During my first pregnancy, I bought all the things — the belly bands, the special pillows, the branded nursing pads.
But with my second pregnancy, I got smarter and learned all these shortcuts to save myself some money, buying cheaper items or using what I had on hand already.
1. Rub coconut oil on your belly to relieve itchy skin.
Coconut oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil are all great alternatives to spendy belly creams. Plus, you probably already have one of them in your pantry.
2. If you must sleep on your belly, buy an inner tube and just do it.
3. Cut pantiliners in half and use them as makeshift nursing pads.
No reason to spend more on actual nursing pads if off-brand pantiliners or maxi pads can do the job.
4. Skip the belly band and use kinesiology tape as a cheaper version.
This is a great alternative to expensive belly bands if you’re looking for support.
You might need a physical therapist or a chiropractor to show you how to apply it the first time, but after that, you can wear it for up to five days straight before you need to change it again.
Also test the tape on your skin before you jump in. It can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
5. Or DIY a tank top to make a no-sew belly band.
Just cut off the straps of a tank top and wear it lower so you can get support and also have coverage for shorter shirts.
If you find a thrifted tank top, you can get a belly band for $3.00-$5.00.
6. Stash plastic bags full of snacks like pretzels or nuts in your purse and car.
Because hunger is a real pregnancy hazard — don’t let yourself be hungry even once!
7. Make a “padsicle” to help with postpartum pain.
After you deliver your bundle of joy, give your lady parts some relief with this padsicle. Just trust me.
8. Use hair bands to hold your jeans together until you can’t.
Some women can rock the hair band in their jeans their whole pregnancy. I did it through the second trimester and it was magic. But then I needed to get more aggressive. . .
9. And then cut out the front pockets so you can keep wearing your jeans.
You’re basically converting your favorite jeans into maternity pants. Best part? You’ll be able to wear them after you give birth too. Thanks, elastic.
10. Stock up on ginger beer to relieve nausea.
11. Turn your tennis shoes into slip-ons.
Sure, you could just wear flip-flops, but if it’s winter or if you want the support your tennis shoes offer, spend $9.99 on the Xpand No Tie shoelace system and turn your tennis shoes into slip-ons.
12. Buy bra extenders instead of new bras as you grow.
Again, Amazon’s got you with a 3-pack of bra extenders for only $5.99. Try to make your regular bras last as long as possible so when you go to buy a new bra, you can just get nursing bras.
13. Use kitchen tongs to pick up items you drop in the shower.
14. Buy satin sheets to help you roll over more smoothly in the third trimester.
15. Freeze grapes to snack on when it’s hot outside.
Grapes, berries, strawberry slices — you can freeze anything you want if it makes you feel better and helps to cool you down.
16. Soak swollen feet in Epsom salt.
Epsom salt reduces swelling, so it’s great for third-trimester feet. Heck, just take a bath in it if you’re retaining a lot of water.
17. Or rub lemon or grapefruit essential oils all over them.
Be sure to use a carrier like coconut oil, and be sure you don’t spend a lot of time in the sun after you put citrus oils on your skin; you can get a chemical burn.
Otherwise, this should bring relief to swollen feet!
18. Get every baby freebie on the planet (basically).
One of the best perks of being pregnant is all the baby freebies you can get. Start ordering them now and pretend it’s Christmas as they all come flooding in through your mailbox!
19. Buy a few extra $3.99 pillows at Target before you reach the third trimester.
You could buy an expensive pregnancy pillow. And maybe you’d use it again. But maybe not.
I just grab a few extra cheap pillows at Target and then I don’t stress when they get lost or go flat. I’m usually done with them after a few months.
20. Try baking soda and warm water for heartburn.
If you find Tums don’t cut it for you, a spoonful of baking soda mixed into a small glass of water will taste very salty, but it’ll do the job.
21. Wear gel ice packs in your socks or bra to cool you down.
It might seem like a desperate act, but remember that you can put most any clothing items into the freezer to cool them down, and you can always stick frozen gel packs into your clothing when you need to.
22. Consider using StitchFix instead of buying a ton of maternity clothes.
If you don’t want to deal with dressing rooms and decisions, sign up for StitchFix and try maternity clothes on at home.
You’ll fill out a Style Profile, and a stylist will pick out clothing for you. Then you’ll pay a $20 fee which goes toward items you decide to buy.
Keep everything or return everything — it’s really up to you. The convenience may be worth it, though!
23. Put cucumber slices or even strawberries in your water to help you drink it.
Stay thirsty, my friends.
24. Eat a banana a day to keep leg cramps away.
25. Make a pregnancy nausea kit.
Pack saltines, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mints or gum, baby wipes and a plastic bag in case you’re in the car or can’t make it to the bathroom.
I asked my doctor for a few of those vomit bags they have in clinics for my nausea kit.