Pregnancy has been tough for me. While I’ve been blessed with level hormones, limited morning sickness, and no major complications, my body has struggled with adjusting to growing a little human. To be honest, I haven’t enjoyed being pregnant much. I don’t share that to incite a pity party or seem ungrateful for my ability to be pregnant. I’m just being honest. Being pregnant is uncomfortable and difficult to get through.
However, with that being said, there are a few things that have helped get me through my pregnancy. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you as well.
- Pregnancy Pillow : Get yourself a comfortable pregnancy pillow the minute you find out you’re pregnant. My hips separated early, and I was grateful to have my pillow from the start. There are three types of pregnancy pillows: straight body pillows, c-shaped pillows, and u-shaped pillows. I highly recommend a u-shaped pillow to provide relief for your entire body and allow you to flip from side to side without needing to move pillows around. This is the one I purchased and it’s so comfortable I frequently find my husband using it.
- Keep Moving : You will hear this a lot during your pregnancy, and there are days when you really want to tell people to shut up. But moving truly helps alleviate most pregnancy symptoms. Now, I’m not saying you have to do crazy workouts or sign up for prenatal fitness classes. Simply walking every day and taking time to do pregnancy-safe stretches is sufficient to help your muscles stay active and adapt to all your bodily changes. And if you have a pool, consider yourself truly blessed!
- Body Butter : I’ve got news for you – stretch marks are genetically predetermined. You can slather your body in cocoa butter all you want and still get stretch marks. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use body butter. Why? Because growing, stretching skin is itchy. I found using body butter all over my belly, hips, and chest to be remarkably soothing and relieving. My favorite was Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Cream because the scent is moderate and light, plus I didn’t feel sticky or like I had to dry off a little afterward.
- Belly Band : Find a belly band early. Not only will it extend the life of your non-maternity clothing (also, learn the hair-tie trick for jeans), but it provides much-needed stability and support to your core. I waited until the end of my second trimester to get a belly band and I wish I had gotten it sooner. When I did get one, I invested in a Belly Bandit. Knowing that we are planning for a second pregnancy, the investment made sense to us and these were the best-reviewed ones I could find that I liked. I absolutely love my Belly Bandit, but you should take time to find one that really works for you. Don’t be fooled by bands that are overly stretchy though! They won’t provide you any support as your belly starts to grow!
- Ice Packs : Get some reusable ice packs. Not only do you need these for your future child’s inevitable accidents, but they come in handy for all those aches and pains throughout pregnancy. Lower back pain? Ice pack. Swollen feet and ankles? Ice pack. Sinus pressure (seriously)? Ice pack. Just remember that you should never apply heat or cold to the front side on your belly. We don’t cook or freeze our babies.
- Take a Birth Prep Class : When people hear “birth prep class”, they often think of those ridiculous lamaze class scenes from sitcoms. All the huffing and puffing and comical moments. While lamaze classes do exist and you should take one if you’re interested, that’s not what I’m talking about here. Also, if you think Googling or watching videos on YouTube will best prepare you for birth, you may want to reconsider. I’m talking about a true in-person birth prep class that covers the stages of labor, preferably offered through the hospital where you will be delivering. Some hospitals offer a full series of classes and others (like ours) offer a one-day seminar. Our class was instructed by a Labor and Delivery nurse from our hospital who had also delivered three of her own children there. The content included the stages of labor, the different philosophies of birthing, breathing and position techniques, and the medical support provided by the staff, plus a tour of the L&D area. We found the medical explanations for all aspects of labor and birth to be incredibly helpful. Even more reassuring was hearing how our hospital handled different scenarios. Check out what your hospital has to offer. I promise you won’t regret it.
- Don’t Suffer Through : For your sanity’s sake, talk to your doctor about what ails you. There is likely a cure or help for anything you are suffering through. For instance, I was having horrible sinus issues at the beginning of my second trimester. Not stuffy nose… oooh no, we’re talking borderline sinus infection. To my surprise, my doctor allowed me to take low-dosage Sudafed. Shocking! (Please do not take this as permission to take Sudafed during your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before taking any medications!) Also, my lower back pain was alleviated by seeing a chiropractor and muscle fatigue and hip pain by a prenatal physical therapist (both cleared by my doctor). Whatever you may be suffering with, there is likely a solution your doctor or midwife can offer.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Wishing you an enjoyable (as possible) pregnancy!
This blog post was not sponsored but contains links as part of an affiliate program I participate in. Meaning, if you click through and purchase, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission. I have student loans to pay… help a sister out.