Pregnancy is an exciting time but it can also be challenging, so it’s good to have hacks to help you along the way to your due date!
When you’re expecting there can be quite a few challenges that crop up which take you by surprise.
In my first pregnancy I was shocked at how exhausted and sick I felt for weeks on end.
My nausea went well beyond the first trimester and on to week 20.
Then getting comfortable at night was a really struggle in the final months.
While both of my pregnancies had similarities, I would say the second stood out because I had a toddler to look after while I was expecting.
So at that time more than ever, I needed hacks to help make my life a little easier.
I’m going to share with you my absolute favourite useful pregnancy hacks. These are only the very best tips and tricks for getting through your pregnancy!
If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments.
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1. Get a grabber or use kitchen tongs
A cute little second trimester bump is not too much trouble.
It doesn’t get in the way, and actually it’s a lovely reminder looking down and being able to see physical evidence of your pregnancy.
When you reach the final trimester and your baby has notched beyond the 5lbs mark, it gets a lot more restrictive.
Bending down and picking stuff up is a tricky manoeuvre, especially in small spaces like the shower.
Save yourself the hassle of struggling to reach down by getting either a pair of kitchen tongs or a grabber which you may use more commonly to pick up litter outside.
2. Put together a bedside anti-sickness kit
Nausea can start from around four weeks. Some pregnant ladies feel sick for a few hours a day, some feel sick all day and others are actually physically sick.
As someone who experienced 24/7 nausea for the first 20 weeks of both pregnancies I totally understand how awful it can be.
While there are medications you can take if it gets really bad, you can try to manage the sickness day to day with a few natural remedies.
One of the key things is to start the day off right. This means beginning the day with something like dry crackers, ginger biscuits or toast before you even get out of bed.
Having an empty stomach can make the nausea worse. Try having a kit with the things that work for you to combat nausea.
This may also include things like these pregnancy sweets which you can suck on to get nausea relief.
Remember to have water by your bedside too to help.
3. Gurgle salt water for nasty tastes
In my first trimester I was hit by a foul taste in my mouth. It was just disgusting. I would describe it as metallic, but even more unpleasant than that.
Apparently a bad taste in the mouth can be a fairly common side effect of the early weeks of pregnancy.
Luckily mine only hit for a few hours a day for around two or three weeks then went away.
To combat it I would eat grapes, which seemed to help to wash the taste away, drink water and also gargle salt water.
You simply dissolve a tablespoon of salt into a glass of boiler water, then give it a good stir and allow to cool. Next you swill it around your mouth, but do not swallow. Spit out after around 30 seconds.
This helped to provide some short-term relief.
4. Soak swollen feet in epsom salt water
Swollen feet causing you pain and discomfort? Try a nice foot soak.
Some people swear by putting your feet in bubbly liquid like tonic water, but you can also try adding epsom salt to warm water to soothe your swollen feet.
There’s lots more info about swollen feet in pregnancy over at Mayo Clinic.
5. Use a hairband to expand your jeans
Stick with your jeans for a little longer by using a hairband looped through the button hole and around the button itself to hold them together.
Alternatively you can purchase waist expanders super cheap from Amazon.
Cover up the hairband or waist expander with your top.
6. Try a belly band for jeans
It’s hard to predict when you will grow out of your regular jeans.
But you don’t have to switch to maternity jeans right away! A belly band can help save you money on having to buy maternity jeans at all.
Simply leave your jeans unbuttoned, or use the hairband trick to keep them done up if you prefer, then cover over the waistband of the jeans with the belly band.
While maternity jeans are fab, if you’re looking to save money on maternity clothes this is a brilliant way to avoid having to buy maternity jeans.
7. Ginger for nausea
Whether or not ginger works for you could be hit and miss. Some pregnant women finds it does wonders for their nausea, while others say it doesn’t work at all.
Studies show it can help with digestion and saliva flow which is why it can help with nausea in pregnancy.
Try different types of ginger to see if you can find a different form that works.
You can try ginger sweets, crystal stem ginger or ginger biscuits. You could even try ginger smoothies. Just add some root ginger to your favourite juice smoothie and blend thoroughly to mix.
If ginger that you eat isn’t doing the trick, then try it as a scent. You could get a ginger candle or ginger scented incense sticks. Try putting them by your bedside and using them every morning.
8. Extend the life of your bra
During pregnancy you will find your rib cage expands slightly to accommodate your baby.
The most comfortable bra to wear during pregnancy is a maternity or nursing bra, or a sports bra. Something that’s stretchy is best.
But if you want to work with your existing bras, then you can get an expander clip to give you some extra inches for comfort.
9. Try tape for supporting your bump
Your expanding baby bump can put pressure on your muscles, especially around the back and abdomen.
Kinesio tape is usually used for sports injuries to support the injured limb, but it’s been found to really help with pregnancy too.
A study found that kinesio tape had a significant impact on back pain in pregnancy.
You can try taping up your bump in several different ways. Experiment to find which way works best for you.
10. Invest in a pillow
A pregnancy pillow is a must-have maternity item in my opinion.
You will love it so much you won’t want to get rid of it.
There are lots of different types of pregnancy pillow you can choose, from the huge ones that surround you like a nest to little wedges that just fit between your knees.
There’s a guide to the best pregnancy pillows on the market here.
11. Ditch shoe laces
When you reach the end stages of your pregnancy then you may find tying your shoe laces an impossible feat!
If you don’t have someone handy to help you out every time you need to put your shoes on, then either switch to slip-on shoes or adapt your sneakers.
You can try removing your laces and using hairbands to tie the holes together. This should make them stretchy enough to slip on and off.
Alternatively you can get these fab shoe laces that work in a similar, but less fiddly way, to make your sneakers slip-on.
12. Silk sheets for easy rolling
Tossing and turning in bed is pretty standard when you’re pregnant.
But as you get bigger, it can be tricky to find a comfy spot and also to get yourself out of bed for those constant nighttime bathroom visits.
Silk sheets can make it way easier to move around in bed and slide out. Plus, the luxury is pretty fantastic!
Alternatively you can try something like this handy sheet that works in a similar way.
13. Avoid chaffing in hot weather
Hot weather and pregnancy are not friends. Fact!
During both of my pregnancy I found the summer heatwaves some of the toughest days to cope with.
Sweaty skin and heat, along with wearing dresses so there’s no fabric between your thighs, can mean your thighs may chafe.
Try putting coconut oil on your thighs to help them rub together without causing irritation to the skin.
14. Mist yourself
Speaking of hot weather, trying to stay cool in heatwaves really is a pain! Did I mention how much I hated hot weather and pregnancy? It’s worth saying it again because I honestly, really hated it!
Anyway, one great hack for keeping cool during heatwaves in your pregnancy is to have a spray bottle with water in to hand.
Mist yourself whenever you’re feeling a little too warm.
It works even better if you spray yourself with a little water and then sit in front of a fan, it’s like your own cheap version of air conditioning!
15. Freeze your sheets
I don’t actually suggest freezing them solid, but try popping your sheets into the freezer for around 30 minutes before bedtime.
When you put them back on the bed they will feel lovely and cool, helping you to stay cool on hot summer nights.
You can also try putting your bra in the fridge for 10 minutes to give you extra chilled relief.
16. Treat heartburn with apple cider vinegar
Heartburn is a nasty side effect of pregnancy.
Try adding between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and give it a good stir.
Take it just before or after meals to help with your heartburn.
17. Make your own pregnancy lollies
Ice lollies are great because the fresh and cold taste can wash away bad tastes in your mouth. Plus they help hydrate you too.
You can try making your own.
It’s really easy with these simple lolly moulds and you can use whatever juice or fruit whizzed up in a food processor you want to make them.
I love this watermelon pregnancy popsicle recipe. You just need to do the following:
- Combine half a cup of water with half cup of sugar. Heat in a small saucepan gently under the sugar dissolves.
- Put two cups of watermelon chunks into a blender. Add two tablespoons of the sugar syrup and blend.
- Pour mixture into moulds and freeze.
- You can store the rest of the sugar syrup in a sealed container for up to one month.
18. Eat bananas to beat cramps
Leg cramps are very common, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.
Experts aren’t sure why, but eating bananas can help boost your crucial vitamin levels such as magnesium and calcium, and you should also try to stay hydrated.
19. Sniff peppermint oil
When you sniff peppermint oil it can help with easing your nausea.
However it can also help you wee!
During pregnancy you may feel a constant need to go to the toilet. Despite the urge, once you get to the toilet you may be left frustrated as not much wee comes out. This is caused by the baby putting pressure on that area.
To combat this, you can try peppermint oil either sniffing it or in the toilet bowl. The vapours can help to cause your body to relax and release the wee.
20. Buy clothes that work during and after pregnancy
Instead of spending a ton of your valuable cash on maternity clothes that you will only wear for a few months, buy smart.
Choose clothes that are cut to be roomy and that you will be happy to wear after pregnancy.
Look for loose jumpers, leggings, billowy dresses and boyfriend-style shirts that can accommodate your bump in pregnancy but still look stylish after you have given birth.
21. Wear a sea sickness band
They’re called sea sickness bands but they can also help your pregnancy nausea.
Sea sickness bands work by placing pressure on particular parts of your wrist to help alleviate the feeling of nausea.
22. Get a donut cushion
If you’re suffering from tailbone pain then a donut cushion can help you to get comfy when sitting down.
A larger donut cushion can also help you to lie down on your front if that’s your preferred position to get comfy. I wouldn’t recommend sleeping this way, but if you want to lay on your front to relieve back pain during a rest, then a large donut cushion which you can pop your bump through can help you get comfy without putting pressure on your bump.
23. Wear compression socks for swollen ankles
Swollen ankles and feet are quite normal in the later stages of pregnancy.
Wearing compression socks can help to alleviate the swelling and take away discomfort.
24. Combat constipation
Your bowels slow during pregnancy. Constipation is uncomfortable enough at the best of times, but with pregnancy added into the mix it can be seriously unpleasant.
To make going to the toilet easier, staying hydrated and eating plenty of veg is crucial. You can try fruit like prunes to make your bowel movements softer.
You can also try a small stool for you to rest your feet on when sitting on the toilet. This elevates your knees upwards above your hips and can help you move your bowels easier.
Try not to strain as this can cause haemorrhoids.
25. Get a pregnancy app
You can get tons of free pregnancy information online. Save money on a book and download a good app instead.
An app can tell you what stage of growth your baby is at, and some let you add notes and pictures so you can record your pregnancy journey.
26. Start learning about breastfeeding right now
If you want to breastfeed then it’s never too early to start reading up on it.
There are tons of free resources online you can look at, and I thoroughly recommend checking out videos of mums latching on their babies so that you can see what a good latch looks like.
But the best resource for breastfeeding is this fab course. You can learn at your own pace, and you get lifetime access for just $19. It’s written by a lactation expert and features answers to all of the worries and questions you might have.
27. Pee before brushing your teeth
Nausea is horrible, and brushing your teeth can make it way worse.
Try having a wee right before you brush your teeth, which can help a little to ease the nausea. Sounds crazy, but some mamas swear by it!
You could also try switching your toothbrush for a smaller toddler-sized one. `You may find you are less likely to gag on this than an adult toothbrush.
28. Get a motivational water bottle
There are some fab water bottles with line markings and motivational words on them to remind you to keep drinking throughout the day.
If you have a water bottle already you can tie rubber bands or hair bands around it at different intervals to encourage you to drink steadily throughout the day.
29. Make ahead and freeze
Bored during your pregnancy? Make the most of your time by cooking food for your freezer.
After the baby arrives cooking will be one of the last things you want to do, but you will need healthy meals.
I have a whole post of fab ideas for filling your freezer over here.
30. Use coconut oil for itchy skin
Itchy skin is common around the bump as the skin stretches.
Rubbing a little coconut oil on the area can really help to soothe this, plus it’s super moisturising for the skin too.
31. Practice using all the baby kit now
When the baby arrives the last thing you want to be doing is struggling to put the car seat in while they are screaming for a feed.
Get used to using every baby gadget right now.
You need to make sure you can collapse the buggy and put it in your car, as well as get the car seat in and out easily.