Backache

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Strain of growing uterus on back muscles and ligaments
  • Aggravated by poor posture
  • Relaxed pelvic joints
  • Weight gain
  • Kidney infection

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

Upperback:

  • Exercises
    • Head rolling
    • Shoulder shrugs
    • Arm circles
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Supportive bra

 

Lower back:

  • Exercises
    • Pelvic rock
    • Knee-chest twist
  • Swimming
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Wear low-heeled shoes
  • Wear a maternity girdle if poor stomach muscle tone

 

Rise from lying down: Roll to the side and push up with your hands

Lifting: bend from the knees, not with your back

 

BOTH:

  • Firm mattress
  • Warm bath
  • Back rub/massage
  • Good posture
  • Heating pad/hot water bottle

 

You may take 2-3 regular or extra strength Tylenol.

 

Call WCOTP if pain on urination, fever, or chills.

 

Braxton Hicks (false labor)

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Irregular, painless contractions of uterus
  • Can occur any time after the first trimester
  • Near term helps soften the cervix
  • May increase with:
    • Dehydration
    • Sleeplessness
    • Hunger

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Increase fluids
  • Eat
  • Warm bath
  • Relaxation and breathing exercises

 

May take 2-3 regular or 2 extra strength Tylenol, rest.

 

Call WCOTP if you are less than 35 weeks and have more than 4-6 painful contractions in an hour.

Constipation

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Food moves slower when pregnant
  • Iron pills may cause constipation
  • Decreased activity

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Drink 8-10 glasses of liquid/day
  • Eat more fiber:
    • Bran
    • Prunes
    • Figs
    • Fruit
    • Vegetables
    • Cereals
    • Whole grains
  • Increase exercise
  • Drink warm herbal tea or water on rising to stimulate bowel movement (BM)
  • Raise feet on stool when having a BM to increase relaxation/comfort

 

Do not take a laxative without talking to WCOTP

 

Metamucil with 8oz of water or juice may be helpful

 

Colace 100 mg 1-2 times/day will help soften bowels

Dizziness

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Low blood sugar
  • Low blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • Lying on back in later half of pregnancy
  • Rapid position changes

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Eat piece of fruit/juice with some protein:
    • Milk
    • Cheese
    • Peanut butter
    • Nuts
  • Change positions slowly
  • Drink more liquids so urine is clear to light yellow
  • Correct anemia

Fatigue

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Hormones
  • Anemia

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Normal in early and late pregnancy
  • Balance rest with exercise
  • Nap if possible
  • Correct anemia

Gums Bleed

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Increased blood supply
  • Hormones

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Use soft toothbrush/floss
  • Increase Vitamin C in diet:
    • Fruits
    • Tomatoes
    • Broccoli
  • Get teeth cleaned to remove plaque

Headaches

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Eye strain
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinus problems
  • Constipation
  • Hormonal changes
  • Fatigue
  • Tension/stress
  • High blood pressure

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Relaxation
  • Rest
  • Head and neck massage
  • Neck rolling exercise
  • Peppermint or chamomile tea

 

Take 2-3 regular or 2 extra strength Tylenol

 

If nasal congestion or sinus pain, Sudafed 30 mg (1 tablet) every 6 hours and hot moist towel over eyes and forehead. Use a humidifier.

 

Avoid aspirin, Ibuprofen, and MSG (found in Chinese food).

 

Call WCOTP if headache severe, blurred vision or stomach pain.

Heartburn

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Uterus pushes up on stomach
  • Muscle which closes stomach is loose

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Eat small, frequent meals
  • Eat slowly
  • Drink fluids between meals instead of with meals
  • Avoid spicy/greasy food (take-out food is usually greasy)
  • Chew gum for 30 minutes after eating
  • Avoid overeating
  • Do not lie down after eating
  • Avoid coffee and cigarettes
  • Papaya enzymes/juice may be helpful

 

Try Tums or liquid Maalox/Mylanta 1-2 Tablespoons 1 hour after eating and at bedtime

 

Avoid baking soda and Alka-Seltzer

 

Zantac 75-150 mg 2/day

Hemorrhoids

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Pressure of uterus
  • Constipation

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Avoid constipation (see Constipation topic above)
  • Try witch hazel or Epsom salt compresses
  • Warm baths
  • Kegel exercises
  • Ice bag

 

Anusol or Preparation H Cream or suppositories 3 times/day

Leg Cramps

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Low calcium/high phosphorus diet
  • Growing uterus decreases blood flow to legs
  • Pressure of baby can cause shooting pains in leg

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Straighten legs with toes pointed towards head
  • Heat, massage, exercise
  • Less soda drinks and processed meats (high in phosphorus)
  • More dairy products or calcium supplement
  • Wear comfortable low-heeled shoes
  • Change position or get in knee chest position for a few minutes if shooting pain

 

Call WCOTP if leg is hot and painful to touch

Nausea/Vomiting

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Hormones
  • Slow movement of food

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Crackers or dry toast before getting out of bed
  • Eat protein during day and before going to bed as it takes longer to digest and will keep stomach full
  • Drink fluids between meals instead of with meals
  • Try mint, ginger or chamomile tea
  • Avoid greasy/spicy food and strong smells
  • Get out into the fresh air and exercise
  • Sip ginger-ale, cola or 7-up
  • Acupuncture wrist bands (seabands)

 

Increase Vitamin B6 (whole grains and cheese) 50 mg 1-2/day

 

Avoid cigarettes

Nose Bleeds/Stuffy Nose

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Increased blood supply
  • Hormones
  • Allergies

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Use a humidifier/vaporizer
  • Salt water nose drops
  • Blow nose gently
  • Keep upright and squeeze nose if bleeding - apply ice
  • Thin coat of Vaseline especially at bedtime
  • Increase Vitamin C:
    • Fruits
    • Broccoli
    • Tomatoes

 

Tell WCOTP if you have seasonal allergies

Round Ligament Pain

Pain in groin, lower stomach, or sides of uterus

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Ligaments attached to uterus are stretched
  • Pressure of baby on nerves
  • Active baby
  • Sudden movements

 

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Heat
  • Warm baths
  • Rest
  • Place pillow between legs and under stomach when resting
  • Use maternity girdle if weak stomach muscles
  • Bend towards side of pain
  • Pelvic rock exercise

 

Avoid twisting, heavy lifting, or sudden movements

 

Take 2-3 regular or 2 extra strength Tylenol

Salivation Increased

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Hormones

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Chew gum
  • Eat frequent, small meals

Shortness of Breath

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Pressure of growing uterus on lungs
  • Weight gain
  • Anemia

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Stand/sit up straight
  • Lift arms up by ears or over head
  • Sleep on 2-3 pillows
  • Practice slow, deep breathing
  • Correct anemia

Skin Changes

Patches of color on face, breasts, stomach

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Hormones

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Avoid sun
  • Use sunscreen
  • Wear wide brimmed hat
  • Usually gets light or fades after pregnancy

Sleeplessness

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Active baby
  • Frequent trips to bathroom
  • Unable to find comfortable position
  • Stress/tension

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Relaxation exercises
  • Warm bath
  • Warm milk
  • Chamomile or peppermint tea
  • Massage
  • Increase B vitamins (whole grains)
  • Use extra pillows for comfort
  • Nap during the day

 

Avoid caffeine (coffee, cola, tea, chocolate)

 

Avoid tobacco

 

Do not take sleeping pills

Stretch Marks

(Breasts, stomach, hips and thighs)

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Scar tissue that forms when skin stretches

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Sufficient protein in diet
  • Lotions and oils don't prevent but may minimize stretch marks
  • Will turn silvery after pregnancy

Swollen Feet or Legs

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Growing uterus decreases blood flow to legs
  • Standing too long
  • High blood pressure

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Keep off legs when possible
  • Elevate legs
  • Do not cross legs when sitting
  • Avoid tight knee socks
  • Wear support hose
  • Rest on side
  • Walk, swim, sit in pool
  • Put on maternity support pantyhose before getting out of bed

 

Avoid standing for long periods of time

 

Call WCOTP if severe headache, blurred vision or stomach pain

Urinary Frequency

Losing urine when sneezing or coughing

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Growing uterus puts pressure on bladder
  • Possible infection

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Drink more during day and less at night
  • Kegel exercises
  • Wear mini-pad

 

Tell WCOTP if it hurts to pee

Vaginal Discharge Increased

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Hormones
  • Increased blood flow

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Cotton underwear
  • Avoid tight fitting slacks/shorts
  • Wear mini-pad

 

Do not douche

 

Tell WCOTP if it burns, itches or smells

Varicose Veins

WHY IT OCCURS:

 

  • Hormones
  • Pressure of growing uterus on leg veins
  • Standing too much
  • Weight gain

WHAT TO DO:

 

  • Sit instead of standing
  • Rest on your side with legs up
  • Avoid tight knee socks
  • Put on maternity support pantyhose before getting out of bed
  • Walk or swim
  • Don't cross your legs
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time

Common Discomforts of Pregnancy

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Pregnancy Ailment Guide

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(970) 542-0390

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PHONE:

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Fort Morgan, CO 80701

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