Natural Pregnancy Symptom Relief

May 26, 2009

Many of the unpleasant symptoms you might experience during your pregnancy are similar to problems you might have had before you got pregnant; for example, constipation, heartburn or headaches. Before your pregnancy, you might well have simply popped a pill when such symptoms appeared, and then got on with your day. Now that you’re pregnant, of course, things are not so easy. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications (such as painkillers) are not recommended for pregnant women. Therefore, when pregnancy symptoms are getting you down, you need some simple and natural techniques for controlling them.

Is There A Cure For Pregnancy Symptoms?

Unfortunately, most pregnancy symptoms cannot be “cured” as such, only managed. If you are experiencing severe symptoms (unbearable nausea or aches and pains, for example) you shouldn’t hesitate to speak to your doctor. In some cases, it is possible for doctors to prescribe certain types of medication for pregnancy symptoms.

Morning Sickness

A “cure” for “morning sickness” (which can occur at any time of the day or night) is probably the form of relief most widely sought by women in early pregnancy. Some women find that consuming ginger helps them to control their feelings of nausea. You could try ginger tea or ginger ale. Other women feel they benefit from eating lemon or peppermint. Common-sense advice from women who’ve been through morning sickness includes:

Not letting your stomach get empty; if you have to, suck on hard candy between meals.

Trust your physical instincts and avoid foods which don’t look or smell inviting.

Move slowly when getting out of bed or standing up.

Eat small, frequent meals.

Keep your kitchen well-ventilated in order to avoid lingering food smells and make sure you clean cooking utensils and dishes before going to bed – that way you won’t have nasty odors waiting for you in the morning.

Take your prenatal vitamins with food and never on an empty stomach.

Pregnancy Digestive Problems

Much of the advice for controlling morning sickness symptoms is relevant for managing pregnancy-related digestive problems such as heartburn and constipation. You should try to eat small, frequent meals containing plenty of fiber. Constipation is no match for adequate fluid intake, so make sure you drink plenty of water. Some women find that consuming peppermint tea, milk and natural yoghurt helps to alleviate heartburn (make sure all dairy products are made from pasteurized milk).

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are another common worry for pregnant women. You should take comfort from the fact that most stretch marks fade in intensity over time. You can give your body a helping hand by regularly rubbing cocoa butter into the affected areas. (Don’t forget your buttocks just because you can’t see them easily!) Also, drinking lots and lots of water can help maintain your skin’s elasticity and reduce the appearance of stretch marks in the first place.

Breast Pain In Pregnancy

Invest in a good-quality, supportive bra to help relieve tenderness of the breasts. Many department and lingerie stores have collections of specially-designed pregnancy bras (and breast-feeding bras for after the birth). Ask to be measured for the correct bra size before you make a purchase – you may well find that you’ve gone up a cup size or two.

Pregnant Swollen Feet

Sitting down with your feet elevated can provide some relief from swelling of the feet and ankles. Try soaking your feet in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes prior to lying down to rest.

Massage And Acupressure

Getting a massage from a licensed professional (who knows you are pregnant) can be an excellent form of relief from aches and pains. Acupressure is an alternative treatment similar to acupuncture, but instead of using needles, an acupressure therapist applies pressure to different parts of your body using his or her fingers. You should discuss acupressure treatment with your doctor before making an appointment. It’s very important to tell your therapist that you are pregnant. You should make sure that he or she does not touch the area between your ankle and Achilles tendon if you have not yet reached your due date. Reflexologists claim that applying pressure to this area can induce labor.

Severe Pregnancy Symptoms

If your pregnancy symptoms are really getting on top of you, you may find yourself feeling depressed or having negative feelings about the pregnancy or the baby. This in turn can lead to feelings of guilt, because you know you are “supposed” to feel delighted about being pregnant. Do not suffer in silence. First, make an appointment with your doctor to see if there’s a medical treatment which is safe for you. Secondly, consider seeking emotional support in other places (from a counselor, a mother-to-be group or from friends and family).

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