A woman’s body undergoes radical changes during pregnancy – but learning to cope with some of the changes is difficult.
Here are a few tried-and-tested ways of dealing with the symptoms of pregnancy.
Morning sickness and heartburn
One of the most dreaded signs of pregnancy is morning sickness.
Around the sixth week of pregnancy, the symptoms (such as nausea and vomiting), will be at their most frequent and vociferous – so be prepared!
Avoid fatty foods such as fried eggs and fried onions, as most pregnant women find not only the smell and the taste disgusting, but even the sight of them may well send you running for the bathroom.
Spicy foods such as chilli and curry can also make you feel particularly queasy, and can also lead to chronic heartburn, so as a preventative measure most experts advise avoiding these foods, or at the very least approaching them with caution.
Aches and pains
Pregnant women will normally experience a series of aches and pains during pregnancy, week by week. The symptoms of these sure signs of pregnancy can be alleviated in a number of different ways:
1. Leg cramps
For leg cramps choose a diet that is rich in calcium with plenty of milk (4 glasses a day is recommended) and potassium. It is recommended that you consume 4,700 mg of potassium per day while pregnant.
Potassium-rich foods such avocados (which contain 1000mg of potassium), and bananas (containing 422mg) will help provide those much needed nutrients for you and your baby.
You should consider wearing the right shoes – padded insoles will help to cushion your feet comfortably, removing pressure from your legs.
2. Back pain
Approximately half of pregnant women experience back pain, especially in the lower back.
This is because your back muscles work harder to support your abdominal muscles as they loosen to accommodate an expanding uterus.
A lumbar support cushion should help support your lower back when sitting and promote good posture, this is especially useful if you work in an office and sit at a desk for hours on end. When standing you should always straighten your back to further promote a good posture as a sure-fire way to decrease back pain.
Exercise is perhaps the most effective way of decreasing both of these types of pain. Leg cramps can be alleviated by massaging your feet, which is something your partner may have to help you with. When sitting or lying down, make sure that you flex your ankles and that your toes are pointed towards your face.
Maintaining strength in your muscles lessens the chance of strain in your whole body – specialists suggest swimming and pre-natal aerobics classes to relieve pain in joints, muscles and back, giving you a full body workout.
Exercises should be performed even in the early stages of pregnancy. Exercise will make you stronger, and will prepare your body for what is to come before you experience any actual symptoms.