Pregnancy is a beautiful time in your and your loved ones’ lives. It’s an opportunity that women are blessed with—to carry, create, and birth another life—and those around them experience the joy that comes with it. The entire journey, from finding out the day you’re pregnant to the day you welcome your newborn into the world, is truly a gift. But it’s also a gift that comes with its fair share of, shall we say, problematic moments.
If we’re all really honest, pregnancy feels like a blessing for some while a job for others (all women experience pregnancy differently), and it can be uncomfortable. After all, you are developing and carrying around another being in your belly for nine whole months. It’s bound to drain you—mentally, physically, and emotionally. You’ll get bigger, lose sleep, notice aches in places you never imagined, and experience mood swings at odd times. While pregnancy is beautiful, you may not recognize yourself in the process—and that’s natural!
But there are ways to handle all of the ups and downs of pregnancy and be comfortable in the process.
As your belly starts to grow those once-flattering tight tops will not only look a bit less flattering but they will start to feel as though you’re stuffing yourself into a casing. Choose loose-fitted tops or long dresses that gently fall around your baby bump. You’ll feel less restricted in what you’re wearing, which will lead to better movement and more confidence as you continue on your day-to-day.
The longer you get into your pregnancy the harder it will eventually become to bend over, let alone bend down to tie your sneakers. Shoelaces, once a thoughtless task, suddenly become an entire chore. Fortunately, there are pregnancy shoes out there that are hands-free, where all you need to do is slip your foot into the sneaker the same way you would a sandal. Except pregnancy shoes provide the stability and comfortability you’ll need for all-day support.
Much of pregnancy comes with growing pains—literally—for both you and your baby. One way to ward against or alleviate, the pain that occurs in your muscles and joints is to maintain a routine schedule of low-impact exercises. Activities like speed walking, yoga, dance, or swimming (water is both relaxing and a workout) will actually feel very comfortable for your body. And natural, since movement is key to a healthy lifestyle no matter what stage in life you are in.
No matter how comfortable your pregnancy shoes are, your feet will still become swollen, as will your legs. That’s due to circulation changes, and it’s entirely normal. But as normal as it is it’s also very uncomfortable and can make sitting or laying down unpleasant. A way to combat this discomfort is to elevate your legs and feet whenever you can. Put a pillow on a chair, place your legs on the back of a couch, or just lay back with your feet on the rise any chance you get. This will ensure the blood flow moves more freely and will slow down your level of discomfort.
Compression socks are a great way to combat the poor circulation that results from being swollen. They provide much-needed support as they squeeze your ankles and legs, which aids in blood flow and allows the muscles in that area to relax. That means swelling is reduced, less pain, and a lower chance of developing those unsightly varicose veins.
It’s a known fact that water is essential for proper health. Hydration is key to keeping our insides clean and moving correctly. While pregnant, this is especially true for you and your baby. Drink water between meals, when you wake up, and an hour before bed. This might be difficult to do for coffee drinkers, but limiting the amount of coffee you drink matters. Caffeine is dehydrating so try to switch over to teas or limit coffee to maybe one a day (if you even require that, as some doctors suggest cutting coffee out entirely).
You’ll quickly notice just how tiring being pregnant can be. After all, you are growing a living, breathing inside of you—and that takes a lot of energy. It’s essential to listen to your body when it wants to lay down or go to sleep. To help plan ahead, create a schedule where you go to bed early and wake up a little later. Then, set aside designed nap times when you get a sense of the patterns where your energy begins to dip. Once you can predict your sleep schedule it’s easier to adhere to it without guilt.
Pregnancy is a joyous journey that many women relive again and again. But it’s not without its ups and downs. As you navigate this exciting time in your life try these helpful tips to stay comfortable while you are pregnant.