Being pregnant is undeniably one of the biggest miracles known to humankind. The ability that one person has of carrying another into this world is remarkable, and women who have the opportunity to experience it firsthand are truly lucky.
However, there is one fact that we can’t forget when discussing the beauty of pregnancy, and that is this: that it can also really, really suck.
Yes, childbirth is miraculous, and of course the gift of life is something to be cherished. But let’s face it, carrying around another human in your belly while watching your belt get tighter and your feet get bigger is never easy. Losing sleep and walking around with a throbbing back is enough to make any woman want to give up on this miracle.
Being pregnant is challenging, and you deserve to have the right ideas and tools for staying comfortable during such a trying time. In this guide you will find helpful tips and tricks for finding relief while you’re pregnant, which will make the gift of life feel more like a gift, and less like a curse.
Stay With the Flow
One of the most talked about annoyances during pregnancy is the swelling of your hands, feet, and legs. As if bags under your eyes, a large baby bump and acne in newfound places aren’t enough to make you want to hide from the world, why not add in feet that no longer fit in your favorite shoes?
The additional weight that your body carries while you’re pregnant makes circulation and blood flow a bit different than normal. Things actually slow down due to the increase in body weight, leading to the swelling that most women experience.
This swelling is extremely uncomfortable and unfortunately can last during the entire pregnancy. The best way of fighting this is by making sure that your feet and legs are elevated whenever possible. If you can, lie on the couch with your feet propped up, or invest in a comfortable recliner for the family room.
Also make sure that you are not sitting down with your legs crossed at any time! This greatly slows down the blood circulation and will increase the discomfort from swelling.
Stay on the Move
Whether it is your first pregnancy or your fifth, it should come as no surprise that your body is going to ache. Your muscles, joints and bones will hurt in places you never thought existed.
Participating in safe, low impact exercise is a great way of decreasing joint and muscle pain. Activities such as swimming, pregnancy yoga classes and walking are great examples of exercises that can help. Even walking around the mall to find a new purse and a warm stuffed pretzel counts.
Staying on the move is important in providing comfort when you feel the aches, but it is important to remember to listen to your body. Don’t push yourself beyond what your body needs for comfort, and make sure you’re resting as much as possible above all else.
InfoGraphic courtesy of Parents Republic
Some doctors and medical professionals argue that staying hydrated is one of the most important factors in having a safe, comfortable pregnancy. Vital organs in your body, such as your kidney and liver, take a lot of heat when you’re pregnant.
Growing a beautiful baby boy or baby girl inside your body is certainly a miracle, and this miracle requires a lot of water. According to UPMC Healthbeat, “water helps with the kidney and liver functions for both you and the baby.”
If your liver or kidney functions are off during pregnancy, your discomfort will undoubtedly increase. Doctors recommend that in order to keep your comfort and your organs healthy, you should drink about 10 glasses of water a day.
“Water helps with the kidney and liver functions for both you and the baby.”
Stay in Bed
For some of you, this may be the hardest one. As women, you are naturally strong-willed, powerful and determined. You wouldn’t be the ones bearing children if this weren’t the case. You are multi-taskers ready to take on the world and bring new life into it.
That being said, it is important to give your body rest. Sleep is one of the best ways of caring for your body during pregnancy, and you honestly can’t get too much.
It is going to be tempting to keep doing everything that you do when you aren’t pregnant, but the reality is that you need to focus on slowing down and taking more time for sleep.
Deciding to get more sleep is the first step, but you’ll also need to determine how you are going to do this.
Doing little things such as getting new sheets, setting you’re A/C to exactly how you like it, investing in body pillows and sleeping on your side are going to help you find more rest.
The reality is that you will feel pain and discomfort at some point during your pregnancy. Getting enough sleep and staying off of your feet are excellent ways to stay comfortable during this time, but there may be days when you need a little something more.
Prenatal massage therapy is a growing practice that is gaining popularity everywhere. It is a practice that can relieve pain in the most vulnerable parts of your body including your back, neck, head and legs.
According to Massage Envy, a well-known massage therapy spa, “massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.”
Massage during pregnancy has a wide range of benefits and if nothing else is a relaxing and enjoyable experience for you to enjoy during a difficult time for your body. Your body is being put through extreme changes and sometimes extreme pain, so it is highly recommended that you treat yourself to a care-free, relaxing prenatal massage.
“Massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.”
This may arguably be your most important step in finding solace while you are pregnant. You are going to sacrifice a lot of yourself to give life and love to your child. Once your child is born, you will embark on a beautiful, challenging, life-changing journey filled with diaper changes and infant-sized cuddles.
Being a pregnant woman is a wonderful thing, but it can be exhausting. And the same can be said about being a mother. This is why it is crucial during your pregnancy to set aside time for you (and only you).
The best way that you can love yourself and your child is by setting aside time to be selfish. Maybe this means an extra long shower, a solo trip to the movies or a day at the nail salon.
Whatever it is for you, it is important. It is going to be tempting to feel as though there isn’t any time, but this isn’t true. There is always time for you, and believing this will not only be better for you, but better for your family.