Common Discomforts

I am NOT against medication or doing things the conventional way.  Unfortunately, in pregnancy, there are limited medications that can be taken so natural remedies are important.

I have listed out the most common discomforts and some natural remedies that you can use to overcome these discomforts.  If things continue then I would talk with your doctor or midwife.  Definitely bring it up at the next appointment regardless.

Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are very common discomforts, especially in the first few months of pregnancy.

Here are some natural remedies that you can try:

  • Keep hydrated. Becoming dehydrated will only make it worse.
  • Eat a diet of whole foods; avoid processed and fried foods
  • Drink liquids in between meals instead of with them
  • Eat high protein meals
  • Eat small meals, 4-6 times a day
  • Eat a cracker or piece of bread before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Ginger root helps
  • Mint tea
  • Eat protein in the middle of the night (if you’re up!)
  • Electrolytes (Emergen-C, Gatorade, etc)

 

Heart burn/Reflux
Heart burn is another very common discomfort; I had this issue with all pregnancies. Some ways to alleviate this are:

  • Small, frequent meals
  • Limit or cut out spicy foods or acidic foods (citrus, tomato based products, carbonated beverages, vinegar, hot sauce, etc)
  • Consuming NO liquids about an hour before bedtime
  • Drink less at one time
  • Papaya enzymes with meals (I took these; they are basically a more natural form of Tums… Tums are fine, too)
  • Peppermint tea (for some people this makes it worse, for me it helped)
  • Ginger tea (this helps with nausea too)
  • Sleep at a slight incline

 

Sciatica/Back pain
Back pain is caused by increased weight pulling your spine forward and shifting your center of gravity. Sometimes, the baby is literally laying on your sciatic nerve (this was an issue I had with my two oldest). Some preventatives and remedies:

  • Exercise
  • Have good posture (don’t lean over; sit up straight)
  • Apply heat to your lower back
  • Warm bath
  • Massage
  • Lift with knees, not back
  • Don’t overdo it! I would often have a lot more problems when I was up cleaning the house all day. Do things a little bit at a time.
  • Talk to you doctor or midwife before taking medication

 

Constipation
The best piece of advice I can give to prevent this is to take a food based prenatal vitamin. I was severely constipated while I was pregnant with Karis and it was because of the vitamin!  Other ways to prevent and treat constipation are:

  • Drink LOTS of water
  • Eats lots of fruits and veggies
  • Eat lots of whole grains
  • Limit dairy products and red meat
  • Limit processed foods such as white sugar and white flours.
  • Limit caffeine (mainly because this can be a cause of dehydration)
  • Exercise (regular)
  • Do not wait if you need to go to the bathroom. Go when ya gotta go!
  • Do not take laxatives during pregnancy. They can cause miscarriage or early onset of labor (they make your stomach cramp). Stool softeners are okay, but other options are better.
  • If necessary, use a glycerin suppository to relieve the lower bowel. Once hard stools have been moved, use preventative measures.
  • Prevent hemorrhoids by preventing constipation. If you do get them, Witchazel helps to relieve the swelling (soak cotton balls in this).

 

Leg Cramps
Leg cramps are much of the time caused by too little calcium. If you are taking your pre-natal vitamin, you won’t have as much of a problem with this. Some preventative measures and remedies:

  • Get plenty of calcium: dark, leafy, green vegetables, salmon, nuts, seeds, molasses, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, etc.
  • Exercise to help with circulation
  • Take a warm bath before bed
  • Massage cramped legs; get up and walk around
  • Do not take quinine as this can cause hearing loss in your baby

 

Round Ligament Pain
Round ligament pain is one of those things that I had never heard of pregnant people talking about. I was really worried when I got pregnant with Karis and I stood up too quickly and had this HORRIBLE pain in my side. I thought there was something wrong! This is completely normal; it is from the uterus growing and the weight on the ligaments on your sides. The only thing that can help prevent this is being careful not to turn too sharply or get up too quickly.

 

More Blood Flow in your body
Because of this, you will have bleeding gums, headaches, varicose veins, nosebleeds, heart pounding, etc. This is normal.

  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Get plenty of Vitamin C
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time
  • Stretch often
  • Relax and rest

 

Insomnia
Not being able to fall asleep, or waking up and not being able to go back to sleep is the one discomfort that I think every pregnant women struggles with. I always say that it’s just God’s way of preparing you for a newborn. There are a few things you can do to make it easier:

  • Taking some magnesium before bed helps me a lot.  I recommend this one because it has the least side effects: Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium, Glycinate Lysinate
  • Warm bath right before bed with or without lavender oil (Epsom salt is great to add in as well)
  • Avoid caffeine (at least after noon)
  • Maintain a regular sleeping schedule
  • Read before bed (this always makes me sleepy!!)
  • Exercise daily (sitting around all day will make it very hard to sleep)

Childbirth.orghas a very detailed list of natural remedies for common discomforts. This website is great.