The pregnancy experience differs from woman-to-woman: while some women are lucky enough to have an incident-free pregnancy, most women will experience some discomfort at some point in their journey. Often, you can handle your discomfort by making small lifestyle changes or through alternative therapy such as regular massages. However, some situations may require the intervention of a doctor. Knowing common discomforts to expect will help differentiate between routine issues and situations that need immediate medical attention.
About 50 percent of pregnant women experience nausea and occasional vomiting in the first trimester often referred to as morning sickness as symptoms are worst in the morning. You can manage the symptoms by eating small meals throughout the day and avoiding foods that worsen nausea such as spicy or fatty foods. In severe cases, the vomiting leads to loss of fluids and body weight in a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which can lead to hospitalization.
During pregnancy, your body works twice as hard to keep you and the life inside you nourished, making you feel tired. Additionally, underlying conditions such as anemia might increase your fatigue symptoms. If you feel tired at all times, visit a prenatal clinic to check for anemia; your doctor may recommend supplements to help you replenish iron in the body. Additionally, increase your consumption of foods that increase iron levels to help your body adjust better to the pregnancy.
Pressure on your stomach and intestines as your baby bump grows might cause indigestion and heartburns. You can prevent this by eating smaller meals more frequently, and also by allowing yourself to stay upright to let the food digest before you lie on your back.
Abdominal cramps are a common problem, and are likely to increase with time; relieve any pain or cramps by taking a warm bath or shower. Additionally, allow yourself as much rest as possible and avoid any activities or exercises that require you to lie on your back to ensure your growing baby receives adequate blood flow. If the pain persists making it impossible for you to go on with your daily routine, visit a doctor for a checkup.
One common problem almost all pregnant women experience is back pain, which becomes more intense as your baby grows. Start taking care of your body as soon as you learn about your pregnancy to keep the pain under control. Watch your diet to avoid excess weight gain; stay away from painkillers unless advised by a doctor; start simple exercises to help you strengthen your abdominal muscles and invest in an elastic sling or girdle to help support your growing abdomen.
Other precautionary measures you can take include wearing the right shoes, assuming the right posture while sitting or standing, avoiding activities that require bending and heavy lifting, which can worsen the problem and sleep on your side with the right pillow for some relief.
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey and it is exciting to see your body change and adjust to accommodate new life. The discomforts help you realize your strength and you get to enjoy moments such as feeling your baby kick or move in the belly. Make sure you take care of your body and attend all prenatal clinic appointments. In case of any doubts, call or visit Your First Look for professional advice on the best course of action from our dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and patient advocates.