You knew that your first pregnancy wouldn’t be easy, but you didn’t realize it would be like this: constant aches and pains, trouble with balance, and sleepless nights. Since this isn’t a “wake me when it’s over” situation, you’ll have to learn to cope. Try these easy ways to deal with pregnancy discomfort—you’ll need them more and more as your due date gets closer.
Cushion the Pain
If you’re thinking of getting a body pillow, don’t hesitate. It can support your changing body in bed before and after your pregnancy. You might also want a pillow for the small of your back while you’re seated and another for under your feet. If you’re experiencing nausea or acid reflux, prop your head up higher for sleep.
Try a Massage
Your partner doesn’t have to be a professional massage therapist to give your back some relief. Have them start by using their knuckles to apply pressure up and down your spine. Tell them which spots feel the best, and enjoy the endorphin release.
Drink More Water
Running to the washroom even more is probably the last thing you feel like doing, but it’s better than all the annoying pains that come with dehydration. Drink a glass of water whenever you can to prevent headaches, fatigue, heartburn, and—this one should convince you—hemorrhoids.
See a Chiropractor
Your body definitely feels out of whack; an entire person has taken up residence in your womb. Your center of balance is changing, and your back is feeling the pressure. A chiropractor can work with your doctor to relieve pain in your spine and hips, reduce nausea, and help you get better sleep.
Wear a Belt
Give your back a break by wearing a maternity belt: a wide, supportive elastic band that cradles the baby. It’s soft to wear and can take over when you feel like your abdominal and back muscles are about to give out.
Alternate Hot and Cold
Try a cold compress on any painful areas for 20 minutes at a time. It can help ease back pain and swelling in your feet. All you need is a pack of frozen vegetables or ice wrapped in a towel. You can try this several times a day, but switch to heat on your back after a few days.
Stretch With Yoga
At a certain point, getting down on the floor may seem like an impossibility. But yoga has too many benefits for pregnancy to ignore: help breathing, stretching, relaxing, and building strength in the muscles you’ll need for childbirth. It’s one of the easiest ways to deal with pregnancy discomfort because you can find videos for all different levels and techniques on YouTube when you’re feeling tightness in your back. Just make sure someone’s within shouting distance in case you need help getting out of a position.