Pregnancy can be a very exciting time, but that doesn't mean that everything about being pregnant is a walk in the park. Thankfully, there are lots of tips and tricks to help manage the bothersome symptoms.
Here are some of the most common that women can experience, and some ideas to help get you some relief. And, of course, if you ever have questions, please call your doctor or care provider - we are here for you!
1. Nausea and Vomiting. No surprise that this one makes the top of the list. Morning sickness - or really, anytime sickness - is most common during the first trimester, although it can last into the later parts of pregnancy as well. It can be made worse by travel, dehydration, and stress. Ideally, it's best to eat small, frequent meals or snacks through the day and avoid large or heavy meals. Hydration is key: try sipping on fluids (mostly water!) all throughout the day. Many women find relief with cold items like popcicles or smoothies. Also, smoothies are a tasty way to sneak in some nutritious fruits and veggies, like fresh berries or spinach. If vomiting is excessive and/or you feel you're dehydrated, call your doctor to check in.
2. Fatigue. Fatigue is very common in early pregnancy and in the third trimester. The fatigue we are talking about is often extreme - like hit-by-a-bus exhausted. The best thing you can do when you're tired is to sleep. We recommend taking a prenatal vitamin with iron daily as well. It is good to get some form of daily exercise - even a short walk. This often helps with excessive fatigue.
3. Heartburn/Indigestion. When pregnant, digestion is usually slowed due to hormonal changes. Couple that with increased pressure on your stomach as the baby is growing bigger, and often heartburn and indigestion are going to happen. Again, eating frequent smaller meals, rather than a few large ones, will help. Try to finish meals at least a couple of hours before you lay down so food and digestive juices are less apt to be pushed back up into the esophagus. There are some common over-the-counter medications that can safely be used in pregnancy to help relieve frequent heartburn, so if these measures aren't helping enough, talk with your doctor about other options.
4. Back pain. Back pain is one of the most common complaints that we hear about during pregnancy. The good news is that it almost always goes away after the baby is born. The growing uterus changes your posture and puts more strain on the lower back. Plus, the extra weight you are carrying puts more strain on your back muscles and more stress on the joints in your low back and pelvis. Be sure to wear supportive shoes, especially in the third trimester. You can also look at prenatal yoga classes and back stretches to help soothe achy muscles. It can also be helpful to sleep on your side with a pillow positioned between your knees.
5. Constipation and Hemorrhoids. Oh, the joys! Slower digestion, increased blood supply, and increased pressure in the pelvis often cause constipation and hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Eat plenty of high-fiber foods, such as whole grains and fruits, as well as drink plenty of water each day. Most over-the-counter medications for hemorrhoids, such as Preparation H and Tucks pads, are safe to use.
6. Swollen ankles. Swelling in the hands and feet is very common, especially during the third trimester. However, swelling can sometimes indicate a dangerous condition called pre-eclampsia. Keep your feet up as much as possible to aid circulation and let your doctor know if the swelling seems excessive, is painful or does not seem to go down when extremities are elevated.
7. Urinary tract and yeast infections. You may have more frequent urinary tract or yeast infections while you're pregnant. Good hygiene, avoiding tight clothing, and 100% cotton underwear can help to prevent yeast infections. Adequate hydration and urinating after sex can help prevent both issues. Call your OB/Gyn if you suspect you have an infection.
8. Skin/Pigment changes. Skin can do a lot of strange things during pregnancy. Very often, women develop more sensitivity to things in their environment, so using sensitive-skin and hypoallergenic products and soaps can help. Pigment changes are also common (thanks, hormones!), which can be minimized by limiting sun exposure and wearing sunscreen anytime you are outdoors.
9. Stretch marks. Stretch marks are actually tiny tears in the supporting tissue under the skin as it is pulled to its limit during pregnancy. Whether or not you get them is mostly genetic. Daily moisturizing (both inside and out - drink that water!) can help nourish the skin and help minimize stretch marks. Avoiding excessive or rapid weight gain during pregnancy is also helpful.
Need some relief from these or other common pregnancy discomforts? Contact us at Premier OB-Gyn and we will be happy to do what we can to help you enjoy a happy and health pregnancy.
Premier OB-Gyn is accepting new paitents in both our Maitland, FL and Oviedo, FL locations. We would be happy to see you! Please call 321-397-1212 or visit www.premierob-gyn.com to book your appointment.