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My Pregnancy Must-Haves for Common Woes

Pregnancy is different for everyone, but there are some common woes. Here’s what I experienced and what pregnancy must-haves helped!

I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant and, predictably, feel much better than I did in the first trimester.

My Pregnancy Must-Haves for Common Woes

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You can see more photos from our pregnancy announcement in this post!

My Pregnancy Must-Haves for Common Woes

Dress | Shoes | Earrings | Bracelets | Necklace  | (His) Shoes | Shorts | Shirt

 

Pregnancy Must-Haves for Common Pregnancy Woes

When I started to first experience some pregnancy discomfort and sickness, I found it incredibly helpful to read my friends’ blog posts about what helped them. I’m sharing today what has helped me feel more comfortable and I’ll keep updating this post throughout my pregnancy. I hope this post helps you if you’re experiencing some common pregnancy woes.

Woe: Dry Skin

Dry skin came on really quickly for me. I’ve always been prone to dryness, but it got really bad all over my body. (My face, thankfully, ever felt overly dry, but I already used a skincare line designed for dry skin. (Here’s what I use.) But my arms, belly, back and legs itched like crazy!! I previously used this body lotion and loved it but it simply wasn’t enough hydration once I was pregnant. Then I switched to the Beautycounter Body Butter or the Primally Pure Body Butter and those helped a LOT.

I did find that the Primally Pure Body Butter left my skin just a little greasy so I typically only use that at night and then use the Beautycounter Body Butter during the day. I also liked the Primally Pure Baby Balm for my stomach. While I haven’t had any noticeable stretch marks, I believe that’s more genetics than anything. (And hey, there’s still time, ha!) I do have a minor darkening of my linea negra but I have no clue if the body butters helped with that!

Woe: Nausea

The first trimester was AWFUL. I was nauseous from the moment I woke up until I fell asleep. I never threw up, thankfully. But I very often wished that I could. I felt like I had car or sea sickness ALL day. Here’s what helped with the nausea.

Drinking Spindrift or Nuun.

Something with just a little flavor and effervescence seemed to help sooth my stomach vs. plain water. Lots of articles recommended ginger tea, but I couldn’t stomach warm drinks.

Nixing coffee.

I could not even STAND the thought of drinking coffee until I was in my second trimester. (Thankfully, I had already weaned my coffee consumption down from 8 cups a day!)

Eating lots of ginger chews!

I ate these throughout the day and after most meals. I never left the house without them!! The Prince of Peace Ginger chews are my favorites. They come in multiple flavors, never get hard like other brands and have a serious ginger spicy kick, which I LOVE. (Read this post for more reasons I love ginger!)

My Pregnancy Must-Haves for Common Woes

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Consuming lots of plain carbs.

I had a LOT of food aversions in my first trimester. I’ve always loved veggies and salads (see?), but I can’t count how many times I spit out vegetables on the days I even attempted to eat them in my first trimester. I also couldn’t stomach fish, meat, eggs or beans. The only things I could eat were plain carbs, cheese and peanut butter. So, I stocked up bagels and cream cheese. I liked the Canyon Ranch gluten-free ones with the Kite Hill vegan cream cheese best. Pretzels and Food Should Taste Good chips (at Costco) were also great since I craved a lot of salt. I also wanted pizza a LOT, much to my husband’s joy since he LOVES pizza and I’m usually meh on it.

To get fiber and protein, I occasionally had smoothies with protein powder. I stuffed them with berries, kale or spinach. And a vegan protein powder. (I like Garden of Life and Perfect Plant Protein.) I especially liked this Mint Cacao smoothie and this Blueberry Peanut Butter smoothie.

It definitely wasn’t a perfect diet, but I doubt any expecting mother has the perfect diet. I did the best I could!

Now that I’m in my second trimester, things have mostly returned to normal. I’ve traded the gluten-free bagels for Food for Life 7-Sprouted Grains english muffins, which is great since they’re less processed and have more fiber and protein. I can eat most vegetables, but roasting them still makes me gag so I steam them instead. And I can handle eggs, chicken, and beans meat most days, but I still can’t stomach fish or beef very well. And I’m back to being meh about pizza!

Eating more fruit

I also found that I craved fruit like CRAZY. When not pregnant, I like fruit but I don’t really crave it. But I could not get enough of it – berries, apples and sometimes bananas. I even called Tommy once to tell him how delicious mango is, ha! I especially love frozen mixed berries, even now that the nausea is gone.

 

Woe: Acid Reflux

This wasn’t something I expected to struggle with so much but it was AWFUL, especially in my first trimester.

Eat small meals 

I learned that eating smaller meals help a lot, which meant I needed to eat more often. That was an adjustment since I’m not really a grazer.

Avoid tomatoes

I also found that anything tomato based made it MUCH worse so I have barely touched tomatoes since I got pregnant. Occasionally I can do a red pasta sauce, but I have to be careful with the quantity! What triggers acid reflux is different for everyone so just pay attention to when it is the worst and try to pinpoint the root case! For me, tomatoes are a MAJOR issue!

Woe: Nothing fits!

Bella Band

The in-between phase was rough since my regular clothes got too tight but maternity specific clothes were ENORMOUS on me. The belly band on a pair of maternity jeans literally came up to my neck! Granted, I’m short, but sheesh! I tried folding it over and it was just too bulky.

I was able to wear my regular jeans until about week 14-15. Then, I ordered a Bella Band so I could wear my jeans and shorts unbuttoned.

Maternity shorts & jeans

Once I got to about 20 weeks, I finally ordered some maternity specific jeans and shorts, which were much more comfortable and simply looked better without the bulk of the Bella Band underneath. I’ll do a post in more depth about my favorite pregnancy clothes, but so far I LOVE these denim shorts and these jeans.

Workout leggings and shorts

For workout clothes, the Align leggings have been AMAZING at every phase. I had multiple pairs before I got pregnant and they’ve never felt too tight, even at 24 weeks! Once the weather warmed up, I bought a pair of Align shorts for running and the Peloton. I did size up in the Align shorts just in case I need more room as my belly continues to grow. I’ll also do another post specifically about pregnancy running clothes, since that’s been interesting to figure out!

New bras
T-shirt bras

My chest size changed DRAMATICALLY within just a couple weeks. I went from a B/C cup to a DD/E cup. Based on some googling, I ordered a few nursing bras that work while pregnant and they were SO uncomfortable. I also tried some stretchy bras that other pregnant moms had suggested (specifically these) but they did NOT work for me since I needed way more support.

I figured there was no point in being uncomfortable by trying to buy something cheap and I just sized up in my usual brand of bras. Since I worn and LOVED Third Love bras for years, I just ordered larger sizes, and I’ve been so happy I did that. I have this t-shirt bra, this strapless one, and this lace one.

Sports Bras

While I was able to make my regular t-shirt bras work for a while, that wasn’t the case with sports bras. I previously ran in the Lululemon Long Line Energy Bra, but it wasn’t supportive enough once my chest got bigger. Plus, I simply didn’t fit in the ones I owned. Not. Even. Close. So for running, I got a Brooks Juno and Athleta Advance Bra, which are both great. My friend, Kath, suggested the Brooks Juno and pointed out that it works GREAT for nursing since the straps velcro in the front. So when I size up again, I’ll buy more Brooks Juno. The material is also a bit softer than the Athleta one.

For lower impact workouts, I’ve like this Four Athletics Bra. However, my bra size must have changed AGAIN since I got in the second trimester since the new, larger bras I bought are now too small! Time for a double E??? Sheesh.

Woe: I can’t sleep!

I had a VERY hard time falling asleep and would wake up every couple of hours. I was getting only about 3-4 hours of sleep a night so I ended up getting a prescription from my doctor for a few weeks. Then, eventually, I was able to fall asleep without it so I stopped taking it. I do still wake up throughout the night with some discomfort. And most nights I wake up to pee at least once. I get so excited when I sleep through the night, ha!

I don’t know if there is much to resolve this other than basic sleep hygiene habits: go to bed and wake up at the same time, minimize electronics 1-2 hours before bed and have a consistent wind-down routine! Then I go upstairs about 45 minutes before I want to sleep to wash my face and read.

Woe: Back Pain

I started having back pain pretty early on (e.g. 6 weeks) that was unrelated to pregnancy. I’ve been prone to sacrum and SI joint issues for over 10 years, and I messed up my sacrum while doing some PT exercises for my injured ankle. (My foot slipped, ugh.) The pain was so bad that I could barely walk and running was absolutely off the table. My OBGYN agreed that it wasn’t pregnancy-related back pain since it was way too early for that, but still suggested I do PT for my back. That helped some and once I was past my first trimester, my OBGYN cleared me to get dry needling and that helped a LOT.

Now that I’m into my second trimester, I have more typical pregnancy-related back pain. It’s very achy and it’s very hard for for me to get comfortable on the sofa or in bed. I’ve found if my knees are pulled up to me on the sofa, rather than out on the ottoman, that helps. In bed, I finally got this body pillow and that’s helped a lot. It also helps me to not sleep on my back – I’ve always been a back sleeper so that’s a hard habit to break!

Bottom line: Every pregnancy is different

Everyone will experience pregnancy so differently so you’ll have to figure out what works for you! It may take a little trial and error, but I hope this helps you figure out some common woes out if you’re expecting!

pregnancy photoshoot

Jumpsuit | Bracelet

pregnancy photoshoot

Dress | Shoes | Earrings | Bracelets | Necklace  | (His) Shoes | Shorts | Shirt

 

What were your pregnancy must-haves? If you’re expecting, what other symptoms are you experiencing? 

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Note: This post is based on my personal experience and is not intended to be advice for your pregnancy. As pregnancy impacts everyone differently, always check with your doctor before incorporating anything new into your diet, workout routines, etc.!

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Christine Whittington
    at

    I wish this post had been around when I was pregnant with my first child 38 years ago. My nausea was exactly like yours–all day, every day for the first trimester and not being able to stomach coffee, vegetables, or pretty much anything except baked potatoes (with salt), plain popcorn, plain pasta, and essentially anything white. Spindrift wasn’t around then, so I put grapefruit juice in a blender with lots of ice. It did mean that alcohol wasn’t even tempting. It also means that your hormones are doing what they are supposed to do!

    As you know now, it does get better. I developed a craving for ramen noodles and ate the all the time. My son is now 37 and a healthy guy!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Now I won’t be able to stop thinking about ramen noodles!! That sounds amazing and I just finished breakfast, ha! I also went through a major grapefruit phase!!

  • Reply
    Joyce
    at

    Wow! You still look beautiful.

  • Reply
    Katie
    at

    Glad you’re feeling better! When I was pregnant for the first time, I was so shocked by how early some changes came. You feel like a different person wellllll before there is even a bump for others to see! I experienced the same things as you (the nausea and reflux were debilitating!) and felt so unprepared for that all day “morning sickness.” I hope others can find some good tips from you in this post if they are going through the same! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    at

    I love the Brooks Juno bra for running. I’ve been wearing it exclusively for a few years and the adjustable straps help with maintaining the appropriate support without needing to buy a new sports bra every other month.

  • Reply
    Christine Whittington
    at

    I occasionally still have acid reflux. It is awful. Chocolate is a trigger for me! Apple cider vinegar chews seem to help.

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Chocolate triggers me too – so sad because I love it! I didn’t know apple cider vinegar chews were a thing! I’ve got to find them!

  • Reply
    Amber Hunt
    at

    I love this post! Reminds me so much of my pregnancies! I ate so many bagels, plain toast and ritz crackers, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to look at those things ever again! So amazing how fast your body can tell you you’re pregnant! Glad you are feeling better, especially that horrible nausea. Sending you warm thoughts for a smooth, healthy and calm pregnancy!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    at

    My pregnancy must have was Tums!! The heartburn was so bad. Especially towards the end. Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy!

  • Reply
    Ewa
    at

    Magnesium magnesium and more magnesium! I couldn’t sleep I had restless leg syndrome and everyone was saying it’s normal until I ate magnesium before sleep and it solved it for me. It was one of my worst symptoms!

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