Common Pregnancy Pains
Head-to-toe relief for pregnacy heartburn, backaches, and more pregnancy discomforts
LITTLE CURES FOR BIG DISCOMFORTS
As your skin stretches, it can become dry and itchy.
Relief Slather on moisturizer or cocoa butter after bathing, and avoid harsh soaps, which remove your skin's natural oils.
Your growing uterus presses on your bladder.
Relief By four months, the uterus moves up, relieving the pressure. Meanwhile, keep drinking liquids and don't wait to urinate -- it can lead to a urinary tract infection.
You may retain some fluid -- especially around your ankles and feet.
Relief Put your feet up, switch standing and sitting positions often, and don't cross your legs. If your rings get tight, put them on a chain and wear them as a necklace.
Valves that propel blood start to soften, causing the blood to pool and form painful bulges.
Relief Avoid crossing your legs, standing in one position for too long, or wearing anything that cuts off circulation (like knee-high stockings). Support hose may also help soothe the aches.
FATIGUE Hormonal havoc and the energy it takes to create a baby sap your strength.
Relief Rest often and avoid sugar and caffeine.
Sluggish circulation causes painful knots.
Relief Gentle massage or stretching (with toes flexed, not pointed) can help relax the muscle. Try stretching your legs before bedtime.
Your ligaments stretch to support the growing weight of your womb, causing sharp pains from the top of your uterus down to your pubic bone.
Relief Get off your feet, and support your belly with a pillow when you're lying on your side. Warm baths are soothing too.
These swollen rectal veins result from hard-to-pass bowel movements.
Relief Try ice packs, sitz baths, or witch hazel compresses, and ask your doctor about a stool softener or suppositories.
Your shifting center of gravity and the increased natural curvature of your spine strain your back.
Relief Stand up straight, and be careful lifting. While sitting, elevate your feet, and use a pillow for the small of your back.
INCREASED VAGINAL DISCHARGE
A clear to yellowish secretion, known as leukorrhea, helps flush bacteria from your vagina.
Relief Wear a light panty shield in your underwear to help you feel fresher, but don't douche or wear tampons.
Pregnancy hormones slow some bodily functions, resulting in constipation, indigestion, bloating, and gas.
Relief Eat a diet high in fiber (whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of liquids, and try to take a walk every day.
So-called morning sickness -- nausea that ranges from mild queasiness to frequent vomiting -- can last all day.
Relief Eat small, frequent meals high in protein and carbohydrates, and keep a few crackers by your bed to help settle your stomach before you get up in the morning.
Your uterus presses on your stomach, causing acids to back up.
Relief Even when you're ravenous, eat slowly. Avoid greasy foods and stay upright after meals. Also, try eating yogurt or chewable calcium tablets.
As your breasts rev up for breastfeeding, they may be slightly swollen and feel sensitive or painful to the touch.
Relief Buy a comfortable and supportive bra (without underwire is best).
The sudden surge of hormones may cause migraines.
Relief Try hot and cold compresses, temple massage, and fresh air. Acetaminophen is considered safe for pregnant women, but talk to your doctor before taking any drugs.
NASAL CONGESTION High levels of estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow to the mucous membranes, causing them to soften and swell. Your sinuses may feel extremely dry.
Relief Use a humidifier to loosen congestion, and lubricate the inside of your nose with a little petroleum jelly.