Pregnancy can be one of the most beautiful and precious times in a woman’s life. It can also be difficult with a myriad of health problems, changes to physical appearance, and getting to grips with such a huge life change. Try to make it as easy as possible by recognizing and reducing some of the most bothersome side effects, so you can focus on growing a new human! Read on for some of our best bits of advice.
Heartburn in pregnancy is extremely common and extremely uncomfortable. As many as two-thirds of women experience heartburn and indigestion during their pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester. Heartburn is created by a build-up of acid in the stomach which then travels up towards the throat, through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This happens when the LES is relaxed, which can be caused by several pregnancy-related reasons. These include the growth of the uterus placing pressure on the LES and the change in a woman’s hormones. If you’re suffering then look for a pregnancy-safe medication to help you fight away discomfort and eat a diet low in acidic foods. It can also flare up due to morning sickness so reducing those symptoms will ease heartburn.
- Morning Sickness
One of the most common symptoms that come with pregnancy is morning sickness. As it is not caused by any one thing in particular it can be hard to combat. Symptoms can be alleviated in a few different ways. Adding vitamins to your daily routine can be helpful. Try vitamin B or special pregnancy vitamins that can aid the baby’s growth and development. If you prefer a more natural approach, ginger is great at soothing the stomach. Try it brewed in a tea or sip on some ginger ale. Of course, any vitamin or medicine intake (even over the counter) should be approved by your doctor first.
- Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums and loose teeth can be common in pregnancy so don’t panic if your teeth feel a little wobbly. Sore and swollen gums can be the cause of bleeding and this is because the change in hormones can leave teeth more susceptible to plaque. Use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste to help reduce plaque build-up and floss carefully twice a day. Make sure you’re taking a couple of trips to the dentist and hygienist during your pregnancy so that they can keep an eye on the inside of your mouth.
- Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are normal but some women can be upset when they pop up during pregnancy. Their existence is not solely due to pregnancy, they can appear on anyone who has had a rapid change in body growth, for example, teenagers going through puberty or bodybuilders. Pregnant women are doubly prone to getting stretch marks as not only is their skin being stretch at a fast speed, their skin is also vulnerable to change due to pregnancy hormones. It’s hard to completely eliminate stretch marks but keeping your body hydrated with oils – particularly vitamin E, will help.
Many women experience backache during their pregnancy. It is totally normal as you will be carrying a huge amount of extra weight, but it’s not as well known that a woman’s ligaments soften in pregnancy in preparation to stretch during birth. This can mean more strain on your lower back which adds to back pain. Reduce this pain by investing in a pregnancy pillow to support your lower back and have a warm bath. A back massage will also help, just ensure whoever is giving you the massage is careful and had brushed up on pregnancy massage techniques.
- Sleep Loss/Fatigue
Sleep can be elusive for many people, and especially if you are pregnant. This can be combined with exhaustion so the feeling can hit you even harder. Tiredness and insomnia make for an unfortunate and unhappy union. Try and get as much rest as possible and get sleep whenever you can, even if it means napping in the daytime.
- Emotional Exhaustion
Pregnancy side-effects aren’t just physical, mental wellbeing can take a beating during the antenatal period so taking care of yourself is really important for you and the baby. Having a good support network around you is vital, whether it be your partner, your family, or your friends. Make sure you’re taking time for self-care and spending time doing things that make you happy to relieve as much stress as possible. Pregnancy is a huge change to any woman’s life and it is totally natural to feel overwhelmed, scared and worried. The key is to minimize these fears as much as possible and keeping calm for the sake of your baby.
Are you struggling through your pregnancy? Let us know your top tips in the comments.