Common Discomforts of Pregnancy and How to Relieve Them
Pregnancy is a wonderful period in the life of an expecting mother. But like any other serious medical condition it can come with unpleasant health issues. Among the most widespread discomforts of pregnancy are:
- Morning sickness;
- Severe leg cramps;
- Stomach cramps.
All these symptoms are normal pregnancy pains that can be relieved even at home, without the necessity to visit a doctor.
Top 3 Methods to Relieve Stomach Pain During Pregnancy
During the entire pregnancy period a woman should be very careful about her diet. Any kind of stomach cramps during pregnancy can lead to complications; that is why should be taken very seriously if they are strong and repetitive. In most cases the main reason for pressure in the lower abdomen is indigestion.
Healthcare specialists recommend that women who experience mild stomach pain during pregnancy do the following:
- Lay down for 10-15 minutes as soon as you feel a developing stomach cramp. Either your baby decided to move a little bit or the food you’ve eaten recently was too heavy – rest will help.
- To ease up abdominal pain during pregnancy you can also apply a little heat compress to the stomach. You can place a hot water bottle or a heating pad to the lower abdominal area and leave it there for 5 minutes. The temperature can’t be too high or you will get burns. Another way to alleviate stomach pain is to take a lukewarm shower or a bath for 15 minutes.
- To relieve stomach cramps you can drink warm milk or your favorite herbal tea. Follow the advice given by the specialists at WebMD and increase your intake of veggies, fresh fruits, legumes, beans, whole grains, nuts, lean meat and low fat dairy products. Such a healthy diet will help to reduce the risks of pregnancy cramps and constipation during the first trimester of pregnancy.
How to deal with leg cramps at night?
One of the most annoying early pregnancy pains is leg cramps at night time. Pregnancy cramps in the legs are related to the increased weight gain or the growing fetus’ pressure on blood vessels and nerves. Multiple methods can be helpful for pregnant women who suffer from night leg cramps:
Stretch legs daily
A cramp in a leg is nothing more than the sudden muscle tightening causing sharp pain. Stretch your feet and calves before going to bed or before/after physical exercises. Do not stretch legs while laying on the back.
According to WebMD, the most effective methods for curing early pregnancy cramps in the legs is a seated calf stretch. You need 2 chairs and a scarf for this exercise. Sit on the first chair and place your foot on the second one. The ball of the foot should be wrapped with a scarf. Pull the scarf towards you. You will instantly feel the stretch in the calf’s muscles. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds and then switch to the other foot. This method can also help with lower back pain during early pregnancy.
Daily light exercises
Exercises for 30 minutes or more are also very good for leg cramp relief. For example, yoga can help to tone your muscles, improve circulation and prepare for labor.
Do not sit or stand for a long time
Pregnancy leg cramps are commonly caused by intense physical activities or, on the opposite end, long-term sitting in one pose. If you have a sitting desk job, make sure to take frequent breaks to stretch or walk.
Natural remedies for common pregnancy pains
According to Dr. Josh Axe, you can relieve almost any mild pregnancy pain using natural remedies at home:
A recent study shows that about 3 in four pregnant women have morning sickness during the first trimester. You can ease up morning nausea with natural remedies like:
- Eating and drinking only easy-to-digest foods – warm milk, cheese sticks, yogurt, toast and crackers. Forget about fatty, salty and spicy foods;
- Staying hydrated – between meals drink sparkling water, seltzer, ginger beer or tea;
- Sucking a peppermint or ginger candy;
- Taking 250 mg of ginger every morning;
- Trying Psi wrist bands. They can stimulate acupressure points for quick nausea relief.
Constipation and hemorrhoids
Swollen anal or rectal veins are another common pregnancy discomfort, particularly during the third trimester. Ways to deal with this problem without medications include:
- Eat more foods rich in fiber – fruits, veggies, prune juice, chia seeds, beans, whole grains;
- Drink plenty of water;
- Use plain, moistened toilet paper;
- Apply a cold compress;
- Buy and sit on a donut-shaped pillow that can ease the pressure on the anal area;
- Do Kegel exercises.
A burning sensation in the chest and throat also known as heartburn occurs from an excessive amount of stomach acid pushed in the wrong direction by the growing fetus. Try these natural remedies for heartburn relief:
- Avoid eating greasy, spicy, citrusy foods and big meals. Eat in small portions, more frequently than usually;
- Avoid sparkling water and carbonated drinks;
- Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate the saliva for an acid-neutralizing effect;
- Drink soothing warm milk mixed with a tablespoon of honey.
In 2012, the Scientific World Journal published a study that found incidences of insomnia in more than a half of 486 tested pregnant women. If you also suffer from insomnia during the last months of pregnancy, try these remedies:
- Go to bed relaxed and calm – no worries;
- Follow a regular sleep schedule – no late night walks or TV watching;
- Practice yoga;
- Drink a glass of warm milk before sleep;
- Use a comfortable body pillow at night.
Frequent toilet visits
To relieve frequent urination caused by the fetus pressing your balder, you can:
- Drink plenty of water to diluting the urine;
- Do pelvic floor exercises;
- Avoid waiting for going to the toilet – go as soon as you feel the need;
- During urination lean forward for quicker and more effective emptying of your bladder.
Immediately seek a medical assistance if you have bleeding and severe stomach pain – these the first signals of a possible complications.