Category: My Apothecary

Seven Great Pregnant Mom Hacks

Seven_Great_Pregnancy_Hacks.jpg

I am pregnant. It isn’t the first time, but after this, it might be my last! The Midwives are labeling this a “difficult pregnancy,” and it has left me not so patiently counting the days until our new baby girl arrives. Until then, I have to get through a weak core (abdominal muscles), continual pain, extreme nausea (well, at least that part is done), threatened preterm labor, and more.

Here are a few things that helped me and/or are still helping to keep my sanity and made this journey a little easier.


1) The “grabber” – We aren’t supposed to bend over when we are pregnant, but if you have another child or children around the house, then you will know that finding stuff on the floor everyday is part of life. As much as I want my children to clean it all up, all the time, it isn’t quite a reality.

To help pick up some items, my husband got me the “Grabber.” It is awesome and it works for most stuff. My husband got one at the dollar store, but if you can’t find one there (and mine did break after awhile), here is a link to a highly rated, lost cost one on Amazon. There are a few others to choose from.

To use, just position it over the item on the floor, squeeze the handle, and you have got it! Just remember to have the grabber standing or hanging somewhere – otherwise you defeat the purpose of it by having to bend over and pick it up.

2) Body pillow – For my first baby, sleeping was pretty good until the last trimester. But with number four, it seems that I have been uncomfortable since the second trimester and needing some help while I sleep.

I have been blessed by the women who have gone before me in pregnancy. I don’t remember who this specific kind lady was, but she told me about body pillows with my first baby and now I am sharing with you. I can not sleep without it! It takes pressure off of the back and just helps get a much more comfortable side position while sleeping.

There are lots of fancy variations out there, but I use a simple long pillow like the one in the picture above and have had it through all four pregnancies. You can get a cover or two for it, but be sure to get a pillow that is washable.


3) Maternity belt – I am thinking back and now I wish I had, had a belt for my last pregnancy. I remember the last month or two feeling like my tummy just wanted to drop to the floor and my back was telling me how it really felt about all this pregnancy stuff. For this pregnancy, a belt really isn’t an option. I simply can not stand up for more than a couple of minutes w/o it. My core muscles, for various reasons, simply aren’t holding things up.

My Midwives were the ones to recommend a belt. They didn’t give me a specific brand, but I did the research on Amazon, said a little prayer, and stayed within our budget. The belt works great and I would recommend it to anyone struggling with back pain, core muscle issues, carrying twins, or just wants a little help in the end months holding that tummy up.


4) Unisom – There is morning sickness, and then there is all day long, gets worse as the day progresses, can’t stand to eat anything sickness. I was to the point at night where I couldn’t sleep because I felt so sick.

Again, thank you to my Midwives, they told me about Unisom. Now, please understand that I am a total, natural childbirth person. It was really hard for me to accept that all the natural stuff wasn’t helping me and that my next option was over the counter medication. I had never taken such a thing during my previous pregnancies. But, I needed sleep and the Midwives assured me that there were no known risks or side effects with the Unisom. It had been a pregnancy hack for decades.

The key is to only use the littlest dosage possible, so I was breaking the tablet in half and only taking the half. This isn’t about knocking oneself out to “get away” from the nausea, there is actually something in the medication that relieves the nausea and it only takes a little. I ended up using it for about 40 days (or I should say nights) before I did not need it anymore. Check with your OB or Midwife before using.

NSP_Peppermint_Oil_2

 

 

 

 

5) Ginger and Peppermint – Since the Unisom did make me drowsy, it wasn’t useful during the day. I still had to try something for a little relief during the day. Although it wasn’t as useful as it had been in previous pregnancies, I was able to at least function with the help of some ginger tea, peppermint tea, and/or placing a drop of peppermint oil (REPID:  3383365) on my wrists and smelling it on occasion when I got really woozy. For many pregnancies, these should be all you need to get through “morning sickness.” Check with your Midwife or OB before using.

PreNatal_120

 

 

 

 

6) Prenatal Vitamins – I would love to talk about how wonderful we eat and how we get all of our nutrition from food, but that just isn’t the truth. I do believe that we try to eat well and I know we eat better than we used to, but I also know that we still aren’t getting all the nutrition we need from food, especially during pregnancy.

Therefore, we need to supplement. In this case, just a simple, quality prenatal vitamin (REPID:  3383365) is all I seem to need. I can tell the difference when I don’t take it.

I will confess that I also purchased some DHA / Fish Oil, but I have only taken them a few times. I guess I don’t see them as essential and they usually result in “fish burps” for the next two hours that I don’t really appreciate.

7) Community – This last and most important pregnancy hack can not be bought or sold. It is also the biggest and best of them all. Without my community, both family and church, I could not have made it this far. Their prayers, their practical help like meals and housekeeping, and their care is what keeps me going through this trying time. I am so grateful and I hope whatever challenges you may face, you have some sort of wonderful community to support you through it.

Blessings!

Disclosure: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and some are April’s Sunshine (Nature’s Sunshine) links. For the April’s Sunshine links, please use my REPID:  3383365 when you order. 

What Is In My Apothecary: Gallbladder Issues – Or – How I Can’t Eat Chinese Buffet Anymore:-(

Citrus fruit

I haven’t been feeling well lately.

I am nauseous, run down and out of sorts.

I wish the issue was that I was pregnant again, but it is not.

Instead, most likely my gallbladder is not handling fats that well and is very unhappy with me.

I was really, really sick a couple of nights ago, the day after eating a lovely dinner at a Chinese Buffet place. OK, I realize that Chinese Buffet is probably not part of the Simple Living lifestyle, but it is my favorite and it is something we do just a couple of times a year.

But I can’t go anymore… or at least not for a while. I have to cut out bad fats – and Chinese Buffet does have a lot of fat. Yes, I can eat the sushi and hibachi and soups and fruit, but I love some of the fried dishes too. But they are probably just wrong, so I commit to passing them by for now.

The good news is that I appear to be getting to the issue early enough to do something about it naturally. I thought I would take the opportunity to share my process with others. The point of the “What Is In My Apothecary” series is to cut through the hype of natural remedies and see what real people use to stay healthy, treat illnesses, and handle physical issues.

 The Plan:

  • Drink more water and water with lemon in it

  • Cut out bad fats – at least reduce them by 90% – no dairy, no fatty meats like beef, no bad oils

  • Sparingly use good fats

  • Eat four or more servings of fruit per day, especially citrus fruit

  • Actually eat three to four servings of veggies per day

  • Use camomile and peppermint tea when my tummy is nauseous

I still have some test results to get back and a follow-up with the doctor before I know for sure the state of my gallbladder. Until then, I am keeping a food diary and will research more about what can help me. I will report back in a few weeks the best course of treatment and how I am doing in following it.

April Schroader is a freelance writer and blogger. Even though she is experiencing some illness right now, she is still available to guest post on your blog, write a quality article for your magazine, help with a non-fiction book project, or write quality content for your website. To contact her, visit her portfolio and click on the Hire Me link.