Common Health Issues During Pregnancy
Being an expectant mother is truly a time of happiness and anticipation. Knowing that there is new life growing within you and looking forward to the day when you can welcome the new baby into your home. There are so many things to do and yet, any mother will tell you that things are not always perfect during pregnancy. There may be some aches and pains, so get ready for it and learn all you can so you will be prepared for what may lie ahead!
1) Morning Sickness – One of the first things that an expectant mother often has to deal with is morning sickness. An upset stomach is one of the most common discomforts while expecting. This is caused by changes in hormones and usually occurs early in the pregnancy as the body is adjusting to the increased hormone production. Some become very sick with constant vomiting which results in weight loss. Some women feel queasy all day long. This can be helped by eating light snacks throughout the day. It’s best to keep some crackers or cheese near the bed to help ease the sick feeling.
2) Fatigue – Extreme fatigue and tiredness are also common discomforts during pregnancy. Of course, this is most likely because of the baby’s growth, which takes a toll on the mother’s body. It can also be a sign of anemia or low iron in the blood, which is also common during pregnancy. If you need a nap, take one and don’t fight it. Also, exercise can help increase your energy level, so try to get some exercise as often as possible.
3) Frequent Urination – Most expectant mothers experience a frequent need to urinate. The baby pressing on the bladder will cause this. It’s not an indication of a problem, unless the urine stings or burns. This usually indicates a urinary tract infection which must be treated with antibiotics.
4) Headaches – It’s very common for pregnant women to experience headaches. There can be many causes – changing hormones, fatigue, tension, congestion or constipation. It may be helpful to apply an icepack or cold compress to the back of the neck or forehead. Tylenol is usually considered a safe pain medicine during pregnancy, as long as taken in moderation and approved by your physician. Sometimes, a short nap will help relieve the headache.
5) Constipation and Hemorrhoids – Another common problem during pregnancy is constipation. This is usually due to the elevated hormones in your body and the vitamins and iron supplements needed during pregnancy. Straining due to constipation can then cause painful hemorrhoids. They can also be caused by the pressure on your rectum from the growing baby. Eating a diet high in fiber can help eliminate hard stools. Also, drinking plenty of fluids and exercising regularly can help reduce constipation.
6) Bleeding and Swollen Gums – Tender, swollen, and bleeding gums are common during pregnancy. This is caused by the increased hormones and blood flow. Brushing and flossing regularly will help you avoid any dental problems.
7) Dizziness – This usually occurs during the second and third trimesters. It is caused by blood accumulating in the legs and also going to the growing uterus. Dizziness then occurs from the decrease in blood pressure when you change positions. If you must stand, don’t stand in one position but move around. Eat regular meets to help avoid a drop in blood sugar and lie on your left side when you rest to help with your blood pressure.
8) Heartburn and Indigestion – Heartburn and indigestion are caused during pregnancy because the digestive system slows down because of the changing hormone levels. Also, as the uterus grows larger, it presses again the stomach, pushing the acids up into the throat. Rather than eating three large meals during the day, eat several small meals or snacks. Don’t lie down right after eating, chew thoroughly and eat slowly. You may find that some foods give you more problems, so avoid them as much as possible. Check with your doctor, but heartburn relievers are usually acceptable during pregnancy.
9) Leg Cramps – Due to the changes in body chemistry and pressure from the growing fetus, these are quite common. Eat calcium-rich foods each day and exercise daily. Stretching your legs before bedtime may help, as well as elevating them as much as possible during the day. Gently stretching the muscles of a cramped leg can help, as well as Tylenol.
10) Muscle Soreness – Your back, hips, pelvis and sciatic may all be sore and achy. Changing hormone levels and your posture causes extra strain on the muscles. Wearing low-heeled shoes and moving around frequently can help. When sitting, make sure you have adequate back support and avoid lifting heavy objects.
Most pregnancy discomforts are tolerable and one must realize that although she is experiencing some pain or soreness, it’s because there is a growing baby within her body. Having an understanding physician and supportive family member will allow you to talk these things over and give you a better knowledge of what is going on inside your body. Within a few short months, the problems will be over and you will welcome your new child into your home!