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Common Remedies for Pregnancy Pains

Being pregnant can be a wonderful experience. Knowing you have a life growing inside of you can be mind-blowing, and being able to carry your child for nine months is a beautiful thing, but there are also very real sacrifices that come with it. The various aches and pains that accompany childbearing can take a toll on you if you are not prepared or do not treat them properly. We've got some tips on how you can soldier through these nine months without (or with a little less) breaking a sweat. 

 

If you're having: Back pains

Why it's happening: Your uterus is expanding, it's bigger than it's ever been before (at least if this is your first time getting pregnant) and you're carrying a significant amount of extra poundage. This can affect your posture and balance which in turn strain your back.

What to do: Use a heating pad or hot water bottle on the painful parts. You could also soak in warm water in a bathtub. To prevent the strain on your back, make sure your weight gain is in check. A weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms) during pregnancy is normal.

If you're having: Swelling of the hands, ankles, and feet (edema)

Why it's happening: Edema usually happens during the third trimester, and typically sets in in the afternoon or evening. It affects 75% of pregnant women. If you're noticing the swelling getting worse, consult your doctor. It could be pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension), which is fatal in some occurrences.

What to do: Elevate your legs and feet to prevent fluid from pooling. Drink eight glasses of water everyday and avoid salty foods. Wear supportive, non-restrictive footwear.

 

If you're having: Carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the numbness or pain that occurs in the fingers, palms, or wrists. It can also be accompanied by a tingling or burning sensation in the fingers.

Why it's happening: The swelling from weight gain and water retention can put pressure on the nerves that surround the forearm, all the way into the hand.

What to do: Wrist exercise and stretching: Curl your fingers into a fist, then bend the wrist towards your palm. Straighten your fingers and stretch your wrist in other direction. Repeat with the other hand. Do 10 repetitions at least once a day. If you're at your computer for most of the day, remember to take lots of stretching breaks between work. You could also adjust your keyboard so your wrists are straight and not bent.

If you're having: Sciatica. It's characterized by a feeling of numbness and a sharp pain in the hips which radiate down to the legs.

Why it's happening: Pain occurs when your sciatic nerves (goes from lower back to feet) are affected by the pressure and inflammation from your back.

What to do: If you're able to, find the time to practice some basic prenatal yoga or do this simple exercise: Stand facing a wall, place your hands on the wall and lift your leg behind you. Count to five, lower it back down and repeat with your other leg. Do three repetitions on each side at least once a day.

 

If you're having: Leg cramps

Why it's happening: Cramps in the legs usually occur during the second trimester, when you're starting to carry a considerable amount of extra weight. You're also carrying more blood and water in your veins and the extra fluid causes cramps.

What to do: Do some light stretching when you're getting ready for bed to ensure your muscles are more flexible, which in turn reduces cramps. Give your legs a light massage to distribute fluid evenly or place a heated pad on the areas that are giving you problems.

Pregnant at 40

They say life starts at 40, but did you ever think that you would be pregnant at 40? These are some of the things you may expect during your pregnancy.

Advantages 

By the time you are 40, you may already have a good career, you might be more financially stable and you may be a lot more knowledgeable, mature, and have a far better understanding of life. All of which can help you cope with a great deal of pregnancy issues and concerns.

 

Disadvantages

The risk of chromosomal abnormality to your baby, such as Down Syndrome, is higher with advanced maternal age. Late-age pregnancies can also cause miscarriage, low birth weight, physical abnormalities, and stillbirth. 

You may also be at risk of getting high blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy. High blood pressure can escalate to Preeclampsia and then Eclampsia, a serious medical condition that can cause seizures and can even be fatal. 

Diabetes can make your baby larger than usual and might require you to undergo a cesarean section. It also increases the risk of birth defects and miscarriage. There is also a possibility that you and your baby will develop Type 2 diabetes after birth.

What to Do

Get Prenatal Care 

Going to the doctor early and regularly for prenatal checkups is your best way to increase your prospects of having a healthy pregnancy and a well baby. Prenatal care includes pregnancy education, planning for childbirth, regular exams, screening tests, early detection, and prevention of potential problems.

Don’t forget your other doctors too. It is best to keep your underlying conditions treated and managed to prevent any harm that these may bring to you and your unborn child.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Taking your prenatal vitamins help prevent birth defects and help in the growth and development of your child’s brain and spinal cord.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Not everything is found in your prenatal vitamins. Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body and developing baby need. Snack on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs, lean meat, nuts, beans, and low fat milk.

Exercise

Consult your doctor before doing any exercise regime especially if you have any underlying condition. But nevertheless, you will gain a lot of advantages from doing physical activities. It can reduce pregnancy discomforts, give you more energy, and minimize stress levels.

Avoid Dangerous Matter

Nothing can bring you and your baby more injury than smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking illegal drugs. It can cause bleeding, birth defects, low birth weight, and still or premature birth. 

Get Optional Tests

Ask your doctor about amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. These are tests that sample the chromosomes and genes of your unborn child to know if an abnormality is present.

  

Be Happy

No matter what age you are, having a baby is a wondrous event to look forward to. Savor and cherish every moment. Stay positive and enjoy the journey ahead with your new baby.

The First Trimester of Your Pregnancy

 

You’ve taken the test and confirmed with your doctor: congratulations, you’re pregnant! Welcome to an incredible journey that will change your life forever.

What’s happening inside you?

Pregnancy is measured in trimesters from the first day of your last menstrual period, totaling 40 weeks. The first trimester is your first twelve weeks -- roughly three months. Weeks three to eight, the embryonic stage, are especially critical since the embryo develops most major body organs and is especially vulnerable to damaging substances, such as alcohol, radiation, and infectious diseases.

What will you be feeling?

When you get pregnant, your hormones immediately trigger to nourish the growing life inside of you. While that’s great for the baby, these hormonal changes can mean a number of symptoms for you. Prepare for bouts of nausea (‘morning sickness’ doesn’t just happen in the morning!), strange food cravings, tender or sore breasts, fatigue, dizziness, heartburn, acne, and more. You may also experience mood swings or feel anxious and stressed. It’s normal!

 

How should you prepare?

  • Take your prenatal vitamins. Folic acid is exceptionally critical during the first trimester to prevent neural tube problems such as spina bifida (when the spinal bones do not properly form around the spinal cord.)
  • Cut out harmful substances. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day or around two mugs of instant coffee. Steer clear of chemicals from household cleaning products, pesticides, and solvents.
  • Avoid hazardous foods. Sorry, sushi fans: you’ll need to say no to anything that may contain bacteria, toxins, or parasites. That means no more raw or undercooked meats and unpasteurized dairy products. Wash your salad veggies well, too.
  • Try to eat as nutritiously as you can. Complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and ‘good’ fats from nuts are your best friends.

  • If you are experiencing nausea, these measures can help: avoid oily and spicy foods that can irritate your stomach. Have small, frequent meals that won’t tax your digestive system (don’t skip meals because acids on an empty stomach cause nausea, too). If it hits you hardest in the morning, dry crackers eaten before getting up can settle the tummy. Ginger is an all-natural and safe anti-nausea aid, so stock up on salabat and enjoy arroz caldo.
  • Sleep much. It may make you feel like a grandma, but the changes to your body will get you exhausted. Don’t fight the urge to rest, even if that means going to bed before 9pm!
  • Be informed. Buy a good prenatal book, join pregnancy groups online, subscribe to baby newsletters – you’ll need all the support you can get, and information is power.
  • Start saving. Not only will you need funds for labor and delivery, there’s baby equipment (bottles, sterilizers, stroller, crib, car seat, etc.) to consider, and don’t discount the monthly pediatrician visits and vaccinations during that first year!

 Good luck on this awesome ride, and enjoy your pregnancy!

ARCHIVE
2017
May