Common Pregnancy Problems

  • Breast changes :

    Your breasts will increase in size as your milk glands enlarge and the fatty tissue increases, causing breast firmness and tenderness in the first and last few months of pregnancy. Bluish lines might also appear as your blood supply increases. Your nipples will also darken, and thick fluid called colostrums might leak from your breasts. All of these breast changes are normal.

    1. Wear a bra that provides firm support.
    2. Choose cotton bras or those made from other natural fibers. Take care of the size of the bra.
    3. To ease discomfort and maintain support, it is recommended that you wear a bra during the night and day.
    4. Clean your breasts with warm water only; do not use soap or other products
    Fatigue :

    Your growing baby requires extra energy, which might make you feel, tired.  It is because the blood you have is shared by the baby and increased demands make you feel weak.

    1. Get plenty of rest; go to bed early at night, and try taking naps during the day.
    2. Maintain a regular schedule and exercise daily.
    3. If you feel very weak then you should speak to your doctor. You might need a blood test for hemoglobin.
    Abdominal discomfort :

    Sharp, shooting pain on either side of your stomach might result from the stretching of the body as it copes top support your growing uterus. These pains might also travel down your thigh and into your leg. The muscles in your uterus will tighten from about the fourth month of pregnancy

    1. Change your position or activity until you are comfortable; avoid sharp turns or movements.
    2. If you have a sudden pain in your abdomen, bend forward to the point of pain to relieve tension and relax the tissue.
    3. Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad, or take a warm bath or shower.
    4. Try massage.
    5. Make sure you are getting enough fluids.
    6. Contact your doctor if the pain is severe or constant.
    Headaches :

    Headaches are a frequent problem and may vary in severity.

    1. Apply an ice pack to your forehead or the back of your neck.
    2. Rest, sit, or lie quietly in a low-lit room. Close your eyes and try to release the tension in your back, neck, and shoulders.
    3. Paracetamol can help you.
    4. Always check with your doctor before you take any medication during pregnancy.

    During the first trimester, your growing uterus and growing baby press against your bladder, causing a frequent need to urinate. This will happen again when the baby's head drops into the pelvis before birth.

    1. Avoid tight-fitting underwear.
    2. See your Doctor if you have a burning  sensation while passing urine This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection and should be treated right away.
    Heart burn [also commonly called gas/acidity] :

    Heart burn is a burning feeling that starts in the stomach and seems to rise to the throat. It occurs during pregnancy because your digestive system works more slowly due to changing hormone levels. Also, your enlarged uterus can push the stomach upwards and cause reflux.

    1. Eat several small meals each day instead of three large meals. Eat it slowly and take water in between the meals
    2. Avoid taking spicy and hot food.
    3. Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Don’t lie down soon after you eat.
    4. Over the counter antacids can give you symptomatic relief.
    Nausea or vomiting :

    Nausea can occur at any time of the day but might be worse in the morning.
    Nausea is a result of hormonal changes and most often occurs early in pregnancy until your body adjusts to the increased production of hormones.

    1. If nausea is a problem in the morning, eat dry foods like cereal, toast, or crackers before getting out of bed.. Eat small meals or snacks every two to three hours rather than three large meals. Eat slowly and chew your food completely.
    2.  Try cool, clear fruit juices, such as apple or grape juice. Clear water and sips of water are more helpful.
    3. Avoid spicy, fried, or greasy foods. Avoid strong and pungent odors..
    4. Contact your physician if your vomiting is constant or so severe that you can't keep fluids or foods down. This can cause dehydration and should be treated right away.

    Stretch marks are formed because of inability of tissue to stretch accordingly with the weeks of pregnancy. They usually appear on the stomach and can also appear on the breasts, buttocks, or thighs.

    1. Exercise regularly
    2. These may fade away as time goes by.
    3. Good food which helps keep the skin healthy like greens and colored vegetables and fruits can help.
    Swelling in the feet and legs :

    Pressure from the growing womb on the blood vessels carrying blood from the lower body causes compression of your veins; this results in swelling of the legs and feet.

    1. Try not to stay on your feet for long periods of time. Avoid standing in one place.
    2. Drink plenty of fluids (at least six to eight glasses of fluids a day).
    3. Avoid foods high in salt.
    4. Elevate your legs and feet while sitting.
    5. Wear loose, comfortable clothing; tight clothing can slow circulation and increase water retention.
    6. Keep your diet rich in protein; too little protein can cause fluid retention.
    Constipation and painful lumps (piles)near anus :

    Pressure on the lower bowel due to the enlarged womb causes these problems.

    1. Drink more fluids
    2. Take a high fiber diet like vegetables, fruits and grains.
    3.  Apply ice packs or cold compresses to the area, or take a warm tub bath
    4. Avoid tight-fitting underwear, pants.
    5. Discuss the use of a hemorrhoid treatment with your family doctor.
    Backaches and poor sleep :

    Backaches are usually caused by the strain put on the back muscles and changes in your posture.

    Hormonal changes can cause sleep disturbances.

    1. Keep a good posture all the time with good back support
    2. Wear flat shoes.
    3. Don’t stay in the same position either standing or sitting for long periods
    4. Sleep on a firm mattress
    5. Avoid lifting heavy objects.
    6. Regular, supervised or prescribed exercises can help you.
    7. Take warm baths twice daily and avoid caffeinated drinks before bed.

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