A few of my friends are currently pregnant and listening to them talk about some of the many complaints that go hand in hand with pregnancy got me thinking about my two pregnancies, so I thought it might be helpful to write a post about some of the most common complaints and how you can treat them or at least ease them slightly.
- Heartburn during pregnancy is very common and is caused by a surge in the hormone progesterone which causes muscles to relax, this includes the muscle at the entrance of the stomach which when relaxed allows acid to travel back up the oesophagus causing a burning sensation. In the third trimester of pregnancy heartburn can also be caused by the baby putting pressure on the woman's digestive tract. Ways to ease heartburn are trying to eat a healthy diet, making sure you sit and sleep in a slightly more upright position and trying not to gain too much weight. You can also use heartburn treatments like Gaviscon which are safe to use during pregnancy but always speak to a health professional first.
- Another uncomfortable aspect of pregnancy can be indigestion pain, this is generally caused by the baby pressing on the stomach and can feel like pain in the chest or top of the stomach or feeling very bloated and uncomfortably full after a meal. To help with indigestion try to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day instead of three big meals which should stop you feeling too full and bloated also there are some indigestion treatments that work really well at relieving it and are safe during pregnancy but again please consult a health professional before taking them.
- Cramp is a common pregnancy complaint and mostly happens at night in your calf muscle, it can be very painful and take you by surprise and the best way to avoid it is to do a few simple exercises to increase circulation every day like circling your feet and pointing and flexing your foot several times. If cramp strikes then flex your foot and pull your toes back while you massage your calf muscle.
- Lastly and probably the most commonly thought of pregnancy complaint is nausea and sickness, this can range anywhere from feeling sick at certain times of the day up until 12 weeks to being sick every day throughout your entire pregnancy. It's thought to be caused by hormones and it can make the first few months of pregnancy pretty miserable. Ways to ease nausea are making sure you get enough sleep as tiredness can make it worse, eat little and often because although you feel sick hunger can often make the feeling worse, drink plenty of water, try to distract yourself as the more you think about it the more sick you will feel and try to wear comfortable clothing, avoid tight waistbands. If you are one of the unlucky few who actually vomit frequently during your pregnancy then you must speak to your midwife or GP.
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