Trouble Sleeping During Pregnancy
Finding a comfortable resting position can become difficult later in pregnancy. And your ballooning belly and bathroom breaks aren't the only things keeping you up. From backaches to heartburn to anxiety, a wide range of concerns can affect slumber. Hormones can also disrupt your sleep patterns, leaving you exhausted by day and wide awake by night. Even though you may not be sleeping well, now is when you need sleep the most. Your body needs to rest so it can feed and house your growing baby.
a. Don't take sleep medication.
b. Try drinking warm milk at bedtime.
c. Take a warm shower or bath before bedtime.
d. Use extra pillows for support while sleeping. Lying on your side, place a pillow under your abdomen, behind your back, and between your knees to prevent muscle strain and help you get the rest you need.
e. Use blocks to prop up the head of the bed a few inches. This can ease breathing and help prevent any backflow of stomach acid from reflux.
f. You will probably feel better lying on your left side; this improves circulation of blood throughout your body.
g. Sleep with bent knees to take pressure off your back.
h. Exercise every day, try to take a 30-minute walk or a pregnancy exercise class. Staying active can help you sleep better. Just do it early in the day. Exercising within 4 hours of bedtime can be stimulating enough to keep you up.
i. Relax before bed. Try a pregnancy yoga video or some deep-breathing exercises.
j. Stretch: Do a few leg stretches to keep your legs from cramping during the night. Limit drinks. Stop drinking within 2 or 3 hours of bedtime so you won't have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
k. Avoid late meals as well as spicy, greasy, or acidic foods close to bedtime.
l. Pee before sleeping. Make one last trip to the bathroom before you turn out the light.
m. Turn down the thermostat. You're going to feel warmer now because extra blood is rushing to your skin. Keeping your bedroom cool will make you more comfortable and prevent you from having to kick off the covers in the middle of the night.
Pregnancy Heartburn or Indigestion
Heartburn is a burning feeling that starts in the stomach and seems to rise up to the throat. During pregnancy, changing hormone levels slow down your digestive system, weaken the stomach sphincter, and your uterus can crowd your stomach, pushing stomach acids upward.
a. Eat several small meals each day instead of three large meals.
b. Eat slowly.
c. Drink warm liquids.
d. Avoid fried, spicy foods, or any foods that seem to give you indigestion.
e. Don't lie down right after eating.
f. Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed or place pillows under your shoulders to prevent stomach acids from rising into your throat.
g. Don't mix fatty foods with sweets in one meal,and try to separate liquids and solids at meals.
h. Try heartburn relievers.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that appear as painful lumps on the anus. During pregnancy, they may form as a result of increased circulation and pressure on the rectum and vagina from your growing baby.
a. Try to avoid constipation. Constipation can cause hemorrhoids and will make them more painful.
b. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time; change your position frequently.
c. Don't strain during a bowel movement.
d. Apply ice packs or cold compresses to the area or take a warm bath a few times a day to provide relief.
e. Avoid tight-fitting underwear, pants,or pantyhose.
f. If you still need more help, consult your health care provider.
Pregnancy Varicose Veins
Pregnancy hormones may cause the walls of your veins to weaken and swell. Pressure on the veins behind your uterus also slows the circulation of blood to your heart, making the smaller veins in your pelvis and legs swell. You're most likely to get these bluish, swollen veins in your legs. But in late pregnancy, they may appear in your vulva, the area outside your vagina. Varicose veins will probably get better after your baby is born, when pressure on your veins goes away.
Although varicose veins usually run in families, try these home remedies given below will help.
a. Avoid standing or sitting in one place for long periods. It's important to get up and move around often.
b. Avoid remaining in any position that might restrict the circulation in your legs (such as crossing your legs while sitting).
c. Elevate your legs and feet while sitting.
d. Exercise regularly.
e. Wear support hose.
f. Avoid socks or knee-highs that are too tight or constraining.
g. Sleep or rest on your left side to ease pressure on the vein that carries blood from your feet to your heart. It's on your right side.
h. Consult your doctor if the veins feel hard, warm, or painful, or if the skin over them looks red.
Pregnancy Leg Cramps
Pressure from your growing uterus can cause leg cramps or sharp pains down your legs.
a. Be sure to eat and drink foods that are rich in calcium (such as milk,broccoli or cheese).
b. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
c. Try wearing support hose, but avoid any leg wear that is too tight.
d. Elevate your legs when possible; avoid crossing your legs.
e. Exercise daily.
f. Stretch your legs before going to bed.
g. Avoid lying on your back, since the weight of your body and the pressure of your enlarged uterus can slow the circulation in your legs, causing cramps.
h. Gently stretch any muscle that becomes cramped by straightening your leg, flexing your foot, and pulling your toes toward you.
i. Massage the cramp or apply heat or a hot water bottle to the sore area.
Pregnancy Nasal Congestion
You may have a stuffy nose or feel like you have a cold. Pregnancy hormones sometimes dry out the nose's lining, making it inflamed and swollen. Recommendations
a. Apply a warm, wet washcloth to your cheeks, eyes, and nose to reduce congestion.
b. Avoid using nasal sprays unless prescribed by your doctor because they can aggravate your symptoms.
c. Drink plenty of fluids (at least 6-8 glasses of fluids a day) to thin mucus.
d. Elevate your head with an extra pillow while sleeping to prevent mucus from blocking your throat.
e. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to add
Shortness of Breath during Pregnancy
Shortness of breath can happen due to increased upward pressure from the uterus and changes in physiologic lung function.
a. When walking, slow down and rest a few moments.
b. Raise your arms over your head (this lifts your rib cage and allows you to breathe in more air).
c. Avoid lying flat on your back, and try sleeping with your head elevated.
d. If prolonged shortness of breathing continues or you experience sharp pain when inhaling, consult your health care provider. You could have a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs).
Vaginal Discharge during Pregnancy
Normal vaginal secretions increase during pregnancy due to greater blood supply and hormones. Normal vaginal discharge is clear, isn't irritating, is odorless, and may look yellow when dry on your underwear or panty liners.
a. Choose cotton underwear or brands made from natural fibers.
b. Avoid tight-fitting jeans or pants.
c. Do not douche: Douching can introduce air into your circulatory system or break your bag of waters in later pregnancy and cause vaginal infections and sexually transmitted infections.
d. Clean the vaginal area often with soap and water. Wipe it from front to back.
e. Consult your health care provider if you have burning, itching, irritation or swelling, bad odor, bloody discharge, or bright yellow or green discharge (these symptoms could be a sign of infection).
Backaches are usually caused by the strain put on the back muscles,changing hormone levels, and changes in your posture.
a. Wear low-heeled (but not flat)shoes.
b. Avoid lifting heavy objects.
c. Squat down with your knees bent when picking things up instead of bending down at the waist.
d. Don't stand on your feet for long periods. If you need to stand for long periods, place one foot on a stool or box for support.
e. Sit in a chair with good back support, or place a small pillow behind your lower back. Also, place your feet on a footrest or stool.
f. Check that your bed is firm. If needed, put a board between the mattress and box spring.
g. Sleep on your left side with a pillow between your legs for support.
h. Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad on low setting to your back, take a warm bath or shower, or try massage.
i. Perform exercises, as advised by your health care provider, to make your back muscles stronger and help relieve the soreness.
j. Maintain good posture. Standing up straight will ease the strain on your back.
k. Consult your health care provider if you have a low backache that goes around your stomach and does not go away within one hour after you change position or rest. This might be a sign of premature labor.
Abdominal Pain or Discomfort
Sharp, shooting pains on either side of your stomach may result from the stretching tissue supporting your growing uterus. These pains may also travel down your thigh and into your leg.
a. Change your position or activity until you are comfortable; avoid sharp turns or movements
b. If you have a sudden pain in your abdomen, bend forward to the point of pain to relieve tension and relax the tissue.
c. Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to your back, or take a warm bath or shower.
d. Try a massage.
e. Make sure you are getting enough fluids.
f. Take paracetamol/ acetaminophen occasionally.
g. Consult your health care provider if the pain is severe or constant or if you are less than 36 weeks pregnant and you have signs of labor (Signs of labor include "repetitive cramping like contractions)
The uterine muscles will contract (tighten) starting as early as the second trimester of pregnancy. Irregular, infrequent contractions are called Braxton-Hicks contractions (also known as "false labor pains"). These are normal during pregnancy.
a. Try to relax
b. Change positions. Sometimes this can ease the contractions.