Common Discomforts During Pregnancy And Their Treatment

March 26, 2020

Pregnancy is a happy time for most mothers. The thought of being a vessel that gives life to another human is exhilarating. However, together with the joy and rosy glow, come various discomforts that cloud this amazing experience — at least temporarily.

In this article, we are going to highlight some of the common discomforts that women suffer in the course of their pregnancy.

Let us delve into specifics:

  • Nausea And Vomiting

Also known as morning sickness, nausea is one of the most common causes of discomfort in pregnancy. About 50% of pregnant women suffer from it during the first trimester. Symptoms do occur at any time of the day, but because they are most severe in the morning, hence the name ‘morning sickness.’

The main cause of nausea is the ever-changing hormonal levels in pregnancy. The severity of the issue depends from one mother to the other. However, things like diet, traveling, and stress levels can worsen the situation. For example, eating fatty and spicy foods triggers nausea, while filling your diet with complex carbohydrates and high-protein foods go a long way in reducing its severity.

If the nausea is severe, pregnant mothers are advised to seek medical attention to avoid dehydration and loss of weight.

  • Common Colds

A seasonal cold is a common condition for all human beings. As such, it is quite common for pregnant women to have a stuffy nose during pregnancy. This can be attributed to the shifting hormones that affect the nasal passages.

At times, the cold may be accompanied by sore throat and flu. In such a case, medication is necessary. Pain relievers and Strepsils pregnancy are effective at alleviating the discomfort that ensues.

For not-so-serious-cases, the use of natural remedies like taking a lot of fluids and the use of humidifiers is advised. Also, adequate rest is important in giving the body ample time to recover.

  • Heartburn

You may be surprised at how many women suffer from heartburn in the course of their pregnancy. Most doctors can indeed attest to receiving a myriad of complaints about heartburn from pregnant mothers.

Heartburn is caused by the relaxation of the valve due to the progesterone hormone. When the valve relaxes, stomach acid can easily go into the esophagus, significantly increasing the efficiency of heartburn in pregnant women.

The secret here is to prevent heartburn. Some of the ways to do this include:

  1. Eating smaller meals throughout the day.
  2. Avoiding foods that are spicy and fatty.
  3. Avoid lying down immediately after having a meal. It is best to wait at least an hour.

In case of heartburn, taking yogurt or drinking a glass of milk helps in alleviating the symptoms. Also, over-the-counter antacids can be of help. However, these should be taken with directions from a healthcare provider.

  • Constipation

Constipation is another common condition in pregnancy. Just like nausea, it affects about 50% of pregnant women at one point or the other during pregnancy. It is mostly characterized by infrequent or difficult bowel movements. Other women will suffer abdominal pains, as well as the passage of hard stools.

The progesterone hormone causes the intestines to relax, slowing down digestion. Generally, stress, minimal physical activity, and lack of fibers in the diet lead to constipation.

However, there a few practices that can help keep constipation at bay. They include:

  1. Eating a high-fiber diet.
  2. Drinking a lot of water.
  3. Engaging in regular exercise.
  4. Eliminating the use of iron supplements.

Additionally, there are over-the-counter medications that treat constipation but first get advice from your healthcare provider.

NB: The use of laxatives and mineral oils to help in constipation is highly prohibited. Laxatives can cause dehydration or trigger uterine contractions, while minerals reduce nutrient absorption in the body.

  • Fatigue

During pregnancy, the body works extra to provide a conducive environment for the unborn child. As such, it uses more energy leaving the mother tired and depleted of energy. This is especially common in the first trimester.

Additionally, the hormonal changes happening in the body can cause fatigue. The trick is to try and rest as much as possible. Avoid straining and drink plenty of water.

  • Backache

During the progress of the pregnancy, many women suffer from backache. The reason being, pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the back, especially as the unborn baby continues to grow.

There are a few practices that alleviate backache. For example:

  1. Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  2. Avoid wearing strenuous high-heeled shoes.
  3. Avoid standing for too long.
  4. Make a habit of supporting your back with a cushion.
  5. Always sleeping on your side and placing a pillow in-between your legs.
  6. Sitting upright on a well-supported chair.
  7. Applying hot or cold packs on sore areas of the back.

Also, you could schedule a back massage from a professional. However, make sure to inform them of the pregnancy beforehand.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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