Prenatal Discomfort: 3 Tips for Moms-to-Be

While pregnancy may be a unique experience, many pregnant women can relate to the hormonal changes and bodily discomfort felt because of pregnancy. Commonly occurring discomforts may include fuller breasts (and the added frustration of going up several cup sizes), the appearance of stretch marks, morning sickness, and swollen joints, to name a few. Luckily, we’ve compiled a pregnancy discomfort survival guide to help you temper some of these discomforts and allow you a pleasant pregnancy.

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1. Invest in Quality Pregnancy Support Bras

Many pregnant women find that they start to outgrow their usual cup size at about 10 weeks of pregnancy. To prevent pregnancy discomfort, it’s important that you wear a bra that’s is not only supportive but also properly fitted.

Luckily, the Soma brand has perfected a smart bra technology that allows you to fit yourself for a well-sized bra in the comfort of your home. Their SOMAINNOFIT is a one-of-a-kind bra fit technology that allows you to fit for cup size by placing the SOMAINNOFIT demo bra over your regular bra. After this, the demo bra will then connect to the SOMAINNOFIT app to record your cup measurements in moments. This is a free app available for both iOS and Android users.

Famous for their full-priced bras, Soma bras include select full-priced styles like the Elomi nursing bras that offer unlined smooth full-coverage and maximum support to eliminate bounce. They also stock accessories like three hook bra adjusters and bra converter clips for added support.

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2. Book a Prenatal Pregnancy Massage

Massage therapy is recommended for its ability to relieve muscular tension and joint pain. Knowing this, prenatal massage therapy is beneficial to expectant mothers to help manage nerve pain (as experienced in sciatic nerve pain) and swelling in joints (as experienced in edema and preeclampsia), while relieving depression symptoms in the process. Of the several existing massage techniques, the Swedish massage is the most preferred form of pregnancy massage therapy.

A Swedish massage improves blood flow and offers relief to a strained lymphatic system and is preferred for pregnant women as it relieves the circulatory and skeletal changes brought on by changes in hormonal levels. A typical Swedish massage will last about 60 minutes and will involve a qualified massage therapist applying long kneading pressure strokes on superficial muscles to provide relief to muscular tension and offer relaxation.

The American Pregnancy Association further suggests that pregnancy massage therapy works complementary to medically traditional prenatal care as it is a holistic approach to prenatal wellness. This is evident in that prenatal massage therapy for expectant women not only relieves physical joint ache, but it also alleviates symptoms of depression and hormonal imbalance. It is important to consult your midwife or GP before embarking on any new form of prenatal care treatment.

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3. Manage the Appearance of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are non-harmful streaks on the skin that typically develop as the skin stretches to accommodate new weight caused by rapid weight gain, puberty growth spurts, or pregnancy. They usually appear in the breast area, stomach area, buttocks, and thighs. The appearance of stretch marks is dependent on skin elasticity, skin type, and complexion, and depending on your skin color, early stretch marks can be itchy and manifest as purple, red, dark brown, or pink streak lines.

Although stretch marks are permanent, certain treatments may make them less itchy or noticeable. Consult your midwife or GP before embarking on stretch mark treatment as some products may include harmful ingredients like retinol, a retinoid (a derivative of vitamin A known for its role in collagen production) that can harm your baby.

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If you’re grappling with how to get rid of stretch marks, or what type of treatment is most effective, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests corrective cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion.

Additionally, medication prescribed by a dermatologist may include hyaluronic acid and tretinoin. Hyaluronic acid is beneficial for treating early stretch marks as it reduces the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and fine lines, making stretch marks less apparent.

Some home remedies for the treatment of stretch marks include rubbing cocoa butter, almond oil, vitamin E, or olive oil directly into the stretch marks. Where stretch mark creams and lotions are preferred, be sure to begin using these on early stretch marks by massaging them directly into the skin.