Though pregnancy is an amazing journey in a woman’s life, it sure has a lot of discomforts attached to it. Sometimes all we need is some hacks to manage the discomforts to make things easier. Be it nausea, body changes, crazy hormones, muscle cramps, pregnancy is for sure an intense ride to say.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had millions of questions and google gave me extra information which always just freaked me out. Now when we found out we are expecting our second baby, I am realizing all the little things that I learned from my first pregnancy. I would not say I am a pro at managing pregnancy, but I think I have a better idea to survive the 9 months.
So here are the good pregnancy hacks to help relieve most of the discomforts and enjoy each trimester of your pregnancy.
First Trimester Pregnancy – Why is first trimester so Hard?
The first trimester is known to be the hardest with all the mental pressure to avoid miscarriage, the surge of hormones making the body tired, fighting morning sickness and nausea, making you utterly drained and tired. The most important hack to remember is to rest as must as possible! Here are some simple ways to fight first trimester discomforts.
1. How do I deal with Nausea & morning sickness?
Although nausea is one of the common symptoms of pregnancy, it can be very painful. Some woman does not experience nausea while some have severe nausea for the entire time of their pregnancy. I did not have nausea for my first but had it for the entire first trimester during my second pregnancy. Here are a few pregnancy hacks to help you with nausea that I found helpful-
- Eating in bits and more often – I found it very difficult to eat in the mornings. And just the smell of food made me nauseated. The only way I could tackle it was to eat more often and in smaller quantities. I also found that if I gave too much gap between my intake, it made me sicker. So I always had snacks or fruits every hour to avoid nausea.
- Breathing exercises – One other thing I tried when I felt nauseated was to just do some breathing exercises. It just helped me in distraction and control my nausea.
- Ginger/ Diet ginger ale – Ginger is a common remedy that works for nausea all the time. Although it is tough to take raw ginger, a diet ginger ale made my life much easier.
- Lemon pops or sour candies – Another common remedy. I have also found moms suggesting Preggo Pops for severe morning sickness.
- Staying hydrated – This was another reason I found that made me sick. When I drank less water, it made me dizzy and nauseated. So make sure to drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
2. How can I reduce fatigue during pregnancy?
Pregnancy makes you very tired as your body is doing extra work to grow the tiny human. You deserve to rest as much as you can to help your body do its work. During my first pregnancy, I used to be exhausted all day long. The only thing that helped me fight fatigue was giving me that extra rest. I took breaks at work to rest and relax.
I cut down on all the extra tasks at home and made sure to relax as much. During the second pregnancy, it is always hard to get rest with your older kids chores and attention. Here are some tips to help you relax during pregnancy with a kid.
3. Listening to relaxing music.
Pregnancy is also a great time to relax and pamper yourself while your body is working hard to do its job. Listening to music helps in relaxing and calming your mind and is also a great distraction from all the pregnancy stress. And the best part is you do not have to make time for music, just play it in the background while you do your household chores or office work and even when you have another kid – it is an amazing way to cheer their mood and enjoy some time.
4. Fighting Pregnancy Gingivitis/tooth pain.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of pain and aches. Gingivitis is one of them where your tooth is sensitive and gums are swollen and bleeding. The pain is unbearable at times. A visit to the dentist is definitely recommended but here are some hacks I used when I struggled with tooth pain during my first pregnancy:
- Brush and use mouthwash after every meal.
- Floss regularly.
- Avoid food that is sensitive. (I even had to avoid any solid food for a day or two to help relax the pain.)
- Cold compress
- Rinse mouth with warm salt water every 2-3 hours.
5. Fighting body aches.
Prenatal massages are very helpful to ease body pain as they are mostly done by professionals and they help in relaxing the muscles. Prenatal massages last between 30- 60 mins and you can request the therapist to focus on the particular areas of the body that are painful. The best part of these massages is not just relaxing your body but also being a great mood enhancer. We all know how bad the mood swings are during pregnancy!
6. Managing Discharge throughout pregnancy.
Pregnancy is accommodated with a lot of uncomfortable discharge throughout. Wear a panty liner to overcome the encumbering discharge.
Second Trimester Pregnancy Hacks
7. How can I fit my clothes during pregnancy?
Pregnancy has a lot of changes in the body and your growing tummy makes it harder to fit in your favourite jackets or clothes. When I was pregnant with my first baby, my second and third trimester was in extreme cold and it was very tough to survive without a winter jacket. Investing in a brand new jacket that will be of no use after the baby is born made no sense. I ended up using my husband’s jacket for a while.
And then I figured out the wrap-around clothes. Wrap-around tops, coats and cardigans are pregnant woman’s best friends. It can be worn open or tied. An even better option is if you can get a nursing friendly wrap-around cardigan that can be used after pregnancy as well. And there are an amazing set of collections and styles in which these wraparounds come in.
8. Extend the life of your bras using Bra extenders.
Another beauty of pregnancy is your growing boobs. During my pregnancy, I grew out of my bra size to at least two sizes up which made it very hard to breathe in my normal bras. I brought different sizes as and when I grew out which just made me invest in multiple sizes and it all went waste after a while. That is when I found these amazing nursing bras on amazon that came with extenders. Believe me, these extenders are lifesavers and you can use them in the long term while you are breastfeeding as well.
9. Maternity clothing hacks – Invest in nursing friendly maternity clothes.
While pregnant, I wanted to buy all the cute maternity wear to show off my bump and enjoy my pregnancy. Well, who does not want to do that, after all, it is such an exciting time. But soon I realized all the maternity clothes that I got hardly last for a couple of months and I was not able to wear them long after pregnancy.
And then I had to invest again in nursing clothes. The nursing clothes I got also said they were maternity friendly. That is when I realized that most of the nursing clothes are maternity friendly and it is best to invest in them as they can be of use in the long run. You get a variety of nursing tops and dresses that are used for different seasons. Plan accordingly and get the ones that can be smartly used for a long long time.
10. How do you turn trousers into maternity?
There is a phase in pregnancy where you are too small for maternity jeans but have grown out of your normal jeans. Extend the life of your normal jeans by using a hair tie. Here are the steps you can use:
- Make a loop by inserting the hair tie through the buttonhole and loop it back to itself from the other end as shown in the picture.
- You can use it to extend and tighten your button.
- Cover it with a long top and you are good to go.
11. What keeps stretch marks away during pregnancy?
Stretch marks are the most memorable side effects of pregnancy. One piece of advice I got from my mom was to apply body butter stretch mark cream right from the beginning of the pregnancy. Well, I focused mainly on the tummy and could get some relaxation from itching and discomforts from dry skin and all the stretching.
But I did have a lot of stretch marks on my boobs and thighs that took a while to disappear. A lot of mom friends also says that olive oil, coconut oil helped wonders to manage their stretch marks. While it is hard to avoid, you can get some relief using these cooking oils and body butter.
12. Convert your tennis shoe with lace to Slip-on shoes.
The growing tummy makes it very difficult to bend down and tie the lace. I stopped wearing my lacy shoes when I was in my second trimester. I had these sneakers which were just slip-on and made my life very easy. And lately, I found that you can get elastic silicones which help in converting your shoe with lace to slip on. Well, I was going to get it to help my toddler wear her shoes and then realized I have a couple of shoes sitting in my rack just because they have lace.
13. Load up on snacks that help in hydration.
It is very hard to drink water when you are pregnant and do not like the taste of water. Or just feel like drinking something else. Load up on snacks that help in hydration like coconut water, cucumbers, watermelon, flavoured water, soups, etc; During my pregnancy, I switched my tea to soup, Mid-morning snack to milk or coconut water and had cucumber salads during lunch to manage the water intake.
14. Fighting swollen foot.
Soak your feet in warm salted water every day. I followed this routine every night just to relax and sleep better, even though I did not have swollen foot. It not only helps in relaxing but eases some muscle cramps as well.
15. What to do when you cannot feel the baby move?
When you start feeling your baby move in the womb, it is very stressful when you cannot feel them move for some time in a day. I happened to call my midwife when I could not feel my daughter move for a couple of hours one day. Well, it is scary especially if you are a first-time mom.
There is a trick to make your baby move apparently. Try drinking a glass full of cold water or cold juice or eat something sweet and lie down on your side (preferably left). You should feel the kicks in 10- 20 mins – This tip was given to me by my midwife. In case you do not feel the movements for a very long time, then please contact your care provider.
16. Pregnancy Pillow.
With all the things pregnancy is associated with, sleep is an annoying issue. You cannot sleep on your back, cannot sleep on your belly and as and when the baby grows, it gets hard to turn easily from side to side. Thank goodness for the pregnancy pillow hack! You get different shaped pillows to tackle these problems.
The C-shaped one is the most suggested and recommended by most moms. Frankly, for the first time around I did not get a pregnancy pillow, instead, I managed with a body pillow which was just long and it did the job. But, it gets tough to use a pregnancy pillow when you co-sleep with a toddler. This time around I got this amazing three in one pregnancy pillow which converts itself to the nursing pillow and helps in baby tummy time as well.
17. Hack to help you roll out of bed easily.
As and when the baby grows, it becomes very hard to roll around from side and side and to get out of bed for multiple trips to the washroom. Especially during the third trimester. Use satin sheets to help you roll easily in and out of the bed. Believe me, this hack was of great help and helped me manage those difficult nights.
18. Elevate legs to help relieve muscle cramps.
Pregnancy is no fun without those muscle cramps and soreness. I had great difficulty tackling them. One of the things that helped me was keeping my legs elevated. Of course, it is hard to always keep legs elevated. Especially while at work. Easy hacks are to use some sturdy carton boxes at work to help keep legs elevated or you can use a sling to tie below the desk to keep legs elevated.
19. Learn about gluten-free healthy snacks to satisfy your sweet craving.
With all the aches and the little things that worry us during pregnancy, gestational diabetes adds up a crapload of stress and takes away all the pregnancy fun. Avoid carbs in your diet as much as possible and definitely look for alternatives to satisfy your cravings. Read about my healthy gluten-free recipes.
Third Trimester Pregnancy Hacks
20. Use a shoehorn to slip on shoes easily.
Another easy hack to slip on shoes easily without bending is to use a shoehorn. During my first baby, I did not realize how much I struggled to put on my shoes especially during my third trimester and it was peak winter, and the winter boots! The shoehorn was of great help to manage.
21. Use an app to track your appointments.
Pregnancy has a lot of tracking to be done. Appointments, baby kicks, contraction timer, etc; Appointments are easiest to be missed especially when you are busy with another kid. Keep a track of appointments and reminders to remind you well in advance. While BabyCenter is great for all the tracking, it does not have an appointment tracker. I use google calendar and the Pregnancy+ app to track my appointments and set reminders.
If you are a first-time mom, the first prenatal appointment can be overwhelming. Read about how to prepare for the first prenatal visit to help you be prepared.
22. Relieving muscle cramps & soreness.
Pregnancy is fun until the soreness kicks in. Growing human is not easy. Lots of changes that happen inside to accommodate the baby and muscle cramps are just the side effects of pregnancy. Lower stomach pain during pregnancy 3rd trimester is one of the horrible ones. I have tried everything to relieve my lower back pain and Here are a few ways you can use to relax your muscles.
- Try hot and/ or cold compressors.
- Try lavender oil to massage.
- Soak yourself in a warm bathtub.
- A hot shower can be relaxing and helps you sleep better.
- Use a tennis ball to massage your lower back.
- A brisk walk and Yoga can greatly help in easing lower back pain.
- A magnesium supplement can help reduce cramps at night.
- Eating a banana or a potassium supplement before sleeping helps.
23. Try swimming to feel light & limber.
Swimming is a recommended exercise for pregnant women by the American College of OBGYN. My first pregnancy was in peak winter and it was hard to go out for walks. Swimming was suggested by my midwife and it really helped me especially during my third trimester. It helped me feel lighter, sleep better and also helped to relieve some of the bodily discomforts.
24. Meditate to help insomnia.
Pregnancy can be very stressful on both body and mind. All the preparations for welcoming a baby and thinking of dos and don’t can be added stress which leads to sleepless nights. I was one of those people who never thought insomnia is a thing as I never had issues with my sleep. But I did struggle with insomnia with my second pregnancy because of all the overwhelming routine I had managing my older kid. Meditation can be very effective to calm you down, relax and sleeping better.
25. Make a baby registry to stay organized.
Having a baby registry with things to buy makes it a lot easier to be organized and prepare for the baby’s arrival. Read about Ways to prepare your home and the baby essentials checklist. Here are other things you can try to enjoy your pregnancy.
All said, now remember that pregnancy is the start of the most beautiful chapters of your life. And it is really really beautiful! 💖 You can use some of the above pregnancy hacks to fight discomforts, but do not forget to enjoy the journey.
Necessity makes you figure out ways to deal with discomforts. If you have any pregnancy hacks that helped you during your journey that is not mentioned above, please let me know by commenting below. I would love to learn about it.
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