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  • Rebecca Duerr

Pregnancy Must Haves

Updated: 8 hours ago



A few of Rebecca's picks to make your 40(-/+) weeks of pregnancy as comfortable as possible, while supporting your baby's growth and optimizing your body for a smooth and empowering labor and birth experience.



  1. U-Shape Full Body Pregnancy Pillow



As your belly grows and as your ligaments stretch and get tight, potentially along with your tightening muscles, sleeping can get a bit challenging in the comfort department. Your hips can get sore, tight, and crampy. Your pubis can be sensitive. Your legs can be achy. Your lower back can be tense and tired. Having a full body U-shaped pillow can help you settle in and fully relax, truly helping you sleep more soundly by giving you support in all the right places.



2. Dr Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Bath in Soothe & Sleep, Lavender


In addition to the Full Body Pillow, on days where you are feeling extra sore and worn out, try having a bath with some epsom salt before bed. Dr Teal's Soothe & Sleep Epsom Salt is a great product because of the added benefit of the lavender to aide in relaxation. The active component in epsom salt is magnesium, which help release and relax your muscles and nerve. Not only can it help you prepare for a restful sleep, but it also can reduce or eliminate restless leg syndrome and cramping or Charlie Horses, which are common during pregnancy.




3. Belly Support


There are a few different options of Belly Support according to how much support you feel like you need. Having the correct amount of support can help manage and reduce round ligament pain, which you might feel on either side of your belly button and diagonally down to your hip, or lower back pain, as your baby and belly add more weight to your front abdomen that your back has to support.



Maternity Belly Band

One thing to look for when shopping for pregnancy belly support is the length. You want your support to reach from just under your breasts to your mid hip region, so that the support ends just under your pubic bone. This Belly Band by Diravo comes in a number of sizes so you can be sure to get one that covers and supports the needed areas.






Another option for belly support during pregnancy, is Pregnancy Tape by Back and Bump Comfort. Similar to athletic tape, Pregnancy Tape can be used to support your growing belly and support your tired lower back. It can also be used in combination with the Diravo Belly Band, above, for extra support!





4. Keep your skin moisturized and nourished


While on the subject of belly support, it is also important to support the health of your skin, not only topically, but also from the inside out!



Earth Mama Belly Butter and Belly Oil

First, topical support. I absolutely The Earth Mama products for pregnancy and postpartum care. They are petroleum, artificial fragrance and artificial preservative free. The Belly Butter and Oil are a great trio for nourishing and supporting your stretching skin as your belly grows. It can also be used postpartum as you heal and your skin's elasticity recovers.




Stay Hydrated to support your skin health from the inside out! Make it a habit to carry around a water bottle everywhere you go. I prefer glass water bottles to reduce the toxin load plastic adds to the environment we live in, as well as within us. A great option is this glass measured water bottle by Aqulea. It is a 32ounce bottle with timed measured amounts to keep you on track all day long. Drink two bottles a day plus the water you get from your diet, and you are golden!




To make sure your body is utilizing the water you are drinking and you aren't just peeing it out, add a scoop of electrolytes to one of your bottles of water each day. A great option is Ultima Electrolyte mixes. Within each scoop, you are getting 25% of your daily magnesium, 110% of vitamin C (which helps with skin elasticity) as well as a handful of other minerals beneficial to pegrancy and your overall health, such as zinc, potassium and calcium. They come is a number of flavors and is sweetened with stevia.




5. Trideer Exercise Ball


Having an exercise ball handy during pregnancy can be beneficial, not just for your comfort, but for the baby's positioning. As you move through pregnancy, you will find it gets more and more challenging to find comfort. Sometimes the only comfortable way to relax is sitting in an upright desk or kitchen chair, or even standing up! Sitting on an exercise ball can be your savior!


Your posture has a great impact on what position the baby is most comfortable in. Ideally, you want to sit on your ischial tuberosity, better known as your sit bones with a nice tall back and your legs bent at a 90 degree angle in front of you, as much as possible. Unfortunately, we are most accustomed to sitting on our sacrum or tailbone with a rounded back, and our legs either crossed or tucked under us. This can be a hard habit to break. Sitting on an exercise ball, kind of forces you to have better posture because if you roll back onto your sacrum, you become off balances and can roll right back onto the floor! As an added bonus to having an exercise ball, it is a great tool for you to use in early labor before heading over to your birthing location. Make sure you purchase the correct size ball for your height!



6. Prepare for labor and birth


Now that we talked about some things that can help you be a bit more comfortable during pregnancy, let's go over a few things that can help your body prepare for labor and birth.


Before going over the last couple of items, I would just like to mention we have already gone over a few things that help your body and baby get ready for birth. The exercise ball is comfortable to sit on, during a time where it can feel almost impossible to get comfortable at all, but it is also creating the correct posture for optimal fetal positioning.


Making sure you stay hydrated, not only helps support your skin, but it also helps support the replenishment of amniotic fluid that is constantly being refreshed. It also helps maintain a healthy metabolism and supports detoxification. The electrolytes, helps your body utilize the water you are drinking but it also provides magnesium to aide in the relaxation of your nervous system. It provides a favorable amount of vitamin C to help in the elasticity of your skin, but also in your amniotic sac, making it nice and strong and flexible. Vitamin C is also needed for a healthy oxytocin pathway, the hormone needed to drive labor forward.


Red Raspberry Leaf Tea


Red Raspberry Leaf Tea has been shown to be beneficial to drink throughout pregnancy. You can start with just a cup a day and increase to 3-4 cups during your third trimester. It helps strengthen and tone your uterine muscles, preparing them for the strong wave like surges you will experience during labor. Keep in mind, this is the LEAF of the raspberry bush. It does not taste like raspberries. Choose an organic brand and steep for a full 10 minutes before enjoying.




Medjool Dates


It has been an Old Wives Tale for centuries to eat dates towards the end of your pregnancy to help aide in the dilation of the cervix. Over the past few years, studies have shown truth to this tradition. Eating 6 dates per day has shown to reduce the resting periods of dilation that can happen during labor, especially during the transition between early and active labor (4-6cm). Starting at 36 weeks gestation, add 4-6 dates to you


r diet each day. If you are sensitive to sugar or if you have diabetes or gestational diabetes, you can eat your dates with a high protein meal to slow the sugar absorption rate and reduce or eliminate a blood sugar spike.



 

Rebecca Duerr, Doula and Nutritionist, supports her doula clients through pregnancy in preparation for a healthy and empowering birth experience. For more information, visit Doula Support.




References


Fanni, Daniela et al. “The Role of Magnesium in Pregnancy and in Fetal Programming of Adult Diseases.” Biological trace element research vol. 199,10 (2021): 3647-3657. doi:10.1007/s12011-020-02513-0


Rumbold, Alice et al. “Vitamin C supplementation in pregnancy.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 2015,9 CD004072. 29 Sep. 2015, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004072.pub3


Al-Kuran, O et al. “The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery.” Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology vol. 31,1 (2011): 29-31. doi:10.3109/01443615.2010.522267


Parsons, M et al. “Raspberry leaf and its effect on labour: safety and efficacy.” Australian College of Midwives Incorporated journal vol. 12,3 (1999): 20-5. doi:10.1016/s1031-170x(99)80008-7


Mulyani, Erry Y et al. “Effect of dehydration during pregnancy on birth weight and length in West Jakarta.” Journal of nutritional science vol. 10 e70. 27 Aug. 2021, doi:10.1017/jns.2021.59





































































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