16 Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Changes and Body Discomforts

Quick GuideEarly Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy

Early Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy

Stretch marks, skin changes

Stretch marks are red, pink, or brown streaks on the skin. Most often they appear on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and breasts. These scars are caused by the stretching of the skin, and usually appear in the second half of pregnancy.

Some women notice other skin changes during pregnancy. For many women, the nipples become darker and browner during pregnancy. Many pregnant women also develop a dark line (called the linea nigra) on the skin that runs from the belly button down to the pubic hairline. Patches of darker skin usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip also are common. Patches often match on both sides of the face. These spots are called melasma or chloasma and are more common in darker-skinned women.

What might help:

  • Be patient - stretch marks and other changes usually fade after delivery.

Nasal Problems

Nosebleeds and nasal stuffiness are common during pregnancy. They are caused by the increased amount of blood in your body and hormones acting on the tissues of your nose.

What might help:

  • Blow your nose gently.
  • Drink fluids and use a cool mist humidifier.
  • To stop a nosebleed, squeeze your nose between your thumb and forefinger for a few minutes.

Call your doctor if your nosebleeds are frequent and do not stop after a few minutes.

Numb or tingling hands

Feelings of swelling, tingling, and numbness in fingers and hands, called carpal tunnel syndrome, can occur during pregnancy. These symptoms are due to swelling of tissues in the narrow passages in your wrists, and they should disappear after delivery.

What might help

  • Take frequent breaks to rest hands.
  • Ask your doctor about fitting you for a splint to keep wrists straight.

Dizziness

Many pregnant women complain of dizziness and lightheadedness throughout their pregnancies. Fainting is rare but does happen even in some healthy pregnant women. There are many reasons for these symptoms. The growth of more blood vessels in early pregnancy, the pressure of the expanding uterus on blood vessels, and the body's increased need for food all can make a pregnant woman feel lightheaded and dizzy.

What might help:

  • Stand up slowly.
  • Avoid standing for too long.
  • Don't skip meals.
  • Lie on your left side.
  • Wear loose clothing.

Call the doctor if you feel faint and have vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain.

Itching

About 20 percent of pregnant women feel itchy during pregnancy. Usually women feel itchy in the abdomen. But red, itchy palms and soles of the feet are also common complaints. Pregnancy hormones and stretching skin are probably to blame for most of your discomfort. Usually the itchy feeling goes away after delivery.

What might help:

  • Use gentle soaps and moisturizing creams.
  • Avoid hot showers and baths.
  • Avoid itchy fabrics.

Contact your doctor if symptoms don't improve after a week of self-care.

SOURCE: womenshealth.gov. "Pregnancy; Body changes and discomforts." Updated: Sep 27, 2010.
<https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/body-changes-discomforts.html>

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/5/2016

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