9 Things That Made Pregnancy A Breeze
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
I can't believe I have reached my third trimester of pregnancy! I am thrilled to be thriving and feeling so good! I thought I would share some items that has made my pregnancy so easy in hopes to help all you other mamas out there!
Wow, sleep gets tricky as I continue to grow! Sometimes my legs are tingly and feel restless. Other times I just flat out can't get comfortable in the positions I am used to sleeping in. Sleep is so important for all of us and especially during pregnancy. Our body is literally growing a life from scratch and it takes a ton of energy! More than I ever realized. So here are some of my favorite sleep tips and gadgets that has made pregnant life a little easier.
Sunrise Alarm Clock - For many years I would start each day with a major attitude and in fight/flight mode because of my loud alarm followed by my husband flipping on the bright lights. It made me so uncomfortable and I absolutely hated starting my day on the wrong side of the bed. This alarm clock has been life changing for our family. We have had it for many years now and it literally has made our happiness go through the roof. It eases us into the day and wakes us up gently vs loud noises and bright lights. Instead, this alarm clock uses soothing sounds that gradually get louder when it's time to rise and shine. It does the same thing with the light. It starts as a dark red light then turns into a bight light that will brighten your whole room once it's actually time to wake up. I highly recommend this gadget and literally can't imagine life without it!
Diffuser with Lavender Essential Oil - Not only is lavender super relaxing, but the moisture the diffuser puts into the air has really helped with my congestion and dry nose. It's common to get congested during pregnancy due to more mucus production from changing hormones (yep the hormones are always to blame). This diffuser has made all the difference for me.
Pregnancy Pillow - Wow friends! This is a game changer. I didn't realize how much I needed one until it was given to me by a friend. The link I shared is not for the exact one I have since mine was a gift but it's similar. The pillow really helps me to get more comfortable and will be a huge help as I continue to grow! Just remember to take it off the bed from time to time to still get in those cuddles with your partner because those are good for Mom and Baby too!
Calm Drink & Calcium with Magnesium Supplement- My restless legs seem to be the biggest issue at night and will keep me up if I forget to take my supplement. I've gotten in the habit of making myself a calm drink in the evenings after dinner and taking my calcium/magnesium supplement with dinner has helped tremendously with my legs. Typically eye twitching, muscle cramps/period cramps, and restless legs are all signs of magnesium deficiency so I have always taken magnesium regularly. But I didn't realize how much my body's magnesium demands would go up once I got pregnant so I have upped my dose to one calm drink (sometimes I have one with lunch too if I am having eye twitching) and 2 capsules of calcium with magnesium at dinner. Disclaimer - this is not me giving you medical advice. Also with pregnancy constipation can become an issue with some women so the calm drink works wonders for that too!
2. Education & Motivation & Encouragement
Becoming pregnant can bring on a lot of anxiety! I have moments when I feel excited and calm and the next second I am freaking out about taking on all the responsibilities of motherhood. Here are some of my favorite things that helped me feel more calm and prepared along the way. I'm a firm believer that knowledge is power so the tidbits of knowledge I gained through these books gave me more confidence to take charge of my pregnancy and to get excited about motherhood and even birth!
Mama Natural Week By Week Guide To Pregnancy - This book shares some good recipes and natural remedies for all kinds of pregnancy symptoms. But my favorite thing about this book is that it preps me for all the decisions I am going to have to make while pregnant and even after the baby is first born. It gave me so much to think about but most of all it empowered me to ask my midwife questions about my pregnancy that I may not have though of on my own. It also helped me develop a birth plan that my partner and I feel good about.
Natural Pregnancy Affirmation Cards - These also were created by the same author from the book above. These cards have been so encouraging to me. I will grab one to read when I feel a wave of anxiety coming on and will instantly feel better. Staying calm during pregnancy is so crucial for a healthy pregnancy so I like all the help I can get in the mental health department. I also plan to pick out a few cards that really vibe with me and take them with me to read over and over during birth.
Real Food For Pregnancy - I actually read this book before I was pregnant because so much of it applies to fertility too. But I have found all the information useful during my pregnancy. This book will really bust any myths around foods that should not actually be avoided during pregnancy contrary to what your health provider may or may not tell you. Very few doctors have time to properly educate pregnant women on nutrition so this book is really something you will want to read on your own so you don't miss out on the knowledge of how to properly fuel your body for pregnancy and breastfeeding when the nutrient demands are much higher. At Balanced Friends we want to encourage you to be your own health advocate and be a key player in your own health and gaining more knowledge truly allows you to do that!
Ina May's Guide To Childbirth - Ina May is the Midwife of all Midwifes! She is the one who sets the bar high for midwifery and is a huge reason why us women get to have midwifery care as an option today. This book is very special because it's full of other women's natural birth stories that helped to ease my fears about vaginal drug free birth. It also helps shed some light on just how powerful the mind body connection is. I highly recommend this book for all pregnant women to gain a different perspective around birth. Ladies we have the freedom to make a pregnancy and birth choices that work for us. It's ok to ask questions and to demand more from your provider. And trust me you will once you use all your knowledge as power. Pregnancy and birth should be so much more than showing up for your routine checkups, doing exactly what the doctor says, then repeat. No! You deserve more than that. You are the keeper of the new life inside your body so it's up to you to educate yourself for the sake of both you and your baby so that you always feel good about any health decisions you make along the way. Pregnancy is so special and there is truly nothing like it so I want you to feel empowered to tap into your Mama intuition and enjoy the ride like I have!
Birth Without Fear - A book that will leave you feeling so empowered to speak up for what you need and to truly take charge of your pregnancy! This is a must read.
The Fourth Trimester - I read this book going into my 3rd trimester because not only did I want to be prepared for birth but it was also important for me to learn how to take care of myself after birth.
3. Beat Nausea
Thankfully I have not been sick this entire pregnancy. It's hard to say if it's my genetics, lifestyle, diet, or really a combination of it all. But nausea has came just a few times during my pregnancy and it's so unpleasant when it strikes. Here is what I have been doing to prevent and cope with nausea.
Ginger Capsules - I take 1-2 capsules of ginger with lunch and dinner (my bigger meals) to help aid in digestion, prevent nausea, and lower inflammation. Ginger is known to naturally help with stomach upset, nausea, inflammation, and digestion. As our belly grows digestion becomes more difficult because everything is getting so scrunched up making less room for our stomachs. Our growing baby takes up a lot of room!! Taking this ginger has also helped to prevent heart burn which is also common and related to all the changes that come with pregnancy. Some women also find it more helpful to eat smaller meals more frequently vs three large meals a day.
Ginger Tea - I love tea! During the warm weather I like it iced and during the cooler months I find a warm cup of tea so soothing and comforting. I really enjoy the flavor of this tea as an added bonus to it's benefits of decreasing inflammation, improving digestion, and preventing nausea! This is so worth having on hand during pregnancy. You could even make a big batch and use a silicone ice cube tray to make cubes to add to your water. Silicone ice trays are also a great way to store breast milk and pureed food for your baby!
4. Stretch Mark Prevention
I first want to say there is zero shame in stretchmarks and I personally will not lose sleep if I get some during my pregnancy. Stretchmarks are a constant reminder of just how strong our bodies are and what we are truly capable of!! But there is also zero shame in wanting to try to prevent these love marks too. I have been tackling this one both from the outside in and the inside out! Here is what this natural Mama is doing.
Shea Butter - This was gifted to me by (the other Balanced Friend) Alyssa. You can't beat the quality. I got a cheaper version and it was hard as a rock and I was unable to spread it on my hands let alone my growing belly. So this brand is toxic free and so much easier to spread over the belly. I highly recommend because it really keeps your skin soft and conditioned for all that stretching!
Belly Oil - I also love using a belly oil on my growing boobs and belly as well. I use it more for when I am in a hurry because it's super easy to lather on and be on your way.
Collagen Powder - I use a combination of brands but this is one of my favorites! I always go with a trusted brand to avoid unnecessary chemicals, toxins, and growth hormones. This has zero flavor so it's easy to add to my smoothies, tea, and even plain water. I take it everyday! Collagen is so good for many things in the body like gut health, joint health, and skin health. It's really key for skin elasticity from the inside out!
5. Comfortable Bras
Never in my life have I ever had big boobs! So honestly I am loving this new beautiful cleavage but it caused me to grow out of my bras very quickly. My sports bras were suffocating me and I was spilling out of my nicer bras. And ladies the underwire is a no no for it can cause clogged ducts, attracts EMF radiation from things like your cell phone, and also prevents proper lymph circulation that's necessary for detoxification and breast cancer prevention. I decided to save some money and skip the maternity bras and go straight for a comfortable underwire free nursing bra.
Nursing Bra - So far I have gotten two of these nursing bras. They are super soft and comfortable while also being supportive. I am thrilled with the customer service and quality of this brand. It was exactly what I was looking for.
6. Taking A Bath
I know people either love baths or hate them but I have always loved them. Baths are very calming to me and I love applying one of my favorite face masks for some extra pampering. Staying relaxed and calm during pregnancy is key. My main goal is to always make my body feel safe so that it knows it's ok to give energy to growing this new life inside of me. The baths have also been a huge help with easing sore muscles in my legs and back. When taking baths while pregnant it's important that you keep them warm and NOT hot. Too much heat in the body is not safe for pregnancy or the baby.
Bath Salts & Lavender Essential Oil - Again with the magnesium. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium due to stress, poor diet, and lifestyle factors so I make an effort to always keep my magnesium stores high. Magnesium also naturally calms the body so an Epsom salt bath is perfect before bed to promote relaxation and sleep.
Bath Water Filter - I like my bath water like I like my people ... toxic free! Ok that's a lie . I basically like to eliminate as many toxins as I can in my whole home not just my bath water. This filter is very affordable on Amazon and is so easy to use. It brings me peace of mind that I am not being exposed to things like chlorine during my bath that get absorbed into my body through my skin. I also know I will be bathing my baby in this bath water someday so I wanted the filter also for their safety.
7. Coping With Leg Pain & Restless Legs
The leg discomfort during pregnancy is really something I struggled with but thankfully I've found a few things that have worked well for me. Other than taking magnesium regularly, epsome salt baths, and prenatal massage (even just a quick 30min. massage is so worth it!). Here are the things that have been a huge help to me at home.
Hand Held Massager - This little gadget is awesome! It's easy to charge and feels so good. I typically use the softer round head attachment that came with it. I use it on my legs at night and it also feels amazing on my neck.
Foam Roller - I try to use this most days. Foam rolling has so many benefits like improving circulation, breaks up scar tissue, and easing muscle pain. I am huge on improving circulation since I have seen a few spider veins trying to pop up during this pregnancy.
8. Good Oral Health
During pregnancy it's so important to take good care of your teeth and gums. Inflammation and infection in the gums is linked to miscarriage and preterm low birth weight babies. The dental hygienist in me must share this information with you because it may not be given to you at your prenatal visits. Here are the gadgets I use everyday to make caring for my teeth and gums as easy as possible.
Waterpik - Alyssa and I recommend the Waterpik to all of our dental patients to remove harmful bacteria from between your teeth.
Electric Tooth Brush - Is proven to remove more stains and harmful bacteria. It also helps you brush for the full 2 minutes!
Tongue Scrapper - Helps to remove more bacteria from your tongue and keeps your breath fresher.