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Pregnancy side-effects can very unglamorous, which goes against all the best feelings of being pregnant. But you’re in for a long ride, so it is best to get to know some of the common pregnancy complaints as we give you some tips on how to co-exist with some of the conditions your baby is going to put you though before they even appear.
Stretchmarks occur thanks to a loss of collagen and elastin fibres, which help the skin stretch so when there is rapid weight gain. Sadly, there's little you can do to prevent stretchmarks, as they tend to run in the family, although you're more likely to get them if you have dry skin, so keep yours supple by massaging moisturisers into the areas and increasing omega 3 fatty acid foods like fish oils and flaxseed to improve your skins health.
A common pregnancy complaint is constipation, which can be very annoying as it can lead to haemorrhoids. Insoluble fibre is liked with prevention of chronic constipation as it acts like a sponge, pulling water into the stool making it easier to pass. Found mostly in vegetables, beans, brown rice and whole grains or you can supplement with psyllium husks from your health food store (capsules are easier to take).
Enlarged raised veins in the anus or rectum linked to pregnancy and constipation usually triggered by straining or pushing on the loo. As you may learn in pre-natal classes, this time the guys have got it right about how to sit on the loo. Lean slightly forward and take your time. A diet high in fibre, exercise and if inflamed, use a topical witch hazel ointment of witch hazel for relief.
During your first trimester, you may find your skin changes and becomes greasy and spotty. Use a cleanser and toner that's mild and nourishing, and although it may be tempting to wash your face more often when you have spots, only wash it once or twice a day to prevent drying it out.
Don't be tempted to treat pregnancy pimples with prescription acne medications as these can affect your unborn baby's development.
As baby starts to displace your organs to make room, a common symptom for most mums is reflux, where your stomach acids get pushed up your esophagus. As a lot of anti-acids contain heavy metals it is better to eat small meals. Or you may find comfort from mixing juice or water with a spoon of slippery elm powder and scull. Or drink natural alkaline (high pH) mineral water like ARTESIAN WATER which is safe to use.
The first thing you health care provider will do when your pregnant is check your iron levels. During pregnancy your baby will absorb your iron supply, which will cause a reduction in the number of your red blood cells which help to carry oxygen to your cells, causing your body to conserve energy, making you feel sleepy. Iron supplementation is advised to help you come back to the conscious world which should be taken with vitamin C for better ababsorption.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition common during pregnancy characterised by pain or numbness in the wrist, hand and fingers. The pain is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist while sleeping. During pregnancy it is comfortable to sleep on your side holding on to a pillow, however your hand position is usually bent and this can compress your wrist. Wrist splints can be worn during sleep to prevent this from happening; if you are in a private health fund you can claim them on insurance during pregnancy.
First trimester and sometimes beyond, some women are unlucky and can not escape morning sickness. Just like every baby is different, morning sickness is different for everyone.
1 in 14 women develop gestational diabetes during the second half of pregnancy and can lead to birth complications. It is important to maintain normal blood glucose levels by restricting carbohydrate rich foods to only 35 to 40 percent of energy intake. Moderate exercise and eating protein rich foods and vegetables can help keep the balance right.
Hypertension can complicate pregnancy and increases the risk of a low birth weight for baby. It may also signal the onset of pre-eclampsia which demands prompt medical attention. Moderate exercise and a healthy diet can help with hypertension and don’t skip your doctor/midwife appointments to check your blood pressure.
Not being able to tie your own shoes because of the bump? How helpless does Mother Nature really want us to be?
Then there is the hormone relaxin making all your ligaments soft (so your pelvis can stretch during birth). This usually means that you feet grow and sometimes never return to the same shoe size. Oh all those shoes…..
Pregnancy can promote the formation of varicose veins which can sometimes be painful. Although witch hazel is primarily used for treating haemorrhoids, topical witch hazel ointment applied three or more times per day can help along with elevating the legs when possible and gentle walking to increase circulation.
Water retention during pregnancy can cause swelling, also known as oedema, particularly in the face, fingers, feet and ankles. It may worsen late in pregnancy, especially in hot weather. To help minimise oedema, take plenty of exercise, flex your calf muscles regularly, massage and put your feet up whenever possible. Increasing the amount of garlic, parsley and onions in your diet will also help prevent swelling, and eating plenty of celery (a natural diuretic can also help.
As the weight piles on and your immune system is lowered it is common to be more susceptible to allergens which cause nasal congestion, mucus and snoring. Avoiding dust, pollen, wheat and other common allergens can help. Increase foods that contain vitamin C, garlic or onions (all natural antihistamines).
Ear plugs for him may also be in order.
Then there is the chance that after all these unpleasant side effects during your pregnancy, at some stage all of a sudden it seems your partner no longer seems to notice you but all his attention seems to be directed to the baby….
Not much we can suggest about that one, soon-to-be dads have their own side-effects.