There are multiple health conditions that affect women when they are pregnant.
Some women may experience only one or two of the symptoms while others may become overwhelmed with the side effects.
The severity of these unwanted pregnancy symptoms can also vary and on some days can leave a mom-to-be feeling simply gross and unable to cope.
There are however some easy and very effective ways to manage the symptoms and health conditions associated with pregnancy.
1. Morning Sickness in Pregnancy
Nausea during pregnancy, especially in the early stages, is a very common symptom and can last all day or occur at the same time everyday.
In severe cases, nausea may turn into vomiting that can leave you feeling tired and horrible. Some tips to help manage pregnancy nausea include:
Ginger is a very effective natural way to alleviate nausea and prevent vomiting. If you don’t like the taste, you can get it as ginger capsules.
These supplements are normally advisable for people who suffer from motion sickness while traveling. The greatest benefit is that there are no side effects so ginger can be used as often as necessary.
Avoid the smells
Some foods and smells may trigger nausea so avoid these.
You can use essential oils to create odors that help to alleviate nausea. Be aware that not all essential oils are recommended for use during pregnancy so consult with your doctor or midwife before using the oil. Peppermint, cinnamon and orange are all known for alleviating nausea.
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Regulate your eating
Eat slowly. Eat smaller meals more often and give your body time to digest before getting up and rushing off.
Pay attention to your pregnancy cravings. Eating the food you crave can help alleviate nausea.
Practice good oral care
Rinse you mouth well with water after vomiting and before brushing. Brushing directly after vomiting can rub acid into your teeth, weakening the enamel.
In severe cases where nausea and vomiting are affecting your ability to function, consult your doctor to prescribe a pregnancy friendly anti emetic medication.
2. Heart Burn in Pregnancy
Heart burn is another common complaint during pregnancy but tends to present in the later months as the baby gets bigger and starts pressing on the stomach forcing acid up the esophagus.
Some women (like me) are unfortunate enough to experience it from very early on in pregnancy.
Swallowing tons of antacids will relieve the symptom temporarily but will not provide long term relief.
A great remedy is to drink lots of water which will help dilute stomach acid. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice into your water.
Lemon juice is an acid and will help stop your stomach producing excess acid and alleviate heart burn on a long term basis.
Watch your food
High carbohydrate diets (lots of wheat, oats, rice, cereals) or sugar as well as tomato based sauces and spicy foods can all trigger heartburn. Try and reduce how much of these that you are eating.
Prop yourself up
There is nothing more terrifying than waking up choking on reflux (ask me how I know). Keep your pillows high to keep your body propped up while you are sleeping. This will also help with your breathing as baby takes up more and more room.
Lying on your left side is not only better for baby, it allows you to burp more freely, reducing the risk of reflux.
Contact your doctor if this symptom is extreme, they can prescribe some medication to help for the duration of your pregnancy.
3. Swollen Feet in Pregnancy
Water retention, dilated blood vessels and changes in blood pressure during pregnancy can play havoc on your feet causing them to swell up painfully.
Ensuring good blood circulation can help alleviate the swelling so exercise is great, as is a good foot massage.
Keeping your feet raised when you can. If they are particularly bad, cooling your feet down with an ice pack wrapped in a towel or an ice foot-bath can also help.
Increasing the amount of salt and protein you are eating will help reduce both your blood pressure and swelling (1)
4. Constipation in Pregnancy
Constipation can be a very painful pregnancy condition and results from increased levels of progesterone which slows digestion.
Eating more fiber (preferably raw fruit and vegetables) can help alleviate this symptom especially in the early stages of pregnancy.
Chia seeds are a great source of soluble fibre as well. Try adding 1-2 Tablespoons to a smoothie each morning.
Drinking lots of water is also recommended. In fact, it is advisable for a pregnant woman to consume more than the usual recommended 8 glasses a day.
Increasing the healthy fats in your diet is recommended during pregnancy anyway. But adding a tablespoon of MCT oil to your meal will help move things along.
MCT oil is from coconuts and it is very good for you.
Magnesium citrate is a capsule that will help get you moving naturally. Other forms of magnesium do not have the same effect.
In some cases, it may be necessary to take a laxative to assist with loosening the stool. It is preferable to take a herbal laxative that is recommended during pregnancy and not opt for off the shelf medications that could be harmful.
If you are experiencing extreme constipation (haven’t gone to the toilet in 2 or 3 days), visit your doctor.
Pushing and straining hard to relieve constipation can result in painful hemorrhoids that are very difficult to treat and will only add to your list of gross and uncomfortable pregnancy health conditions.
5. Moodiness in Pregnancy
It is very common for women to suffer from extreme mood swings during pregnancy. One minute you may feel elated and the next you could be in tears for no apparent reason.
These mood swings can leave you feeling quite drained and just horrible.
Mood swings are caused by pregnancy hormones and there isn’t too much that you can do about them. So go with the flow and allow your feelings to show rather than repressing them as this isn’t healthy.
Meditation, yoga and other relaxing exercises can help.
Knowledge can also help relieve some of your pregnancy stress and worry so read and learn as much as you can about your pregnancy and how to care for baby once he or she arrives.
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If you feel that you aren’t coping with your own moodiness, consult your doctor for advice and help to better manage the symptom.
Managing Common Pregnancy Health Conditions
Pregnancy can be a joyful time, but it can also be uncomfortable and full of symptoms that can simply make you feel gross.
These natural remedies will help you feel much more comfortable during your pregnancy.
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