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Dealing With Common Ailments During Pregnancy

Dealing With Common Ailments During Pregnancy

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Certain ailments during pregnancy are routine: almost every woman has a story about morning sickness, hemorrhoids or swollen ankles. Here are some common pregnancy complaints, and what you can do to alleviate them.

Morning sickness is by far the most common ailment women suffer from while pregnant. Some women have mild nausea in the morning and are fine after a few crackers, while others vomit from the smell of a particular food, or can't keep anything down. It can occur at any time in the pregnancy, although most women find it is worst in the first trimester. You can battle morning sickness by drinking lots of water, avoiding smells that make you feel nauseous, and drinking peppermint tea.

Backaches are often experienced by women during their pregnancy. This pain can intensify with standing for long periods or even turning over in bed during later pregnancy. The extra weight of the baby puts pressure on your lower back, and ligaments loosen to prepare your body for birth. These both contribute to backaches, which can range from merely annoying to downright painful.

Pregnancy massage can be a huge relief for aching back muscles, and strengthening exercises help loosen muscles and keep them more flexible.

Swollen feet, hands and ankles occur in later pregnancy, as fluid increases and can pool in certain parts of the body. Pregnancy hormones also cause swelling in some women, and things like coffee or salty foods can add to the problem. Pregnant women who experience swelling should drink plenty of water to flush the body, avoid standing for too long, and eat green leafy vegetables. Other women swear by dandelion tea, lymphatic massage and grapefruit oil for relief.

As the baby grows and presses against the stomach, heartburn may occur. It's also caused by progesterone, which relaxes the stomach valve and lets stomach acid in. Certain foods aggravate heartburn, such as spicy dinners or high fat snacks. You can help relieve heartburn by breaking meals into smaller portions rather than eating three big meals each day. Antacids are safe for most pregnant women, but check with your doctor first just to make sure.

Unfortunately, constipation is usually experienced at some point in pregnancy. The hormone progesterone relaxes the intestinal muscles, making it difficult to push food along and causing constipation. You can eliminate or lessen constipation by drinking lots of water and eating more fiber.

Hemorrhoids are yet another unpleasant side effect of pregnancy! Symptoms of hemorrhoids include pain or itching around the anus and blood during bowel movements. They are caused by pressure from the growing fetus, as well as progesterone relaxing the muscles. Other women have problems with hemorrhoids because they strain during bowel movements. Luckily, hemorrhoids are very easy to treat with both over the counter medications and natural remedies.

Common pregnancy ailments aren't entirely physical. It's not uncommon for a pregnant woman to laugh at a joke one moment and sob over a dropped glass a minute later. The number of hormonal changes in the body makes for frequent mood swings, and women can feel angry, blue, or very depressed. It's important to realize that you're not alone, and that these ailments are a normal part of pregnancy.


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