We’re very close to the end of our pregnancy journey. I’m almost a little sad about it. On one hand I am ready to meet my daughter, but on the other pregnancy has been the main focus of my life for most of this past year, so it’s going to be strange adjusting to not being pregnant, especially when I’ve spent so much time and energy figuring out how to make being pregnant comfortable.
Pregnancy is long and difficult. There are many trying moments; there are many AMAZING moments that definitely make the trying moments worth it. Here’s what I’ve found have made being pregnant these last nine months easier and more comfortable.
These things are uh-maz-ing at keeping nausea at bay, and I basically lived off of them for the entire first trimester. Even if you aren’t plagued by morning sickness the way I was, I recommend getting a pack because for whatever reason, maybe the sugar, they give you a little jolt of energy at the same time. I always kept some in my purse during my nauseated, sluggish first trimester. Apparently they’re great for labor and dry mouth too. The flavors, while a little strange, are actually really good. Preggie Drops are made by the same people and are the same thing except no stick, which is half as much fun but they do the same job.
Or the Bella Band, or Belly Band, what have you. This is basically a wide piece of stretchy cloth meant to wear over your too small pre-pregnancy pants or too big maternity pants. Target sells the Be Band (about $17) but they’re all the same. I recommend getting a couple of these in different colors.
Really comfy maternity yoga pants
Even if you never do a stitch of prenatal yoga, invest in a couple pairs of maternity yoga pants. I got the Liz Lang Maternity yoga pants for about $20 each (you may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere, let me know if you do), and they were worth every penny. They’re stretchy, comfy, thin (so you can still wear them out of the house in the Saharan heat of summer), and still offer a little shape so you don’t feel as sloppy as you would in sweat pants. Get a couple colors, and buy them in the size that will fit you LATER in pregnancy. You can use the Be Band to keep them up around your belly until you grow into them, so it saves you from buying multiple pairs as you grow.
Whether you are pregnant in the summer or not, something cold and icy in the freezer is a must for any pregnant gal. This is especially true if you are hot natured, like me. They’re also great when you aren’t feeling well, have some light heartburn, etc. I craved popsicles almost my entire pregnancy, but even if you don’t, keep a box handy because they’re a great snack. Get the real fruit kind, which serves a double purpose: Tasty snack, nutritious treat.
Like I’ve said, pregnancy hurts. A lot. And usually not where you’ll be expecting, and in a different spot every few days. Just when you get the pain managed in one area, BAM, it moves to another. Heating pads work WONDERS for some immediate relief. You can make one by putting a bag of white rice into an old tube sock and tying a knot in the end. Throw it in the microwave for a couple minutes until it’s nice and hot, wrap it in a towel, and apply to aching area. Be forewarned, it does smell like rice once heated, not necessarily a bad smell, but people will notice it if you use it in front of them. If that’s not your bag, buy one from your drugstore of choice.
Really, really, REALLY comfortable underwear
Some people tout the use of the maternity underpants, but I never saw the need for them. What’s important is you find underwear that is really comfortable, and breathable, as all sorts of crazy things go on down under while you’re pregnant. For me, I found cotton hip-huggers to be most comfy. Pink for VS makes some with wide lace bands that are super duper comfy because they can ride under your belly easily. But what’s important here is finding undies that are comfy for YOU. So if that’s a thong, then rock it out girlfriend.
A well-stocked medicine cabinet
If your OB is anything like mine they give you a crap ton of handouts at your first visit (I got a whole folder full). One of them should be a medicine 411 letting you know what to take when you get a particular ailment. Stock up on these, because the last thing you feel like doing when you feel like crap and are really pregnant is go to the store. The two basics I recommend: Tylenol and Tums. Tylenol is your go-to pain reliever, so make sure you have it on hand. Tums are your go-to for heartburn and indigestion. I kept several bottles on hand at all times: One in the bathroom for middle of the night heartburn attacks, one in the kitchen for chomping on right before dinner, and one in my purse for on-the-go relief at work, restaurants, what have you. Also? Great source of calcium. Also good to keep around is Tucks (witchhazel), I won’t delve into that one too deeply, but buy some for, ahem, issues in that area. And Vaseline. Look, I’m going to be honest with you here, thanks to the increase of hormones, you will be all gross down there, which sadly contributes to chafing, especially if you’re out and about walking around a lot. Vaseline helps.
A sense of humor
Let’s face it, while pregnancy is a beautiful thing, it’s also weird and kind of gross. Your body is going to do things you never thought possible, some of which is extremely embarrassing (getting a nose bleed while in the car with clients, anyone? Yes, that happened to me). It’s important to remember these embarrassing things are completely normal and are a consequence of a very amazing action: Building a baby. So take it all in stride and laugh about it.
A good attitude
Look, I don’t know what it is about pregnancy, but there is something that makes everyone thinks they can say whatever the hell they want to. For whatever reason, the public at large becomes very invasive. Yeah, I know, it’s not always fun, but take everything they say with a grain of salt. And if you have to become a little snarky to deal with it, then so be it (this would be why a certain gentleman in the grocery store when after he asked if I was having twins got hit with a “no, are you?).
Pregnancy is hard. And you need a good support system to survive it. For me, this has been John, but if you don’t have a partner in this, FIND ONE. Whether it’s your mom, a sibling, a friend, cousin, WHOEVER, find the person whom you can spill every hope, dream, worry and embarrassing thing that happens to you to, and find them quickly. Ideally, you have multiple people in your arsenal for this. I’ve been extremely blessed to have an amazing, husband, mom, MIL, SIL, friends, etc. Enlist whomever you can because you will need the love and support they give you to get you through it all.
There are many more things I’m sure I could include on this list, but this is definitely my top ten. What were the things you can’t/couldn’t live without during pregnancy?