Comfort during Pregnancy
Physical discomforts and some remedies
Flat feet- the relaxin hormone loosens up your joints, including those in your feet. Just by standing or walking around the pressure of your bodyweight can cause your feet to flatten and widen. Wearing comfortable shoes, especially those with arch support will help your feet maintain their size and shape throughout your pregnancy.
Itchy skin - as your belly grows, the skin gets pulled tightly and that can cause some itching. Lanolin, olive oil, vitamin E, coconut oil, and shea butter are all good natural moisturizers that can help skin remain supple.
Nausea - eating many small meals throughout the day will lessen the amount you need to digest, which will ease the nausea. If you cannot handle food, try shakes and smoothies or small and crunchy solid foods such as watermelon, baby carrots, and apple slices. Smelling lemons or sipping cool lemon water also calms queasy stomachs, as does ginger.
Heartburn - cured with 1/2 - 1 shot glass of diluted apple cider vinegar taken up to 1hr before meals and bedtime
Overall pains, tightness, and cramping - chiropractic adjustments, prenatal massages, and acupuncture can realign your ever-changing body to help it adjust
Muscle cramps and spasms - aside from stretching, making sure you drink lots of water and taking up to 1tsp of magnesium at bedtime will help relieve cramping. If you haven't taken this before, start at 1/4tsp or even less and slowly build up, if you need more. Taking too much at once will cause very loose stools.
Hip joint/lower pelvic area pain and cramping - belly sifting as well as belly wrapping will take the pressure off and massage out muscles (see video below)
Lower back pain and back cramps - rebozo "booty shake" will help loosen those muscles and relieve the cramping (see video below)
Fatigue, stress, overall achiness - exercise! It might seem counter intuitive for exercise to remedy fatigue but exercise increases circulation and improves breathing, among many other benefits. Do at least 30 minutes each day of moderately intense exercise to really see a difference.
Mental discomforts and some remedies
Fear of water breaking at an inopportune moment - eating 6+ dates/day has been shown to strengthen the amniotic sac, decreasing chances of spontaneous rupture.
Overall stress - meditation, yoga, being outdoors, practicing progressive relaxation, and creating a list of problems with their accompanying solutions all help. You must find what works for you. If you list problems and there are no good timely solutions, then find a way to accept that and move on. Worrying about something you cannot solve will not help you. Find a way to work with it instead.
Labor, birth, parenting worries: learn to manage stress, take childbirth and newborn care classes - the more you know the more confident and less worried you will be. Read Birthing from Within to work through labor and birth fears through artwork, hire a doula - she will help guide you (and keep you sane!) on this journey, join a new mom group so you're not alone, read positive stories of the birth you want or parent you'd like to be and try to set up an environment where that is possible. Your mindset matters more than your physical location. You can have a positive labor, birth, and be a wonderful parent in almost any situation.
This page is not research based per se, but more based on my own experiences and those of friends. I also included information my doctor, midwife, and doula gave me throughout my pregnancy.
Research on Dates easing labor and keeping membranes intact: ncbi