Pregnancy Pains: Dealing with the Not-so-Awesome Stuff

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pregnant belly couple

Being pregnant is exciting and joyful, except for the discomfort, aches, and weird body changes. Learn how to deal with all of it, for a much smoother pregnancy.

Nausea / Vomiting

More than half of pregnant women deal with morning sickness, although it can occur anytime of the day, usually in the first trimester, between the 6th and 12th weeks. Many women deal with nausea and vomiting throughout their entire pregnancy, leading to a miserable experience.

To prevent vomiting, try eating crackers a few minutes before getting out of bed in the morning. Eating smaller meals throughout the day should also help, and delaying a nap immediately following a meal can help to start the digestion process. Avoid spicy foods that could irritate the stomach. Drink fluids at least a half an hour before meals, but avoid anything to drink while eating. This will keep the consistency of the food in your belly thick, and prevent anything from coming up.

Drink water and ginger tea, get plenty of rest, and exercise. All of these things help to alleviate nausea. Most importantly, avoid eating or smelling anything odorous, like fish or foods heavy in spice. If you still can’t keep anything down, and vomiting is becoming unbearable, see a doctor. They can make sure there aren’t any worrisome causes, and can prescribe you with anti-nausea medication that can help.

Joint Pain / Carpal Tunnel

There are many things that can cause joint pain during pregnancy. First, the weight gain can put extra stress on the joints, leading to inflammation. This inflammation can also be caused by excess fluid build up in the lower extremities and the joints. Try to keep off your feet as much as possible, and elevate your legs whenever possible to help take the stress off those knees and feet.

Hypothyroidism can also lead to joint pain, although initial lab tests taken early in a pregnancy usually rule out this possible diagnosis right away, so this condition will rarely catch someone by surprise. It is also common to develop carpal tunnel, but like many other ailments, it usually subsides after delivery. Increased fluid retention mixed with hormones, paired with any repetitive use of the hands and wrists, can lead to worsening symptoms. Refrain from strenuous activity using the hands, or take precaution using ergonomic solutions to help wrist posture.

Carpal tunnel tends to be worse at night when the fluid moves from the lower extremities upward, so to prevent it, sleep with the hands elevated on a pillow. If necessary, use your doctor’s recommended NSAIDs for pain relief.

Back Pain / Sciatica

Back pain is a common ailment among pregnant women. The extra weight carried around puts stress on the back muscles and can cause significant posture changes. Hormones and stress can also cause back pain. The weight gain and the shifting placement of internal workings can push into the nerves of the back, leading to sciatica or other nervous conditions.

Fortunately, the pain will most likely subside after birth, and the body will gradually go back to normal. There are ways to ease up on the pain to make it more bearable. Exercise can help strengthen the back muscles and increase flexibility. Talk to a physical trainer or a doctor about what types of exercise are best for this type of pain and safe for keeping that precious cargo safe.

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