From heartburn to bleeding gums to increased trips to the ladies’ room, pregnancy can make its mark in different ways. Here are some other symptoms you might experience:
Nausea and vomiting are common during the first three months of pregnancy. Eating several small meals and bland foods — such as crackers or dry toast — may reduce nausea. Women also report being sensitive to some smells, so avoiding any unpleasant smells may help.
Indigestion and heartburn
Pregnancy slows digestion and relaxes the muscle that normally keeps digested food and acids in your stomach. Eat smaller meals, avoid spicy and greasy foods, and don’t drink large amounts of liquid before bed. If heartburn continues, ask your care provider about medications that can help.
Some swelling in your legs, especially as you get closer to your due date, may be common. In addition to water retention, the veins in your legs may swell. If you experience swelling, elevate your legs. Also, try lying in bed on your left side, wearing support pantyhose or stockings, and limiting salty foods.
Leg cramps are common in the last months of pregnancy. Sometimes stretching your legs and doing calf stretches before bed will reduce the cramps. Pain and swelling that’s in one leg but not the other can be a sign of a blood clot, so let your care provider know ASAP if you experience this.
Pregnancy changes your posture and places strain on your back, often causing backaches. Here are some tips to prevent the pain:
- Wear low-heeled shoes.
- Sit in a chair with good back support.
- Try not to stand for long periods of time.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you must pick up something less heavy, bend at the knees, instead of bending at the waist.
- Apply heat or cold where it hurts. You can also get a massage from a licensed massage therapist. Make sure to tell the masseuse that you’re pregnant.
Many women complain that they have trouble sleeping when they are pregnant. Consider taking a warm bath at bedtime to help you relax. As your abdomen gets bigger, you may want to lie on your side with a pillow under your abdomen and a pillow between your legs for comfort.
All the best,