Discomfort During Pregnancy

Exercise

As the baby grows bigger in the womb you may at times feel uncomfortable body pains and irritations. Pregnant women should learn how to cope with these pains in order to have a successful pregnancy. Precautions during the early months of pregnancy are necessary to reduce some of the discomforts associated with pregnancy such as follows:

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is associated with nausea and vomiting and they are very unpleasant experience. However, you can learn how to manage and control it to reduce the discomfort.

 Try eating frequent snacks in smaller quantity and always remember to carry a small bag of crackers in your bag just in case you need to nibble. Avoid places where there are extreme odours such as the perfume counters or a smoky room.

Constipation

Most pregnant women suffer from constipation during pregnancy as a result of the bodily changes associated with the growing baby. However, constipation can be avoided by eating good food and drinking a lot of water.

Woman drinking water bottle outdoors

Fatigue

During the first three months pregnant women will feel tired easily and precautions during the early months of pregnancy are necessary to reduce the feeling of sluggishness and low energy levels. This is due to the extra strain on your body to accommodate the growing baby in your womb.

The changes in your body can also disrupt your sleep pattern and you will be physically and mentally drained. It is recommended that you take short naps during the day when you are at home or during lunch break.

Drink plenty of water during daytime to help improve your energy levels, but try not to drink water 2 to 3 hours before bedtime to reduce the urge to get up to urinate, which will disrupt your sleep. Get as much sleep as you can and go to bed early. Add an extra pillow or two to your bed to aid sleeping.

Back Pain

Precautions during the early months of pregnancy are necessary for pregnant women as they will normally suffer from back pain because of the physical stress of carrying a growing baby. The discomfort can be minimised by avoiding standing for long periods of time during the day.

Reduce your activity levels, such as housework, moving heavy items or going for grocery shopping. Try to wear flat shoes with excellent support. Take warm shower or warm heat pack to relieve backache. Positioning pillows to help shore up your stomach and support your lower back can reduce some of the
discomfort of back pain.

 Swelling

Fluid retention may cause swelling in the body and this can cause discomfort during pregnancy. It can impact your fingers, feet, ankles and legs. Try to reduce the discomfort by sitting down and raise your legs up or when lying down, with a cushion to support your back. Avoid wearing tight fitting clothes and wear shoes that fit. Also drink plenty of water throughout the day and reduce your intake of salt.

Headache

During the first trimester you may experience persistent headache as your body has to deal with the rapid changes and increase in hormone levels which can cause your body to feel stressed and fatigued. As such precaution during the early month of pregnancy is necessary by getting more rest as much as possible to reduce the frequency of headaches.

Young woman in bed with headache

Headaches can be caused by low blood sugar levels and as such you will need to eat more throughout the day to help keep your blood sugar levels up. To reduce the swelling of blood vessels in your head try drinking plenty of water during the day. Dehydration will contribute to headache and high stress levels. In stressful situations, breathe and try to relax.

If you are a heavy coffee drinker try to gradually wean yourself off from caffeine product. If you stop caffeine suddenly you may experience headache.

 The next time when you start to experience a drop in energy level eat a small amount of nuts as this will raise your blood sugar and you will feel better.

Food Cravings

During the first trimester you may experience food cravings. This is caused by hormonal changes that occur in the body which alter the way things taste. To satisfy your cravings for certain foods, try to choose healthy snacks and foods that are low in calorie.

For example if you are craving for ice-cream try to substitute with yogurt which has a lower calorie, eat a bowl of berries which is rich in natural sugars rather than choosing a slice of cake or candy. This technique may eliminate your cravings for unhealthy foods.

Try eating smaller portions of a healthy meal frequently throughout the day, as this will help avoid a drop in blood sugar that can set off unhealthy food cravings.

Remember that no matter how strong your cravings may be, precautions during the early months of pregnancy should be taken by staying away from food that are considered unhealthy for pregnant women such as under cooked meat, raw eggs or raw vegetables as they can carry several types of harmful bacteria. Caffeine and alcohol should always be avoided as they can prevent normal fetal development.

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