Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Pregnancy Must Haves- Part 2

With movies, it's generally understood that the sequel is never as good as the first. I wrote part one when I wasn't even pregnant any more and it had been almost a year since I gave birth! I figure it's relevant right now, and I'm thinking about the things I "must have" all the time. And this isn't a movie, so hopefully, part two will be even better than the first!

Lemon water- I had been getting awful swelling in my feet starting from the time I woke up in the morning. Many times, by the end of the day, my feet would resemble memory foam! Not any more! I've been chugging lemon water, and I haven't had nearly the problem I was having. Apparently lemons are a great liver cleanser, and help your body process excess fluid and toxins.

***You must pick your lemons just right though. I had received a big bag of lemons from someone's yard, and I was using a fourth of a lemon squeezed into each glass of water (sweetened with a bit of stevia to cut down on the sourness- almost like lemonade!) and that's when I started getting the best results. Well, I ran out of lemons, and so my husband went out for some and brought home a mesh bag full of smaller lemons from Wal-Mart, and when I used them, the swelling returned! (Those lemons barely had any seeds, by the way). I also read something online that said an indication of a "good lemon" was a little 3-5 point star shape on the base of the stem. Well, I got new lemons after I ran out of the "dud lemons" and several of them have the little star shape. Guess what? Swelling is gone again. Hmm.

Epsom Salt Baths- This one also started because of the swelling, but it's good for so much more! My midwife advised me to use two cups of Epsom salt in a bath and soak for at least 45 minutes for optimum results. Not only did it help reduce the swelling in my feet, but it also helps me sleep as well as reducing pain and inflammation in my body! Check out this list of more great benefits.

Rice Sock- This is another one that's great for easing aches and pains pretty much anywhere in the body. Fill a sock (the bigger the better) with about 1-2 cups of uncooked rice and tie a knot on the end (you can sew it too, if you're the crafty sort- or even make a small pillow- but a sock definitely does the trick in a pinch). Stick it in the microwave for 45 seconds, then remove it and shake the rice around and put it back in for another 30 seconds or so. When I was having sinus trouble, I would place it over my face for relief. If you have a headache, you can even sprinkle a bit of lavender oil on it for additional soothing (that helps you sleep too). I would also put it on my neck to relieve tension, or even on my lower back to reduce the achy-ness.

Belly Band- I started using one when I started growing out of my pants! It helped me stay in my regular size jeans as long as I could, since I could wear them unbuttoned under the belly band. Then I moved up to my larger size pants, and it helped those stay up too. (Until I outgrew those!) Now that I've finally given in to wearing maternity pants, it gives me a little more "security" since they're a little looser in some areas. I have a feeling that I'll be using this item for a while after I give birth as I transition back to my regular size. (I wish I would've known about this with my first two pregnancies).

Friends, what has helped you get through the uncomfortable or awkward times in pregnancy? Share in the comments!