Ailments Associated With Pregnancy
As has been said, it all begins with nausea and vomiting – morning sickness – which usually lasts about 12 to 14 weeks. As the baby grows, extra weight can cause fatigue and back pain. The enlarging uterus encroaches on the stomach and intestines, precipitating heartburn, constipation and hemorrhoids.
Other side effects of pregnancy include fluid retention, swollen feet, carpal tunnel syndrome (tingling or numb fingers and painful wrists). In some cases, varicose veins develop. Stretch marks sometimes appear on the abdomen and breasts.
Easing Pregnancy Ailments
Listed are ways that might ease pregnancy ailments:
- Exercise regularly, but do so moderately and only after consulting a physician. Walking is a good form of aerobic exercise for pregnant women. It provides energy and can make labor and delivery easier.
- Taking half an hour’s nap every day will help boost energy levels. Make sure the feet are raised higher than the heart, as this helps take the pressure off the legs.
- Hot and cold foot baths to deflate swollen feet – Alternate hot and cold foot baths, which improves blood circulation to aching feet. Fill two large bowls with water – one comfortably hot and the other cold. Immerse feet in hot water for three minutes, then in the cold water for 30 seconds. Do the process six times, switching from hot to cold, with the recommended amounts of time. After footbath rest for 10 to 15 minutes with feet raised.
- Controlling heartburn associated with pregnancy – Don’t eat big meals and allocate an hour between dinner and going to bed. Wear clothes that are loose around the waist. Avoid excessive weight gain. Slippery elm might alleviate heartburn. Avoid coffee, citrus juices, fried foods, tomato products and alcoholic beverages. The last resort are antacids, and always consult your doctor before taking them.
- Combating back pain – Avoid standing for long periods, particularly in the later months of pregnancy. If you have to stand for a longer period of time, keep your weight balanced between your feet. Sit up straight. If working at a desk, keep feet slightly raised.
- Control carpal tunnel syndrome – Water retention pressures the nerves on the wrists. Exercise arms and wrists for five minutes every hour if possible. If wrists feel numb, do not bend them to ease discomfort, because it just worsens the situation.
- Minimize stretch marks by watching your weight (but stretch marks do tend to fade with time).
- Prevent varicose veins – Varicose veins form because of the extra volume of blood production to feed the fetus. Wear maternity support pantyhose. Cold compresses also keep varicose veins at bay. Another possibility is to mix six drops each of essential oils of cypress, lemon and bergamot in a cup of distilled witch hazel. Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. Then, raising your feet, soak a face towel in the combination of oils and gently apply to swollen blood vessels.
- Combat constipation by eating more foods rich in fiber like beans, bran, wholegrain breads and cereals, ground flaxseeds, leafy green vegetables, broccoli and fresh fruit.
Ailments do come with biological changes due to pregnancy. But those symptoms don’t need to dampen the mother’s spirit. After all there are ways of alleviating the pain and discomfort.