The body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. The most noticeable one is the growing belly. The breasts also go through changes and of course the uterus. With these changes may come discomforts.  Some may be obvious and others not as much.

Read on to learn more about them and what you can do to relief these common discomforts of pregnancy.

Backache

Why?

As the uterus begins to grow the uterosacral ligament begins to stretch. As the ligament begins to stretch with the growing uterus, it pulls on the tailbone which causes back pain.

What to do?

Massage therapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture can help. Exercise including yoga can help stretch out the back and strength it. A warm shower or bath can help too. At Padma Yogi, we have prenatal yoga Prenatal Yoga three times a week.

Sore breasts

Why?

Breasts may become tender as the hormonal changes that take place to establish the anatomical foundation for lactation. Breasts may become swollen, sensitive to the touch or feel pressure.

What to do?

Warm compresses on the breasts. Wear a well-fitting bra with good support.

Shortness of breath

Why?

In early pregnancy increased levels of progesterone causes an increase in breathing frequency.

What to do?

Take your time if your climbing stairs. Try to sit or stand as much as possible to give the lungs optimal room to expand.

Nausea

Why?

There is a suspected link to the pregnancy hormones HGC and estrogen and the increase of these correlates to the rise in nausea during pregnancy.

What to do?

Avoid foods and smells that trigger nausea, nibble on soda crackers in the morning,

Vomiting

Why?

There is a suspected link to the pregnancy hormones HGC and estrogen and the increase of these correlates to the rise in nausea during pregnancy.

What to do?

Suck on hard candy, eat more dry/plain foods such as rice, dry toast.

Heartburn

Why?

The growing uterus causes organ crowding and repositioning that may cause acid reflux as the uterus and baby being to push up on the abdominal organs.

What to do?

Eat small, frequent meals, eat slowly, avoid carbonated beverages.

Gas

Why?

Increased levels of progesterone cause the muscles of the digestive tract to be more relaxed, allowing gas to escape more easily.

What to do?

Avoid fatty and fried foods. Avoid triggering foods including beans, whole grains, broccoli and cabbage.

Constipation

Why?

The increased levels of progesterone cause the muscles of the digestive tract to be more relaxed which allows food and waste to move more slowly through the digestive system.

What to do?

Increase fiber into your diet. Stay well hydrated. Exercise three times a week for 20-30 minutes.

Hemorrhoids

Why?

Due to the increase in pressure on the rectum and uterus and with problems due to constipation.

What to do?

Warm baths, witch hazel soaks, avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time.

Bleeding Gums

Why?

Pregnancy hormones cause the gums to become swollen and sore.

What to do?

Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Avoiding sugary drinks and foods.

Braxton-Hicks contractions

Why?

They serve to tone and strengthen the uterus, increase the flow of oxygen to the placenta and may help soften the cervix.

What to do?

Try to change positions. For example,  if you were standing and they occurred, try to sit or lie down to see if they go away. A warm bath or shower may help too.

Headache

Why?

Tension on the spine from carrying the extra weight of baby and the uterus.

What to do?

Use hot/cold compresses or try acupressure, acupuncture or massage. Pay extra attention to the neck and shoulders.

Fatigue

Why?

Demands on the body for carrying the increase weight of pregnancy.

What to do?

Exercise, eat a balanced diet and extra rest during the day.

Itching skin

Why?

The shift in pregnancy hormones can cause dryness of the skin and the stretching of the skin because of growing breasts and belly.

What to do?

Moisturize after shower. Avoid products that contain alcohol. Wear breathable fabrics.

Leg cramps

Why?

The strain on the muscles of the legs and feet by the additional weight carried during pregnancy.

What to do?

Stretching. Elevate legs when resting. Massage legs and feet.

Moodiness

Why?

The shift in hormones, changes in metabolism, physical stress and fatigue.

What to do?

Exercise, eating a balances diet and getting lots of rest.

Sleeplessness

Why?

Due to hormonal changes, anxiety, heartburn, bad dreams, frequent urination, back pain and unable to find a comfortable sleeping position.

What to do?

Try deep breathing, warm bath before bed, using extra pillows to provide more support.

Round ligament stretching/cramping

Why?

The ligaments support the uterus and being to stretch in response to the growing baby. Movements such as going from sitting to standing can cause the round ligament to contract too quickly, which causes pain.

What to do?

Exercise, seek chiropractic care or see a physical therapist.

Stretch marks

Why?

It is easier for the skin to tear when it is stretched from the weight gain and growth of the breasts, belly and baby during pregnancy.

What to do?

Moisturizing and consuming foods rich in vitamin C.

Varicose veins

Why?

The increase of blood volume and the rise in progestin causes the veins to become larger and more open and the circulation from the legs is slower due to the increase pressure of the growing uterus and baby.

What to do?

Elevating yours legs, using support hose and staying off your feet for extended periods.

Vaginitis

Why?

Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an imbalance in the normal bacteria that exist in a woman’s vagina.

What to do?

See your healthcare professional who may prescribe oral or topical medications.

Swelling

Why?

Increase blood and fluid volume. Edema is often experienced in the face, hands, legs and feet.

What to do?

Elevate legs and feet, do foot/ankle circles, avoid standing for extended periods of time.

Listen to your body and if anything feels wrong or doesn’t improve, always seek the care and guidance of your healthcare professional such as a obstetrician or midwife.