These 11 Tips Can Help Make Your Pregnancy A Little More Comfortable For You
Pregnancy is amazing, wondrous, uncomfortable, beautiful, incredible, uncomfortable, joyous, and did we mention uncomfortable? Here are 11 things you can do to make those nine months a little more bearable.
1. Take a warm bath every night before you go to bed.
This will soothe your aching muscles and joints and help you get better sleep.
2. Invest in a body pillow.
Also known as a maternity pillow and a prenatal pillow, this C-shaped pillow is available online and at some maternity stores. It will make it a lot easier for you to sleep at night and prevent your back and hips from hurting in the morning. As you get bigger, you won’t be able to sleep on your back and so you’ll have no choice but to sleep on your side. A body pillow will make that much easier.
3. Set up a chair with a footrest.
Find a comfortable chair in your living room, preferably one that lets you lean backward. Put a foot stool in front of it, so that you can recline backward in the chair and prop your feet up on the stool. The more time you spend on your feet during pregnancy, the more uncomfortable you get. Putting your feet up will ease the discomfort and prevent swelling and other circulatory problems.
4. Wear nice maternity clothes.
Pregnancy takes a major toll on your self-esteem when it comes to the body image department. So, instead of wearing boring, frumpy clothes, cheer yourself up by wearing nice clothes that make you feel good about yourself. If you’re worried about the cost, look for styles that convert into nursing wear after you’ve had the baby. That way, you’ll wear them for a couple years, so the investment will be worth it.
5. Avoid tight clothes.
Your circulation is already suffering, so the last thing you should do is make it worse by wearing tight and restrictive clothing. Opt for loose and comfortable clothes, in breathable fabrics if possible.
6. Opt for comfortable shoes that have lots of room.
Forget about your heels and tight sandals. Make it a point to wear really comfortable shoes, since your feet are going to bear the brunt of your discomfort. You might have to buy shoes that are one size bigger, since your feet will swell.
7. Make a rice bag.
Take an old pillowcase or a sock (depending on what size you want), fill it with rice and some cinnamon and either stitch it closed or tie it up very tightly. Whenever your back hurts, you can warm it up in the microwave or on a pan and apply it to your back for relief. It won’t be too hot and the scent of cinnamon is delicious.
8. Go for a swim.
If you have access to a pool, go for a swim as often as you can. Swimming is a form of cardio exercise that will strengthen your muscles, improve your circulation, and most importantly, relieve the weight that you’re carrying. It’s also very relaxing and therapeutic and will soothe your muscles and joints.
9. Get a back rub every night before you sleep.
Have your partner give you a back rub every night before you go to sleep. It will help relieve a lot of your discomfort and make it easier for you to fall asleep, while also giving you and your partner a chance to bond at the end of the day. If possible, try to massage towards the heart and not away from it. Using oil or lotion can also help prevent the stretch marks to some extent.
10. Avoid spicy foods and foods that cause gas.
Pregnancy makes you especially vulnerable to acidity and gas, so avoid spicy foods and foods that give you gas. As much as you may love them, the momentary pleasure of eating them is not worth the hours of discomfort you’ll have to face afterwards. Avoid eating right before you go to sleep.
11. Drink ice cold water often.
It will refresh you, while also cleansing your system and promoting the process of cell division by which the baby grows.
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The quality of your skin is a sure-fire way to get a reading on your overall level of health. Of course, some people struggle with skin issues like acne and are otherwise perfectly fine — but skin quality can clue you in to some bigger problems. A poor diet can really impact your skin quality, and if you’re noticing blemishes like stretch marks? That should tell you that something is wrong.
Can’t seem to fall asleep at night? That can be an indication that some aspects of your life need adjusting. Whether it be that you’re eating the wrong foods, ingesting too much caffeine late in the day, or not expelling enough energy during the day, not being able to sleep presents an issue — which cascades into further issues.
Yep, we’re getting down and dirty. Take note of the color of your urine, and even how frequently you’re going No. 2 — those could both provide important insight into the state of your overall health. Since you’re going to ask, your urine should be a pale yellow color — and hopefully odorless. As for your bowel movement frequency, there’s a wide range. But if you’re going regularly, you’re probably fine. And don’t ignore the grimy details during your investigation.
Lip balm reliance
If your lips are constantly chapped, and you find that you can’t live without lip balm, that’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Specifically, your lip condition is an indicator of your vitamin levels. If your lips are chapped, you may be vitamin strapped — so diversify your diet, and get the nutrients you need.
Bad finger and toe nails
If the condition of your lips wasn’t a solid enough indicator, your finger and toe nails can also give you a heads-up if you’re unhealthy. You’re going to want to be on the lookout for ridges, discoloration, and bumps — all of which should be red flags. Your nails can tell you a lot about your overall state of health, so if something is strange, don’t ignore it.
Body temperature fluctuation
Icy feet and hands aren’t normal. Yes, there could be environmental factors at play, but if you’re consistently finding that your extremities are ice cold, it can be a sign of cardiovascular problems. Specifically, cold hands or feet might mean that you’re having circulation issues, and that your body isn’t getting blood where it needs to go. If this is a chronic issue, have it checked out.
A cloudy mind
It’s becoming quite clear that our cognitive ability and brain health are closely tied to our physical condition. That means that obesity and elevated levels of body fat can have a significant impact on our ability to think and reason. It’s kind of scary, but also a very promising area of research. So, if you can’t formulate a potent thought, it may be a sign that it’s time to drop some weight.
“The biggest issue in most of patients is that they have too much on their plates and want to juggle it all. Stress can have significant health consequences, from infertility to higher risks of depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Find the stress-reduction method that works for you and stick with it.”
2. Stop dieting
“Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to forgot your favorite piece of chocolate, cake now and then. The key is moderation. Get a mix of lean proteins, healthy fats, smart carbs, and fiber.”
3. Don’t “OVERDOSE” on calcium
“Too much absorbed calcium can increase the risk of kidney stones and may even increase the risk of heart disease. If you’re under 50, shoot for 1,000 milligrams per day, while over-50 women should be getting 1,200 milligrams per day mainly through diet — about three servings of calcium-rich foods such as milk, salmon, and almonds.”
4. Do more than cardio
“Women need a mix of cardio and resistance or weight-bearing exercise at least three to five times a week to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Exercise also promotes good self-image, which is really important to a woman’s mental health.”
5. Think about fertility.
“While many women have no problem getting pregnant in their late 30s and even into their early 40s, a woman’s fertility may start to decline as early as 32. So if you want to have kids, talk to your doctor about options, like freezing your eggs.”
6. Appreciate birth control
“Birth control gets a bad rap, but not only can it keep you from getting pregnant before you’re ready, studies show it can lower the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer as well as regulate your cycle.”
7. See your doctor every year
Make sure you get a Pap test to check for cervical cancer every 3 years if you are 21 or older. If you are 30-65, you can get both a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years. Older than that, you may be able to stop testing if your doctor says you are low risk. If you are sexually active and have a higher risk for STDs, get tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis yearly. Take an HIV test at least once, more frequently if you’re at risk. Don’t skip your yearly checkup. Your doctor needs to annually assess many other issues such as potential infection, your need for contraception, and sexual complaints.”
8. Have good sex
“Sex reduces stress and may lower the risk of chronic disease — but only if you enjoy it. If anything prevents you from sexual fulfillment, such as dryness or pain, talk to your doctor to find a solution.”
9. Get more sleep.
“Sleep needs differ, but if you have trouble getting out of bed, tire easily, or have trouble concentrating, you likely aren’t getting enough. Recent studies suggest this can put you at greater risk of heart disease and psychological problems.”
10. Consider genetic testing
“Doctors can now screen people with a family history of breast cancer,ovarian cancer, and chronic diseases to assess their risk — and then consider preventive measures. Talk to your doctor.”
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Virtually every pregnant woman gets gassy. That’s because pregnancy brings a hormonal surge that can slow down your gastrointestinal tract.
You might not be able to keep it to yourself because you don’t have the same control over your muscles during pregnancy.
Though you can’t erase the problem, you can reduce your tendency toward gassiness with exercise and changes to your diet.
Tip: Exercise helps increase the motility of the GI tract, allowing food to move through faster. “The less time it has to sit around and ferment, the less gas is produced. Some foods are more likely to produce gas, so the best bet is to avoid them completely: carbonated drinks, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and dried fruit.”
You may have heard stories about pregnant women sneezing and accidentally emptying their bladders while standing among friends or co-workers. Most pregnant women who experience stress incontinence – involuntarily leaking urine because of a jarring cough, sneeze, or laugh — only lose a few drops. But it can still feel embarrassing.
Tip: Many doctors recommend that women wear panty liners to catch leaks during the last few months of pregnancy when stress incontinence is more likely. Regular trips to the bathroom can also help.
Some women develop a stronger sense of smell during pregnancy. Many develop an aversion to strong food odors, such as poultry or seafood. A smaller percentage of women begin picking up on their own scent, which can be embarrassing.
Tip: Tell your doctor about any new noticeable vaginal odors to rule out a yeast infection, which can be safely treated with anti-fungals during pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids are a sure bet when a woman becomes pregnant,” They often occur with Constipation and the straining that ensues in an attempt to have a bowel movement. And we all know that constipation is one of the most common complaints in pregnancy.”
Tip: Reduce your risk of developing hemorrhoids by avoiding constipation. Stay well-hydrated, eat more fiber, and use over-the-counter stool softeners.
If hemorrhoids develop, witch hazel pads and anti-inflammatory creams can help, and they’re safe during pregnancy.
Pimples and unsightly outbreaks are common — especially during the first trimester– because of the additional hormones coursing through your system. Certain acne medications, such as Retin-A, are off-limits during pregnancy, but other treatments are allowed.
Tip: “Most acne washes are safe since the product does not sit on your skin for long periods of time. But ask your doctor before using any acne product. Use topical acne medication sparingly, only on affected areas. Products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and azelaic acid are safe to use in small amounts.”
6. Intimacy Issues
Weight Gain and other physical changes can make you feel unattractive around your partner. Don’t let that lead to communication and intimacy problems.
Some people get embarrassed about being physically intimate, The discharge will change. There’s a potential for vulvar swelling. They feel very uncomfortable and don’t feel they look attractive.”
Tip: If you’re having trouble broaching this topic with your partner, consider inviting your partner to an ob-gyn visit, particularly if you’ve discussed your intimacy issues with your doctor at a previous appointment.