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Home / Pregnancy

How to relieve common pregnancy discomforts

 As your baby bump grows, it will put pressure on your lower back leading to backache (Photo: Shutterstock)

For most women, pregnancy is a joyous time. It’s nine months of nurturing your little one as you wait for the day when you can hold them in your arms.

With this joy comes certain discomforts which vary in severity from woman to woman and depending on which stage of pregnancy you’re at.

Some common pregnancy discomforts include:

1. Nausea and vomiting

2. Backache

3. Haemorroids

4. Lack of sleep

5. Varicose veins

6. Heartburn and indigestion

7. Frequent urination

8. Constipation and gas

9. Breast tenderness

10. Shortness of breath

Below are some home remedies which will provide some relief from these discomforts.

1. Nausea and vomiting

This is commonly experienced early in pregnancy and may reduce in the second trimester. Many women feel nauseated and even throw up in the morning when they wake up or when they smell certain foods or perfumes. To relieve nausea and vomiting:

i. Keep hydrated. Vomiting frequently can result in dehydration

ii. Opt for low-fat foods that are easier to digest

iii. When you wake up, take your time getting out of bed. Roll over, sit up and then stand up

iv. Eat some crackers or saltines when you wake up

v. Ensure your stomach is never empty by eating more frequently

vi. Get some fresh air

2. Backache

As your baby bump grows, it will put pressure on your lower back leading to backache. Get some relief by:

i. Avoiding high-heeled shoes which add even more strain to your back

ii. When picking up objects, squat instead of bending, ask for help or keep items within reach so you don’t have to bend to get them

iii. Sleep with a pillow between your knees 

iv. Get some exercise

v. Avoid sitting or standing for long stretches of time

vi. Invest in support garments 

3. Haemorroids

These are varicose veins which appear in rectum. They often flair up when you’re constipated. Ease them by:

i. Drink enough water and eat plenty of fibre-rich foods to prevent constipation

ii. Avoid sitting for long periods of time

iii. Ease the pain by soaking the haemorroids in warm water or use an ice pack

 Put a pillow in between your knees while you sleep  to help with backache (Photo: Shutterstock)

4. Lack of sleep

This is mostly because you’re unable to find a comfortable sleeping position. The psychological impact of having a new baby on the way can also contribute to a lack of sleep. To help you sleep better:

i. Look for ways to relax before bedtime such as taking a warm shower 

ii. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs to relieve backache

iii. Avoid taking daytime naps as this can ruin your natural sleep pattern

5. Varicose veins

Added weight and pressure from your uterus can result in varicose veins. To prevent varicose veins:

i. Wear supportive hose 

ii. Put your feet up when you sit down

iii. Change your position frequently if you’re sitting or standing for long periods of time

iv. Get some exercise

6. Heartburn and indigestion

To help relieve the burning sensation in your throat or chest (heartburn) or the gasy feeling in your stomach (indigestion):

i. Eat foods that are easy to digest and that don’t cause heartburn

ii. Eat smaller meals, more frequently

iii. Avoid lying down immediately after you’ve eaten

 Sit up after meals to prevent heartburn and indgestion (Photo: Shutterstock)

7. Frequent urination

Added pressure on your bladder caused by the growing uterus can result in the urge to urinate frequently. Avoid frequent urination by:

i. Staying away from sweet and caffeinated drinks 

ii. Wear panty liners or sanitary pads to manage any leaking

8. Constipation and gas

As your uterus grows, it will put added pressure on your rectum hampering digestion. Hormonal changes can have this effect too. This can result in constipation and gas which can be managed by:

i. Eat foods rich in fibre

ii. Drink plenty of fluids

iii. Exercise

9. Breast tenderness

Your breasts will grow in size as they prepare for breastfeeding. This may cause some discomfort and pain which can be relieved by:

i. Wearing a supportive bra

10. Shortness of breath

Added pressure on your diaphragm and increased progesterone can make breathing harder. You can manage this by:

i. Moving slower so that you don’t put any added pressure to your lungs

ii. Avoid slouching and keep your back straight

If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
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