Pregnancy is one of this life’s most incredible adventures. It’s full of moments that stick with you forever, like feeling your baby move inside you and imagining your new life. But, with all the changes going on in your body as it uses its resources to grow a little human, the adventure isn’t always fun.
No one said pregnancy would be easy, but it doesn’t mean you need to put up with the uncomfortable symptoms if you don’t have to. Wondering what to really expect while you are expecting?
1. Morning sickness and nausea
According to the American Pregnancy Association, morning sickness and nausea are experienced by more than 50 percent of pregnant women. Whether you’re experiencing nausea or you have the added discomfort of vomiting, it’s all thanks to the surging hormones brought on by pregnancy.
What to try: Eating frequent small meals and snacks, making sure your stomach always has a little bit of food in it can help ease the queasiness. Try crackers, pretzels or dry toast before you get out of bed in the morning and make sure you’re drinking extra water to help avoid dehydration.
When you think about everything your body is doing during pregnancy – growing a human while you still function, there is no surprise you’re feeling so tired.
What to try: See if you’re able to sneak in a nap or go to bed an hour or two earlier. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep at night and at the very least, put your feet up and relax when the time allows. The fatigue usually only lasts through the first trimester and will subside by the time you reach the 12-week mark.
3. Heartburn and indigestion
The combination of hormones and your growing uterus are the reason you’re battling bad heartburn and indigestion.
What to try: Eating smaller meals more frequently, and avoiding spicy or greasy food will go a long way to keeping heartburn and ingestion to a minimum. The Mayo Clinic suggests adding fiber to your diet and moderate exercise can also help ward off the burning belly troubles.
4. Pelvic and back pain
By the time you reach the second trimester, the weight of your baby on your pelvic bone can put pressure on some of your nerves, specifically your sciatica. The result: hot, sharp pain down your legs and up your back.
What to try: If the pain is affecting only one of your legs, try lying down on the opposite side and keeping the pressure on the painful legs. Some women find comfort in pregnancy support belts which are specifically designed to spread the weight of your belly across your back and take the pressure off your nerve
5. Swollen feet, ankles and legs
During pregnancy, your body also does a great job at holding on to extra fluid, which can move down toward the lower parts of your body: your ankles, feet and legs.
What to try: It may seem counterintuitive, but increasing your water intake can help relieve swelling, according to NHS. Avoid standing for long periods and elevate your feet on comfortable pillows when you’re able to. If you notice your feet or hands swelling suddenly, seek medical attention right away as it can be an indicator of pre-eclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition for you and your baby.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your care provider and mention any uncomfortable symptoms you’re having so they can offer medical advice specific to your needs. Try to remind yourself that, most often, these symptoms will only be temporary and listen to your body if it’s telling you to slow down a bit.