Pregnancy Tips and Tricks
Cover photo by John Looy on Unsplash
It's beautiful to create a person and to feel it growing inside you. Unfortunately you might also experience some downsides to being pregnant. We've experienced some of those problems so we have a number of tips and tricks for you to decrease or eliminate them!
What will help decreasing nausea and morning sickness
Ginger helps with nausea - for example ginger biscuits
Scent - you can try diffusing and inhaling some essential oils, or even just smelling them directly from the bottle. The best oils that help with nausea during pregnancy are: peppermint, ginger, lemon and bergamot
Preggy pop lollies or preggy pop drops - you can also get an organic version
Salty biscuits, salty chips or anything salty can help
Water or other refreshing (non-alcoholic) drinks - it’s crucial to stay hydrated!
Sea-band (mama) - originally designed for motion sickness but can help a lot with morning sickness as well. They’ve even created a special mama version
Nausea popsicles - here you can see a list of DIY popsicles that help decrease that morning sickness
Hot salmiak & pepper candy - for example Tyrkisk peber. We see Icelandic women using it a lot. It might not be as common in the US but we definitely recommend trying it! This really helps with the nausea and also when all taste in your mouth is disturbing you. For some reason, this candy does not have that bad aftertaste!
Refreshing fruits and ice cream - A tip from one of our employees: ask your partner to feed you if you’re very sick and don’t have any energy left yourself!
How to prevent stretch marks
You can make your own stretch mark oil or cream, but we also recommend this stretch mark oil from Weleda.
Collagen - loss of collagen, which starts happening after the age of 25, leads to loose skin. Collagen is a protein that helps form the connective tissue of the skin, so if it’s lacking it will result in cellulite and/or stretch marks.
As the skin cannot absorb collagen, you’ll need to take it internally. The collagen will help your skin remain firm and elastic, which is great when your belly starts growing!
How to reduce pregnancy swelling
Wear compression socks - they might not look cool but they really do work! And you can find a variety of socks out there. We also recommend wearing them during flight.
Avoid standing for a long time and keep your feet elevated for as long as you can during the day. The swollen leg needs to be higher than your heart.
Avoid wearing high heels. There are so many beautiful flat shoes you can wear instead.
Avoid much heat and apply cold press where you are swollen.
Drink birch tree juice - we recommend this one from Weleda. You can mix the recommended amount of juice with water, but it doesn’t taste good, so we recommend mixing it with a good glass of fruit juice :)
Cut back on your salt intake and DRINK WATER!
How to get relief from pelvic girdle pain
A lot of women suffer from pelvic pain during pregnancy, although it’s worse for some than others. It’s very limiting if any kind of pain limits your day to day activities, so being able to get some relief is crucial. You might not get complete relief until you’ve given birth, or even some time after birth. There are some ways to relieve the pain though and possibly prevent it from becoming worse, such as:
Support items - You can get a number of different support belts and other types of support wear. Read reviews on which pregnancy belts are best for this specific purpose.
Physiotherapy - you’ll probably need a referral from your doctor or midwife. A physiotherapist will give you advice on exercises and how to make your daily tasks easier or more comfortable for you.
Painkillers - Painkillers like paracetamol can help coping with the worst pain, but is not effective in the long run. Always make sure to consult with your doctor before taking any new medicine.
Cooling and heating the area can both help. You’ll have to try both to find out which helps you more. It might even help you switch between the two regularly. You can use ice and heat packs, homemade or bought in stores. When you’re pregnant, make sure you’re not using too much heat though.
Support from family members and friends. Don’t be afraid asking for help. It’s not a weakness not being able to do everything by yourself. It’s just temporary and honestly, you also deserve the support. Creating a person is not an easy job! Make sure you’re not hoovering or holding other children and ask your boss for different tasks temporarily if you are dealing with physically hard tasks.
How to decrease acid reflux
A lot of women experience acid reflux or heartburn during the last months of their pregnancy. It’s usually worse when you lie down and catching some sleep with massive acid reflux is hard, I tell you! In order to, at least, get some sleep and hopefully getting rid of the acid reflux most of the time, there are number of things you can try, such as:
Eat smaller meals more frequently and try to avoid eating close to bedtime.
Avoid food that increases the likelihood of getting acid reflux. This food is for example: anything that includes citrus, spicy food, fatty food, fried food, tomato-based food, caffeine, carbonated drinks and chocolate... I know, this should be against the law!
Try eating food that helps many improve heartburn, such as: milk, yogurt and ice cream, ginger, apples, pineapple and papaya, almonds, honey and fermented foods and drinks.
Sleep in an almost sitting position, or at least with your head and chest elevated. This is a good solution when you’re not able to sleep although you’ve tried all other options before going to bed. It’s not great sleeping in this position, but at least you’ll be able to catch some sleep!
You could try out some remedies. Papaya enzymes have proven to work for some of us at RoRo and other digestive enzymes probably work similarly. You could also try apple cider vinegar and honey.
Heartburn medications are the last options we recommend trying if nothing else works. In Iceland a lot of pregnant women chew on Rennie, which should be harmless, but we recommend talking to your doctor or midwife before taking any medications. Other options that should be taken only after consulting with the doctor are antacids like Tums, Rolaids and Milk of Magnesia.
How to get rid of Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
We don’t really recommend any prescribed medicines for RLS, but rather to choose home made remedies or other natural solutions. B-Vitamin and magnesium deficiency can both result in RLS, so we recommend trying:
Magnesium oil or spray, epsom salt or magnesium flakes. These are all solutions used directly on the skin, as magnesium absorbs well through the skin, way better than orally.
If magnesium doesn’t work you can try B-vitamins, preferably through food rich with those vitamins or B9 tablets, which is the same as folic acid.
Exercise might help also, especially if you exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be a long time each time, 20-30 minutes walk should be enough to help.
- And the last and maybe weirdest solution. Apparently “42% of people who suffer from restless leg syndrome or nightly leg cramps have found putting soap under their sheet helps treat their pain. Doctors believe this is because of the magnesium in the soap, which can help reduce leg cramps.” (source)
If you try this solution, make sure you choose a soap with an essential-oil based scent, preferably lavender as it helps you relax your body while trying to sleep.
Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash
Pregnancy clothes - what to wear
It’s hard when your regular clothes stop fitting around the belly. It’s not only because we like our regular clothes, but also because it’s expensive to purchase a whole new closet that will only be used for less than a year! Fortunately there are other solutions that are more budget and eco-friendly than buying a whole new wardrobe!
You can extend the life of your jeans by using your hair tie. Here’s how you do it.
Belly band - Allows you to wear your unbuttoned pre-pregnancy pants longer. You can keep wearing your regular pants for all the way up to the third trimester without having to spend a single dime on maternity pants.
Purchase clothes that you could wear when not pregnant, such as:
- Dresses, for example shift dresses and maxi dresses
- Shirts - baggy/flow-y/stretchy
- Sweaters - large/baggy
- Stretchy clothes
It might still be good though to invest in some maternity clothes, such as tights, shape-wear, 1-2 pants and perhaps a coat. You can also purchase clothes that have double purpose of being maternity and breast-feeding clothes. That might be a good idea if you need to buy a dress for a special occasion.
Take pregnancy photos
You might not feel like a million bucks all the time while pregnant, but it’s still nice to document the journey, for yourself to keep and also the baby to see when it grows up. You can download great apps for documenting and editing the photos. Try for example searching for “pregnancy pics” in your app store and you’ll see a number of options.
Prepare your body for what’s to come!
Let’s be honest, if you’re giving birth naturally you might suffer some damage down there! Prepare the area with some oil and massage, enhancing the skin’s flexibility, protecting against tears and cuts during childbirth. We recommend this perineum massage oil from Weleda.
We couldn’t recommend more knowing the ocean breath for the birth! Did you know that the ocean breath is the same breathing you hear in the Lulla doll? This breathing can help you calm yourself, when you’re anxious, when you need to focus and also when you’ll need a boost of energy! In our own experience the ocean breath helps a lot coping with pain and also decreasing the pain during birth.
There are other breathing techniques that can help you during birth. Here you can find instructions on how to learn and use these techniques.
Do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles in your vagina. Really, if you don’t want to constantly pee in your pants after birth it’s vital to prepare the pelvic floor before the birth. These are often known as Kegels or pelvic floor muscle training. And an additional benefit: you’re sex life will probably blossom! A weak pelvic floor can result in a loss of sensitivity and even prevent you from being able to orgasm.
A strong pelvic floor muscle will also help you while giving birth. It allows you to control the delivery better, so you’ll be less likely to tear.
And relax! When it gets closer to the birth and it gets tempting to do everything you feel you should have done before having a baby - don’t forget to save some of that energy for what’s to come. You’ll definitely need it, not only for the birth but also for the weeks after.
Pamper yourself and let others pamper you!
As part of the relaxation, don’t hesitate to get some help doing the regular day-to-day tasks. This could for example be a help from your partner:
- Taking off and putting on socks and shoes
- Getting a hand while walking up stairs or climbing through snow
- Fetching things for you while you relax in the sofa
And care for yourself - You deserve it! Here you can see a list of things you can do for yourself before the baby arrives.
Prepare the birth and arrival of the baby
There are a number of things you’ll need to, or are great to prepare before giving birth.
The hospital bag - we have a whole separate blog about that
The birth plan - we’ll do a blog about that next month!
The home - with our blog you’ll be able to nest like a champion!
Postpartum and breastfeeding essentials - you’ll be glad to prepare this before the baby arrives, since you’ll be super busy taking care of the baby!
Things that make life easier when arriving at home - such as pre-cooking meals and freezing them and talking to family members about roles they can step into (such as going to the store, doing laundry, cleaning around the house, cooking etc).
A few additional pregnancy tips
Did you know that (in the US at least) you can get a free breast pump through insurance? Here you can read instructions on how to get your free breast pump.
You’ll probably feel hungry all the time. Not eating regularly can also create nausea and definitely does not help if you’re experiencing “morning” sickness all the time. A great way to avoid becoming too hungry is by always taking a snack box out with you. A great tip we received from a follower on Lulla doll’s social media.
Sleep deprivation is the worst! You might have some problems getting into comfortable positions when your belly starts growing. Purchase a pregnancy pillow or even just a nursing pillow to help you sleep better or even just getting into a comfortable position while watching TV and lying on the sofa. You can place the pillow between the legs and/or under the belly.
You’ll probably not be able to enjoy a relaxing evening at the cinema or going out with your friends for a while after giving birth. Enjoy this time while you can and dance your butt off with your friends and partner while you still have the energy (you might not be up for that in the last weeks of the pregnancy)!
Purchase the Lulla doll for your baby while still pregnant and listen to the breathing to get to know the ocean breath technique better. The doll plays a real-life recording of a kundalini yoga teacher in deep relaxation. It can definitely also help you sleep better when you have a hard time relaxing in the evening. We recommend keeping the doll close to your skin before the baby is introduced to it, so the doll can absorb your scent. This will give your child an added feeling of safety and comfort.
Lulla doll has helped thousands of children
✔️Sleeping in their own bed
✔️ Comfort on the go
and so much more…
The Lulla doll is a multi-awarded baby sleep aid suitable from birth and beyond. It imitates closeness with its soft feel and soothing sounds of real-life breathing and heartbeat. Lulla's unique design is based on scientific research that shows how closeness improves sleep and wellbeing.
Gentle and soothing solution based on mother nature. Integrate Lulla doll into your baby’s sleep routine and use it for comfort on the go. For babies under a year old, place the Lulla doll outside of the sleep area. The natural sounds will soothe your baby and bring the comforting feeling of co-sleeping. Older children love to cuddle and bond with Lulla. It has helped thousands with sleep related challenges and to reduce anxiety and give comfort.