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What the heck are maternity hacks? When you’re having a baby, there are so many upfront costs that add up quickly; you know all those gadgets and necessities like belly bands, the special pillows, and the branded nursing pads that you can’t live without during your pregnancy.
Maternity hacks are shortcuts that’ll save you some money by buying cheaper items or using what you already have on hand. Think of these as mom’s advice amplified; some are so krazy good you’ll want to share them with expectant family members or friends.
For more money-saving tips, deals, and coupons on everything baby, be sure to download the KCL app.
1. Rub coconut oil on your belly to relieve itchy skin and save 97% over belly creams.
Skip the spendy belly creams that can cost upwards of $10.25 an ounce and go with cheaper alternatives like coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil for as little as $0.31 an ounce. Plus, you probably already have one of them in your pantry. You could opt for jojoba oil (which is actually a wax ester) for $1.12 an ounce — pricier than the other oils, but you’ll want to add it to your oil collection for all your skin and beauty needs.
2. If you must sleep on your belly, buy an inner tube and just do it.
Sure, you can buy one of those pregnancy pillows for upwards of $100, but as far as maternity hacks go, we say skip the pregnancy pillow because for $3.50 a piece, you can get an inner tube and probably be just as comfortable as one can be with a baby belly.
3. Maternity Hacks 101: Cut panty liners in half and use them as makeshift nursing pads.
No reason to spend more on actual nursing pads if off-brand panty liners or maxi pads can do the job.
Lansinoh nursing pads: $0.10 each
Generic panty liners (cut in two): $0.06 each
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.
- Bella Band: $28+
- Kinesiology tape, 1 roll: $5.82
5. Maternity Hacks 101: DIY a tank top to make a no-sew belly band.
You could skip the Bella band or kinesiology tape and 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 thrift tank top, you can get a belly band for under $5. Keep reading for more maternity hacks.
6. Stash 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! you can grab packs of snack-sized foods or save a few bucks and get some reusable snack bags and regular-sized snack foods. Fill your bags with your fave munchies and stash them in your purse or car to fight off those cravings while on the go.
7. Maternity Hacks 101: Make a “padsicle” to help with postpartum pain.
After you deliver your bundle of joy, give your lady parts some relief with this padsicle. Apply aloe vera, witch hazel, and oil, like olive or jojoba, to a few overnight pads, close up the pad, and freeze until you deliver. Wear the coated pads as normal after you deliver.
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. Even if it only works through the second trimester, that’s an extra three months’ worth of maternity clothes you don’t need to buy or wear. But then I needed to get more aggressive …
9. Maternity Hacks 101: And then cut out the front pockets so you can keep wearing your jeans.
One of the ultimate maternity hacks — 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.
Ginger beer may help alleviate your morning sickness or random moments of nausea during pregnancy. Don’t worry; ginger beer is nonalcoholic. And no, it isn’t the same as ginger ale. Ginger beer is brewed and fermented, whereas ginger ale is ginger-flavored carbonated water. The taste of ginger beer? A bit stronger and spicier than ginger ale.
11. Maternity Hacks 101: 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 4-pack of bra extenders for only $4.99. 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. Maternity Hacks 101: Use kitchen tongs to pick up items you drop in the shower.
Need more maternity hacks? Here’s one. You’ll find pretty quick that bending down to grab something while pregnant can be rather challenging. Get yourself a few Dollar Tree tongs and keep them around the house, like in the shower, and use them to grab things on the ground.
14. Buy satin sheets to help you roll over more smoothly in the third trimester.
Anything that can make moving around easier during the last trimester, we’re all for it! Satin sheets on your bed may make getting in and out of bed a little less cumbersome.
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. Maternity Hacks 101: 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. Be careful not to soak in water that’s too hot; raising your body temperature can be dangerous for your baby-to-be. That’s why hot tubs during pregnancy are a big no-no.
17. Or rub lemon or grapefruit essential oils all over them.
Be sure to use a carrier like coconut oil; otherwise, the essential oils can cause irritation. Also, avoid spending 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.
Here’s a maternity hack: If you sleep on your side, it’s time to support your back and legs. Just like we told you to forget buying a pregnancy pillow for laying on your belly, you can skip those expensive pillows here too.
Instead, grab a few extra cheap pillows at Target, and then don’t stress when they get lost or go flat.
- Regular pillows: $3.99 each
- Pregnancy support pillow: Up to $100
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. Maternity Hacks 101: 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 almost 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 (for 15 to 20 minutes at a time). Always wrap your gel pack in a clean towel or cloth before applying to prevent ice burns.
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 styling fee which goes toward the 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 strawberries in your water to help you drink it.
If you’re not a water person, adding a few cucumber slices or pieces of strawberries to water may help you drink water and keep you hydrated.
24. Eat a banana a day to keep leg cramps away.
Waking up in the middle of the night with a nasty cramp in your leg (charlie horse) is awful. Eating a banana every day can help you prevent these leg cramps.
25. Maternity Hacks 101: 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.
Ask your doctor for a few of those vomit bags they have in clinics to add to your nausea kit.