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Easing Pregnancy Discomforts

Varicose Veins:
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.

Leg Cramps:
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.

Round-Ligament Pain:
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.

Hemorrhoids:
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.

Backaches:
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.

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