Pregnancy is a pretty amazing feat, but it’s not always easy. It can be downright uncomfortable, clumsy and painful sometimes. I had a double whammy of being pregnant with a lumbar spinal fusion. I remember thinking my body couldn’t possibly handle one more unexpected change I had to google, and then I was hit with a few things I couldn’t even pronounce. I became a pro at finding things that make life easier during pregnancy. These are my top 5 favorites.
1. Snoozle Slide Sheet (or as I call it, the real MVP)
It’s like a silk pillow case, that you put under your lower back and hips on the bed. The silk slides against itself, to help you roll over in bed. I found mine a couple of years after my spinal fusion when I was struggling with low back pain when I rolled over. I knew it would be a life saver in pregnancy. Between the giant belly, fusion and round ligament pain in the third trimester, I needed all the help I could get rolling over in pregnancy. I even packed it for the hospital and used it to help move in bed after my cesarean.
Morning sickness or for some, all-day sickness can make pregnancy pretty miserable. Whether it’s just in the first trimester or all throughout pregnancy, you have to find what works for you to ease the nausea. Some women try Preggie Pops, ginger or mints. Sometimes the morning sickness remedies recommended the most just aren’t possible with your newfound scent aversions in pregnancy. I liked these wrist bands, because they weren’t something I had to smell or eat. I wore them in traffic, when I was flying while pregnant and even just around the house. They work by applying constant pressure to the P6 acupressure point on the inside of the wrist for nausea.
Some women experience pain in their pubic bone or SI (sacroiliac) joints in the back of the pelvis. Relaxin, the hormone released during pregnancy that helps the pelvis to open and muscles to relax, can sometimes make things extra loose and instable leading to conditions like symphysis pubis dysfunction and SI joint dysfunction. I wore the It’s You Babe Hip Brace at the recommendation of my physical therapist and felt so much more stable around my pelvis. It held the big bones of my pelvis tight, in place and was even comfortable to sit and drive in. The Prenatal Cradle can be worn by itself or with the Hip Brace, to lift and redistribute the weight of your growing belly.
4. Regular Massage and Chiropractic Care
It took a village to keep me comfortable and happy during my pregnancy. There were some days I couldn’t get onto the massage table or chiropractic table without crying from pain in my pubic bone, but it was always worth it. Check to see if your health insurance covers chiropractic care. Some chiropractors have massage therapists on staff too. My massage appointments were something I had to look forward to every week and were an hour out of my day when I knew I could relax… and shamelessly nap sometimes. I highly recommend finding a Webster Technique Certified Chiropractor and a Licensed Massage Therapist with prenatal massage experience. Dr. Amber Galipp and Maren Hockenbrough, LMT were my local, unsung heroes.
They are big and a little cumbersome, but I loved my Today’s Mom Cozy Comfort Pregnancy Pillow. If you struggle with back pain or sciatica in pregnancy, this pillow can help to support your belly and make side-lying a little more comfortable by giving you a cushion between your knees. It can make things more restful and help to vary your positions if you’re on bed rest in pregnancy. My husband called mine my nest on my side of the bed.
Be sure to talk with your care provider about any options you might be considering for the aches and pains of pregnancy. What have your favorite tricks been to get relief from common pregnancy issues?