Alleviate Common Pregnancy Discomforts and Reduce Pain

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Lynn, Doug Collins and 2 others

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Pregnancy is often described by so many with such positive words that women who have problems getting pregnant are made to feel inadequate - like pregnancy is the ultimate source of fulfillment, and they are somehow missing out on this amazing experience. Indeed, many parents-to-be are ecstatic at the thought of having a bundle of joy in nine months or less, and there are many reasons to celebrate motherhood

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For those who have gone through challenging experiences while pregnant, however, they may look at pregnancy at least a few misgivings. You can't seem to sit, stand or lie down for long without some pains throbbing here and there. Much of what you do before pregnancy must now be done with great caution and tentativeness, or not at all. You try to sleep on the left side for circulation, but that can keep you awake every night. Climbing the stairs and lifting your ballooning body becomes more difficult as you advance in months.

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Even Pregnancy is a Double-Edged Sword

Becoming pregnant is still a joyous experience with the anticipation, preparing the nursery, picking names and counting the days. You can make this stage of your life as joyful, but the "painful truth", however, does not go away with such thoughts. There will be a lot of physical changes and there will be lots of discomforts in those nine months. This is why it is essential to learn ways to alleviate common pregnancy discomforts and reduce pain.

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First Trimester

Are you really pregnant? It barely shows, but you can feel it. What is doing on inside you.

  1. 1
    Morning Sickness
    Nausea and Vomiting - This is perhaps the most common symptom of pregnancy, and as the name suggests, it is usually more severe in the morning. This is largely attributed to the shifting and changing levels of hormones, and it gets worse with stress, eating fat- or protein-rich foods, and motion (traveling).
    1. To minimize nausea and vomiting naturally, you can eat small meals and more complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat bread, veggies, pasta, and fruits. In severe cases, you must watch out for dehydration (hyperemesis gravidarum).
    2. Have crackers by your bed to have first thing in the morning.
    3. Drink peppermint tea - in moderation to relieve nasea.
    4. See a doctor if nausea and vomiting gets really bad.
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  2. 2
    Tightness and Cramping
    This is actually a sign that pregnancy is progressing as it should and that the uterus is expanding and crowding the abdomen. Other causes include sexual intimacy, bloating, and constipation. Take note, however, that if it becomes extra heavy it might indicate an ectopic pregnancy; this is usually accompanied by bleeding.  
    1. Light or normal cramping can be relieved by proper nutrition, hydration, rest and exercise (low impact stretching).
    2. You may also do some relaxation techniques.
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  3. 3
    With the levels of progesterone rising fast with pregnancy, it tends to relax smooth muscles, including the sphincter in the lower esophagus. This can lead to acid reflux or heartburn.  
    1. Eating frequent, but smaller meals can help prevent the backflow of acids. It will also help if the diet is not fatty or acidic.
    2. Don't lie down right after meals, and prop your head using extra pillows when you sleep.
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Second Trimester

The stage of the cute, baby bump.

  1. 1
    Pelvic and abdominal pain
    The pain at this stage is primarily due to the growing fetus and expanding uterus. The organs in the abdominal cavity are pushed sideways and upwards causing indigestion and constipation, urinary and gall bladder problems, cramping and contractions, hyperactivity of the baby, and progressively worsening muscle pains in the pelvis and abdomen area.  
    1. Since the growth of the fetus and the uterus are inevitable, you can focus on other solutions, such as adhering to a proper diet so that the baby will not grow bigger than necessary.
    2. You can also spend more hours resting. Lie on your side with a pillow tucked between your legs, when relaxing, napping, watching TV and sleeping..
    3. Try wearing low-heeled shoes with good support and avoid strenuous or prolonged standing or activity.
    4. Make sure your partner takes good care of you - rubbing your feet and shoulders can do so much good.
    5. Take baths over showers.
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  2. 2
    Leg Problems
    As you start to get heavier, the brunt takes a toll on the legs that have to support that weight. This starts to manifest in the forms of varicose veins, cramps and swelling. Varicose veins are caused by increased pressure and blood volume in the legs and pelvis around this time.  
    1. To keep the legs healthy, it is important to give them regular physical activity like walking, and to avoid standing or sitting for an extended period or with legs crossed.
    2. Keep your legs up whenever you can and consider wearing support hose, or socks.
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  3. 3
    Start drinking raspberry leaf tea during the second trimester
    It's wonderful for conditioning the uterus in preparation for delivery.
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Third Trimester

Close to term, heavy and eager to get the baby from her belly to her arms. Aside from those discomforts felt in earlier trimesters becoming more intense, there are other additional discomforts as pregnancy advances to term. Here are simple solutions to ease them.

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  1. 1
    Sleeping troubles
    This is related to the pregnancy hormone. It can make your body unusually warm, making you feel restless and uncomfortable. Insomnia can also be caused by excessive worrying or depression.  
    1. You can take a bath before sleeping and set the thermostat or your air-conditioner at a temperature that will make you comfortable during the night.
    2. Learning about relaxation strategies like meditation can help you relax your mind.
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  2. 2
    Breathing difficulties
    Increased pregnancy hormones also means increasing blood supply to the heart, making it work harder. The growing uterus and fetus also tightens lungs, causing shortness of breath.  
    1. It is advisable that you increase the number of hours of your rest and sleep.
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  3. 3
    Make sure that you are not anemic or suffering from iron deficiency
    1. Eat foods high in iron.
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  4. 4
    Digestive concerns
    The increasing pressure on the pelvis and the displacement of the intestines and stomach are taking a toll on the digestive function, and this can lead to flatulence, indigestion and worse, constipation and hemorrhoids.  
    1. The most important thing to prevent these conditions is to eat more fiber-rich foods, drink more water, get regular exercise, and lead a healthy life in general.
    2. Pain can be managed with certain hemorrhoid creams that will subdue the swelling.
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  5. 5
    Sore and itchy skin
    The stretching of the skin as the baby grows can cause itchiness and pain in the skin.  
    1. The best solution is to keep the skin moisturized with moisturizing cream or lotion. Coconut oil is a natural alternative to expensive creams.
    2. The growth of the abdomen is not preventable, but following a healthy diet can help to keep your weight in a healthy range so there will be minimal skin stretching, and you'll be healthier.
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  6. 6
    More intense pain in the abdominal or pelvic area
    The pains around these areas will become more intense as the delivery date nears.  
    1. Nothing much can be done about it, but you can try to relax and be more watchful of the signs and symptoms of the real labor.
    2. Watch out for Braxton Hicks contractions that can start from as early as 20 weeks and happen periodically to full term. They'll make you think you are in labor when you are not.
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  7. 7
    Stinging Nettle Tea
    The last six weeks of your pregnancy is a good time to drink Stinging Nettle Tea. It contains a lot of vitamin K, which the baby needs at this time for clotting.
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It's Worth the Discomfort - You Get a Baby!

Adverse symptoms of pregnancy can be made more complicated by too much weight gain, and an unhealthy diet. Soda, coffee, certain medications, too much sugar - should all be avoided to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Aside from these, there are many other pregnancy discomforts you might experience throughout pregnancy:

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  • Bleeding gums.
  • Breast tenderness and soreness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness and headaches.
  • Increased allergies (some experience a decrease in usual allergies).
  • Post-nasal drip.
  • Mood swings.

Never forget that pregnancy is a joyful, but it is not without challenges and discomforts. Dwelling on positive thoughts is good, but so is knowing a few things about easing common pregnancy discomforts.

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Article Info

Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Nuance, Doug Collins, Lynn

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