By Madison James
Pregnancy comes with its fair share of aches, pains and bodily discomforts. Your back hurts, your hormones are all over the place, and you would literally do anything for a good night’s sleep. Pregnancy might be a blessing, but growing a baby is certainly tough work.
The good news? There are some simple ways you can enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy. From dealing with nausea and getting enough sleep, to exercising and eating well, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Kicking nausea to the curb
For most women, nausea (or morning sickness) is simply part of the package. To help reduce the symptoms, follow these handy tips:
Watch your diet. To begin with, eat foods high in carbs (pasta, cereal, toast, potatoes). Eat five or six small meals a day, and steer clear of salty, spicy and fatty foods. Try and drink fluids in between meals.
Control your environment. It’s best to get as much sleep as possible, avoid stress triggers, make sure your home is clean, and get plenty of fresh air. To help you relax, why not try a gentle pregnancy yoga class.
Follow your doctor’s advice. It goes without saying – when it comes to medicine, only take what the doctor prescribes.
2. Comfortable sleep during pregnancy
As much as you’d love to sleep well, it feels like your baby belly has other plans. While skipping the late-night snacks and tuning out of technology can help, it’s also important to actually feel comfortable. This starts with sleeping on a good mattress that offers superior support and comfort. It might be expensive but think of it as a long-term investment.
It’s also well worth getting yourself some comfortable PJs (preferably loose and made of natural fibres). Another essential is a maternity pillow – not only are they super comfy, they also allow you to easily lie on your side as your belly grows.
3. The chiropractor is your friend…
Every expectant mum wants to have a healthy, safe and complication-free birth. Of course, this is often easier said than done. But with good chiropractic care, the chances of this happening are much better. Your body is constantly changing during pregnancy, and a chiropractor can help adjust it in many ways to make the experience more comfortable.
Among other benefits, chiropractic care can:
- Give structural balance and stability to your body
- Control symptoms of nausea,
- Relieve back, neck and joint pain
- Reduce the time of labour and delivery
- Provide a healthier in-utero environment for your baby
4. … But healthy snacks are your best friend
During pregnancy, small snacks are your saving grace (tenfold if they’re healthy). Here are a few easy snacks that are good for you, and good for your baby:
- Raw veggies (e.g. carrots or celery), hummus and pita bread
- Mixed berry smoothie
- Banana and peanut butter
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Wholegrain cereal
- Crackers and avocado
- Yoghurt and fresh fruit
- Hard-boiled egg with crackers
- Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins
- Sorbet with fresh fruit
- Baked potato with chives and yoghurt
5. Swimming is your go-to exercise
While it might be one of the last things on your mind, doing a few laps during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do. Swimming is a low impact and safe exercise. It helps with joint and ligament pain, counteracts back strain from your expanding belly, keeps your spine and shoulders in alignment, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Here are a few tips for safe swimming while pregnant:
- Swim 20 to 30 minutes most (or all) days of the week
- Start slow, remember to stretch, and don’t overexert yourself
- Drink one glass of water every 20 minutes
- Use kickboards and noodles to vary routines
- Try different strokes to see what’s comfortable
Madison is Head of Marketing at Queen Bee in Sydney with over 5 years experience in the maternity industry. She is a mother of two and loves to indulge in afternoon tea.