Being pregnant is hard. Really hard. You are building a baby. I mean a real, live person right there in your belly, and building that person takes a lot of effort.
At times you may feel like you aren’t going to make it because of the nausea, the exhaustion, or the general lack of comfort.
Figuring out how to feel better during pregnancy is the secret that all women are searching for. At least, I know I was.
Thankfully there are some things that you can do to help make the process just a little bit easier and to actually feel better during your pregnancy.
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Why Is Being Pregnant Uncomfortable?
While being pregnant and growing a person is a beautiful experience, it comes with it’s fair share of struggles.
As the baby grows and expands, all of your internal organs get pushed and shoved into new locations which can cause things like heartburn and indigestion.
The added stretching of your skin around your growing belly also can be uncomfortable and just downright itchy.
And don’t even get me started on those baby kicks to the spleen.
Needless to say, though amazing, pregnancy can really suck sometimes.
How do I Make Pregnancy More Comfortable?
I’m sure that the LAST thing in the world that you want to do right now is exert any more energy, but exercising can really help you feel better during pregnancy.
Exercise releases endorphins which make you happy.
The movement will also keep your body limber and strong (you’re going to need that later).
Exercising can also help tire you out appropriately so that you can get more sleep while you’re pregnant. Wouldn’t that be amazing?!
You exercise routine doesn’t have to be extensive, even something as simple as a walk after dinner or a little prenatal yoga would be a great addition to your day.
Drink Your Water
I know that you have to pee what seems like 100 times a day, but you should still drink your water.
Normal adults need around 8 cups of water a day. While pregnant, that number goes to 10-12 cups a day. I would always shoot for a gallon just to be on the safe side.
Water will help you in several ways. It will help make your skin, tendons, and ligaments softer and easier to stretch.
This is important, especially when you get to your last trimester and the baby begins just putting on weight. Your body is going to stretch very quickly, it needs to be lubricated.
Having enough water will also help with muscle cramps and bloating. I will never forget the night I woke up with the charlie horse from hell in my calf while I was in my second trimester. I cried I was in so much pain. I couldn’t even move and had to get my husband to massage it out for me. My leg was sore for the next two weeks! You better believe I never missed out on my water again.
So save yourself the pain and just drink the water. Put fruit in it, put it in a fancy cup, flavor it with drink mixes like Mio, or drink it as green tea. Really anything will work so long as you’re doing it. I am sorry about all the trips to the bathroom though.
I love, love, LOVE my Hydroflask water bottle. Keeps my water at the perfect temperature all day and it’s basically indestructible. I love it! I take it with me everywhere.
Okay, I know I just told you to drink your water, but hear me out.
You’re going to have to pee, a lot. Even more so as your baby gets bigger and bigger and he puts more and more pressure on your bladder.
If you don’t want to have to wake up a million times in the middle of the night, then I would definitely suggest limiting your fluids a few hours before bed.
That just means that you’ll need to make sure that you’re taking in enough water earlier during the day to make up for it.
Get a Yoga Ball
I got a yoga ball (or a birth ball) because I had all of these plans about having a natural birth and I was told that a yoga ball could help. So I got one. Even though my delivery didn’t go according to plan, I still got a lot of use out of my ball.
Once I started to get pretty big and had a lot of weight on my front side, I started using the ball to help my back. I would lay with my head and arms on the ball with my knees on the floor. This position pulls all of that extra weight off of your back and it feels so freaking nice.
I would just sit like that and swing my hips side to side, or roll around a bit. What ever felt good at the time. I also would get my husband to massage my lower back while I was in this position. Sooooo good!
Sure, I could probably do something similarly with a chair or something, but it wouldn’t be the same.
I also loved my ball towards the end of my pregnancy because I could sit on it and use it to help open my hips up. Just sit a bit wide legged (good luck not sitting that way) and roll around.
I would even bounce a bit to help entice my little one to start moving in the right direction. That plan failed a little bit, though he does still like to bounce on the ball.
Take a Bath
Taking a nice, hot, relaxing bubble bath is on just about every woman’s list of great ways to spend some time. You can still do this while pregnant. The only kicker is it has to be a WARM bath rather than a hot one.
The temperature of the water should not be above 99 degrees. I know, I know, that isn’t nearly as enjoyable. What makes up for it though is the fact that the water will take some of that baby weight off your spine.
Any time I was having a really painful/uncomfortable day, I would just go sit in the bath for a while. It was so relaxing and it made me so much more comfortable.
I also used this weightlessness to help get my baby to move out of a very uncomfortable position one time. It was the only way he would move. Now I don’t know for sure if it was the bath that did it, but I was in the bath when it happened so it’s a win in my book.
To deal with the temperature thing, go pick up a cheap pool thermometer like THIS. That helped me to take the guesswork out of my water temperature. I always tried to make the water way too hot without it and that’s just not good for the baby.
Eats Small Meals Often
During your pregnancy, your uterus expands to allow room for the baby to grow. Well all of that uterus has to go somewhere, so it goes up towards your chest cavity. It ends up pushing on your stomach and contracting it giving you less space to actually store food.
This really sucks considering that once you get past the morning sickness, you will be constantly hungry. The way to get around this is to eat often and in smaller amounts.
I found that eating like this can also help with morning sickness. I was always the most ill when I didn’t have anything in my stomach. That is generally why women are the most sick in the morning (hence the name) since they’ve digested all of the food from the night before.
So, carry around some snacks like nuts, granola bars, fruit, or veggies with you wherever you go.
I also found that meals with higher healthy fats helped hold me over and keep me from being as sick. Things like avocados, nuts, and coconut for healthy calories and fats are great.
If you look up pregnancy pillows, you will see all kinds of crazy shaped pillows out there promising you better, easier sleep.
That may be true. You may sleep better with one of those things, but what are you going to do with it when you’re done being pregnant?
This was the thought that crossed my mind when I was considering my pillow options. Because of this I decided not to go with one of the big ones and just get a body pillow.
It’s long enough to fit under my belly and through my knees for me to feel comfortable, but also not so big that it takes up half the bed.
I love my body pillow. I’ve named him Bob.
When I got further in my pregnancy and it was unhealthy for me to sleep on my back, I just took a regular pillow and placed it behind me. All of the benefits of a pregnancy pillow without spending all the money.
Doing this also gave me a bit more freedom when I wanted to roll over which I didn’t think I would get from a pregnancy pillow.
Dress for Comfort
Sometimes we women spend way too much time thinking about what other people think about us. Especially about our appearance. It is high time we stop that.
When I was pregnant, the last thing in the world that I wanted to wear was anything that pressed on my belly. To me it was just so uncomfortable.
I also hated wearing my contacts. They just weren’t comfortable anymore. So, I stopped.
I had a winter baby, so I spent the majority of my pregnancy wearing maxi skirts and flowy dresses.
I’m not normally a skirt and dress kind of person, but they were so much easier than pants.
When it got too cold for that, I wore leggings and my husband’s sweaters.
They were big enough to fit the bump and make it look like I was wearing a baggy dress or something. It worked and I got complimented. I also started wearing my glasses full time.
You have too many other things going on without worrying about what you look like. Just throw on what ever fits and makes you comfortable. Everyone else can just deal with it.
How Can I Feel Better During Pregnancy?
One of the best things that you can do to feel better during pregnancy is to ask for help.
I think we have this thought in our minds that we have to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, the perfect employee, the perfect everything.
That isn’t true. We are allowed to mess up. We are allowed to struggle. We are allowed to ask for help.
You are busy building a baby. You can ask someone else to fold the laundry or take out the trash.
If it’s your turn to make dinner and you just can’t bring yourself to do it, then don’t. Order out. It’ll be fine.
Don’t compare yourself to the moms on TV, or at your work, or that you see at the store. You are not them and they are not you. You will each have your own set of issues to overcome.
Don’t think that just because they aren’t having an issue with something that you’re automatically doing it wrong. Pregnancy is different for everyone.
So, ask for help, ask for a foot rub, ask for someone else to do the dishes. It is fine. You are not any less of a mother because of it.
You’re building a baby and it’s exhausting. So, put up your feet and tell your partner to bring you some flavored water. You’ve earned it!
What else have you done to make your pregnancy more enjoyable? Leave me a comment below or join the conversation in our Facebook group.
Until next time!
- 10 Things to do When You Find out You’re Pregnant
- Complete Guide to Postpartum Recovery
- Survival Guide: Life with a Newborn