When you're expecting, there are a few things you're going to be on the look-out for: a growing tummy, some silky hair, and a baby at the end of the rainbow. But along with all that goodness, comes some pretty annoying and consistent pains. With that gloriously growing bump, there are some growing pains that mamas have to live with for the better part of a year. Here's a few that I've been dealing with the second time around, and what I've been doing to keep it together.
One of the first things that happened during this pregnancy was the crazy, bad headaches; the kind that make you want to close the curtains, lie down, and shut out any noise whatsoever. Now normally one would be able to take a little pill that would take all that pain away, and have you singing along to Moana in no time. But you're pregnant, mama. So too bad for you. My first solution to the headache problem (any problem actually) is caffeine. Now don't go crazy mamas, because too much caffeine isn't going to be great for you or baby. But a little bit goes a long way, and I find that even just a can of soda will often times keep the aches at bay. If you have the time, another option is to get into a warm bath with some soothing oils (peppermint and lavender helped me) and turn off the lights and soak. Also, make sure that you're keeping your tummy full. When I would find myself without having something to eat for a couple of hours, my headaches got way worse, so just do yourself a favor and keep a snack with you to avoid letting your blood sugar drop too low. PSA: There's still Easter candy on sale at Target. They probably have fruit there too or something.
One of the more obnoxious and frustrating "pains" that have plagued me during this pregnancy is the sinus congestion. For someone who doesn't normally suffer from the inability to breath through their nose, having a blockage for no other reason than my hormones are all over the place, and I've got increased blood flow thanks to babe. Whatever way you look at it, it is never fun to not be able to breath through your nose when you're trying to fall asleep at night. It's hard enough already with a little baby tap dancer on your bladder. Hard truth is there's nothing I have found that works 100% of the time. Nose strips are a great no-med option that have worked for me on and off during the pregnancy, and other than looking ridiculous are pretty much my go-to. Another option for nights that I'm feeling really stuffy are an antihistamine like Benadryl (okayed by my doc, but make sure and check with your OB), or even menthol rub for under my nose.
This one is just an all-around bad-luck type of situation, but of course, I've been 2 for 2 on bad skin with my pregnancies, so maybe luck has nothing to do with it. Though, just to be safe I'm not going out and buying any lotto tickets. For those of us preggo mamas who are dealing with acne, just hang in there. It sucks, and it's embarrassing, and you feel like you're 13, but just remember that it's not the end of the world. Since most oral acne meds are no good while pregnant, you can talk to your doc about topical options, or you can try your best to go natural--I have been completely converted to tea tree oil during this pregnancy and will probably continue to use it afterward. It's cheap, effective, and you can get it at most drug stores. I'm in love.
Also, do your best to change out towels that you're using to dry your face, as well as pillowcases and blankets to keep things as bacteria free as possible. You'll also want to make sure you're moisturizing your skin--not just your face, but the whole bod. Dry skin can lead to even more acne, but aside from that, you'll probably notice that you're getting itchy all over thanks to the lovely stretching to make room for a new body inside of yours. Try to make it part of your daily routine. Or, just be like me and do it after you get out the shower...regardless of how infrequently it happens.
Shortness of Breath
Another of those pesky pains that will make you want to scream from frustration more than discomfort. I am currently experiencing this more than any of the others I've listed so far. This is one of those things that most pregnant mamas experience at some point in their pregnancy. For me, this is not only the shortness of breath I experience while getting up in the middle of the night for the fifth time to use the bathroom, but the consistent inability to take a full breath due to the fact that your lungs have about a third of the space that they did before babe appeared on the scene. Annoying but true, and you're just gonna have to deal with this one. Lying on your side and trying your best to take in full breaths can sometimes give you some good results. As far as shortness of breath, when you're getting up and moving around, you just need to know your own limits, and when you need to take a load off. The further along you are, the more apparent your limitations will become, so don't get discouraged when you can't get it all done at your pre-preggo speed.
Round Ligament Pain
I saved the worst for last. And when I say worst, I really mean worst, mamas. This wasn't something I had to deal with for babe numero uno, so this is a whole new terrible experience for me. After talking to my adorable OB about the consistent pain I'm having in my hip and pelvic region, he suggested lying on my side and pulling my legs up. With a 2-year-old, that only becomes an option at nap or bed time. My suggestions are to try your best to keep your body moving--I'm not saying hit up your local crossfit gym, but even going on a walk or going swimming can help to ease the pains. Some days the pains are a real kick in the gut (literally), so I suggest drinking lots of water, and trying your best to stay off your feet and do the bare minimum. Tylenol or a warm bath are two things that I have also found that ease the cramp-like pains that make you want to cry.
Whether you're a first time mama, or this isn't your first pregnant rodeo, having to deal with pains without the help of normally accessible meds is no fun. This is just a small glimpse into the wide, wide world of pregnancy-related pains, but if you're dealing with any of these little stinkers hopefully, you get some tips or inspiration into what will help you make the most of your growing pains.