Besides the obvious change in appearance, there are many changes that will happen during your pregnancy–both physically and emotionally. We don’t want you to be alarmed by these paind and discomforts, so we will explain them here as well as offer some suggestions for relief.

 

Nausea (morning sickness)

Early in pregnancy, many women get morning sickness. This is a feeling of being nauseated (feels like you want to throw up) and can include some vomiting. Even though it is called morning sickness, some women may feel sick at different times of the day.

What to do:

  • Eat saltine crackers, pretzels, or dry toast before getting out of bed.
  • Wait for 15 minutes before getting out of bed.
  • East smaller, but more frequent meals.
  • Avoid spicy, greasy foods.

 

Constipation

Constipation (hard bowel movements) also may develop during pregnancy.

What to do:

  • Drink plenty of fluids (eight to ten large glasses of water and juice).
  • Eat foods high in fiber like salads, bran cereal, whole wheat bread, fruits and vegetables, to prevent this problem or relieve it if it develops.
  • Daily exercise also can help prevent constipation.

 

Backache and Leg Pains

As your baby grows, your muscles stretch, causing strain on your back.

What to do:

  • Wear flat shoes when walking.
  • Use a straight-backed chair when sitting.
  • Place a pillow behind your back when sitting or lying down.
  • Have someone massage your back or legs.
  • Use warm heat like heating pad or warm water.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress.
  • Avoid heavy lifting.
  • When lifting, bend from your knees, not from your waist.

 

Emotional Changes

During pregnancy, your hormones are changing. This may cause you to experience ups and downs. You may feel excited, tired, worried, or like you need to talk about everything that is happening to you.

What to do:

  • Talk about how you are feeling with others.
  • Let your health care provider know how you are feeling.
  • Do some activities that you really enjoy.

Remember that having a baby is a very personal experience. Everyone may have different kinds of feelings. If you are concerned about how you feel, please talk about it with your health care provider.

 

Heartburn

Heartburn feels like a burning sensation in your throat. As your baby grows, your digestion slows down. Also, toward the end of pregnancy, the growing uterus puts pressure on the stomach. This can cause heartburn.

What to do:

  • Eat frequent, but smaller meals.
  • Avoid hot, spicy goods.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Eat solid foods first. Save liquids for after the meal.
  • Sit and sleep with your head elevated.
  • Avoid lying down right after a meal.
  • Take antacids, if necessary. Check with your health care provider about how much to use if you require antacids.

 

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids may be caused by straining with a bowel movement, or by pressure on your rectum for the growing baby.

What to do:

  • Exercise.
  • Avoid constipation.
  • Apply witch hazel compresses (TUKS) or use Preparation H
  • Take warm tub baths to soothe the affected area.
  • Talk with the doctor about other treatments, if these steps do not help.

 

Feeling Short of Breath

You may feel short of breath as the baby grows and fills up your abdomen. This puts pressure on your diaphragm, a muscle in your chest.

What to do:

  • Elevate your head when sleeping.
  • Rest when out of breath.
  • If your symptoms are not relieved by these suggestions, call the office.

 

Feeling Tired

Most women feel tired during the early and later weeks of pregnancy.

What to do:

  • Eat a proper diet.
  • Avoid becoming over tired. Get help at home from friends and relatives.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Take frequent rest periods.

 

Urinary Frequency

As the baby grows larger, your bladder will hold less and less urine.

What to do:

  • You will need to urinate more frequently.
  • If you have burning or pain during urination, please contact your health care provider.
  • Continue to drink lots of fluids (eight to ten glasses of water a day). This is good for your baby.

 

Vaginal Discharge

A vaginal discharge occurs normally during pregnancy, because of hormonal changes. A yellow or cheesy white discharge that is accompanied by itching or burning is not normal and needs to be reported to doctor.

What to do:

  • Wear cotton underpants.
  • Do not douche or use anything to clean your vagina on the inside.
  • Keep the outside area clean with regular baths or showers.
  • Do not use any powders, perfumes, or soaps in your vaginal area.
  • Report any discharge that is continuous, has an odor (smells bad), or is yellow or cheesy white and is accompanied by itching or burning, to the doctor.

 

Swelling in Your Hands and Feet

Some mild swelling may occur from the increased weight of the baby and hormonal changes.

What to do:

  • When sitting, elevate your legs. Rest on your left side.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Avoid eating too many salty foods. Fast foods and prepared mixes tend to have higher levels of salt.
  • Report any increase in swelling to the doctor.