Confirming a pregnancy is a very exciting time in a woman’s life. Each stage of pregnancy brings new experiences and symptoms, and as our bodies change with the baby’s growth, there can be some challenges within everyday life. For some women, pregnancy is a breeze, with zero to minimal symptoms, high energy levels, and generally feeling pretty good from month one to month nine. For others, pregnancy is difficult, with symptoms making normal responsibilities feel impossible.
Of course, it’s always important to keep your obstetrician in the loop per anything that concerns you while pregnant, but we wanted to offer a few ways to make pregnancy a little easier and less stressful.
- Make plans for different scenarios whenever you can – Pregnancy can be unpredictable. One day you can feel fine, no issues of note. Next, you can experience nausea, food aversion, fatigue, dizzy spells, vomiting, low blood pressure, and hormonal swings all before nine in the morning. Being prepared for difficult symptoms at work, during your commute, running errands, etc. can go a long way toward making things easier. Having a small bag packed with supplies like soothing anti-nausea candies, a filled water bottle, a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, granola bars, wipes, and a spare shirt will save you a lot of worries.
- Don’t suffer unnecessarily – Be honest with your OB about how you are feeling and if the symptoms are impacting your quality of life. Just because it’s expected for women to vomit during their first trimester does not mean you have to suffer if vomiting, nausea, and food aversion take over your day. There are a few different medications available to manage some of pregnancy’s most difficult symptoms, and your doctor can advise on what is best for your situation.
- Pack your hospital bag early – Babies are considered premature at 36 weeks and younger, which means by week 37 even if you have a full 3-4 weeks left until your due date, your baby could still make his or her entrance at any point. You may think, “I have time”, but it never hurts to be prepared. The last thing you want to worry about is having to scramble a bag together at two in the morning because your water broke. Prepare everything you want for giving birth early so it’s ready to go no matter how or when your baby arrives. There are a number of helpful guides online you can reference for what to include in your bag.
- Practice self-care now – Time outdoors, long baths, quiet reading time, favorite movies, a spa day, lunch with friends, or whatever is your go-to form of relaxation — now is the time to indulge whenever possible. Life with a newborn is a lot of wonderful things, but it’s not often described as relaxing. Taking care of yourself while pregnant and doing whatever you need to do to lessen your stress levels so when it’s time to have your baby you’re not also dealing with feeling drained by not taking it easy.
Stay active – When we’re feeling the strain of pregnancy it’s understandable to keep your feet up and take those extra naps you’ve earned. However, a sedentary lifestyle while pregnant is not advised. Light, pregnancy-safe exercise like walking, swimming, and pregnancy yoga can all contribute to working out a number of tough symptoms like aches and pains. Be sure to connect with your doctor before trying anything you haven’t done before, esp. If you’re unsure if a pregnant person can complete the workout.