Ways to Cope with Pregnancy Discomforts: Part One

Ways to Cope with Pregnancy Discomforts: Part One | Baby Chick

Ways to Cope with Pregnancy Discomforts: Part One

When you’re expecting, it can be exhausting when thinking of all the things that you need to get done during the week since you’re now experiencing some new pregnancy discomforts. (Even when you’re not pregnant, it can be a lot when thinking of the new work week.) While pregnancy is one of the most exciting and best times in a woman’s life, growing a tiny human is a lot on the body to handle. It causes women to experience many different types of discomforts. I’ve had many of my clients ask me several times about ways to cope with pregnancy discomforts so I thought this would be the perfect time to go over some of them and the things that you can do to find relief. Again, this is a special time so I want you to be able to enjoy it. Since there are MANY different pregnancy discomforts, this will be a series so keep reading! 😉 Here we go!

Backache

Backaches are so common during pregnancy because of the increased weight you’re carrying. Neck and shoulder aches are also normal and can be due to tension and/or the increased weight of your growing breasts. Many women experience lower back pain that can extend or shoot down one side of your back, butt, and into one leg. This is known as sciatica, caused when the baby’s head compresses the sciatic nerve. Here are some tips that will help to relieve the discomfort of backaches or avoid them altogether:

  • Drive comfortably – Move your car seat forward to keep your knees bent and higher than your hips. Use a small pillow to support your lower back area.
  • Lift correctly – It’s important to remember to bend at the knees, not at the waist, and lift with your arms and legs, which will take the stress off your back.

lifting while pregnant

  • Limit your standing – Try not to stand in one place or one position for too long. If your job requires long periods of standing, keep one foot on a raised surface, such as a step or a box, to prevent your lower back from curving inward. If you are experiencing some back pain when standing at a table, lean forward with your knees slightly bent, and support your weight with your hands or elbows.
  • Use ice or a cold pack – Place a bag with ice, wrapped in a towel, against the small of your back when you’re sitting down.
  • Elevate your feet – When seated, prop up your feet with a footstool, stack of files/books, pillows, trash can, or anything else available.
  • Stretch daily – This is a must-do during pregnancy. When you’re at work, try setting the clock on your phone or computer to beep at you every thirty minutes to remind you to get up and stretch.
  • Avoid wearing high heels – I love heels just as much as the next girly girl, but if you’re experiencing chronic back pain, trade in those heels for some lower ones. It will really help your back. It’s time to wear sturdy shoes with a heel no higher than one inch. Save those higher heels for special meetings, date nights, and place thin, foam rubber inserts in the toes to reduce pressure.
  • Wear a maternity belt – A wide, soft, supportive elastic band that wraps around your lower back and under your belly can take over part of the job of tired, stretched abdominal and back muscles as it cradles the weight of your growing belly.
  • Improve your posture – Try to keep your shoulders and hips in line as you walk, and keep your back straight by tucking a pillow behind you when you’re seated.
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Edema (Swelling)

More than 70% of pregnant women experience some excess fluid accumulation in their feet, legs, face, and hands. This condition is related to hormone buildup in your system, which results in the kidneys collecting more water and salt than normal. If your job keeps you walking a lot and on your feet, you are also more likely to experience edema.

If you experience sudden, extreme swelling, you should immediately alert your physician. This could be a warning sign of preeclampsia or toxemia. It is a lot more commmon to experience edema in your legs and feet during your third trimester, but if you have swelling in your face and/or hands or experience these symptoms earlier in your pregnancy, contact your care provider. Mild swelling, which is considered normal and beneficial, can be relieved by these methods:

  • Raise your legs – Prop up your legs on anything available: a footstool, astack of papers, books, or a box. Also, elevate your feet and hands above your heart to reduce swelling by gravity. If possible, lie down during the day on your left (heart) side, not on your back. This position prevents your uterus from compressing major arteries and let your system reabsorb the fluid. Also try walking around the block on your lunch hour.
  • Soak your feet – Tired, burning feet should be soaked at the end of a workday. If you can treat yourself to a pedicure every now and then, even better! Also, throughout the day, rotate your ankles to help with circulation and reduce swelling.
  • Keep water with you – Consuming extra water will help to draw fluid from puffy tissues back into your bloodstream to be excreted by your kidneys later. Have a glass or a bottled water  nearby throughout the day.
  • Wear loose clothing – Although you always want to look well dressed at work and in everyday life, choose looser clothes for maternity wear.
  • Watch your diet – I know that you want to indulge in some sweets and treats, but stay away from fatty foods. You want to eat plenty of protein and cut down on salt, which causes fluid retention.
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Fatigue

As I’ve said before, it takes a lot of work to grow a baby. You are more than likely feeling extreme fatigue. This is normal. By the second trimester, your body will probably have adjusted, and you may feel a burst of energy. By the third trimester, however, you may feel exhausted again and need more rest. There’s no cure for this. Your body is going through a lot so it is just reflecting the strains being put on it. These are things you can do to help fight your daytime fatigue:

  • Go to bed early – Never mind the undone chores you see all around you at home. This is the time to catch up on rest since you and your baby are growing daily. You need the rest!
  • Try to reduce worrying – Making an effort not to worry about work and home concerns can relieve the tension that builds up during the day. Go for a walk, get some exercise, and get some fresh air.
  • Delegate responsibilities – At work, if you’re in a position to delegate responsibility when the pressure becomes too great, do so. Most coworkers will understand and will want to help, so don’t feel guilty about doing it. At home, ask your partner, family, and friends for help. They, too, want you and baby to do well and be stress free.
  • Learn your daily rhythms of alertness and fatigue – Do your strenuous or creative work during alert times; rest during tired periods. If you can, take a quick nap during your lunch hour. If possible, ask your employer to reduce your hours temporarily if you just can’t keep up near the end of your term. It never hurts to ask.
  • Combat anemia – Many women have anemia and it can result in tiredness, weakness, and fainting. You will need to add more iron-rich foods to your diet, such as lentils and green leafy vegetables. Doctor-recommended iron tablets can help as well.
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Headaches

Headaches are extremely common during pregnancy. They may be caused by hormonal changes, which you have little control over. But you may alleviate the problem by doing these:

  • Rest – Sit in a dark, quiet room with your eyes closed. Try meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques until it passes.
  • Hydrate – Headaches are commonly caused by dehydration. This is yet another reason why having water throughout the day is important.
  • Breathe fresh air – Avoid stuffy, over-crowded, smoke-filled rooms. Step outside, if possible, for a breath of clear air.
  • Eat regularly – Little or no food over a long period of time can cause your blood sugar level to drop. Eat small meals/snacks throughout the day. Excessive caffeine can also cause headaches as well. Limit your intake if your headaches continue to persist.
  • Try to reduce stress – Whenever possible, avoid unnecessary stressful situations and find ways to control the stress you cannot avoid. I know that this is easier said than done, but talk to the people around you to help limit your stress.
  • Take calcium – Calcium tends to quiet your nerves and ease a headache. If the headaches are regular, take up to four 450-milligram calcium tablets a day. (Consult your care provider first.) If you suddenly develop a severe headache, call your doctor. It could indicate the onset of toxemia.
  • Cut down on your salt intake – Especially during pregnancy, too much salt can cause headaches and high blood pressure.
  • Use cold compresses – Place a cold, moist cloth on your forehead or on the back of your neck. Add a few drops of essential oil of lavender on your washcloth to help with relaxation.
  • Use liniments – Rub peppermint oil, Tiger Balm, or white flower oil into your temples, or drink peppermint tea.
  • Take non-aspirin pain relievers – If other methods are not working, Tylenol might help. With any antibiotics, get your doctor’s approval first.

Alright, ladies! I hope part one of ways to cope with some of the common pregnancy discomforts helps! Read part two here: Ways to Cope with Pregnancy Discomforts: Part Two

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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#babyannouncement #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #babyonboard #mumtobe
Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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#thanksgiving #happythanksgiving #family #grateful #thankful #babychick⁣ #mommychick #blessed #gratitude #happy #thankyou #happiness #givethanks #turkey #holiday #love #turkeyday #holidays #baby #babyturkey
Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#flyingwithkids #travelwithkids #familytravel #travelingwithkids #kidsonplanes #travelpic #airplane #familyholiday #parenting #parenthood #firstflight #babytravels #motherhood #momlife #mumlife #mommychick #babychick #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣
Instagram post 17895768721417819 Who you gonna call?⁠ 🤣🤣🤣
📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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