Pregnancy is one of the most overwhelming things the human body can endure. It involves weight gain, stress on your entire body, and a complete overhaul of your body chemistry. These changes can lead to some very unpleasant side effects. Some of these can last the entire length of your pregnancy, and because many medications pose a health risk to your baby, you may feel that there is no way to treat them.
Fortunately, there are some things you can safely do to manage some of the more prominent side effects of pregnancy. Here is a little road map to help you navigate this course.
Let’s just begin with one of the most unpleasant, shall we? Many women experience painful hemorrhoids during pregnancy. These swollen blood vessels in or just inside the anus are caused by the extra weight bearing down on them. They can also be complicated by straining for bowel movements, which is sometimes a result of dietary changes during pregnancy.
Fortunately, hemorrhoids don’t have to go untreated. It is safe to use an over-the-counter hemorrhoids treatment product because these medications are topical, meaning they are applied directly to the problem and don’t enter the bloodstream where they can reach a fetus.
Certain behavioral changes can help with hemorrhoids as well. Making bowel movements as easy as possible to eliminate straining can reduce the impact on hemorrhoids. While fiber additives may not be necessary, a diet with higher intake of fruits and vegetables can have a positive impact on your bathroom experience. Special seat cushions can also increase comfort during your seated time through the day.
There are a variety of old wives’ tales associated with heartburn during pregnancy, with claims that a higher incidence of the condition is caused when a baby will be born with a lot of hair. But the simple cause of gestational heartburn is simply a lack of space in the abdomen. When the baby grows, the uterus pushes upward into the digestive tract. The stomach is pushed higher and there is strain against the sphincter (essentially a valve) that keeps stomach contents from pushing back into the esophagus. When this acidic material leaks upwards into the esophagus, heartbreak occurs.
Once again, you can’t take medicine for this condition, and spending nine months chewing on chalky tablets is not appealing. Instead, alter your behavior and habits to help reduce the frequency of heartburn. Don’t eat late at night when you’ll be lying down soon. Take a walk after your meals to help stimulate digestion, and eat smaller meals more frequently so that the stomach doesn’t stay so full. A home remedy like apple cider vinegar or diluted lemon juice can also help.
Often the first sign that you are pregnant, morning sickness isn’t just a miserable experience. It can also cause further problems like dehydration and low blood sugar.
As we discussed earlier, your body chemistry completely reinvents itself during pregnancy. You have new hormones in play and different levels of normal hormones. All this ongoing science experiment in your body can create big changes in your digestive system, and for many women, their stomachs just can’t take it.
The first tip is to evaluate your foods. Your tastes can be radically different during pregnancy, so don’t force yourself to cram down a meal that doesn’t sound good to you anymore. Eat what sounds appealing–yes, pickles and ice cream are fine–and don’t worry about it. You can also utilize vitamins like B6 to help with the symptoms, and there is some evidence that acupressure can also ease morning sickness.
Pregnancy is a long, challenging road. It carries some unpleasant baggage, but there’s no reason to seek out medical cures that can worry you about your baby’s health. Home remedies have served many women very well for hundreds of years, so don’t be afraid to try them. And no matter how things go, remember you’ll never suffer for more than nine months!