During a visit to the OB-GYN or midwife, most women are given a list of food items that can help alleviate pregnancy-induced nausea. Crackers are a time-tested standby; you may not think of Saltines as a "pregnancy comfort essential," but for me they've come in handy more than once in the middle of the night. Michelle found that hard sour candy worked best for her, while Susan kept a constant supply of lemonade on hand. Doctors often recommend ginger or vitamin B-6, proven to reduce nausea symptoms in pregnant women. (For safety, check with your doctor for the appropriate dosage.)
If you just can't find the perfect food to ease your queasiness, try acupressure bands—originally designed to combat seasickness—to reduce nausea.
Some of the things that make women feel best aren't always found on a list of typical pregnancy essentials. Barb advises pregnant women to shop for a temporary wedding ring with a larger band size to accommodate swelling fingers. She adds that some of the best things to do for comfort aren't bought in a store. Prenatal yoga classes "help relax the body, keep you limber, ease pain, and tone the body—all at once," she explains.
Michelle notes that "hearing reassuring stories about successful pregnancies and babies" was truly comforting, as was having her head scratched. "This addressed my physical and emotional discomfort," she says.
I found refuge in the humor of "been there, done that" books such as Cynthia L. Copeland's The Diaper Diaries, with an in-your-face style that had me laughing out loud and actually looking forward to sleepless nights and mysterious diaper deposits.
Pregnancy, although truly miraculous, can be challenging for a mother-to-be. Dealing with nausea, exhaustion, and the occasional beached-whale feeling isn't easy. Finding what works best for you may take time, but once you've found your own comfort essentials, you'll be able to relax more and focus on the beauty of carrying and nurturing your child.