4 Common Discomforts of Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed on 5/19/2021
pregnancy discomforts
Pregnancy comes with huge hormonal changes that can cause discomfort

Pregnancy is both an amazing time and a strange one. After all, you’re growing new life inside of you! But along with that comes huge hormonal changes that cause discomfort.  

Below are four of the most common pregnancy discomforts and some tips on how to cope with them.

1. Morning sickness

At least 6 out of every 10 pregnant women have morning sickness. Some have minor nausea and others experience both nausea and vomiting. Although it is more common in the first trimester of pregnancy, it can happen all throughout their pregnancy as well.

How to cope with morning sickness

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Eat a protein-rich, low-fat diet.
  • Take ginger in the form of ginger drops, ginger ale, ginger capsules or ginger tea.
  • Try Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), which can help reduce nausea. Take 25 milligrams 3 times a day or as recommended by your doctor.

If your morning sickness is severe or you have hyperemesis gravidarum, talk to your doctor about your options.

2. Heartburn

More than half of pregnant women experience heartburn, especially during their second and third trimesters. Along with heartburn may come an upset stomach and other symptoms of indigestion such as bloating.

How to cope with heartburn during pregnancy

  • Eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 regular (or heavy) meals.
  • Don’t eat too soon before going to bed (2-3 hours before bedtime).
  • Keep your head elevated above your stomach so that food and acidic juices don’t rise up in the esophagus and cause heartburn.
  • Cut down on triggers like fried foods, spicy foods and caffeine.

If these home remedies don’t work and your heartburn persists, consult with your doctor. It’s important to treat heartburn, since you don’t want to resort to eating less just to avoid the discomfort and risk your baby not getting adequate nutrition.

3. Constipation

At some point during pregnancy, most women will have constipation. This is mainly caused by your expanding uterus, which puts pressure on your intestines and causes decreased bowel emptying. Your prenatal supplements may also contribute to this, since the increase in iron can cause you to get backed up too. 

How to deal with constipation during pregnancy

  • Eat a high-fiber diet and include foods such as green peas, black beans, lentils, avocados, berries and oatmeal.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
  • Do some gentle exercises and try walking around to keep your body moving.

If your prenatal vitamins are the culprit, talk to your doctor about trying some with less iron.

4. Headaches

Headaches during pregnancy can be the result of a ton of factors:

If your headache is severe in the second or third trimester, it may be a sign of preeclampsia. Headaches caused by preeclampsia are persistent and throbbing, and may be accompanied by swollen feet, pain on the right side of the abdomen and blurred vision.

How to cope with headaches during pregnancy

  • Get adequate rest and sleep.
  • Try de-stressing exercises such as meditation.
  • Exercise (a 30-minute walk each day).
  • Eat well-balanced meals.
  • Avoid foods that trigger headaches, like caffeine, dairy and chocolate.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.

If you can’t avoid a headache, you may be able to get some relief by doing the following:

  • Apply a compress to your head.
  • Massage your head.
  • Take a dose of acetaminophen if your doctor says it’s okay.

If your headache doesn't go away, gets worse suddenly or is accompanied by vision changes or swelling in your hands and face, contact your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of preeclampsia.

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Medically Reviewed on 5/19/2021
References
Common Discomforts of Pregnancy. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-concerns/7-common-discomforts-of-pregnancy-26438/