Pregnancy is a time of excitement and joy, however there are common pregnancy problems which are faced by just about all pregnant moms! These problems can often remove the joy and leave moms feeling ill and weak, and the road ahead can seem never ending. The good news is that virtually all the common problems and complaints can be overcome and the expectant mom can reclaim the joy and enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Whoever named -morning sickness’ forget to mention that waves of nausea and bouts of vomiting is not just limited to the early hours of the morning, but in fact a number of women complain of these symptoms in the late afternoon and in the early evening. Morning sickness or -all day’ sickness is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy, but morning sickness can be beaten.
In the morning, expectant moms should try to eat bland foods before facing the day – so keep a few crackers next to the bed, or ask your partner to bring you breakfast in bed (make sure it is just a bowl of dry cereal). Milk will only worsen the effects of morning sickness and as such should be avoided, until the waves of nausea pass.
Warm temperatures and stuffy rooms are also contributory factors for morning sickness and it may help to keep a fan in the bedroom or have the windows open when waking up. Cool, fresh air will help to keep nausea at bay.
Certain smells may also be triggers for queasiness and even though, the smell of pancakes or fried eggs were perfectly fine before pregnancy, during pregnancy these smells may be enough to cause dry heaving or a churning tummy. It may be good idea to cook foods in a microwave rather than on the stovetop as microwave cooking emits fewer odours.
Other ways to beat morning sickness includes sipping on carbonated water with a touch of lemon, or teas which contain ginger and peppermint (both of which are natural cures to reduce queasiness during pregnancy). Smaller meals during the day will also help.
Swollen ankles, feet and even swollen hands and fingers are another regular moan of pregnant ladies. Swelling of the feet and ankles can be reduced by making sure that shoes fit well, or by fitting shoes with comfortable inserts. Keeping legs elevated as often as possible is another way to reduce ankle and feet swelling – lying down when possible is recommended. Diuretics such as water pills will not help with swelling but in fact will cause increased swelling during pregnancy and should be avoided.
Tummy Pain and Abdominal Cramps
The growing baby causes a lot of stress on the abdominal muscles and this will lead to pains and cramps. Women can try out a variety of exercises that are designed to help strengthen the tummy muscles; however, before embarking on any exercises while pregnant, women should consult their doctor. Another way to reduce tummy pains and cramps is to use a heating pad or to enjoy a lukewarm bath (excessively hot baths should be avoided).
Yet another common pregnancy complaint is constipation which is caused by the pressure on the bowels. The good news is that the battle with constipation can be overcome with moderate but regular exercise (swimming or walking is great), keeping hydrated and making sure that fibrous foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals and breads are consumed daily. Constipation can lead to several secondary complaints and will certainly make the pregnant woman feel uncomfortable, lethargic and generally unwell. Thus keeping constipation under control is essential for a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Fatigue is often experienced during the first and last trimester of pregnancy. Exhaustion is often due to stress, restless sleeping, being uncomfortable and because of the common aches and pain of pregnancy, such as back ache, etc. Besides insomnia, many women may be suffering from an iron deficiency which can cause extreme exhaustion and fatigue. The best ways to overcome fatigue include eating a well-balanced diet, enjoying moderate exercise and resting during the day. Working pregnant moms may find it impossible to grab forty winks while at work, but they should use the weekends to relax and nap. A warm bath before bedtime and avoiding caffeine may encourage a restful night’s sleep.
For many women, bladder problems are the most annoying of all problems during pregnancy. Not only does the bladder appear to shrink during pregnancy to the size of a small pea, which means frequent bathroom visits, but pregnant women are prone to thrush (yeast infections) or urinary tract infections. It’s not possible to increase the size of the bladder and the regular bathrooms visits are par for the course, but in terms of dealing with UTI (urinary tract infections), expectant moms are urged to drink a lot of water, limit coffee and tea intake as well as processed foods and foods that are high in acid. It’s also been found that by adding extra garlic to meals and taking a vitamin C supplement, women are able to reduce bladder problems during pregnancy. It is important to ensure that the bladder is kept empty and it’s recommended that women wash well after sexual intercourse in a bid to reduce the risk of infections.
Some women may never experience bladder problems or yeast infections during pregnancy.
Heartburn and nausea often go hand-in-hand during pregnancy and as such, most of the remedies provided to aid or alleviate nausea will also help with heartburn. Tight clothing can also cause heartburn and so non-constrictive maternity wear is recommended. Certain foods (especially fatty or fried foods and foods which are excessively spicy) are definite causes of heartburn and should be limited.
The added weight of the baby is bound to cause backache, especially towards the end of the pregnancy. Moderate exercises will help strengthen back muscles and will also allow women to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. Regular naps and rest is an effective method to lessen backache along with the other common aches and pains associated with pregnancy.