14 Pregnancy Self Care Tips & the Best Pregnancy Self Care Gifts to Manage Symptoms

“Pregnancy self care” is a tricky topic to give advice on since “self care” means something different to everybody — for example, Mariah, our social media coordinator, loved visiting the chiropractor and getting adjustments while she was pregnant. Meanwhile, Emily from our sales and marketing team enjoyed her daily workouts. Everybody’s different!

With that, we can confidently say there’s not one “right” way to pamper or treat yourself during pregnancy. You should do the things that feel right for you. The most important thing, however, is to maintain some normalcy in your day-to-day.

But if you need some tips on how to pamper yourself during this precious “me time,” we’ve got you covered. We put together this post with all of the different things we did during our pregnancies to help us feel better and get through all of pregnancy’s not-so-fun side effects.

We’ll even talk about our favorite products for pregnancy symptoms so you can easily shop for skincare and other goodies to pamper yourself.

To be more specific, we’ll cover…

Pregnancy Self-Care Starts with Making Space for “Me Time”, but Don’t Change Your Whole Routine

Once you’re pregnant, all the advice you get from parents, friends, and siblings are about the baby. You’re prepping for the baby, buying things for the baby, eating for the baby, listening to classical music for the baby.

So the first thing that needs to happen is to remind yourself that you matter for the baby. The baby is growing inside your body, so having a healthy body, keeping stress hormones low, eating well, being relaxed, all do help the baby, by helping you first. So make space for “me time”.

But one mistake some newly pregnant moms make is to try to change everything about their self-care routine. Trying to incorporate a whole new self-care routine usually doesn’t work out well and ends up creating stress. There’s really no need to change your routine too much during pregnancy.

Sure, you might want to do things like swap your skincare for pregnancy-safe products and start looking into preparing for a baby, but going as far as uprooting your entire routine isn’t productive. Your body is already going through a million and one changes during pregnancy, switching up your whole routine might just be enough to throw you into total shock.

So instead, stick to doing what you normally enjoy, and make sure you’re making space for “me time.” Commit to the obligation of taking care of yourself, using the ideas we’re going to discuss throughout this post — organized by trimester of pregnancy.

Let’s start with the first trimester.

Early Pregnancy Self Care Tips

The first trimester of pregnancy can be really overwhelming; just the fact of finding out you’re pregnant can be a lot to take in — life’s about to majorly change! For many first time mamas, pregnancy can seem scary or confusing at first. But it doesn’t have to be.

Some of the main things you can do to ease your stress and focus on celebrating this happy time include:

Starting on a Good Prenatal Vitamin

Bump Boxes Prenatal Vitamins for Pregnancy

Any doc will tell you you need a prenatal vitamin to support a healthy pregnancy. Without one, mama can suffer nutritional deficiencies causing baby to become more susceptible to birth defects.

We recommend our Bump Boxes prenatal vitamins since they’re specially formulated with the right levels of all of the necessary vitamins and minerals that mama needs during her pregnancy — like folic acid, calcium, and zinc. Our prenatal vitamins are made without any of the fillers or additives found in other vitamin options.

Investing in Pregnancy-Safe Skincare

Pregnancy Safe Skincare: Glow 9 Charcoal + Natural Face & Body Mask (Activated Charcoal & Organic Avocado Oil)

It might come as a surprise, but the normal soaps, skincare, and spa products we use contain chemicals that aren’t safe for pregnant mamas or babies. Researching all of these chemicals and reading product labels can become exhausting, though. So we created our skincare line containing nothing but clean, organic products to totally pamper mom from head to toe without putting her or her baby at risk.

We made sure to include products in our Glow Organics line that would help mom get through some of pregnancy’s challenges, like hormonal acne and back pains, too. Some of our go-to’s from the Glow Organics line are:

Confiding in Your Pregnancy Support System and Announcing Your Pregnancy as You Feel Appropriate

Pregnancy Announcement

The general rule of thumb is to wait until you’re out of the first trimester to announce pregnancy; however, a lot of moms need a support system during these early weeks, and we aren’t ones to discourage mama from relying on family and friends to help her through this time.

Instead of holding yourself to some “pregnancy announcing rule,” we suggest doing things on your terms by announcing to who you feel comfortable with, when you feel comfortable.

Changing up Diet (If You’re Not Already Eating Healthy and Drinking a Lot of Water)

Healthy Pregnancy Diet

Following a balanced diet and drinking a good amount of water each day can make you feel better, in general, but eating healthier and increasing your water intake during pregnancy can give you peace of mind knowing you’re doing better for your baby.

Even if changes are slight, taking small steps to lead a healthier lifestyle should help you feel good mentally and physically.

Listening to Your Body When Combating Early Pregnancy Symptoms

A pregnant woman is sitting on the couch holding her belly with one hand and her forehead with the other

Most expecting mamas feel the need to stock up on a bunch of different pregnancy products in anticipation of symptoms that don’t even exist yet — like buying 12 different morning sickness remedies before they feel a hint of nausea. While, yes, you should certainly prepare yourself for these possible side effects, you’re better off shopping as symptoms develop.

If you wake up queasy in the morning, you’ll want to find a few good products to fight off morning sickness. We recommend anti-nausea lozenges like Preggie Pop Drops and acupressure wristbands including No Mo Nausea’s Natural Morning Sickness Relief Band, but you can also check out our other guide on getting rid of morning sickness for more product options.

On the other hand, if you suffer from pregnancy migraines, are sensitive to smells, or notice you’re breaking out, you’ll want to shop for natural headache remedies, avoid scented pregnancy goodies, and look into OB/GYN-approved anti-acne products.

Second Trimester Self Care Tips

During the second trimester, some of the initial pregnancy side effects subside and moms begin to feel more comfortable in their (still-changing) bodies. For the most part, all moms have to work around is their growing baby belly and the potential for stretch marks and back pains during these weeks.

Mom may also feel sluggish and tired as baby does some serious growing inside her belly, so doing things to keep energy levels up can help mama not feel so “blah”.

Here are some of our tips for coping with second trimester pregnancy symptoms:

Treat Yourself to Regular Spa Nights and Muscle Soaks

A pregnant woman is painting her toenails

Pampering yourself during pregnancy is a must. Even if you can only squeeze in a spa night every other week, it’s good to take time for yourself every now and then. Maybe treat yourself to a mani and pedicure. Or, run a warm bath, grab a good book (or squeeze in a few minutes of peace and quiet), and just destress. Most expecting moms make more time for relaxing when aches and pains arise, but you can sometimes prevent discomfort by using muscle soaks preemptively.

As we mentioned above, we sell a variety of pamper products and muscle soaks on our site, but for quick reference, we suggest our Glow Organics Relax Body Soak and Balance Foot Soak to relieve pregnancy back pains and other aches, and our other ultra-good-smelling Glow Organics products to upgrade mom’s soaking experience.

Book a Prenatal Massage

A pregnant woman is receiving a prenatal massage

Prenatal massages are an excellent way to target hard-to-get-rid-of back pains and help mom-to-be feel better and more relaxed. You can book these through specialized prenatal massage therapists, but many chiropractors and wellness centers offer these massages, too.

If you’re unsure of who to visit in your local area, we suggest talking with your healthcare provider or obstetrician, as they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Use Stretch Mark Creams Religiously

Stretch Mark Creams for Pregnancy: Glow 9 Pure + Organic Belly Butter (Organic Shea & Cocoa Butter)

Mamas are prone to stretch marks while their bellies grow, and while these lines don’t actually pose any health risk, they can be itchy and bothersome to a lot of women. Keeping the skin hydrated with belly butter, oil, and cream can reverse the appearance of these lines and mitigate some of the burning and itchiness that come along with them.

Which is best for stretch marks: butter, oil, or cream? The answer differs for different people. They all have nourishing ingredients and can effectively get rid of lines. Butters and oils usually have a greasier formula, but some creams can feel too thick. To strike a good balance, we suggest moms try a mix of a few products instead of limiting themselves to just one.

Personally, we recommend our Glow Organics Belly Butter, Love Lines Stretch Mark & Scar Balm, and Promise Defense + Repair Bump Oil because they’re made with safe ingredients, and actually work to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks.

Do Gentle Stretches before Bed or Try Prenatal Yoga Classes

A pregnant woman is meditating

Exercising isn’t usually on the top of mom’s to-do list when she’s battling aches and pains, but exercising releases feel-good hormones that can improve mom’s mood and help her feel better inside and out. If a full-on aerobics class seems like too much, a prenatal yoga class is a good place to start. Yoga is low-impact, stress-reducing, and most importantly, gets mom’s body moving.

However, moms can also benefit from taking a few minutes to do gentle stretches in the morning or before bed. Since many gyms and workout studios are closed due to COVID, at-home workouts have become more and more popular, and many apps have guided exercises mama can try right in the comfort of her home.

Get Some Fresh Air

A pregnant woman is on a walk outside

This may seem corny, but nothing beats some good old fashioned sunlight and fresh air when you’re feeling crappy. And there’s real science behind that — a healthy dose of sunlight can kickstart serotonin production, improve your mood, and diminish daytime fatigue. Take 15 minutes to go walk outside, or if it’s cold, a quick walk to the mailbox can suffice. Getting up and out of the house gives you a change of scenery and lets you enjoy a little bit of nature.

Buy a Comfy Pregnancy Pillow

A pregnant woman is lying down in bed with a pregnancy pillow

Many mamas find it difficult to get comfortable sleep with a growing belly and aching body, but maternity pillows can help! When Mariah was pregnant, she used her body pillow every night to fall asleep easier and wake up without discomforts. Pregnancy body pillows come in all different shapes and sizes, including J-, C-, and U-shaped options, but are all designed to support the baby bump and promote better sleeping postures. With a little reinforcement for the belly and back, moms can better battle the aches and pains of pregnancy.

When shopping for maternity pillows, we suggest PharMeDoc’s Pregnancy Pillow because it wraps around the entire body and is super soft and cushioning. (Plus, it’s Amazon’s best selling maternity pillow, so it’s an easy choice.)

Invest in a Good Belly Band

The KeaBabies Maternity Support Belt for Pregnancy

Belly bands will be mama-to-be’s best friend while her baby bump continues to grow. These elastic waistbands offer heavy-duty support to keep mom’s belly lifted so her back muscles don’t have to do all the work. Not only do belly bands alleviate back pains, but they also help to relieve pelvic floor pains and other discomforts that come with a growing belly.

When shopping for belly bands, we suggest choosing the KeaBabies Maternity Support Belt. It offers really strong support and is made with breathable mesh fabric so it doesn’t get hot, itchy, or uncomfortable.

In addition to buying a good maternity support belt, we also recommend moms buy a belly belt so they can continue wearing their normal clothes for longer. Belly belts are different from belly bands — belly belts, like this one on our website from Love Your Bump, are just pieces of fabric that connect to mom’s jeans (or skirts or other pants) to work as another button. These let mama’s bottoms stretch around her baby bump comfortably.

Self Care Tips for the Third Trimester and Preparing for Labor

Once you’re into the third trimester, the final countdown to baby begins! At this point, mama’s due date is right around the corner, so naturally, anxiety about labor can kick in. The best way to ease mom’s worries about the big day is to prepare her way ahead of time and focus on cherishing this exciting part of pregnancy.

And of course, mama’s should continue with regular pamper nights, muscle soaks, and other relaxing things she’s been doing thus far to manage stress and take care of herself during pregnancy. Don’t drop good habits!

Let’s talk about the best things to do before mom’s due date to help her unwind and prepare:

Pack a Delivery Day Bag

Delivery Day Bag that says "Mommy Bag"

Set yourself up a month or so ahead of time with a “delivery day” bag containing all the essentials for labor — waiting until the last minute to do this creates unneeded stress and isn’t the best idea since babies and due dates can be unpredictable.

Inside mom’s “delivery day” bag, she should have a labor gown, non-slip socks, comfy lounge clothes, goodies for baby, and breastfeeding supplies. It also doesn’t hurt to buy and pack a postpartum kit with things like postpartum underwear and perineal pads to help mom start feeling better ASAP.

Our favorite goodies for mom’s “delivery day” bag include:

Schedule Family Time

A family of three getting ready for baby number 2!

For new mamas, these are the last few weeks it’s just her and partner; and for parents with kiddos already, this is the time to dote on your children before a new baby comes into the mix. Take time during the third trimester to plan family activities together, like a Sunday dinner or a movie night, to chill out and relax as normal before the big day. Not only will these promote family bonding, but they’ll also help to distract mama from worrying too much about her and baby’s big day.

Don’t Worry! Bump Boxes Specializes in Pregnancy Self Care from First Trimester to Delivery

Pampering and pregnancy self care can get put on the back burner when mamas have other things to juggle, such as booking prenatal doctor visits, meeting their day-to-day responsibilities with work, maintaining a household, eating healthy and preparing meals, being a loving partner and parent, and so on — when so many other things demand mom’s attention, it can be hard to enjoy “me time”. And that’s exactly why we developed our pregnancy subscription box, so we can treat mama and make sure she has that extra dose of feel-good support!

With our pregnancy pamper kit, we set mom up with all of the goods she needs to feel better each and every month, so shopping for pamper goods is one less thing she has to worry about. We even ship our pregnancy gift boxes right to mom’s front door so she doesn’t have to leave the house to shop for pregnancy products.

A Bump Boxes delivery package!

Every Bump Boxes pamper box is uniquely designed for each mom, and we curate items based on where mom’s at in her pregnancy so she’s getting exactly what she needs for what she’s currently going through (instead of a bunch of random pregnancy items that may or may not be helpful).

Our pregnancy subscription box is the perfect gift idea for first time mamas navigating pregnancy for the first time — as the whole idea for this started when our founder was pregnant and having trouble figuring out what pregnant products she needed and when — but it’s also great for any mama who wants to indulge in the royal treatment during her pregnancy. And we have subscription options to fit all moms since we offer month-to-month programs in addition to 6-month, 9-month, or 12-month subscriptions.

Then, to make restocking simple and easy, we sell every item found in our Bump Boxes a la carte right on our website, including pregnancy products from other companies! That way, mom can stock up on everything she needs without spending hours on her computer browsing brands and reading dozens upon dozens of pregnancy posts.

A woman is holding up a Bump Boxes delivery

Interested in treating yourself to a pregnancy subscription box made just for you? Our Bump Boxes team of mamas is here to help you get started and support you along every step of your pregnancy.