Being a mother is one of the most rewarding experiences, but what about before your bundle of joy is born? For many women, pregnancy can be tough. Even if you’re Tia Mowry, currently thriving in her third pregnancy, it’s never without its discomforts.
These are often exacerbated when you’re an older mum, the process can be tougher and although it’s a beautiful and exciting time, there are some common problems that come part and parcel with your pregnancy.
Pregnancy is such a beautiful and joyous journey. But let’s keep it real. The #thirdtrimester can bring on some challenges. I find that the simplest things, become the hardest things. Like just picking something up from the freaking floor. Lol! However, I wouldn’t change it for the world. 💕 What were some of yours?
Here are some of the most common pregnancy problems and how you can solve them.
The Problem: Pregnancy Cramps
In the first trimester, your cramps might feel like you’re being pulled from either side of your abdomen which, although uncomfortable, is normal. As your uterus expands, it might feel like a sharp stabbing pain or a dull ache around the area.
Other than a good old-fashioned hot water bottle, soaking in a warm bath can really help ease the pain. Drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated is important for relieving cramps. A few restorative yoga poses especially for pregnancy along with deep breathing can ease the cramping too.
The Problem: Insomnia
Vivid and bad dreams are a common symptom of pregnancy and are completely normal. Hormone fluctuations are to blame for this and will also control your emotions, often heightening them. It can also lead you to losing sleep altogether and lying awake at night with your thoughts.
Meditation techniques work to help relieve the mind of too many thoughts and can relax you while you’re trying to get to sleep. Download an App such as Headspace in order to do a guided meditation just before you sleep. Avoid taking sleeping pills but if the insomnia persists, make sure you let your GP know.
The Problem: Back Pain
As your pregnancy develops, the weight to the front of your body will, of course, increase and therefore will throw off your usual spinal alignment. While pregnant, your body will be busy making relaxin, a hormone that will relax ligaments in the pelvic area and will relax your joints ready for labour. It can also cause your spine ligaments to loosen, making them unstable and often painful.
There are a number of things you can do to help relieve the pain, for example, always trying to realign your posture. Treatments such as pregnancy massages and pregnancy yoga can help to ease muscle pain and centre your weight more evenly to avoid the pain. Try to sleep on your side and use a maternity abdominal belt for extra support.
The Problem: Heartburn
At some point, most mums-to-be will suffer from heartburn. Progesterone, the hormone which helps to relax the muscles during pregnancy, will also relax the stomach valve that keeps acid from the stomach away from the esophagus.
Eating smaller meals more often can help because bigger meals and an over-full stomach will contribute to heartburn. Eat slowly and try not to eat right before you sleep. Ginger is a great way to soothe heartburn too – ginger sweets or ginger ale will relieve the feeling of heartburn.
The Problem: Swollen Feet and Ankles
Fluid retention during pregnancy can result in the swelling of feet, hands, ankles and face. There is also more pressure on your veins at this time because of the growing uterus, but don’t worry, it will go down.
Try to stay off your feet while you’re more heavily pregnant and something that will help while you sleep is laying on your left side. The vein returning blood from the lower half of your body to the heart is on your right so it takes off the pressure. Elevating your feet slightly while you sleep can also help with swelling.
The Problem: Itchy Skin
While you’re pregnant, there’s an increased blood supply to your skin causing it to itch more than usual. It can also be an even more intense itch over your bump where your skin is stretching. It won’t affect your baby in any way but it can be very annoying.
Try to use products with minimal chemicals in while you’re pregnant. Oat-milk based products contain natural anti-itching properties to soothe your skin. Pat yourself dry rather than rub yourself dry out of the shower. If the itching intensifies, tell your GP as it might be something more serious.
For more information and other pregnancy symptoms, visit the NHS website