Monday, July 18, 2005

Comfortable Pregnancy? It's Possible!

Most of us who have given birth remember "both sides" of a pregnancy. That would be the pure bliss that a wanted and planned pregnancy brings along with the discomforts that often come along with it.

Constipation, especially during the last few months of a pregnancy, can become a problem. There are things to do for this malady, but one thing that should not be done is to medicate yourself with over the counter remedies without asking your doctor first. He or she may very well allow you to use a milder over the counter therapy, but it is not a thing to make assumptions about.

One natural way to lessen the symptoms of constipation is to pay attention to your diet. Often foods like vegetables and fruits will help. Add more cereals and grain breads to your diet as well as legumes.

Another problem that expectant mothers frequently have to deal with is backache. Remember to squat down when you are lifting something (but remember that heavy things are not to be lifted at all!) and pay attention to what kind of shoes you are wearing. Shoes with low heals are much better. Also remember to move and change your position often if you are doing desk work or something else that is not allowing much movement.

If you are being plagued by heartburn, try eating your meals in smaller quantities but more frequently. Take note of which foods are especially bothersome (this may include caffeine, certain spices, or extra greasy foods) and avoid them until after you deliver the baby. Remember to NOT use traditional remedies such as seltzers or baking soda because of the extremely high sodium content. Stay sitting upright after meals and if this is a nighttime problem, try sleeping while propped up with pillows.

Nausea (also known as "morning sickness") should, but doesn't always, disappear after the first four months or so of pregnancy. Nor does it just happen in the morning and can be any time of day. Many women find that eating crackers or dry toast will lessen the feeling of nausea. If you choose to try the crackers, it would be a wise choice to try saltines with unsalted tops. Extra sodium is definitely something that you want to avoid at all times, especially during a pregnancy.

It also helps to eat smaller meals more often during a day if this (or indigestion) is a problem. Four or five smaller meals during the day may help but be sure that you don't end up eating more than you normally would eat if your choice is for the more frequent meals. As with anything else that is bothersome to you, report it to your doctor if nausea becomes severe or seems different from the regular morning sickness.

Swelling is another annoyance that many pregnant women have to deal with. Suggestions that doctors may have to deal with it are eating enough protein, drinking seven or eight glasses of water each day, limiting your sodium intake, and elevating the legs. If the swelling becomes acute or affects the face, contact your doctor immediately.

It goes without saying that any symptom should first be mentioned to your healthcare provider before trying to take care of it yourself.