Treating Common Discomforts of Pregnancy
The following is a guide of the common discomforts of pregnancy and methods for their relief. In general, aches and pains are relieved by good muscle tone, as there is less stress on ligaments and joints. It is advisable to continue regular exercise and use good posture and body mechanics in daily activities. Adequate rest and a good diet also help minimize discomfort. For discomforts that are persistent or more than mildly annoying, please contact us for further suggestions.
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the upper abdomen caused by stomach acid moving up the esophagus. Keep track of your diet and eliminate foods that give you distress. Antacids such as Tums, Maalox or Gaviscon in moderation can be helpful. Chewing gum sometimes helps. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and Alka-Seltzer should not be used as they are high in sodium. Please contact your provider if these remedies are ineffective.
Constipation or the tendency towards constipation is caused by the natural slowdown of the gastrointestinal tract during pregnancy. Your diet should include high fiber foods including: whole grains, bran and fruit such as prunes, figs, raisins, dates and apples. Be sure to include eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. If diet alone doesn’t help, you may try Metamucil, Citrucel or Fibercon. At times it is necessary to add a stool softener such as Colace daily.
Hemorrhoids are dilated and enlarged veins at the opening of the rectum. A growing uterus and constipation play a role in their development. Some relief measures are Tucks Pads, Preparation H ointment, or Nupercainal.
Varicose veins are swollen or distended leg veins. To some extent these are hereditary and their appearance can be worsened by prolonged standing, pregnancy and advancing age. Prevention and treatment consists of periodically elevating the legs and/or the use of support hose.
Increase in the formation of mucous by the cervical glands contributes to the increased vaginal discharge in pregnancy. If the discharge is especially heavy or associated with itching or odor, it could be symptomatic of a vaginal infection which may require treatment.