When You’re Expecting

Solutions to common gestational dilemmas.

Pregnancy is one of life’s amazing journeys. It also leads your body into uncharted territory. As such, many challenging health issues arise along the way. Here are some examples of expected situations and ways to deal with them.

Back Pain

Between weight gain, hormonal surges and a shifting center of gravity, posterior pain is inevitable. Placing a pillow at the small of the back while seated helps ease the discomfort. To alleviate muscle tension and aching that settled in my neck and between my shoulders, I used a sturdy sports bra. It finally occurred to me that my growing breasts were responsible for much of the strain on my upper back, and my slightly flimsy pre-pregnancy bra wasn’t providing enough support.

Morning Sickness

This symptom is so common in pregnancy that it almost seems like a rite of passage. More than half of all pregnant women experience nausea. The upset stomach or vomiting usually begins around the sixth week of gestation and lasts up to the 12th week. However, morning sickness may begin as early as week four and linger long after week 12.

One product that works wonders is Three Lollies Preggie Pops, offering relief through a combination of essential oils and aromatherapy. Each sucker alleviates dry mouth, offers calories for energy, and provides soothing and comfort.

Heartburn

Nearly one-quarter of pregnant women experience heartburn during their first trimester. Further, at least half of women get it at some point during pregnancy. This side effect may begin at any point during gestation and sometimes worsens toward the final months.

I never had heartburn in my life until I was pregnant. I tried to control it with dietary changes, but that was difficult because I was starving all the time. Eating a huge amount of food makes heartburn worse, too. I decided to make myself eat smaller plates more frequently, even breaking up a meal into three miniature ones.

Additionally, I discovered that drinking soft drinks abated my nausea. However, it made my heartburn worse. Solution? I swore off all soda. Sitting upright after meals also assuaged the burning sensation by keeping food and acid down in my stomach where they belong. Another helpful tip: If eating a bedtime snack, wait at least 30 minutes before lying down.

Fatigue

Getting enough sleep may be a challenge, but try to rest when possible. Pregnant women who are fatigued tend to experience more anxiety, depression, discomfort, and pain than those who are properly rested. A 20-minute nap in the afternoon followed by a cup of tea may increase energy. Most teas have small amounts of caffeine, which is allowed in limited doses during a typical pregnancy.

Acne

Your skin is certainly not immune to changes during pregnancy. Acne and pregnancy mask, or darkening of the skin, are a few negative aesthetic changes you might encounter. On the flip side, all the extra blood in the veins close to your skin might give you a rosy complexion. In addition, extra hormones may make your skin smooth and shiny.

Swelling

Nearly all moms-to-be swell. I had horrible bloating toward the end of my pregnancies. My cankles had cankles! Socks with elastic at the top left deep, painful impressions in my calves. Instead, I opted to wear soft, fuzzy socks that didn’t have any plastic bands. If possible, avoid tight clothing, which is often uncomfortable during pregnancy.