There are some pretty amazing (albeit bizarre) products designed to make late pregnancy more comfortable, easier, and enjoyable. You can get a device that plays music to your baby in utero, a maternity raft with a belly-sized hole in it so you can enjoy some pool time relaxation, and even a groin band to support your pubic area. I feel like a lot of those are a "want" vs a "need" situation, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take advantage of new developments. In fact, I found several products that helped me get through my third trimester, so get your Amazon trigger fingers ready.
Third trimester was a rough time for me (if you ask my husband, the entire thing was no picnic). I gained almost all of my "baby weight," which amounted to about 40 pounds, during the last three months. My hips were expanding, my skin was stretching, and I was uncomfortable AF. Plus, I was freaking exhausted. After I sighed heavily in class, one of my third grade students put her head down on her desk and asked, "Do you just want to do this all the time?" My answer was a resounding yes. I'm proud to say I made it through in one piece, but I definitely had some help from a few "friends."
It's important to keep in mind that, like everything with pregnancy, this too shall pass. Except hemorrhoids, because they're assholes (see what I did there?). Luckily, even for pregnancy and postpartum hemorrhoids, there's a solution: witch hazel pads. So if you're headed into the last third of your pregnancy, remember that you don't have to suffer (OK, you have to suffer some, but there's lots of stuff to alleviate your pain and discomfort). In that spirit, I've created this little shopping list for your next Target run. You're welcome.
OK, so I know that whether or not you get stretch marks is mostly genetic, but my mom had crazy scarring and I had none. Every time I felt my skin start to itch (a sign it was stretching to accommodate my growing baby), I slathered that stuff on. I'm not a dermatologist, but I liked natural creams and lotions with vitamin E and shea or cocoa butter.
I know it sounds weird, but the coffee scrub my friend bought for me was a godsend. It's made with coffee grounds, vitamin E, sweet almond oil, and brown sugar. (Don't taste it, though. Just trust me on this one.) I would hop in a shallow bath, coat my belly with that stuff, and let it do its magic. It left my skin soft and supple, and it was a nice coffee infusion for someone who was trying to cut back on caffeine.
Most everyone knows about morning sickness, but no one tells you that it doesn't necessarily abate after the first trimester. My nausea was, blessedly, not constant in third trimester, but I still threw up randomly. (Maybe it wasn't totally random. I'm looking at you, street tacos.) So when I started to feel queasy, you better believe I cracked back open my bottle of Zofran.
You know what I really hated during pregnancy? Jeans. You know what's an amazing alternative? Leggings. You know who deserves to be comfortable? Pregnant ladies. My pregnancy uniform was a tunic and stretchy pants. I'm not sure what my excuse for not wearing real pants is now, but I'm standing by my choice.
A very exciting development in my pregnancy body was my fantastic new boobs. Unfortunately, new bras (that I'd probably never wear again) weren't in the budget. I planned to breastfeed, so nursing bras were a must. I just started wearing them early to accommodate my jumblies. I was definitely more comfortable than I was when trying to smash my boobs into my usual AA cup.
Sometimes you need to dress up, whether it's for a baby shower, wedding, or in my case, a military ball. The empire-waist dress (think Jane Austen) is the ultimate bump-friendly go-to. The seam is right up under your breasts, leaving lots of flowy room for the belly. Empress Josephine, we thank you for your infinite fashion wisdom.
The belly band is a great multi-purpose product during your entire pregnancy. When your jeans (Why? Why are you wearing them?!) start not to fit, you can unbutton them and use a belly band over to get a little more mileage out of them (saving you cash money). In the third trimester, they provide relief for back pain and ensure that your belly doesn't show when your maternity shirts get too small. Where's the bad?
I actually Amazon Primed one of these bad boys to a pregnant friend of mine. That's how much I believe in them. I had one of the total body pillows that wraps around your entire body and supports your hips, back, neck, and tummy. My husband is in the military and was gone a lot, so I named my pillow "Staff Duty."
I wore high heels for most of my teaching career. I was known for pairing them with fishnet stockings. (I'm not a regular teacher. I'm a "cool" teacher.) During my whole pregnancy, and especially the last part, I was all about the flats. Nice little ballet flats pair well with slacks and dresses, and I loved my canvas Toms for casual Friday (which, incidentally, I extended to other days of the week as my maternity leave approached).
No need to be a martyr for beauty, fashion, or pride, my friends. You're growing a miracle inside you, and you deserve some relief.