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Last week, I covered some of the ways to cope with pregnancy discomforts. However, since there are many different changes women experience during their pregnancy, I decided to turn this into a series. If you’re experiencing some not-so-fun pregnancy symptoms, here is a list of more common pregnancy discomforts and things that you can do to help!
Heartburn & Indigestion
Thankfully, the heart has nothing to do with this problem. Heartburn involves regurgitation of stomach acid back into the throat or esophagus. It’s a mild form of indigestion that, once again, is caused by your hormonal changes. A lot of expecting women experience this and it is definitely no fun. You may experience a burning sensation in your upper abdomen or lower chest, a bitter taste in your mouth, and some burping. If you are, here are ways to relieve this problem:
- Eliminate certain foods – Stop drinking citrus fruit juices or beverages made from them. Eliminate rich, greasy, and spicy foods from your diet. (I know, no fun.) Instead, have snacks, such as yogurt and honey, papaya, apples, or toast. Also stay away from caffeine-filled drinks.
- Eat small amounts regularly rather than a few big meals – Avoid eating too much, too quickly.
- Drink water – A glass of water will wash away the acid. Then drink a little milk, buttermilk, or cream to coat your stomach. Or try some peppermint tea.
- Chew gum – Chew a stick of gum after meals or sip a carbonated drink.
- Try a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk.
- Use antacids – Ask your physician about using Maalox or some type of antacid to relieve the discomfort. These are products you can keep in your purse, desk drawer and use whenever necessary. Note: Liquid antacids are more effective than tablets.
- Change your position – Try sitting or standing. Avoid lying down; it may only worsen the condition. Sleep propped up with extra pillows – an elevated head may help.
- Remain upright after eating.
- Try some herbal and homeopathic remedies.
Constipation and straining to move your bowels may cause hemorrhoids (varicose veins of the rectum caused by pressure). Super sexy, I know. While hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy, they shrink after delivery. If they cause you pain, try the following aids:
- If you sit for long hours, use a pillow or a rubber doughnut-shaped cushion to relieve the discomfort. Apply ice packs or pads soaked in witch hazel with a few drops of lavender. Drugstores sell Tucks, which works well too.
- If you stand for long hours at work, take sitting breaks whenever your supervisor gives you the okay.
Muscle cramps in the back, groin, and legs (common in the calves) caused by slow blood circulation and pressure on certain nerves are common occurrences. If you cramp up, give these ideas a try:
- Change your position by sitting in another position for a few minutes.
- If you’re standing when the cramp occurs, keep your weight evenly distributed and flex your knees. Avoid pointing your toes. Instead, bring your toes upward, pushing out your heel.
- Place a hot-water bag or heating pad directly on the cramped muscle.
- Drink lots of fluids. Place two tablesppons of honey in a glass of warm water to help your muscles relax.
- Wear support hose to help relieve leg cramps. A well-fitting maternity girdle and low-heeled shoes will relieve the strain on your muslces as well.
Nausea, Vomiting, & Morning Sickness
Many women suffer from occasional nausea because of the pressure on organs and the high levels of estrogen in the body, especially in early pregnancy. If you are prone to vomiting, keep towels, a trashcan, and mouthwash or breath mints nearby, and figure out the quickest way to the bathroom. If you are driving, have a big bottle of ice water handy and drive with the window down or with cool air on your face. Keep plastic grocery bags ready just incase you can’t make it out of the car.
For more tips on morning sickness, read my post about things that you can do to fend off nausea.
The tiny blood vessels of the nose become more congested during pregnancy and break open easily. That’s why nosebleeds are so common. Dry air tends to worsen the problem. You might try these techniques:
- Apply pressure – Lean your head forward and apply pressure to the bridge of your nose with your fingers for at least four minutes. Keep tissues handy to protect your clothing.
- Try Vaseline – Apply Vaseline with a cotton-tip swab to each nostril to stop the bleeding.
- Use a spray – If your nose feels uncomfortably full after a nosebleed, mix ½ teaspoon of salt with ½ cup of warm water, and spray each nostril with the mixture. You could also use a Saline spray.
I know that pregnancy isn’t always the most glamorous time, especially when you are experiencing some of these symptoms, but always remember that at the end of it all, you get a precious baby. You’re getting there, but in the mean time, I hope these tips help!
Were there any other discomforts that you experienced that you want to learn how to cope with? Share with us in the comments below!