Common Pregnancy Complaints and Remedies
Good nutrition and adequate hydration are the most important factors for preventing and alleviating common pregnancy complaints. Here are some other remedies for some of the issues you may be experiencing:
Breast Tenderness: You may need to go bra shopping! The normal changes in your breasts may make your pre-pregnant bras too tight. Let us know if you notice any strange lumps or unusual breast changes.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This is tingling, numbness or strange sensations across your palm, thumb and first 2 or 3 fingers due to swelling. Make sure you are getting enough protein and water. Exercise regularly. Try taking extra B6. You can also wear a splint if restricting movement helps it feel better. This condition should go away after delivery.
Constipation: If you are straining to make bowel movements and they are hard and infrequent (you should be pooping more than once per day!), you are constipated. Check your water intake- especially in the summer. Add more fiber to your diet nutritionally (an apple a day, 1 Tbsp coconut oil daily), or with a supplement (psyllium husk, magnesium).
Edema (Swelling): Swelling is somewhat common in pregnancy, but if you notice severe swelling in your face and hands you need to give us a call. Make sure you are getting plenty of protein and water. Eliminate regular table salt from your diet and use sea salt to season your food. Exercise regularly. If you’ve been sweating a lot, make sure you add electrolytes (coconut water or other electrolyte additive). Spend some time every evening with your feet elevated higher than your chest. Women who work on their feet all day may get relief by wearing compression socks (they’re not pretty, but it works!) Make a gallon of strong lemon water using the juice of 4 lemons per gallon of water. Drink the entire gallon over 24 hours. This will flush out excess fluid. Evaluate your sugar/ carb intake. Your body must retain water to metabolize excess sugar and carbs, so decrease or eliminate carbs if necessary.
Fatigue: Your body is working hard to grow a baby. It’s okay to take naps. Listening to your body is important. If getting more rest doesn’t solve the problem, you may be experiencing anemia. Talk to your midwife at your next appointment.
Headache: The two most common causes of headaches are low blood sugar and dehydration. If you frequently get mild headaches, try to eat smaller, more frequent healthy, high-protein meals throughout the day. Even one day of not getting quite enough water can cause a headache. If you feel a headache coming on, drink a large glass of water, eat a snack and try to sleep it off (at least get some quiet time). Take Tylenol for a headache if you need to.
Sudden, severe headaches (that don’t go away after trying a remedy) may be a sign of a more serious problem- call us if this is going on.
Heartburn: Heartburn is fairly common in pregnancy. Try eating smaller, more frequent meals and finish your last meal 2-3 hours before bed each night. Take walks after meals. Digestive enzymes (like papaya enzyme) can help. If these remedies don’t help, talk to us at your next appointment.
Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are most often caused by constipation, so relieving constipation may resolve the problem. If the hemorrhoids are persistent, take Rutin supplement *only after the first trimester*. Warm sitz baths improve circulation and give comfort. Witch hazel and Epsom salt compresses (or Tucks pads) can reduce the swelling. Be sure to elevate your legs above your chest every evening until symptoms improve.
Insomnia: Sleeping difficulties are common in pregnancy. Good nutrition, hydration, and exercising every day usually helps. Taking warm baths before bed and using plenty of pillows to support your legs and belly can help some of the physical stress. If you are taking naps during the day, try taking a shorter nap or eliminating the nap to see if that helps. Avoid stimulants or caffeine. Finish your last meal 2-3 hours before bed. If these remedies don’t help, talk with us at your next appointment.
Leg Cramps: Avoid getting leg cramps with good nutrition, hydration, and plenty of exercise. Try doing some leg stretches an hour before bed. Take Calm Magnesium powder supplement before bed. Elevating your legs periodically and using pillows to support your legs during the night may help.
Nausea & Vomiting: Morning sickness is pretty common, and may be alleviated by eating a high-protein diet throughout the day. Try to eat small, frequent meals. Stay away from sugary or starchy foods. Extra B vitamins may help- dissolvable B vitamins are available so you don’t have to swallow them. Peppermint oil aromatherapy and sipping ginger tea are easy remedies to try. Nausea usually resolves by 12 weeks. If you are vomiting more than a couple of times a day for a few days in a row and you can’t keep anything down, please let us know right away.
Painful Intercourse: This is usually not a problem until late pregnancy, and not everyone experiences it. Try changing positions- side-lying is usually preferred. Avoid deep or vigorous penetration. Sex is beneficial in late pregnancy and it doesn’t harm baby. As long as your water hasn’t broken, and there’s no bleeding after sex, there’s no reason to be alarmed by the discomfort.