Since I am coming to the end of my pregnancy I thought I would make a list of the things that helped me survive these last 9 months or so. There are tons of lists like these out there so I am going to try to list things that are not on the typical lists or are not the things people usually think about.
1. Organic Preggie Pops & Strong Ginger Ale
These sour hard candies and a strong ginger ale saved me from a lot of the tummy upset of the first trimester. I kept stashes of the preggie pops all over the house and in my purse for when I was feeling a little quisey and when it got bad enough that I was concerned that I would toss my cookies so to speak I would drink some ginger ale (the stronger ginger flavor the better). In fact I am planning on taking both of these to the hospital with me incase I start to feel sick during labor as I hear is quite common.
A note about the ginger ale, I really loved the one pictured though it is a bit pricy and my husband ended up making me a ginger syrup by boiling down some fresh grated ginger root and then adding honey to it. While we have yet to successfully make it quite as potent as this bottled stuff it has helped to settle my stomach many times over the last few months and saved us a ton of money. We simply mix about a 1/4 cup of the ginger concentrate with a glass of soda water and it did the trick almost every time.
I did not even know this thing existed until we went to the first JBF consignment sale and I found one of these for $8. Before this when I slept I would kind of jam a pillow under my expanding belly to give it some extra support. This was not a huge deal except that with a pillow sometimes I would end up with more or less support than I needed and sometimes some areas had more support than other which would leave me with constantly readjusting things and cutting into my precious sleep. This is great because since it is a wedge shape and my body was changing so much I have ended up slowly moving it further and further out from under my belly and now I just use the narrowest part to help support my poor stretched out muscles. I also have started to wonder if this has not helped prevent some stretch marks. After all I spend a good percentage of the day sleeping and this helps to keep my muscles and I would think skin by extension from being stressed when I lay on my side. Who knows for sure about that but I know it made it much easier for me to sleep.
I also used a $10 body pillow from Target instead of getting one of those fancy full body pregnancy pillows that cost a fortune. My sleeping situation was a body pillow on one side and a regular pillow on the other and I would roll back and forth as needed taking the wedge with me. One of the things I didn’t know before getting pregnant is that you are suppose to only sleep on your side starting at around 12 weeks pregnant because the weight of your growing uterus can press against a blood vessel pinching it against your spine and cutting off blood to your legs and the baby. I kept having my legs fall asleep if I was sitting slouched in bed and it turns out that is what was causing it. To solve this I keep a pillow on each side of me at night so that I can roll back onto one of them but still be at enough of an angle to keep that blood vessel from being pinched.
This is pretty self explanatory, you rub this into your skin to help prevent stretch marks. I had pretty horrific stretch marks from puberty so I was keen on trying to keep from getting this very bad this go around. I have read some people saying that it does not make any difference or that it does not matter what kind of lotion you use as long as you are hydrating your skin, I think that is silly since both Shea Butter and Vitamin E are famously good for your skin and vitamin E is especially known for healing skin. Any way I read a lot of reviews on these kinds of products and liked what I heard about this one, I have also been a fan of Burt’s Bees products for years so wanted to give it a shot. I found it to be very effective not only in keeping me from getting stretch marks but also it generally helped keep me from getting the itchie skin that is common in pregnancy from your skin being strained. A few times I noticed what looked like the beginnings of stretch marks and I would give that spot a little extra attention with the lotion for a while and they would fade. However I discovered about a month ago that I had some sneak stretch marks on the underside of my belly that I can not see that have formed so I am not escaping with out any marks, just less that I might have otherwise. I usually apply this every night, after showers (to help hold in the moisture from the shower) and if I think of it in the morning as well.
I have had a history of having acid problems with my stomach so its no surprise that as my stomach is being mushed by my growing uterus that I was having some of my food come back to visit me. I even had my throat burned a few times from this issue but I really wanted to avoid taking medication while I am pregnant and so I started eating at least one apple a day (usually as the last thing I eat before going to bed) and it did the trick. In the past I have had acid issues so bad it felt like a heart attack and my husband looked online for something to help me combat the issue and found that some people swore by eating apples, and sure enough it works. So instead of chewing on chalky tums or downing other antacids give apples a try. We recently took a trip to one of the last organic apple orchards (apples are one of the most heavily sprayed with pesticides foods we eat) in our area and got half of a bushel which I have been quickly eating my way through.
As noted several times already your body goes through a TON of changes during (and after) pregnancy and trying to keep your self clothed during all of that can be frustrating and expensive. When I first grew out of my pre-pregnancy bra I got a cheap sports bra type things that had a lot of stretch to it hoping that would give me lots of room to grow, what it ended up giving me was an incredibly sore back after a few weeks that at one point left me sobbing in the shower at 4am out of frustration and pain. Get yourself a real bra that fits your cup size (or maybe has a little room to grow in the cup) and then get a bra extender so that as you get bigger around in your rib area (your ribs start to expand to make room for your lungs that are being squished upwards). I was able to keep wearing that one bra that I got after finally realizing that my back pain was not pregnancy related but from a bad bra for my whole pregnancy because of a $3 bra extender I found at Jo-Ann’s. Depending on how much and when your boobs get bigger you may have to get a bra with a bigger cup size at some point but at least you won’t have to do it because of your expanding ribs.
(I think the one I linked above is the exact one I have and I really like it and judging from the pictures I saw of others I think this one gives you more room for expansion than many others as well.)
6. Yoga Pants with fold over waist (non maternity)
I think with the exception on a few shirts I got on clearance at Target all of my maternity clothing was second hand. I just can not rationalize spending very much on clothing I can only wear for a few months (although I have fallen quite in love with maternity jeans and may keep on wearing them as that elastic waste is pretty darn comfortable!). I got a pair of cropped yoga pants when I first got pregnant and was to bloated to be comfortable in my regular pants but not really needing maternity clothing and loved them because with the fold over waist if I felt like there was to much pressure on my belly I could just fold the waist band up and have more even pressure over my whole belly. I found that in the later stages of pregnancy this was also great as it gave my sore belly muscles just a little bit of extra support as well. I am not saying to skip the maternity clothing all together but don’t be afraid to look at some things that you will be able to wear beyond your due date.
So this will probably elicit some Ewwws so I will try to talk about this in terms that are not so icky but this has been a life saver. When you are in the late stages of pregnancy there is a lot of pressure being placed on your bottom area that can cause some unpleasant issues with the last stage of your digestion (the kind of issues that would normally have your running for the Preparation H but even that stuff did nothing for my issues). I had read great things about this company and so when I was looking for an alternative treatment I decided to give them a try and boy am I glad I did. This stuff is immediately soothing and has a nice herbal smell. It cleared up my painful problem in about a day and with continued use has kept it away. It is also suppose to be good for applying to issues you may have after giving birth but as of yet I can’t attest to that.
Thats all I can think of at the moment.