The 12 Best Things You Can Do for Yourself During Pregnancy

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You’re selecting nursery furniture, choosing the perfect name, and creating a baby registry, but what about you? Your body and your life are going through big changes, and you need new ways to take care of yourself. Read on to find out the best things that expectant moms can do for themselves as they wait for their bundle of joy to arrive.

photo: iStock

1. Yoga
Taking a prenatal yoga class can do wonders for your aching muscles. If your body is struggling with the extra weight of your impending bundle of joy, squeezing in a yoga session even once a week can help keep you feeling lithe. Look for low-impact classes in person or online. 

2. Prenatal Massage
If it's in your budget, a prenatal massage can be one of the best things you do for yourself. Not only is a prenatal massage a welcome chance to focus on yourself for an hour or two, it's also a great way to leave stress behind. A good prenatal massage therapist will know how to work out your sore muscles in a way that's safe for you and baby.

3. Undies
Many pregnant women notice early on that their regular undies just aren't cutting it anymore. Hemp undies from WAMA are exceptionally breathable. They also have some give to accommodate a growing belly. If you find that you are leaking a little, Thinx underwear can be a lifesaver. They also work well for the postpartum stage. 

4. Relax...Just Do It
It's no secret that pregnant women are next-level tired a lot of the time. Since you can't add extra hours into the day to get more sleep, find ways to sneak some relaxation into your day. Decaf teas can help you unwind and bring some calm to the chaos of life when preparing for a new little one. Try a Vahdam Teas sampler pack of herbal teas to find a favorite flavor. LaRue 1680 has tea sets, including a Bridgerton Collection, for when you want to relax and feel fancy without leaving the house. A nice blanket for lying around is another great way to up your relaxation game. An Olive & Linen blanket makes couch time seem like an event. These blankets are made from premium Turkish cotton that truly works well for all seasons, as well as for snuggling with a baby! Light a candle from Sea Witch Botanicals. They're made with essential oils and plant-derived waxes instead of the plastic-based paraffin wax used in many candles. There are even unscented candles great for pregnant women sensitive to smells who still want the ambience of a candle-lit evening or bath.  

5. Safer Beauty
When growing a new life, many expectant moms start paying more attention to what's in their beauty products. Some don't like what they find when they start digging into the ingredients. Other pregnant people find that changing hormones mean they need to add to, or change, their normal beauty routine. It's common for pregnant women to find they no longer can tolerate the fragrance of their current products or that they suddenly need oil-free products. 

Costal Citizen is a fragrance-free, oil-free, no-rinse gentle cleansing water perfect for perking up skin when you are tired, which is probably all time time during pregnancy. Because Coastal Citizen is a no-rinse cleanser, it is a great option for expectant moms who need a quick refresh on-the-go. The Raw Beauty Company uses ingredients like cucumber fruit extract, green tea leaf extract, aloe leaf and other natural ingredients to create the super-moisturizers and derma-scrubs pregnant skin often needs. 

Spa Technologies uses nutrient-dense organic laminaria algae and other natural ingredients to moisturize, cleanse and revitalize skin. Pregnant women often need some extra TLC, and Spa Technologies delivers that extra punch to help them look and feel their best. Danielle Fishel of Boy Meets World fame created Be Free when she was pregnant and wanted to avoid harsh chemicals in her hair products. When other clean products left her hair looking dull, she took matters into her own hands. Be Free is the best of both worlds with natural ingredients that leave hair looking shiny and healthy.  

MyChelle Demaceuticals makes science-backed skin care products free of phthalates, parabens, petroleum, sulfates and artificial fragrances and colors. So the brand's line of moisturizers, masks and sun protection products are worth considering. Fragrance With Benefits is a great choice for expecting Moms who want to avoid the harsh chemicals in insect repellant. This perfume uses essential oils to help keep mosquitos and other critters away. TrapStix lip balm keeps lips moist with natural ingredients that are safer for pregnant women.

photo: iStock

6. Comfy Feet
As every mom can tell you, pregnancy takes a toll on your feet. Even if you are lucky enough not to experience feet that grow while nurturing a new life, chances are your feet will still be very sore. Footnanny has you covered with their unscented mommy cream. This light cream is perfect for feet (and hands) that need a refresh at the end of the day. If you are experiencing more pain in your feet, you may need something stronger! Mineralgia was created by doctors to help relieve pain and stimulate circulation with plant-based, unscented ingredients. Achy feet can also be soothed by infrared therapy. Bright Health offers at-home relief for achy feet quickly. You probably want your feet to look good too! Nail polish without the harsh chemicals found in many products are a good idea when expecting. Check out SOPHi nail polish, which is free from harsh chemicals, making it safer for baby. When you can't just sit down and relax, you can take some steps to keep comfy. Compression socks, like those from Dr. Motion, can do wonders for feet prone to swelling.  

7. The Best Shoes
One way to not need to pamper your feet so much is to make sure you are wearing the comfiest shoes possible. But this doesn't mean that pregnant moms need to sacrifice style. Try All Birds Wool Loungers. These shoes slip on so you won't need to bend over to put them on. This is useful both when you have a growing belly and during postpartum when your hands may be too busy holding a baby to worry about tying your shoes. Plus, they are super-soft inside which is a treat for achy feet. Need something a little dressier? NYDJ now makes heels with a focus on comfort. These classic pumps have a cushioned insole with memory foam padding so you can still be ready for the office or a dressy event while taking care of your pregnancy feet. 

8. Pregnancy Pillow
Nearly every pregnant person has experienced sleepless nights. Maybe it's because of a growing belly. Or perhaps you have a party baby who likes to wiggle around all night long. It could be that common pregnancy symptoms like nausea and heartburn make it hard to get to sleep. There are a few ways to make this easier. A Boppy Total Body Pillow is a contoured pillow the length of your body that works wonders by giving you support where you need it. Another type of pillow that can work great for pregnancy aches is the Zoey Sleep Curve Pillow. The Zoey pillow has a unique design that allows users to remove or add more filling to make the pillow just right for you! The unique cut-out shape also has space to mold to the contours of your neck. This is especially useful for people who sleep on their side. This is important during pregnancy because doctors recommend that all pregnant people sleep on their sides

9. Comfy Clothes
Your clothes probably stopped feeling comfortable sometime in your first trimester. Splurging on some new clothes that give you breathing room and make you feel pretty is something only you can do for yourself! There are plenty of maternity clothes you will wear during your pregnancy, but grabbing some flexible clothing that you can wear when you don't feel like wearing stretchy pants can go a long way toward helping you feel your best. Look for a skirt with an adjustable waistband and that can be worn a bit longer or shorter like the NuNuNu World layered skirt or a zippered hoodie in a size up that you can wear as you go up and down in size.

10. Splurge for the Baby
Usually there are a couple of things on the baby registry that will make you very happy. Don't wait for someone else to make that purchase. Save your mental energy and get that special item you are not sure anyone else will get for you. A popular choice is a cute going-home or birth-announcement outfit. This one from Tenth & Pine that declares "Hello I'm new here!" will make you smile every time you imagine your new baby wearing it. Another good choice is a personalized necklace from Tiny Tags. Order a necklace with every member of the family's name and have it ready to wear as soon baby makes their grand appearance. 

11. Self-Care
Hydration is key to feeling good throughout pregnancy. A small thing like a new water bottle can help motivate you to keep drinking throughout the day. A cute Welly water bottle is a good choice.  Make it easy to get a full serving of fruits and veggies everyday to make sure your growing baby gets the nutrition they need and to help you feel your best. A Nutribullet Pro personal blender is an easy way to quickly whip up a smoothie a day. Add some yogurt or peanut butter for a protein boost. 

12. Combat Pregnancy Brain
Being pregnant may mean developing pregnancy brain and forgetting important tasks. That may sometimes mean forgetting to charge your phone. An Anker battery pack that is lightweight is a must-have addition to any pregnant person's bag. Being able to charge on the go, or even just while walking around the house, can be a lifesaver and let you keep talking or strolling. Better organization is also a must when you don't feel like you are operating at full capacity. Consider a 1Thrive organizational board with a customizable combination of chalkboards, whiteboards and corkboards in various sizes. This is a lifesaver for keeping track of doctor's appointments and your ever-growing to-do list that comes along with preparing for a new baby. Anything that keeps you organized in other parts of your life can be helpful too. A Bow & Spring jewelry box, for example, is helps you keep jewelry organized, visible and easy to access. 

—Jamie Davis Smith

featured image: iStock

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