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Pregnancyis one of the happiest times in your life as you prepare to welcome a new member to your family. However, it affects almost every aspect of your health and also has effects on your moods and mental conditions. Some of the most common pregnancy related problems include morning sickness, heartburn, stomachache, faintness, nausea etc. in more serious cases, pregnancy induced diabetes or pregnancy related hypertension may be induced. In most cases, it is better to avoid medication. Instead, home remedies, coupled with changes in diet and sleeping patterns may also help you to tackle these problems naturally.

Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body undergoes a series of changes and not all of them are comfortable for you. According to a data by CDC, there are six million pregnancies every year in the USA. Studies conducted across these have identified some of the most common problems associated with them. In most cases, dietary changes and home remedies are prescribed, though medication may become necessary at certain stage. Whatever be the cause, if you are pregnant, you should avoid taking any medication without consulting your doctor.

List of common pregnancy problems

Here is a list of some of the most common problems experienced during this time:

Problems Symptoms
Morning sickness Nausea and vomiting in early morning; may continue throughout the day.
Heartburn Acidity throughout the day
Sleep problems and fatigue Excessive tiredness coupled with lack of sleep
Constipation Lack of regular bowel movements
Cramps Sudden sharp pain in calves and feet
Frequent urination Increasing visits to the toilet during first and third trimester
Sore back Pain in the back, especially lower back that increases as pregnancy advances

Remedies of common pregnancy problems

→ Morning sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum)

  • During pregnancy, the level of the hormone HCG rises in the blood. This is thought to cause morning sickness.
  • It induces nausea and vomiting, especially in the mornings. Hence the name morning sickness. It can be particularly severe in some cases.
  • The remedies are:
    1. Do not go too long without food. Have small frequent meals.
    2. Avoid spicy and fried fatty foods. If any smell upsets you, steer clear of that food.
    3. Smell ginger or lemon to calm the nausea.
    4. Avoid coffee or caffeinated drinks.
    5. Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
    6. Try eating crackers, pretzels, cereals, clear soup etc if you find it difficult to keep the food down.

→ Heartburn

  • Hormone changes cause stomach acids to wash up leading to heartburn.
  • The remedies are:
    1. Eat frequently, but in small amounts.
    2. Keep your upper body elevated after meals.
    3. Avoid fried food, coffee, cola etc.
    4. Take your time and chew your food well.

→ Sleep problems and fatigue

  • According to one study, 78% of pregnant women experience problems related to sleep and fatigue during pregnancy.
  • You feel excessively tired most of the time. This is not strange considering the amount of hormonal changes occurring in your body and the extra weight you are carrying.
  • But no matter how tired you are, you cannot get to sleep. Even after sleeping, when you wake up you do not feel refreshed or rested.
  • The remedies are:
    1. Eat properly at short intervals.
    2. Do not take on additional tasks. Take timely rest breaks
    3. Maintain a sleep schedule.
    4. Avoid coffee, tea, cola and chocolate, especially after the evening.
    5. Do not take naps.
    6. Do not keep lying in bed after you are awake.

→ Constipation

  • Hormonal changes may lead to constipation, mostly during early pregnancy.
  • You may have trouble passing stool. Or it may be unusually hard and lumpy.
  • The remedies are:
    1. Include high fiber foods like whole grained wheat and bread, fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils in your diet.
    2. Drink plenty of water.
    3. Exercise regularly and also practice techniques of relaxation. This helps in better sleep also.
    4. Avoid iron supplements as they increase the problems of constipation.

→ Cramps

  • These are sudden and sharp pain in the calves and the feet.
  • They are most common at night, though the exact relationship with pregnancy is not understood clearly.
  • The remedies are:
    1. When you get a cramp, pull your toes towards the ankle or rub the muscle hard. But if you feel it worsening, stop immediately and consult your doctor.
    2. In order to avoid cramps, you can try some foot exercises. These include flexing and extending your toes, bending and stretching your leg and rotating the ankle.

→ Frequent urination

  • The bane of the pregnant woman is the frequent visit to the bathroom. It increases as pregnancy advances.
  • It may be coupled with incontinence where you may be unable to prevent a sudden small spurt of urine. This probably happens as the pelvic muscle relaxes in preparation for giving birth to the baby.
  • The remedies are:
    1. Use the bathroom whenever you need to. Holding it in will worsen the problem.
    2. Do not drink fluids just before bedtime or very early in the morning. However, you should drink plenty during the rest of the day.
    3. Avoid coffee, cola etc which increases incontinence.
    4. Urinary tract infection is common during pregnancy. If frequent urination is coupled with pain or burning sensation, then you must consult your doctor immediately.

→ Sore back

  • Pregnant women develop pain in lower back, especially in advanced stages.
  • The extra weight of the uterus, the change in the center of gravity of the body and loosening of the ligaments to give birth increase the pain.
  • The remedies are:
    1. Do not lift heavy objects.
    2. Choose your shoes well. Sit on straight backed chairs.
    3. Heating pad may ease the pain.
    4. Do not bend from the waist. Instead, squat down if you need to pick things up.

Apart from these, there are many other problems that can develop during pregnancy like diabetes, hypertension and varicose veins. However, these are not so common and they require specific medical intervention.