10 Clever Pregnancy Tips to Make Your Experience More Comfortable
These all-natural and money-saving pregnancy tips will help you feel great, stay healthy, and make smart purchases for all three trimesters and beyond.
New maternity clothes, baby gear, and nursery accessories—the list of things that first-time moms feel they have to buy during pregnancy can seem never-ending. Then consider the normal physical challenges of being pregnant—morning sickness, sleep disruptions, and the various aches and pains that arise as your body changes—and it’s no wonder that so many moms-to-be sometimes feel overwhelmed.
Thankfully, there are plenty of genius hacks that savvy moms have come up with over the years that can make your pregnancy easier and more enjoyable. We’ve collected 10 of our favorite tips and tricks that will not only help you feel better but can also save you money before—and after—your baby arrives.
Natural remedies during pregnancy
All-natural remedies for pregnancy symptoms have many advantages. Compared to over-the-counter products and prescription medications, these options can be safer to use and cost less. However, it’s essential to check with your doctor before trying any treatment, natural or pharmaceutical, during pregnancy to ensure that it's the right choice for you and your baby.
Here are some of the best natural remedies, many of which you may already have in your pantry, for easing the less-pleasant side effects of pregnancy.
1. Try apple cider vinegar for heartburn
Heartburn and acid reflux are some of the most common pregnancy problems, and they can occur just about anytime over the nine months you’re carrying your little one. Hormonal changes, pressure from your expanding belly, and slowed digestion are all thought to contribute to that unpleasant sour, burning sensation in your chest.
If you’re looking to avoid over-the-counter medications, such as antacids, one tablespoon (or less) of pasteurized apple cider vinegar mixed in a cup of water can provide fast, all-natural relief. Surprisingly, it’s the acetic acid and enzymes in apple cider vinegar that actually help neutralize the acid in your digestive tract
2. Eat bananas and avocados for leg cramps
According to the American Pregnancy Association, about 50 percent of women experience some kind of muscle cramps during pregnancy. Leg muscle spasms are the most common kind of cramps when you’re expecting. And because they tend to happen, or at least be more noticeable, when you’re lying down, these cramps can interrupt your sleep, especially in the second and third trimesters.
Eating potassium-rich bananas, which also provide magnesium and calcium, during the day can help. Avocados also are great sources of potassium and magnesium. These essential nutrients are three of the four elements (which also include sodium) that act as the electrolytes your body needs to counteract cramping muscles. And according to the Mayo Clinic, other magnesium-rich foods, such as whole grains, nuts and seeds, beans, and dried fruits, can also alleviate the pain associated with leg cramps.
3. Brew ginger root tea for nausea
Nausea—aka morning sickness—is one of the most common discomforts of the first trimester of pregnancy, and it’s experienced in some form (ranging from mild to severe) by an estimated 80 percent of pregnant women. For centuries, fresh ginger root tea has been used as a traditional remedy for nausea and vomiting, and modern research has confirmed that ginger can be effective and safe for women in early pregnancy.
If you find yourself experiencing morning sickness frequently, it’s a good idea to put together an anti-nausea survival kit to keep close when you’re away from home. Your kit could include some crackers, mints or mini mouthwash, and an easy-travel ginger product—ginger ale, dried crystalized ginger, ginger lollipops, or soft ginger candy—any of which can provide fast relief. But our favorite way to consume this natural remedy is in a soothing hot tea. We love this delicious recipe for fresh ginger root tea posted by a mom of four who has worked as a labor and delivery nurse.
4. Smooth on coconut oil for itchy skin
As your growing baby expands the skin of your belly, the nerve endings just below this skin can be stretched as well—resulting in the irritated, itchy sensations that some women experience in their second and third trimesters. Changing hormones can also lead to skin itchiness and dryness, while too-tight clothes can chafe, causing additional irritation.
An all-natural coconut oil provides wonderful relief for itchy, dry skin. Some moms say that rubbing coconut oil on their bellies in the morning and evening can even help prevent stretch marks. Extra-virgin, organic coconut oil can also be used as a salve to protect your nipples when you start breastfeeding and can help with newborn cradle cap and diaper rash.
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How to Make Your Own Maternity Clothes
Sure, you could buy a whole new wardrobe when you get pregnant. But why spend a fortune on maternity clothes that will last only a few months? The following genius hacks are great for getting more mileage out of your current wardrobe, so you can splurge on the styles you’ll actually want to wear again and again.
5. Use hair ties or rubber bands to make DIY maternity pants
This hack will keep you wearing your favorite pair of pants or jeans—at least for the first part of your pregnancy. The trick is to loop a rubber band or stretchy hair tie through the buttonhole of your unzipped pants. Then you can then use the band or tie as a new buttonhole for a looser, more comfortable fit.
To see step-by-step photos and instructions for this great hair-tie pants hack and other money-saving pregnancy fashion ideas, check out DIY maternity, a website created by Megan Nielsen, a pattern designer and mother of three.
6. Add extensions to your favorite non-maternity clothes
Save the money you’d spend purchasing pricey maternity bras by picking up a few inexpensive bra extenders for the early months of your pregnancy. These easy-to-use extenders can be used both pre- and post-baby, so you can keep wearing your favorite bras even as your shape changes.
You can also postpone having to transition into a full maternity wear by crafting a DIY belly band. A pregnancy belly band does more than just provide support. It can also cover your growing bump when it starts showing under your t-shirt or spills over your expanding waistline. You can make an easy no-sew belly band out of a sleeveless shirt or cami.
7. Transform your lace-up shoes into easy slip-ons
Most of us reach a point in our pregnancies when reaching over our growing belly to tie shoe laces becomes a real challenge. This is also the time when picking up objects on the floor can become especially tricky. (That’s why some moms recommend bringing a pair of kitchen tongs in the shower with you to grab fallen items you can no longer reach.)
When you’ve made it to this stage of your pregnancy, it’s time to try another one of our favorite hacks for expecting moms: transforming your sneakers into comfy, slip-on shoes. It’s easy to do with inexpensive shoe-lace replacements, such as the tie-free brand Hickies. Once you swap out your laces, you’ll never have to ask your partner to help you tie your shoes again.
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Smart purchases for pregnancy and beyond
In addition to our commitment to reusable resources, such as environmentally sustainable bamboo, we’re big believers in seeking out high-quality products that last for more than just one season. That’s why one of our favorite tips is to start making and using those “brand-new mom” purchases long before your baby arrives!
8. Treat yourself to a new mommy robe while you’re pregnant
As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll definitely want to avoid tight clothes that can restrict your growing belly. Loose-fitting clothes will feel especially good as your body changes, so it’s smart to invest in items that will be practical and comfortable—both before and after your baby is born.
We recommend treating yourself to a beautiful mommy robe that you can start wearing now. Our luxuriously soft robes feature cleverly positioned ties that adjust for the most comfortable fit throughout your pregnancy and as a new mom. Both stylish and functional, they have deep pockets to hold your phone and other essentials. And they’re perfect for hospital overnights, nursing your baby, or lounging at home and on vacation. Best of all, you won’t ever have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions, because we added an extra security tie to prevent peek-a-boos!
9. Start wearing nursing bras now
When you start to outgrow your regular bra and even the handy bra-extender we recommended above no longer does the trick, consider purchasing one or two bras designed for nursing. During the last months of pregnancy, any stretchy, comfortable bra—one that’s wire- and seam-free is ideal—can grow with you and provide the support you need. But you don’t have to wait until after you’ve given birth to start wearing a comfy nursing bra.
Experienced moms know that a bra that’s stretchy enough for your changing pregnancy body and that also has drop-down cups for nursing is a super-smart, practical purchase. To get the most bang for your buck, check out models such as the Cadenshae pregnancy bra that you can keep wearing in the months after your baby is born.
10. Use a humidifier to ease pregnancy rhinitis
Another smart buy before your baby arrives is a humidifier that can help ease pregnancy rhinitis, which typically arises in the first and last trimesters. Thought to be triggered by hormone changes and increased blood flow to mucous membranes in your nose, the discomfort of pregnancy rhinitis can last for weeks at a time (fortunately, it usually clears up after you give birth).
Since you’ll want to avoid over-the-counter nasal decongestants, the key to natural symptom relief for pregnancy rhinitis is hydration. In general, you’ll need to drink a lot more water than you did pre-pregnancy to stay hydrated. A cool-mist humidifier can also help by adding moisture to the air, soothing irritated nasal passages. This kind of humidifier will get plenty of use in your baby’s nursery (and cool mist is the best choice for little one’s stuffy noses).
Do you have any favorite tips for making pregnancy easier? Share your favorite hacks with other moms-to-be!
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