Being an expectant mother is a happy and exciting time. You are growing a new life inside of you and cannot wait to meet your baby. However, pregnancy is not always easy. You may experience some aches and pains. It is important to learn all you can about pregnancy, so you are prepared for what may happen. Talk to your doctor and other mothers, so you know what to expect.
1) Morning Sickness – One of the very first things that an expectant mother has to deal with during pregnancy is morning sickness. Many women experience an upset stomach which is caused by changes in hormones. Morning sickness usually occurs early on in the pregnancy as the body is still adjusting to the increased hormone production. Some women become very ill with constant vomiting and as a result, they lose weight. Other women constantly feel queasy throughout the day. To help ease the sick feeling, it’s best to keep some crackers or cheese near the bed and eat light snacks throughout the day.
2) Fatigue – Feeling extremely tired and fatigued is common during pregnancy and can be attributed to the baby’s growth putting a strain on the mother’s body. However, it can also be a sign of anemia or low iron in the blood, which is also not uncommon during pregnancy. If you’re feeling like you need a nap, go ahead and take one – there’s no shame in it. Additionally, regular exercise can help alleviate some of the fatigue by increasing your energy levels, so try to get moving as often as you can.
3) Frequent Urination – Expectant mothers often have to urinate frequently. This is because the baby is pressing on the bladder. Unless the urine stings or burns, there is usually no problem. If there is pain when urinating, it may indicate a urinary tract infection, which must be treated with antibiotics.
4) Headaches – Headaches during pregnancy are unfortunately quite common and can be caused by a variety of things like changing hormone levels, fatigue, tension, congestion, or constipation. If you’re experiencing a headache, it may help to apply an ice pack or cold compress to the back of your neck or forehead. Tylenol is usually considered a safe pain medication to take while pregnant, but always be sure to check with your physician first and moderate your intake. Sometimes, a short nap can do wonders in relieving a headache.
5) Constipation and Hemorrhoids – Constipation during pregnancy is a common problem, usually due to the elevated hormones in your body and the vitamins and iron supplements needed during pregnancy. Straining due to constipation can cause painful hemorrhoids. They can also be caused by the pressure on your rectum from the growing baby. Eating a diet high in fiber helps eliminate hard stools. Also, drinking plenty of fluids and exercising regularly help reduce constipation.
6) Bleeding and Swollen Gums – It’s common for pregnant women to experience tender, swollen, and bleeding gums due to 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 as blood flow slows down and pools in the legs due to the added pressure from 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 for too long, but instead move around often. Eat regular meals to help avoid a drop in blood sugar and lie on your left side when you can to help with your blood pressure.
8) Heartburn and Indigestion – Heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy are caused by changing hormone levels which slow down the digestive system. Additionally, as the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the stomach, forcing acids upwards into the throat. To ease heartburn and indigestion, eat several small meals or snacks throughout the day instead of three large ones. Avoid lying down immediately after eating, chew thoroughly, and eat slowly. Some foods will cause more problems than others, so it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. However, heartburn relievers are usually acceptable during pregnancy – just check with your doctor first.
9) Leg Cramps – These are quite common changes due to body chemistry and pressure from the growing fetus. To help alleviate them, eat calcium-rich foods each day and exercise daily. Gently stretching the muscles of a cramped leg can help, as well as Tylenol. Stretching your legs before bedtime may also help, as well as elevating them as much as possible during the day.
10) Muscle Soreness – Your back, hips, pelvis, and sciatica may all be causing you pain and discomfort. Hormone changes and your posture can put extra strain on your muscles. To help ease the pain, try wearing low-heeled shoes and take frequent breaks to move around. When sitting, be sure to have adequate back support, and avoid lifting heavy objects.
Most pregnancy discomforts are only temporary and one must remember that although she may be experiencing some pain or soreness, it’s because there is a baby growing inside her body. It helps to have an understanding physician and supportive family member to talk these things over with, so that you can have a better knowledge of what is going on inside your body. Within a few short months, the pregnancy discomforts will be over, and you will be welcoming your new child into your home!