Pregnancy Basics (cont.)

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.

Leg cramps

At different times during your pregnancy, you might have sudden muscle spasms in your legs or feet. They usually occur at night. This is due to a change in the way your body processes calcium.

What might help:

Morning Sickness

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In the first trimester hormone changes can cause nausea and vomiting. This is called "morning sickness," although it can occur at any time of day. Morning sickness usually tapers off by the second trimester.

What might help:

  • Eat several small meals instead of three large meals to keep your stomach from being empty.
  • Don't lie down after meals.
  • Eat dry toast, saltines, or dry cereals before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Eat bland foods that are low in fat and easy to digest, such as cereal, rice, and bananas.
  • Sip on water, weak tea, or clear soft drinks. Or eat ice chips.
  • Avoid smells that upset your stomach.

Contact your doctor if you have flu-like symptoms, which may signal a more serious condition.

You have severe, constant nausea and/or vomiting several times every day.


Patient Comments

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Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with pregnancy body changes.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Morning Sickness Question: Please describe your experience with morning sickness during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Constipation Question: Discuss the diet or exercise changes you made to relieve constipation during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Sleep Issues Question: What changes did you make in your sleeping environment or routine while you were pregnant?
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Skin Question: Did you get stretch marks or other changes in your skin while pregnant? Please share your experience, including treatments.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Numb Hands Question: If you developed carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy, how did you relieve the symptoms? Do you still have it?
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Incontinence Question: Did you have urinary problems while pregnant? What did you do to relieve the symptoms? Do you still have issues?

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