Whilst pregnancy is widely considered a natural rather than a medical condition, there is no getting away from the fact that even the most straightforward of pregnancies will undoubtedly bring with it some symptoms which can be a challenge.
Each woman experiences pregnancy differently and no two pregnancies are the same; your first pregnancy may find you feeling more nauseous or tired than your last or the reverse may be true. Whatever your pregnancy brings you there are numerous things you can do to ease the physical and emotional symptoms of pregnancy.
Morning sickness is one of the most well know symptoms of early pregnancy, and is often one of the first tell-tale signs that you have conceived. In spite of its misleading name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night. Here are some tried and tested ideas to help ease morning sickness:
• Eat little and often – plain crackers are good to snack on.
• Don’t overwhelm your senses with a large plate of food, opt for light snacks regularly.
• Don’t allow yourself to get hungry which can make morning sickness worse, and keep foods bland – particularly if you have a heightened sense of smell which is common in early pregnancy.
• Avoid spicy and greasy food.
• Don’t be surprised if tastes you usually love or smells you normally find pleasant set off a wave of nausea. Do what you can to avoid these triggers.
• Drink plenty of clear fluids especially if you have been vomiting. Sip fluids do not drink them too fast.
• Ginger can ease nausea; try a lightly steeped ginger tea using fresh ginger root.
• Lemon juice added to a little water can also ease nausea and sniffing lemons can help ease nausea triggered by strong odours of food.
Tiredness and fatigue in early pregnancy are due to pregnancy hormones as well as nausea and a frequent need to urinate contributing to night time waking and further fatigue. In later pregnancy the increasing size of your bump, pressure on your bladder and anxiety about the birth may contribute to sleeplessness. Adequate rest is important for your physical and emotional wellbeing; here are some tips to help.
• Establish a good sleep routine with relaxation before sleeping
• Take naps when your schedule allows; even if you don’t sleep you will benefit from the reference
• Drink less fluids in the hour or two before you go to bed at night to limit waking up to use the bathroom during the night.
• Take gentle exercise and get fresh air every day
• Limit caffeine and sugar
• Ask for help with household chores and errands
• Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or simply relax in a warm bath.
• Wear a supportive bra; you will need to be regularly measured for the correct fit throughout your pregnancy as your breasts increase in size.
• Wear a bra at night
• Take care of your neck and shoulders with good posture and try a massage if you experience stiffness
• Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
• When you stand up from sitting or lying rise slowly
• Eat regularly and healthily to keep blood sugar stable
• Drink plenty of fluids
Remember that these symptoms of pregnancy will pass and whilst they can make you feel irritable and overwhelmed at times there are things you can do to help and keeping yourself occupied is key. Do what is right for you. You may find that meeting with friends or family or going out for the day helps distract you from your symptoms, or you may feel happier staying indoors and nurturing yourself with a relaxing bath and a good book. Whatever makes you feel better you should go with when you have time to yourself.