During your pregnancy, you will experience symptoms that may be uncomfortable. Here’s some ways to manage the pregnancy discomfort.
The hormones produced during pregnancy cause the muscles in the digestive tract to relax. Because of this, your food digests more slowly. Also, the growing baby presses on the digestive tract. Heartburn results.
- Eat small, light meals throughout the day, rather than three large ones.
- Eat slowly.
- Sleep with your upper body raised six inches. Don’t lie down until two hours after you eat.
You may be constipated because the muscles of your bowels are more relaxed. Also, as the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the bowels.
- Eat foods high In fibre (whole-grain foods, fresh fruit and vegetables).
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get regular exercise.
Taking care of your breasts
Your breasts may increase in size and be more sensitive and tender. You may leak colostrum
(yellowish early milk) as your due date nears.
- Avoid using harsh soaps or alcohol, which can cause excessive dryness.
- Wear nursing bras. They provide more support than regular bras and can be used after pregnancy if you breastfeed.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Getting restful sleep can be a challenge in late pregnancy.
- Take a warm shower before bed.
- Sleep on a firm mattress.
- Lie on your left side with one leg crossed over the other.
- Place pillows under your stomach and back between your knees.
Easing back pain
Back pain may increase with the size of your belly. As your uterus enlarges, your abdominal muscles stretch and your back muscles become strained trying to support the weight of the enlarging tummy.
Back pain also results when the pelvic joints loosen to prepare for delivery.
Practise good posture
Try to align your ears, shoulders and hips. Pull in your abdomen to support your lower back. Keep your pelvis level to help brace your back. Think of the pelvis as a bowl of water that will spill if it tips too far forward.
Think before you lift
Bend at the knees to bring the load nearer. Get a good grip and test the weight. Tighten your abdomen. Life with your leg muscles, not with a bent back.
Exercises help to ease back pain. Turn to page 26 for some exercise recommendations.