The first trimester of pregnancy can be a confusing and difficult time for some women as your body goes through a lot of changes, both physical and hormonal. You may not start showing any physical signs of pregnancy until after the first trimester, but there are still massive changes going on inside your body that can cause discomfort.
It’s important to be careful when using over the counter medication to treat symptoms like morning sickness, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn during pregnancy. These would normally be simple to cure, but now you have to contend with the discomfort and be more careful with the medication you take because it can affect the growth of the fetus during the first trimester. Professional health care providers have listed the following guidelines for relief of common symptoms during the first trimester of pregnancy:
-Take a prenatal vitamin every day
-Get plenty of rest
-Eat small, frequent meals
-Drink plenty of fluids
-Avoid spicy and greasy foods
Morning sickness: Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms during the first trimester of pregnancy, but there are ways to help ease them. One way is to make sure you don’t let your stomach get completely empty – try eating small meals throughout the day. Another helpful step is to drink ginger tea, which is considered safe to use during pregnancy and can help relieve nausea and vomiting. Sucking on hard candy can be a helpful way to avoid nausea by keeping the saliva glands active and promoting the production of saliva, which then helps to reduce acid build-up in the stomach. Also, try to steer clear of smells or foods that make the feeling of nausea worse and instead opt for crackers or bread as they will help to keep something in your stomach and soak up any excess stomach acid.
Heartburn: Heartburn is unfortunately a common symptom during the first trimester – but there are ways to naturally ease the discomfort. If you have experienced heartburn before becoming pregnant, avoid those trigger foods altogether. For example, ginger and lemon tea are excellent for heartburn relief and are considered safe during the first trimester. Another tip is to try not eating anything 2 hours before bedtime since this is when heartburn is typically worst for patients due to lying down in a prone position. To avoid heartburn, don’t lie down immediately after eating and try sleeping with your upper body slightly elevated. Also, drink plenty of fluids and eat yogurt or milk to help relieve symptoms. Avoid heartburn-inducing foods such as caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, fried foods, garlic and onions. Additionally, try to stay away from foods high in natural acids like tomatoes and peppers. If you’re looking for a home remedy, mix a tablespoon of honey with a glass of warm milk. And finally, avoid smoking as it increases stomach acid content.
Fatigue: Most women feel more exhausted than usual during the first three months of their pregnancy. To help fight fatigue, get extra rest whenever possible by napping or going to bed early. Also, cut back on physical activity and instead maintain a steady exercise routine. In addition, try to lighten your load by eliminating extra responsibilities and social commitments. Lastly, make sure to eat healthy foods as fatigue can also be caused by improper diet during pregnancy. Eat foods high in iron and protein and avoid stimulants such as caffeine. Severe fatigue can be a sign of anemia, which is a lack of iron in the blood. If you think you might be anemic, talk to your health care provider about getting an iron supplement. They can also prescribe you prenatal vitamins to help prevent fatigue due to nutrient deficiency.
Breast tenderness is a common symptom that many women experience when they are pregnant. The breasts will often feel swollen and sensitive to touch. Wearing a supportive bra or sports bra may help to alleviate some of the tenderness.
Some other things that may help include:
– Wearing loose-fitting clothing
– Taking warm baths
– Applying a cold compress to the breasts
Constipation: Many women experience constipation during the first trimester of pregnancy. To avoid this uncomfortable symptom, drink plenty of fluids, especially early in the day. Eat regular meals and include high-fiber foods in your diet, such as fruits, leafy vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals. You may also want to ask your doctor about fiber supplements. If home remedies don’t help, mild over-the-counter medications and laxatives may be useful but should be discussed with your health care provider first.
Lower back pain: A pregnant woman’s body is going through a lot of changes as it prepares for pregnancy and delivery, which can cause lower back pain. Maintaining good posture by sitting and walking straight can help prevent lower back pain. To reduce stress on your lower back, sit with your feet slightly elevated and your legs uncrossed. Get up and stretch frequently. When sleeping, avoid lying on your back. Instead, sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs for support. To avoid muscular stress caused by added weight, wear low-heeled or no-heeled shoes. If you must lift something heavy, use proper lifting techniques: Bend your knees and keep your back straight while lifting. Lifting items over your head can cause strain on back muscles, so it’s best to avoid doing this if possible. Some over-the-counter medications that contain acetaminophen are likely safe to take while pregnant, but always check with your health care provider before self-medicating. Severe back pain can often be treated with a visit to a chiropractor or with massages using certain oils, but make sure to get approval from your health care provider before using oils or receiving massage therapy.
Nasal problems: Many women report nasal issues like snoring, runny noses, congestion, sinus problems, coughing and sneezing during their first trimester. This is called pregnancy rhinitis, and it affects about 20% of all pregnant women. The nasal passages become inflamed and irritated during pregnancy, causing symptoms that are similar to an allergy even though there are no apparent environmental factors. If you’re suffering from pregnancy rhinitis, there are a few things you can do to ease your symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, which can irritate your nasal lining and sinuses. Increase the humidity in your home by using a humidifier, and avoid environmental irritants like cigarette smoke. Try sleeping with your head propped up, and exercise moderately. Over-the-counter nasal sprays, antihistamines, and oral decongestants can be used, but always check with your health care provider first to make sure the product is considered safe for use during pregnancy.
Swollen feet and ankles: If you’re experiencing swollen feet and ankles during your first trimester of pregnancy, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the discomfort. Try sitting with your feet propped up for 10-15 minutes before resting, and wear low-heeled or no-heeled shoes to limit long periods of time spent walking or standing. If the problem persists, be sure to talk to your health care provider, as swollen feet and ankles can be symptoms of other serious health conditions.
Increased Urination: Pregnancy comes with a lot of changes to the body, one of which is the expansion of the uterus. This can put pressure on the bladder and cause you to need to urinate more frequently. To avoid frequent late-night trips to the bathroom, drink fewer fluids in the evening. And, to avoid urinary tract infections, urinate whenever you feel the need.