Being pregnant is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of your life. You get to feel your little one growing inside of you as they begin to move, roll, and even hiccup! Pregnancy is truly magical. However, it’s not always the most comfortable time of life for mom to be. It is not uncommon to feel gassy, nauseous, constipated, thirsty, experiencing back pain, swelling and much more. The good news is that there are things you can do to make your pregnancy a bit more comfortable. Here are 10 of our favorites.
Top 10 Ways to Make Pregnancy More Comfortable
1. Prenatal Masssage
This type of massage therapy is specifically designed for pregnant women to help alleviate discomfort, promote relaxation, and provide overall well-being during pregnancy. The benefits of prenatal massage may include:
- Relief from discomfort
- Improved circulation
- Alleviation of muscle tension
- Better sleep
2. Comfortable Clothes
Opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from natural fabrics to prevent overheating and allow your body to move comfortably. Belly bands or belly extenders can be a great option to continue to wear your normal clothes while your belly expands. Other options that you should consider in your pregnancy wardrobe:
- Leggings - the stretch will allow your belly and body to grow comfortably.
- Maxi dressing and skirts - these light flowy garments give you free-range to move while still looking stylish.
- Maternity bras - your breast undoubtedly will change and they may begin leaking. Maternity bras can be a comfy life-saver to prevent leaking through your shirt.
- Absorbing underwear - Leaks may happen, especially as Baby moves and puts pressure on your bladder. These absorbing underwear can be found almost anywhere and are affordable.
- Comfortable shoes - your feet may swell so be sure you are sizing up and choosing a comfortable supportive shoe.
Drinking plenty of water can help alleviate common pregnancy symptoms like constipation and swelling. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. While this is a general rule, it will vary from person to person. You may judge if you are drinking enough water by the color of your urine. Dark yellow indicates dehydration and a light pale yellow indicates you are well hydrated.
4. Exercise Regularly
Your body is meant to move, even during pregnancy. Engage in safe and appropriate prenatal exercises to help maintain strength, flexibility, and alleviate discomfort. Remember you should always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
Stress reduction and relaxation are key for a healthy pregnancy. This means making daily relaxation a priority. Gentle prenatal yoga and mediation have amazing benefits for helping you feel calmer and more relaxed throughout the day. Remember, when you are relaxed so is your baby.
6. Eat Well
We get it, the cravings kick in and you need that piece of chocolate cake. Have the cake, but remember that your baby needs essential nutrients to properly develop. This means that you are no longer just eating for yourself, but your food choices are directly affecting your baby. Make a nutritious diet a priority. Keep it simple and eat well by:
- Fill every plate full of veggies - these should be the mainstay of every meal
- Opt for lean proteins like eggs, legumes, chicken, turkey and fish (like salmon)
- Fruit everyday - eat the rainbow by choosing fruit in every color
- Incorporating healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocados
- Choosing whole grains that are packed with fiber to help prevent or treat constipation
7. Pregnancy Pillow
Sleep can present challenges especially the farther along in your pregnancy you get. Pregnancy pillows are created to accommodate the unique needs of the body during pregnancy and help alleviate common discomforts that arise due to the changes in weight distribution, body shape, and sleeping positions. There are also several types to choose from, which include:
- Full-Length Body Pillow: These pillows are long and can be positioned along the entire length of the body. They provide support to the head, neck, shoulders, back, hips, and knees simultaneously.
- C-Shaped Pillow: Shaped like a letter "C," this pillow supports the head, neck, back, and hips. The open end of the "C" allows you to rest your head on a regular pillow if needed.
- U-Shaped Pillow: Similar to the C-shaped pillow, the U-shaped pillow surrounds the body on both sides. It provides support for the head, neck, back, hips, and legs.
- Wedge Pillow: This smaller, wedge-shaped pillow is designed to be placed under the belly or back to provide localized support. It's especially useful for relieving pressure on specific areas.
8. Elevate Your Legs and Feet
Swelling is a very normal part of pregnancy and can lead mom to feel very uncomfortable, especially if you are on your feet much of the day. Be sure to take breaks to elevate your legs and feet to release some of the pressure swelling causes.
9. Start a Pregnancy Journal
Keeping track of your daily routine can help you make the connection between things that are causing discomfort and those that help ease it. For example, tracking what you eat and the time of day can help you determine the cause of heartburn or nausea. We recommend tracking things like:
- Nausea and heartburn - severity, time of day, etc.
- What you eat - noting the time of day
- Beverages - including water
- Exercise performed or lack of exercise
- Sleep quality
- Bowel movements
- Stress levels
- Overall thoughts on how you are feeling
10. Talk to Your Doctor
As we said, pregnancy is a magical time and we are so thrilled that we get to be part of this journey with our patients. However, we know that this time can be quite uncomfortable. We are here to support you. We understand and we are your number one resource to help ease that discomfort. No question is a stupid question and you should never feel embarrassed to talk to your doctor about anything.