As I near the end of my second trimester and am about to begin my third I have noticed significant changes in my body. If you have had a child already or currently pregnant I’m sure you can relate! The tossing and turning at night, the backaches, the tightness in the hips, the decreased range of motion, and all of the other joys of motherhood that us expecting mamas appear to face.
The BEST part for me though is to feel the baby move! Although I have heard as I near towards my due date that these baby movements won’t feel so pleasant, I have currently been trying to soak up every little squirm, kick, and twirl I can. 🙂
I have found within the past few weeks that I have officially moved into the beginning stages of discomfort. I thought it would be best for me to share these discomforts of pregnancy through this blog to see what other mamas have experienced or to offer any insight I can for future expecting mamas. This is all coming from my experience though since that is the only experience I can actually speak on. Your pregnancy journey may be completely different from mine, you may find that you can relate to what I’m saying, or you might not relate at all – and that’s OK! That’s the beauty with pregnancy – we all have our own journey and stories to tell.
I will be breaking down the discomforts I have been noticing and what game changers I have discovered that have eased my discomfort so far. I’m currently 26 weeks along these are what I have found useful. Maybe you can pull something from this for yourself or your friend or maybe you don’t. Either way, I appreciate you taking the time to tune in. 🙂
Top Pregnancy Game-Changing Items:
1. New shoes:
No matter what kind of physical activity you decide to do throughout your pregnancy, you might notice that your shoes pre-pregnancy might not fit as well. They may feel rather snug, not provide as much support, or you may feel aches and pains in your legs that you didn’t feel before. During my pregnancy, I have been trying to continue running, which looks very different than pre-pregnancy. My first few runs were awfully painful and I encountered IT-band issues, ankles locking up, and tight hips and calves. I decided to purchase a new pair of kicks and WOW has that been a game changer! Some things to keep in mind when purchasing new shoes during pregnancy are that your feet may grow due to swelling and from the added weight so consider going up a size. This will also provide more room for your feet. I also purchased Brooks due to their arch support and wide toe box to ensure that my toes had enough room during my runs. I have noticed that my runs are less painful and I can run longer.
2. Body pillows:
I’m not sure how you have been sleeping but since I hit the 5 month mark my baby bump experienced significant growth, which led to an increase in tossing and turning at night. I struggled to get comfortable, took a while to fall asleep, and would wake up often. In the morning I would wake up feeling I aged 50 years overnight. My hips would ache and be sore, my back felt like it was broken, and it took a lot of effort to hoist myself out of bed. For my birthday my husband purchased a body pillow for me and that has been helping me with my sleep. At first, I almost returned it because it was big, bulky, and difficult to get used to. I struggled to learn how to sleep with it and so did my husband. As my belly grew so did my need for that pillow. Now I couldn’t imagine sleeping without it. I find it helpful to prop the lower part between my legs for added support, which have been assisting in my hip pain. I also like to push the long side against my back if I’m turned away from it for added lumbar support and to help avoid rolling over on my back. If I am facing it I like to snuggle up against it and prop it under my belly for added support as well. I still wake up and toss and turn, but it has decreased significantly and I wake up feeling less achy. There are a lot of different types of body/pregnancy pillows so choose one that will be right for you. I chose this one because I didn’t want one that completely wrapped around me since I still enjoy cuddling my hubby at night and didn’t want to create a divider between us. The photo above is the one I purchased on amazon.
3. Foam Roller:
I have been committed to staying active during my pregnancy despite the aches, pains, discomfort, and modifications that I encounter. My workout regimen may not be what it used to be, and that’s ok. I’m learning how to embrace my new pregnant body and how to workout within my new limits. One thing that still occurs though is sore muscles. Whether it’s tight IT bands and calves, tight and sore upper back, or tight hips my foam roller eases these aches and pains tremendously. Start off slowly with your foam roller though and take your time to ease into it! You have a pregnant belly now and you want to be careful and mindful where you roll to avoid causing any discomfort to your baby. I have found that even sitting for an extended period of time takes a toll on my back and after a few minutes on my roller I have an increased range of motion throughout my spine.
4. See a Chiropractor:
I recently saw my Chiropractor and THANK YOU LORD that he is still open during COVID-19. Yes, I did expose myself and my baby going there, but the back and hip pain I was experiencing were unbearable and foam rolling only was providing temporary ease. I felt safe at my chiropractor’s office due to the new regulations in place such as spacing out clients so they aren’t exposing each other, wiping down everything thoroughly between clients (even the pens,) wearing a mask and gloves himself, and pre-screening others before they come in. Since the state of emergency has been set into place that put a dent in my pregnancy self-care plans such as prenatal massages, pedicures, and prenatal classes. As your baby grows, your uterus expands to the point where your protruding abdomen affects your posture, which creates changes in your pelvis and increases the curve of your back. Your spine curves more than it did before and it adds a lot of stress on your hips, spine, and back area. This can lead to many of these areas becoming out of place which will lead to aches and pains. Seeing a chiropractor puts these concerns at ease and promotes body functioning health. Other benefits of seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy include:
- Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
- Managing symptoms of nausea
- Reducing the time of labor and delivery
- Relieving back, neck or joint pain
- Preventing a potential cesarean delivery
Before seeing a chiropractor though I’d suggest asking for reviews from current and former patients of the chiropractor, completing a screening and assessment with the chiropractor, and checking in with the chiropractor’s experience and comfort level with adjusting pregnant women.
5. High waisted leggings:
Before pregnancy, a comfortable pair of leggings was a must-have. They are even more in need during pregnancy. Gone are the days of dressing up in my cute jeans and work pants, which now are exchanged for comfort. Stretchy pants all the way! Thank goodness I have no reason to get dressed up anyways seeing how we are all held up in our homes for the most part. This means I get to lounge around in my high waisted leggings all day every day. Anything tight around the bump is very uncomfortable so I highly recommend purchasing some good pairs for comfort. They also work out very well to work out in.
As I mentioned earlier, backaches come with pregnancy, especially as you move closer towards your due date. This lack of mobility from my spine and added pressure has led to a lot of discomfort. I have found that yoga has assisted with the fluid movement of my spine tremendously, as well as the tightness I have been experiencing in my hips. I have a free account at this online website where I can select the intensity, style, and length of a yoga class. They even have prenatal and postnatal yoga classes, which have been feeling wonderful as my body changes and grows. They even have a great deal going on if you want to purchase the subscription during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the free account, you still have access to a wide variety of classes, except the ones marked with a plus sign. I highly recommend checking it out to increase movement and ease aches and pains you might be feeling.
7. Loosely fitted shirts:
I said it before and I’ll say it again – comfort is key while finding clothes to wear during pregnancy. As my body grows and adapts for baby my clothes become tighter and tighter. What once used to be my comfy t-shirts are now a struggle to get on and off and are now uncomfortably tight in the chest and tummy area. They also are shorter and expose by expanding baby bump, which isn’t the most comfortable at times. I have tried to stick to loosely fitted shirts and even purchasing shirts up a size to allow for more room. For cuter clothes I went to Old Navy and found flowy shirts that are PERFECT for my growing bump. You don’t always need to look at maternity clothes – bigger sized flowy shirts work great and you can continue to wear them after baby. Win-Win!
There you have it – my go-to items to make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible. As I said, you might have other items that you prefer and might even have tried some items I mentioned that you disliked. Each journey is different. 🙂
I would love to hear what some other key items are that you found were game-changers during your pregnancy. So please reach out and share!
Stay safe and healthy mamas!