Pregnancy: Symptoms and Health and Care Tips
Learn some of the useful tips to cope with the common symptoms faced during pregnancy.
Tips to overcome nausea
- Eat small portions of food at frequent intervals1 . Going too long without eating during pregnancy can cause nausea or make it worse. If you experience continuous nausea, eat every one to two hours2
- Consume dry starch foods, such as crackers, toast or cereal, in the morning before you get out of bed2
- Drink more water to stay hydrated! You may have diluted fruit juices, fruit or herbal teas, but water is the best!
- Try to eat a balanced diet despite feeling nausea.
Tips to help relieve heartburn
- Take several small meals throughout the day. This will place fewer burdens to your stomach and does not build up as much stomach acid.
- Your last meal should be at least three hours before bedtime, because when you are lying down, it is particularly easy for the stomach acid to ascend into the oesophagus. You may want to consider elevating your upper body with an extra pillow in bed.
- Prepare your meals to be low in fat and mildly seasoned, greasy and strong flavoured foods can irritate the oesophagus.
- It is also best to avoid foods that trigger or aggravate heartburn such as alcohol, caffeinated drinks, coffee, carbonated drinks, chocolate, mint, and citrus fruits3..
To help relieve backaches
- Treat yourself to some rest.
- Try to sleep on the side position to release the pressure off the back.
- Sports: pregnancy gymnastics and swimming, especially backstroke can help to ease tension and strengthen back muscles, or try gestational yoga. Yoga relaxes stretches and strengthens the muscles and aid to relieve pain in the back and joints and may even be a good preparation for the birth.
- Do not wear high heels.
- Consider getting a proper chair for the benefit of your ergonomics when you are often sedentary at work.
- Consult your doctor if you have a burning sensation during urination or lower back pain, or even when there is a presence of a very slight bleeding accompanied with the back pain.
Tips to help improve insomnia
- Get support by using a nursing pillow when lying on the side of your belly.
- Lie on the bed with a pillow in between your knees.
- Avoid consuming black tea or coffee.
- You may only take a light supper, not to overeat.
- Avoid watching exciting films or reading books that cause you great excitement before going to sleep.
- Take a walk or a swim in the evening.
- Take a glass of warm milk or a cup of herbal tea.
- Perform relaxation exercises from your antenatal classes.
To overcome with shortness of breath
- Give yourself as much rest as possible.
- Insert more breathers.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
For other symptoms, such as severe nervousness or restlessness, discuss with your doctor.
Tips on leg swelling
- Allow your legs to elevate whenever possible.
- A cool foot bath may bring relief.
- Wear flat, wide shoes.
Contact your doctor if the swelling suddenly increases and are accompanied by abdominal pain and/or headache.
Tips to help prevent varicose veins
- Prevent standing and sitting for long hours.
- Be active! Be active and engage in regular physical activity such walking.
- Elevating the affected area when resting.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Do not use saunas and warm baths.
- Try support stockings or tights
Tips to reduce leg cramps
- Do calf stretches. Stretch before bed if you get cramps at night.
- Gently massage your calf or feet.
- Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for too long.
- Engage in regular physical activity such as walking
- Consume a healthy balanced diet containing fruits and vegetable
Your doctor may advise you if any additional supplements is required
Tips to prevent constipation and indigestion
- Eat high fibre foods such as cereals, whole grains and vegetables.
- It is best to slowly increase the amount of wholegrains intake so as not to overwhelm the sluggish bowel.
- Stir in some linseed, wheat or oat bran in your yoghurt.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Meltzer DI. Complementary therapies for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Family practice. 2000 Dec 1;17(6):570-3
- Vemulapalli R. Diet and lifestyle modifications in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2008 Jun;23(3):293-8
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