Pregnancy can be a life-altering journey and can sometimes be a struggle for other moms-to-be. As a new life starts to form and grow inside you, your body also undergoes changes. The baby grows as the days and weeks pass and your bodily processes also go through some alterations. Not all changes can be pleasant but most of them are temporary and natural. For those who are pregnant for the first-time, knowing the common symptoms, complaints and struggles of pregnancy can help them prepare for the changes and what to expect as their pregnancy progresses.
Starting at the uppermost part of the body, headaches are a common symptom due to hormonal imbalance. To give relief to the aching sensation in your head, you need to get as much rest as you can, get sufficient hydration and be relaxed. If you plan on taking medicine to ease or eliminate the pain, make sure to consult your OB Gyne, GP or midwife on what type of painkiller to take, the recommended dose and which medication to avoid.
Gum bleeding or pregnancy gingivitis can also happen during pregnancy. Hormones can make your teeth more vulnerable to plaque, which leaves your gums swollen and bleeding. You need to take care of your gums and teeth more during pregnancy. Get to see your dentist for consultation, teeth cleaning and preventive treatment. Brush your teeth twice a day or after every meal. Avoid sugary and acidic food and drinks. If you have morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water after being sick and wait for at least an hour before brushing your teeth.
Indigestion and Heartburn
Hormones and the growing size of the womb are the culprits when it comes to that burning sensation you feel between the chest and abdomen. You also feel bloated, sick and uncomfortable in the tummy. You need to avoid food that can set off these unpleasant sensations: spicy foods, chocolates and acidic fruits. Try eating smaller meals more frequently and eat dinner earlier, at least 3 hours before bedtime. Drink milk for heartburn and sit straight when you’re eating to ease pressure on your stomach. Seek advice from your GP, OB Gyne or midwife if you want to take antacids or algates.
Pain in the area near or around the hips is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. The symptoms, discomfort and pain vary from one woman to another. However, there is one kind of pelvic pain during pregnancy that cannot be ignored – pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) – because of its extreme pain. The extreme pain you feel in your groin and lower back is the result of too much separation of ligaments and muscles in the pelvis that lead to unstable pelvic joint and thus the feeling of extreme pelvic pain. If you notice extreme pain in your groin, you need to discuss this with your obstetrician or midwife
Cramp is a sudden, sharp painful sensation usually in your calf muscles or feet. It’s most common at night or early morning. Hormonal imbalance related to muscle contraction and relaxation and circulation of blood to the extremities are pointed as causes of cramps. There are ways of preventing or easing pain due to cramps. Rotate your foot to make a circle, at least 8 times for each foot. Point your toes and flex your foot up and down vigorously for at least 30 times. Repeat on the other foot.
There can be many struggles associated with pregnancy, and most of them may not be pleasant at all. Just remember that these discomforts are temporary and will just fade away at the last terms of pregnancy and after childbirth. Being guided on these struggles can help ease your mind and be confident with handling your pregnancy and preparing for your eventual delivery.