- Sleeping and nursery products – 2022 winners
- Family health, bathtime and skincare products – 2022 winners
- Breastfeeding and bottlefeeding products – 2022 winners
- Nappies, changing and potty training products – 2022 winners
- Baby & toddler weaning and feeding products – 2022 winners
- Lifestyle, travel, fashion, books, toys and gifts – 2022 winners
- MadeForMums Special Awards – 2022 winners
- MadeForMums Editor’s Choice Awards – 2022 winners
The MadeForMums Awards editorial team is led by Consumer & Reviews Editor Christy McGhee, Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma Cartwright, and Editorial Director Susie Boone and comprises Janet Mtima, Emily Longman Wall, Chloe Brightwell, Catherine Ball, Janet Martin, Sarah Dawson, Gabrielle Nathan, Claire Belle Freed, Lucy Waterlow and Cheryl Freedman who have created, written and edited these pages after rigorous testing and judging by our panel of home testers, experts and editorial judges. Images by Emma Winchester. With thanks to Danielle Graph, Emma Onuma, Tayla Emmons, Helen Brown, Helen Salter and Amber Newlands.