A Survival Guide for Handling the Most Common Pregnancy Discomforts

August 6, 2019 9:06 am Published by

Woohoo! You are pregnant! It can be such an exciting time in a person’s life… And then the hormones kick in.

We’ve all heard about them- morning sickness, heartburn, headaches, and hemorrhoids, but how can you cope with them when you are now sharing your body with a tiny person?

Morning Sickness

pregnant woman suffering from nausea sitting on couch

Let’s face it. They should just call it all day sickness. In most people, morning sickness resolves at the end of the first trimester. We recommend you might first consider making dietary changes. If you are going for long periods of time without eating, you may feel nauseous. On the other hand, if you feel nauseous you don’t want to eat. It can be a vicious cycle. Try not to focus on eating three meals a day, and become a grazer. Eat several small meals per day, making sure to get some protein snacks that will stick with you longer. Try eating things on the BRAT diet- bananas, applesauce, rice, and toast. Avoid fried or spicy foods. You can try ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger tea, and they even make ginger lollypops for pregnant women. You can wear the acupressure arm bands that help with sea sickness. Peppermint is good for soothing an upset stomach. Avoid food or smells that you know can trigger your nausea or vomiting. If you feel that you would like to try medication, you can take 50 mg of Vitamin B6 twice a day and Unisom at bedtime. This combination works well for some. If you have tried all of these things and still can’t get relief, talk to Mid-City OB-GYN about possibly needing prescription medication to help.

Heartburn

The old wives tale says a lot of heartburn means you are growing a baby that will have a lot of hair- though I have met a lot of women that claim this is not true! The first things that you can try to combat heartburn or reflux include sitting upright for at least thirty minutes to an hour after eating and avoiding eating an hour before bedtime. Again, avoiding spicy or fried foods. Avoid overeating. You can try drinking milk and skipping the carbonated beverages. If you need medication, you can try Tums and Rolaids as a first line treatment. If you are exceeding the recommended dosages on the containers, you might need to think about a daily medication. You can take over the counter Zantac, Pepcid, or Prilosec.

Headaches

Many headaches in pregnancy can be related to hormone changes. If headaches are a daily concern or are unrelieved by the following suggestions, you may need to be seen by your provider to rule out other conditions that may be causing the headaches. Making sure that you are well hydrated is important. We recommend that our patients drink 2-3 liters of water per day. You can try massage and acupuncture. You can visit with a chiropractor. If you need medication, Tylenol is safe to take during pregnancy and can help with pain. We do not recommend use of Ibuprofen or Aspirin without talking to your provider at Mid-City OB-GYN first. Adding a caffeinated beverage to the Tylenol may also help. In pregnancy, 200mg of caffeine per day is acceptable- just make sure to read product labels.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can be a real pain in the behind. Pardon the pun- but it’s true. Hemorrhoids are a result of pressure of a growing baby around the pelvis, rectum, and anus. They are swollen blood vessels that occur near the anal canal. They can be internal or external. They can be small or large. They can be painless or painful. They sometimes can cause bleeding with bowel movements. And while they tend to cause us a lot of grief, they are usually harmless and will shrink after delivery. If they are not causing you discomfort, you can leave them alone. Make sure that you are not straining with bowel movements. Consider a stool softener if you are also experiencing constipation. If you are having some discomfort, you can try over the counter treatments like preparation H or Tucks pads to keep the swelling, itching, or pain under control. If they continue to worsen, talk to Mid-City OB-GYN. Sometimes, patients need prescription medication to help. If they become excessively swollen, sometimes referrals to gastrointestinal doctors can be made to have them examined to determine if they need drained or removed.

These are just a few of the discomforts that can occur with pregnancy and just a few suggestions to deal with them. You can always visit with Mid-City OB-GYN if your symptoms persist or worsen. And the good news is, they all go away once that little baby is in your arms!

As always, if you have any further questions, contact our office by calling (402) 397-6600.