Pregnant? You may soon be trying to cope with the top five problems during pregnancy.
Good news! These survival kit essentials will help get you through.
Pregnancy can be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, yet most women seem united when discussing their most common discomforts. From back aches to morning sickness, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and heartburn, spread the word to anyone you know who is pregnant that there are ways to get relief from these symptoms without risking harm to their growing baby.
We interviewed Dr. Sherry Torkos about these top five problems during pregnancy, and she had some excellent advice for us.
For back aches: “There are a number of really good tactics. Wearing a pregnancy support takes the pressure off your back and belly. There also are stretches and exercises that alleviate back pain. Try not to stand in one position for long periods of time. And be careful to always use the proper bending technique. Instead of bending at the waist make sure you lift by bending your knees (whether it’s groceries or young children). Also wear good supportive shoes. If back pain persists, you can try acupuncture and massage. Tylenol also is safe for you and your baby.”
For morning sickness: “Listen to your body and don’t force yourself to eat anything that will make things worse. For example if eggs make you nauseous, don’t eat them. Ginger has been clinically shown to help prevent nausea and vomiting, and has traditionally been used in herbal medicine to help relieve these symptoms. There is a pre-natal vitamin containing ginger from femMED that is all natural. Eating small, frequent meals may also help.”
For hemorrhoids: “One of the most common problems during pregnancy. Drink lots of fluids and keep your stool soft by eating a diet high in soluble and insoluble fiber. If you have trouble eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables, bran, etc. try a fiber supplement. Avoid straining when having a bowel movement. And keep one of those inflatable ‘donuts’ handy for sitting because they take a lot of pressure off of the rectal area.”
For varicose veins: “Blood pooling in your extremities can cause your veins and dilate and bulge. The higher hormone levels and weight gain from pregnancy can aggravate varicose veins, as can standing for long periods of time. Support stocks can be incredibly helpful because they provide graduated compression that encourages blood flow back toward your heart. Try to move around as much as you can; flexing your ankles and moving them in a circular motion helps to pump your calves which gets your blood moving. Eat lots of berries and grapes to help strengthen the walls of your veins.”
For heartburn: “During pregnancy, you are at a greater risk of heartburn – especially during the later stages – because the growing baby puts pressure on your stomach and esophagus. This causes the stomach acids to back up. Try eating small, frequent meals and avoid spicy or fried foods which can worsen the symptoms. It’s also helpful to avoid eating just before bedtime. If you still have problems when you lay down, prop up your pillows so that your head is elevated above your stomach. Other things to try include avoiding wearing anything tight around your waist, not bending over from the waist, and taking calcium supplements.”
“At this time in your life it is important to take control over your health. Focus on eating a nutritious diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and read ingredient labels thoroughly. When the health of your baby is at stake, it’s not enough to assume that a product is healthful. Taking the extra time to review the ingredients will give you extra peace of mind knowing what you are you are putting into your body is safe and beneficial, and will not harm you or your baby.”