If you recall from a previous post, I’ve sworn to myself early in my pregnancy (like 4 weeks in, ha!) that I would rather endure the physical pains than the nausea. Well the moment arrived quickly and the physical pains started when I was about 18 weeks. Since I have been taking Diclectin to curb the nausea and gross feelings, I did every effort to avoid any other drugs to ease the aches and pains. After all, as a new mom, you want to try your best to make things as “natural” as possible for your babies.
What I’m about to share is what worked for me, and may not necessarily for everyone else. I’m not a doctor, but I did consult with my doctors and other professionals, and they supported the things I did to keep the physical pains from pregnancy manageable.
This is what I’ve experienced from month 5 to the end:
- Stomach tightness, twinges and skin itch from stretching belly.
- Shortness of breath
- Leg cramps
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Pelvic pain
- Inner thigh pain
- Lower belly pain
So this is how I managed the above and some others that are intertwined with the similar issues:
- Water.… Water. Water. Water. I cannot stress that enough. Even if you aren’t pregnant, water helps with hydration, digestion and is good for you and babies! Ev!en if babies dance
- Stretches for sciatica here. Thank you Pinterest!
- Balanced diet. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t give into my cravings, because I did. However, I was only able to eat a tiny bit of it. Aside from first trimester messing up my usual menu, my body craved a lot of healthy carbs, fruits, veggies and proteins. I had to think about the indigestion associated with pregnancy, so I kept it balanced.
- Comfortable clothing. I found comfort in fitted shirts, which supported the growing belly and leggings. Also there were days I wanted to wear loose stuff around the house. Self explanatory.
- Socks and runners. Usually in the summer, I would bust out the flip flops and sandals. However, putting socks on and runners acted like a compression stocking so I would not have crazy swelling. Helped a ton and was super comfortable, even if it was 35+degrees Celsius outside!!
- Rock Tape or KT Tape. Again, thanks to the power of Pinterest, I came across taping myself. Below the belly, lower back were places I would apply the tape so my belly would “lift” and not drag down and put pressure on my lower back.
- Peppermint Oil. I’ve mentioned it before that this was gold for me. If I had a headache, I would apply some drops to my temples. Same for belly and back pain and carpal tunnel. I would put this everywhere there was pain. You’ll smell like Christmas, but so worth it!
- Exercise. In case you haven’t read my posts, I’ve been training muay thai and crossfit a few years prior to preggo life. Although I had to tone the workouts down significantly and couldn’t keep up with the rest of the class, these simple moves helped me so much:
- Squats. All types squats. Sumo squats. Overhead olympic bar squats, front squats, back squats etc. I would hear often that I would have crazy definition on my arms because I would be holding two. But I beg do differ. You need strong legs! Strong legs to carry you and your belly, and even with babies out, you need to pick them up somehow and it can’t just be your arms.
- Lunges. Self explanatory.
- Light cardio. Obviously I could not spar, but doing work on the bag or shadowboxing helped me manage my breathing.
- Power walks. Even slow walks. I couldn’t stay in one place a long time without feeling uncomfortable. So I had to step away from my desk
- Body Pillow. I bought a regular body pillow instead of the suggested Snoogle. Only because I cared about how my bed would look post babies and didn’t know how I would store the Snoogle nicely, to make it aesthetically pleasing. I slept on my left side most of the time and the body pillow (plus 3 regular pillows!) made sleeping comfortable. Even though I still woke up twice a night.
- Foam Roller. I didn’t have the luxury to get pregnancy massages, but I bought this piece of beauty. Side aches, leg pains and back pains be gone! temporarily.
- Belly Jelly. I bought this from Whole Foods. The Belly Jelly was a bit pricey but helped curb belly itch. My skin did not react well with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. I didn’t have stretch marks even thought I didn’t care if I did. I can’t fully credit if Belly Jelly was the reason, or the amounts of water I drank, but this smelled nicely and made my belly feel smooth 🙂
- Allergy pills. Okay, so not completely drug-free. But whenever the belly itch got bad, I had to take an allergy pill to help with the itchiness and redness. Also helped with congestion. I had to blow my nose every morning, even though I wasn’t sick with colds the entire pregnancy.
- Zantac. Again, not completely drug-free. But this eased with heartburn. Tums did nothing!
There you have it! What worked for you?