The third trimester brings a lot of excitement as you count down the weeks and days before your baby arrives. However, it can also bring a lot of discomfort.
Many women don't realize that this is the prime time when their baby bulks up before their big arrival. Unfortunately, for the moms-to-be, this can bring a lot of aches and pains. But, if you want to know how to get comfortable while pregnant, we have some real-life tips that actually work!
How to Get Comfortable While Pregnant
If you are uncomfortable in pregnancy, there are some simple changes you can make to your day-to-day routine that can bring a lot of relief. Here is what you need to know!
1. Invest in a Pregnancy Pillow
Pregnancy pillows are a game changer. If you are experiencing discomfort in the third trimester, this piece of bedding can help to support your ever changing figure so that you can get some much needed sleep throughout the night.
When selecting a pillow, I recommend going with a U-shaped cushion with a detachable extension. This will provide you with both belly and back support, but it also lets you customize the product as your needs change throughout the last few months of your pregnancy.
2. Bounce on an Exercise Ball
My poor husband bought an exercise ball as an alternative chair for his office, and needless to say, I commandeered it during both of my pregnancies.
Health experts note that when you sit on an exercise or birthing ball, it "improves your posture and relieves pressure, which can help with aches and pains." Additionally, it allows you to tilt your hips in all directions, keeping your lower half mobile, and "more mobility can mean less discomfort."
3. Wear a Belly Band
A belly band is another essential item for easing discomfort in pregnancy. As your stomach grows, all of that weight moves forward. By wearing this simple accessory, you redistribute the baby weight more evenly across your abdomen. This can relieve aches and pains and even improve your balance and posture!
Did I also mention it can help to lessen the pressure on your bladder, decreasing the number of bathroom breaks you need? Talk about a win-win! Just consider buying a few since you may end up wearing this accessory every day.
4. Stretch Regularly
For anyone who has participated in a yoga class, it's easy to see why you are so relaxed after the exercise is done! Stretching helps your muscles to work more effectively, increases your blood flow, and of course, boosts your flexibility. This makes stretching in pregnancy a simple tool for alleviating pain in tighter areas, opening up your hips, and even helping you focus.
Many hospitals offer free prenatal yoga classes to the moms who will plan to give birth in their facility. Since pregnancy can make certain activities harder, this is a fantastic way to safely stretch under the supervision of an expert. They can provide you with alternative poses as your pregnancy progresses and teach you some beneficial breathing techniques for when labor begins!
5. Get Moving
While exercise may be the last thing you want to do during your second or third trimester, the simple act of staying active can help to reduce back pain and lessen constipation.
As someone who suffered from both of these issues, and changed up their activities levels between the first and second pregnancies, I can tell you from experience that movement matters! I had much less pain and way fewer bathroom woes when I went for walks every day compared to when I sat on my butt.
If you can manage to get up and move early in the day, this can make exercise a more attainable goal. That afternoon slump seems to hit harder in the third trimester, so take advantage of your early energy levels.
6. Drink LOTS of Water
Speaking of constipation, water is your magic solution. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists notes that you should aim for "8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water every day." This can help to relieve this uncomfortable pregnancy symptom while simultaneously reducing swelling, fatigue, and headaches. It can even help boost your energy, just a smidge.
Straining to poop throughout your pregnancy will increase your chances for hemorrhoids and once you have them, your chances are higher that they will reoccur. Trust me when I say it's worth drinking more water every day.
7. Sleep at an Angle
When I was two months pregnant with our first son, my husband and I were in a snug queen bed. He had been searching for an upgrade for over a year, but we always pushed it off. One day, he took me to lunch and essentially gave me a presentation on why we needed a king bed with an adjustable base. One of his reasons was that I would sleep better while pregnant.
At the time, I thought he was absolutely ridiculous, but boy, I would quickly find out that was he right. It turns out that sleeping at a 45 degree angle while pregnant can prevent compression on your inferior vena cava. Why does this matter?
When this essential blood vessel gets blocked, it can lead to leg pain and swelling. Of course, for those who aren't in the market for a new bed, you can also invest in pillows to prop yourself up at night. Recliners are another great choice for getting some restful shuteye.
8. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals
As your baby grows, your stomach gets squished more and more. This can make mealtimes painful, bringing about symptoms like heartburn and nausea. The easiest way to remedy this is to break up your meals.
9. Moisturize Daily
It may seem silly, but when your belly expands quickly in pregnancy, it causes your dermis and connective tissue to break. This can make your skin feel dry, tender, and even itchy.
Unfortunately, our skin is kind of like fabric — while you can mend it later, it's never truly the same after the tear. This makes moisturizing so important throughout your pregnancy! Rubbing shea and cocoa butters on your stomach at least once a day can help to diminish your discomfort and save yourself some scarring.
10. Get a Massage
Who doesn't love a good massage? Pregnancy massages are an easy way for mamas-to-be to work out some kinks and finally feel some leg and back relief. Not only that, but for a short while, you can completely let your stresses go!
Sadly, this remedy can be a bit pricey, so don't be afraid to ask your significant other for a little TLC. This can be a great way to relax your muscle pains at home, improve your sleep, and connect with your partner before the baby comes.
11. Nix the Tight Clothing
Your belly is only going to get tighter in the next few weeks, so don't constrict yourself further with uncomfortable clothing! Invest in some soft maxi dresses, stretchy tops and pants, and other comfortable maternity clothes!
Don't Be Uncomfortable in Pregnancy
I've been there — I know that you are tired of being pregnant and you are so uncomfortable — but would you believe that in a few months, you may actually miss it? Being pregnant is a difficult, but magical time that's truly indescribable. You are creating life!
While being uncomfortable in pregnancy is part of the package, try to enjoy it as much as you can before your new normal begins. These simple techniques for how to get comfortable while pregnant can limit your aches and pains and even help you sleep better!