20 Pregnancy Hacks That Every Mom-To-Be Needs To Know Before They Pop
Pregnancy is one of the most exciting yet difficult times in a woman's life, regardless of whether it was planned or not. Your life changes the instant those two little lines form on a pregnancy test. And if you chose to continue with the pregnancy, the next nine months are guaranteed to be a rollercoaster as your body goes through a plethora of changes growing the bun in your oven.
That's why it's so important to have a good support network around you when you're pregnant. Whether it's understanding friends who'll happily run to the store for you at 10 pm because you need a jar of pickles or other moms who're willing to let you pick their brains for advice. And speaking of which, here are 20 pregnancy hacks that are guaranteed to make your life easier!
1. Make an emergency day bag
One of the most nerve-racking parts of pregnancy is, of course, not knowing when your baby will make their grand entrance into the world. I'll never forget when I worked in a store and customer went into labor. She said she'd ask the store next door to call her an ambulance as she wasn't prepared to give birth yet and needed more baby clothes. Seriously!
So why not save yourself a similar "holding it in" situation (if it's even possible) and prepare an emergency day bag. You can include an emergency outfit or two in case your baby appears when they're not expected and pack lots of day-to-day items that will make your life easier, like chewable antacids, snacks, water, tissues, and lavender oil.
2. Don't waste your money on maternity bras
Having a baby is an expensive time. While it is possible to cut corners if you've had children before or have friends who're willing to give you hand-me-downs, one of the areas where women are consistently pressured into spending extra money is on clothes. But a little-known hack is that you don't need to buy maternity bras - simply get bra extenders instead.
ScaryMommy reports that you can buy them cheap on Amazon, and they're available for a low price at department stores too.
3. Buy the foods you're craving in bulk
Cravings are arguably one of the more fun parts of pregnancy. It doesn't matter what you want, if the baby's telling you to eat it, you pretty much have no option but to listen, even if that means gaining some weight. And it's incredibly difficult when you run out of your craving food of choice. That's why it's a good idea to stock up and not feel guilty about it.
According to WhatToExpect, pregnant women need an extra 300 calories a day and an extra 400 in their third trimester!
4. Cooking oil will save your dry and itchy skin
The hormonal changes which take place during pregnancy can wreak havoc on your skin, often causing it to become dry and itchy. And while a lot of expensive creams promise to solve this problem, you can combat it yourself for a fraction of the price. BabyCenter reports that olive oil, canola, or safflower oil all work wonders for pregnant women with dry and itchy skin.
5. Use elastic laces in your running shoes
The further along your pregnancy progresses, the more difficult it will become for you to tie your shoes. As hard as it might be to believe, your feet will end up a lot larger - and your pregnancy shoes will likely not fit you at all. But to save yourself the bother of having to buy a new pair, simply change your laces to elastic ones to accommodate your growing feet.
6. Don't throw away your old jeans
Think that your jeans won't fit you anymore? Or even worse, ever again? Well, you're wrong. All you have to do is make some changes to the ones you've got. Simply utilize this hack from ScaryMommy. Firstly, you'll have to turn them inside out to cut the front pockets, then make the cut allowing for a seam allowance of a quarter of an inch. Once you've done this, replace the cut areas with stretchy-elastic material, as shown above, and your jeans will expand with your bump!
7. Reduce back pain with Kinesio Tape
One of the more unpleasant and unavoidable problems that come with pregnancy is back pain. You are, after all, carrying a little human inside you (or two) and this can take its toll on your back. But according to BabyCenter, Kinesio tape will give you the support and relief you need during pregnancy when it's applied using the "baby belt" technique above.
8. Siri and Alexa are the friends you didn't know you had
Technology may be a pain at times, but no one can deny that it's brilliantly convenient. And when you're pregnant, you can use it to get quick and accurate answers to the questions that matter - like whether or not a headache medicine is suitable to take during pregnancy. You can also download the MommyMeds app for this, eliminating any chance of you taking any unnecessary risks.
9. Book your prenatal appointments in advance
As your pregnancy progresses, you will grow increasingly forgetful, and one of the things which you can't afford to forget is a prenatal appointment. That's why it's such a good idea to book them before you end up with baby brain!
10. Bring some kitchen tongs into your shower
Sure, this might sound weird, but it's actually brilliant when you think about it. If you're pregnant and showing, accidentally dropping soap not only has the potential to turn into a frustrating situation, but a dangerous one too. With kitchen tongs, however, you can easily retrieve any toiletries you drop as opposed to walking out wet or asking a partner to do it.
11. Do not Google your symptoms
When you're pregnant, your body is going through so many changes that the temptation to consult Dr. Google can be overwhelming at times, but you must resist. Honestly. You'll just end up convincing yourself that things are not progressing nicely and giving yourself (and your baby) extra stress. If you're worried, consult your doctor or midwife, but always remember that every pregnancy is unique!
12. Wear compression socks
As I've mentioned, as your pregnancy progresses, your feet will swell. While it's not exactly fun, it is completely normal and nothing you need to worry about. Wearing compression socks will make this change a lot easier to deal with as they improve blood flow, and lessen pain and swelling. It's a good idea to have a few pairs on you at all times as you never know when pain will strike.
13. Decorate your water bottles
Drinking large amounts of water is a must during pregnancy and sometimes staring at plastic bottle after plastic bottle can be unpleasant. So why not decorate yours to make them more appealing to drink? It's a great chance to get creative.
14. Put your bra in the freezer
Just like the kitchen tong hack, this one might seem strange at first, but once you discover what it's for, you'll agree that it's brilliant. As an expectant woman, you're going to be hot most of the time, which is what makes summer pregnancies particularly challenging. But a great way to cool down - regardless of the time of the year - is by putting your bra in the freezer.
15. Hot tamales and atomic fireballs for nausea
Almost all pregnant women suffer from some form of morning sickness. And while there are some common nausea remedies around that you'll probably have already heard of like ginger and saltines, reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Aimee D. Eyvazzadeh, said that a more novel solution is by sucking on hot tamales (eating the candy isn't necessary).
16. Distract yourself from your overactive bladder
Pregnant women have to pee a lot. And when you're bladder's constantly willing you to go to the bathroom, it can be difficult to relax for more than five minutes, but it turns out that you can distract it. Childbirth educator, Bailey Gaddis, revealed that if you gently graze your fingertips across your arm, it will release endorphins and stimulate nerve endings, making you less likely to need to pee all the time!
17. Peppermint oil will relieve the pressure on your bladder
Because your growing baby is pressing down on your bladder, expectant women also feel the need to pee without being able to. Gaddis, however, also revealed that if you put a few peppermint essential oil drops in the toilet bowl the vapors will stimulate the urethra and allow you to pee more easily and, with any luck, a little less often too.
18. Meditation can reduce your cravings
If your pregnancy cravings are on the unhealthy side and you're eating way more than the acceptable increase in calorie numbers, you'll have to resist them. Gaddis advises pregnant women to meditate before they eat as it will help them to stay more mindful about what they eat, especially at a restaurant where they'll encounter an oh so tempting dessert menu.
19. Work your pelvic floor with an exercise ball
Unless you're definitely going to have C-section, you're going to have to face the unpleasant risk of tearing downstairs when you give birth. This can make postpartum recovery particularly difficult. But there's a way of reducing the chances of having it happen to you: a yoga ball. It will help stretch your pelvic floor muscles, making it that bit easier to deliver your baby.
20. Practice relaxation techniques with your partner
Fatigue is another inevitable problem for most pregnant women, especially during the first trimester. And while it can be tempting to doze off during the day, it can leave you unable to sleep at night. That's why Gaddis recommends practicing relaxation techniques with your partner before bed. It's a chance for you to bond and, more importantly, get a restful sleep.
So there you have it - 20 pregnancy hacks that every pregnant woman needs to know about. Now, I don't know about you, but the next time I see two little lines on a pregnancy test, I'm going to be a little less nervous about how to tackle the next nine months.