The more I learn about pregnancy, labor and birth, the more miraculous the whole process becomes. From the time your baby is conceived, your body undergoes many changes to support the growing fetus. Your body is designed to do this!
However, many of the physical changes your body goes through can cause discomforts.
At Your Utah Doulas, we feel you deserve a VILLAGE OF SUPPORT throughout your journey. Below we share our favorite tips to help you feel more comfortable during your pregnancy.
I’ve worked with a lot of pregnant women who have discomfort while they are sleeping. I also have a hard time sleeping and I’m not even pregnant! These are some of my favorite sleeping tips that have really helped my clients feel more comfortable and get a good night’s rest.
Take a warm bath or shower before bedtimeSleep with pillows under your knees and armsRead a good book, or listen to relaxing music before bedAvoid eating large meals within 2-3 hours before bed
I also had a hard time sleeping when I was pregnant. I struggled with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) with all four of my pregnancies. My legs would drive me crazy when trying to fall asleep! It felt like I had the wiggles and my legs just wouldn’t relax or sit still. My husband says my crazy legs would frequently kick him in the night.
Here are some tips for Restless Legs:
Be sure you are getting enough Iron. Studies have linked Iron Deficiency to Restless Legs. Make sure you are taking your prenatal vitamin. Additional sources of iron are: lean meats, cashews, spinach, whole grain cereals and breads.
I used an Accupressure Sequence before bed and it helped so much. Here is a link: Accupressure for Restless Legs
I would press each pressure point and hold it for about 10 seconds, moving from head-to-toe.
Use a birth ball/exercise/yoga ball for comfort. I would frequently lean my upper body against a birth ball in the evenings to relieve pressure on my back and hips.
A lot of people get leg cramps when they’re pregnant which are a) unexpected if you haven’t experienced them before and b) uncomfortable!
The good news us that usually they’re benign and you can do some really
simple things to help ease those crampy legs.
Calcium: Leg and back cramps can be a sign that you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet to support yourself and your little one. Some calcium rich foods include dairy (if you tolerate it well), almonds, and dark leafy greens.
Exercise & Stretching: Beyond diet, you can ease your cramps with daily exercise and some gentle stretching. This being said, if you are on bed rest, exercise may not be an option but gentle stretching always is.
During my third pregnancy, I started to realize that it was so much easier to take some extra steps to prevent the uncomfortable, achy body rather than deal with it later.
Some of my favorite things to make the transition from first trimester to third trimester a little smoother are:
Invest in a good belly support band early on! It can help so much to alleviate pressure on your back and hips as baby gets bigger.
Prenatal Yoga is so good for loosening up tight joints. It can also make for a smoother labor.. bonus!
Compression socks can help with swelling- especially if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet a lot.
Find a good Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) that specializes in Prenatal Massage. They will be your best friend!
My advice? Move, move, move! Regular physical activity can keep your back strong
and might relieve back pain during pregnancy. With your health care provider’s OK, try
gentle activities — such as walking, water exercise, or yoga.
Lower Back Stretch Idea:
Rest on your hands and knees shoulder/hip width apart with your head in line with your back.
Pull in your stomach, rounding your back slightly.
Hold for several seconds, then relax your stomach and back — keeping your back as flat as possible.
If you feel so inclined, it is also beneficial to roll your hips in circles.
Keeping your body limber helps to prevent a sore pelvis, muscles and back. As a
bonus, you will prepare your body for birth!
I had terrible Sciatica with my second pregnancy. Around 34 weeks I could barely walk!
My best tips for sciatica are:
Get a great belly band
Stretch Daily or try Prenatal Yoga.
The belly band itself made a HUGE difference for me.
Stretch Idea: Here’s a great stretch that can help. It will relieve some pressure on your sciatic nerve:
Stand facing a wall
Place hands on wall and lift your right leg behind you to the count of five
Switch legs and repeat
Do three reps on each side at least once a day
My secret weapon in pregnancy has been a Webster Certified Chiropractor. There are so many proven benefits to regular chiropractic care through the duration of a pregnancy! The spine houses the central nervous system, which controls your whole body. From round ligament pain, to sleep issues, long labors, chiropractors do it all. They're also the ONLY chiropractors specially trained and certified to help actually move baby into the best position for an easier birth. Do yourself a favor and find your local Webster Certified chiropractor. You'll notice the difference. Doula's honor!