‘Oh my god I wouldn’t have survived my pregnancy without maternity tights. Seriously, I was wearing them from about 7 weeks onwards!’
This is advice I got from someone on Instagram last week. It’s very good advice but at 22 weeks pregnant, I’m still very comfortably wearing my normal clothes, bras and pants so this advice is kind of irrelevant but you know what? About 99% of the pregnancy advice I’ve been given has been irrelevant. This doesn’t mean I don’t like hearing it, because I honestly do. It also doesn’t mean it won’t be useful. I could have had a much bigger belly at this stage and the maternity tights advice would have been excellent. I’ve been given some incredible remedies for morning sickness, insomnia, back acne and cravings, all of it very sensible and well-tested advice but I’ve had to use precisely none of it because I haven’t had morning sickness, insomnia, back acne or cravings. Everyone’s pregnancy is totally unique, even for women who have had multiple pregnancies. One lady on Instagram told me about her first pregnancy which was HORRENDOUS. She was basically bed-ridden the entire the time with severe sickness and then had a really traumatic birth. She had therapy before her next pregnancy because she was so broken from her first one and guess what? Her next pregnancy was a breeze. Go figure! The whole she-bang seems to be a cruel game of Russian Roulette so giving advice seems important and pointless at the same time. BUT, I’ve been reading lots of pregnancy blogs and I’m finding the personal stories really helpful and little tips about things that get pregnant women through the day are really quite lovely to read, even if they aren’t completely applicable to me.
So here are a few pregnancy tips that are helping me right now… maybe they’ll help you or someone you know!
1. Pregnancy pillow
This is something I knew I’d struggle with because I’m a hardcore tummy sleeper. I have been my whole life and I’m incapable of sleeping on my side or my back (unless I’m in a car, then I fall asleep immediately). This is the first and only pregnancy thing I’ve bought so far and I bought it super early to get used to it before I really needed it. My bump is still relatively small but I’ve been practising side sleeping with this pillow for at least two months now and I’m almost there. Well, I’ve stopped hurling it out of the bed in the middle of the night and resorting to my regular pillow in a grumpy, sleepy haze so that’s progress right? I’m not totally side sleeping yet but this is helping me get in a comfy 3/4 position so I’m not lying directly on my stomach but I’m still comfy enough to get some decent shut-eye. If I had my time again, I’d get a full u-shaped one because it forces you to side sleep no matter which way you turn but I’m still pretty happy with this one – the gap means I can still spoon Mr Smaggle as I drift off to sleep, which is my usual nightly routine. And yes – taking the cover off and washing it is a total bitch. Least favourite part of my week. *deep breath*
2. Gaviscon Double Strength
Of all the things I haven’t experienced in my pregnancy thus far – morning sickness, extreme hunger, cravings, farting, constipation – heartburn and extreme burping have more than made up for it. The burping has subsided, thank god. My burping was so bad in the beginning, we call April ‘Burpageddon’. Seriously, I was belching like Barney from The Simpsons ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Once Mr Smaggle stopped finding it hilarious he was like ‘Do we need to see someone about this???’. That’s now stopped and heartburn is the new flavour of the month and the only thing helping is Gavison Double Strength. It’s totally pregnancy safe (it even has a not so subtle paper sleeve on the packaging that’s like ‘FOR THE PREGNANT LADIES!!!’) and you can just grab it from Woolies. It tastes kind of gross but it really hits the spot and gives instant and long lasting relief and I realise that sounds like an ad, but it’s true. It’s very awesome.
3. Ovia Pregnancy App
This app gives timely updates and tells you how big your baby is each week. I’ve been screenshotting the report and sending it to the grandparents on Mondays and they’ve been loving it. It also tells me cool information like how my daughter already has all the eggs she’ll ever have in her life which means that I’M CURRENTLY CARRYING HALF OF MY POTENTIAL FUTURE GRANDCHILD. Isn’t that mind-blowing??? It’s just cool to know what’s going on inside my body right now. You also get week appropriate tips and things that you should expect at certain times in your pregnancy. It’s been spot on most of the time and it’s really great having that reference point. For example, my baby is currently the size of a weasel and so we’ve started calling her Weasel. I have a feeling that nickname might stick… poor thing.
4. Rooibos tea
So although I haven’t been experiencing cravings per se, I’ve been having more interest in certain things now I’m pregnant. Not in an ‘I’m going to die if I don’t get some watermelon!’ kind of way, it’s more of a ‘Huh. McDonald’s strawberry thick shake. That’s an interesting concept.’* kind of thing. I was always a very comfortable one-coffee-a-day gal and now I want coffee all the time. I don’t give in obviously, because pregnant women should go easy on the caffeine but this kid has me craving Diet Coke and coffee at like 11pm at night and that’s never been something I’ve been into. I’ve been having rooibos tea whenever the caffeine mood strikes and it’s really been hitting the spot. I also blame her father’s genes for this sudden coffee love. His whole family drink coffee after dinner and our girl is clearly already trying to be a part of the cool kids’ club.
*I had a few strawberry thick shake thoughts and decided to have one and then researched and found out you can’t have soft serve when you’re pregnant. The one thing I came close to craving and I can’t bloody have it. How annoying is that?
I’ve been a fan of shapewear since forever and have continued to wear it so far in my pregnancy, not to conceal anything but just for some added support. Even though my bump is on the small side so far, I appreciate that little bit of support because I can feel my centre of gravity changing. I trip over a lot more and lose my balance a bit but wearing something firm (but not too firm!) across my belly is helping maintain my posture and remain upright.
I’ve had a few people ask what changes I’m noticing in my pregnancy and to be honest, there aren’t many. My nipples have gone from pale, pale pink to super dark brown which is more unnerving than you can imagine (I feel like I’m borrowing someone else’s boobs) but apart from that, I’m just slightly thicker around the middle than usual. My skin is a touch dryer and I’m drinking an unholy amount of water but that’s about it. Energy levels are good, I’m not craving much and I’m not super hungry. Melted cheese grosses me out and I’m not into re-heated microwaved food but those things are heaps avoidable. It’s been pretty uneventful so far and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way!