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Thursday, March 08, 2012

How to Cope With Pregnancy Discomforts

How to Cope With Pregnancy Discomforts

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Carrying a growing fetus in the womb can bring about an onslaught of uncomfortable physical pains and irritations. Knowing how to alleviate many of these pains can make this part of the pregnancy process less of a burden, and help make your pregnancy as successful as possible.


  1. Learn to control and eliminate morning sickness. Morning sickness can be a difficult aspect of pregnancy, as the associated nausea and vomiting is both unpredictable and unpleasant. However, learning about ways to control it can help pregnant women better manage morning sickness for a more comfortable pregnancy.
    • Try eating smaller, more frequent snacks.
    • Avoid anywhere there are extremes of odors, such as the butcher's, the perfume counter, the fish market, a smoky room, moldy areas, etc.
    • Keep healthy nibbles with you at all times.
    • Some women find it best to eat a piece of toast or similar bland item before getting out of bed in the morning.
    • Avoid processed foods and stick to healthy sources of food (protein, complex carbohydrates, lots of green and leafy veggies).
    • Go to bed earlier; avoid stress.
    • Ginger, lemon and lavender can help, in tea, aromatherapy or edible forms.
  2. Try alleviating constipation associated with pregnancy. As a result of the physiological changes associated with the growing baby, many woman suffer from constipation during pregnancy. This constipation can be better controlled by consuming specific food and drink and performing exercises that can help.
    • Another issue you may find yourself having to deal with is constantly wanting to urinate. This can cause earlier-than-desired sleep interruptions! If you experience this discomfort, you'll find it's usually in effect during the first 13 weeks or so of pregnancy and then again in the third trimester. Don't dehydrate yourself though; instead, drink a lot during the day but less in the evenings to try and alleviate many toilet trips during the night. Then again, it is a form of training for what's to come.
      • If you experience burning or stinging sensations when urinating, speak to your doctor; you may have a urinary tract infection.
  3. Reduce fatigue during pregnancy. Tiredness is a commonplace issue for many pregnant women. By learning to control your sleep schedule, you can better manage your tiredness during the day.
    • Learn to love naps. Nap when you're home, over the weekend, during a lunch break. Again, this is more training for what's to come! Also, get others to help more with housework, any lifting/shifting/moving heavy items, grocery shopping, etc. At work, ask for reduced travel or changed tasks if you feel too tired as a result. Avoid going out at nights, as this can increase your tiredness; meet up with friends and family on weekends or for lunch instead. If you're already a mom, nap when the children do.
  4. Manage your back pain during pregnancy. Pregnant women frequently suffer from back pain because of the physical stress of carrying a baby, but there are steps that help better control the discomfort.
    • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. If this requires changes in your routine, then ensure that the changes occur.
    • Wear flat shoes that have excellent support. Visit a shoe clinic if you don't know what good support in a shoe is all about.
    • If you must lift things, always bend from your knees.
    • Don't twist or jerk around, especially not suddenly.
    • Get someone else to put other children into backseat car restraints.
    • Use warm (not hot) baths to relieve backache.
    • Use warm heat packs or warm hot water bottles to relieve backache.
    • Talk to your doctor if nothing is helping you.
  5. Receive a massage from your friend or partner. Massage techniques geared toward pregnant women can ease pain, and are easy to teach to a friend.
  6. Prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Learn to maintain a schedule of going to the bathroom to help eliminate hemorrhoids associated with pregnancy.
  7. Learn to manage your round ligament pain. Physical therapy, yoga and rhythmic body movements can all help pregnant women overcome pain associated with the round ligament during pregnancy.
  8. Take safe precautions when you're sick. If you get a fever while you're pregnant, learn how to reduce your fever safely to prevent putting yourself and your baby at risk.
    • Ask your doctor for safe medications. Some medications that you'd consider safe when not pregnant can be harmful to the growing fetus, so always check before taking anything.


  • Keep exercising as much as you are able to do so, on the advice of your treating health professional. Staying fit is an important way to ward off many discomforts experienced during pregnancy.
  • Add an extra pillow or two to your bed to aid sleeping. As you grow larger, the size of your stomach area can make sleeping more uncomfortable. Positioning pillows to help shore up your stomach and support your lower back can reduce some of the discomfort and also keep you well balanced. If your partner or spouse moves a lot, this can also alleviate the chances of being accidentally bumped during the night. Don't let the pillow turn into a barrier between your love though!
  • Tender breasts are a common source of discomfort with pregnancy. Fortunately, this settles down for most women after the first trimester. One of the best things you can do is to go and get your bra checked to ensure that it fits properly. It's likely you will need to increase the measurement by at least one size. Keep getting checked throughout your pregnancy, as breasts continue to increase in size. Look for a bra with wide straps, a wide supportive band of fabric under the breasts and made mostly of cotton. If the breast pain doesn't improve with a change in bra and acceptance of some discomfort, talk to your doctor.
  • Mood swings are common for many pregnant women and they might be a source of discomfort. First up, they are normal! You are likely to feel sadder, touchier, more elated, more excited, moodier, more worried, more irritable, happier than usual, etc. during pregnancy than you would feel when not pregnant. Teariness is pretty much an expected state of affairs now and then. This is a very emotional time of change, so be kind to yourself, get plenty of rest and remember that each swing will pass. Talking to others is a good way through some of the excesses of emotions. Obviously don't resort to alcohol, caffeine or drugs; friends and family are your best source of solace.
  • Swelling during pregnancy can be a huge source of discomfort. Known as edema medically, this can impact your feet, fingers, legs and ankles. Often the wedding and engagement rings have to be removed for some of the pregnancy, to accommodate for swollen fingers. This happens because your body is retaining fluid during pregnancy. Try to sit down and elevate your legs higher than 90 degrees or lie down completely but support your back with a cushion to tilt your back. Wear shoes that fit, avoid tight clothing of any kind, lower or cut out your salt intake and drink plenty of water.


  • Always ask your doctor for advice tailored specifically to your needs.
  • Tests done throughout pregnancy can be a source of discomfort for many pregnant women. It might be the position you have to assume, the long waiting period, the temperature of the testing room, the taste of the sugar syrup (very sweet!) for the diabetes test, any probing with instruments or needles, etc. Always ask questions to keep informed and let your carer know if you're uncomfortable, embarrassed or in pain. Always seek reassurance.
  • If you have been vomiting a lot, drink lots of water to rehydrate. Be sure to talk to your doctor.
  • Excessive swelling can be a sign of pre-eclampsia; see your doctor quickly.
  • Any discomfort that seems abnormal, unbearable, odd or painful for extended periods of time is a signal to see your doctor quickly.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • Kaz Cooke, Up the Duff': The Real Guide to Pregnancy, (1999), ISBN 0-670-88289-5 – research source and recommended reading for improving your sense of humor about being pregnant

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Cope With Pregnancy Discomforts. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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