Relieving the Common Discomforts of Pregnancy

pregnancy chart

Discomfort: Solution:
  • Ankle Edema
  • Rest with your feet elevated. Avoid standing for long periods. Avoid restrictive garments on the lower half of your body.
  • Backache
  • Apply local heat. Avoid long periods of standing. Stoop to pick up objects. Tylenol in usual adult dose may help. Wear low-heeled shoes.
  • Breast tenderness
  • Wear a supportive bra. Decrease the amount of caffeine and carbonated beverages ingested.
  • Constipation
  • Increase fiber in your diet. Drink additional fluids. Have a regular time for bowel movements.
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Drink a warm, caffeine-free drink before bed and practice relaxation techniques.
  • Fatigue
  • Schedule a rest period daily. Have a regular bedtime routine. Use extra pillows for comfort.
  • Faintness
  • Move slowly. Avoid crowds. Remain in a cool environment. Lie on your left side when at rest.
  • Headache
  • Avoid eye strain. Visit your eye doctor. Rest with a cool cloth on your forehead. Take Tylenol in regular adult dose, as needed. Report frequent or persistent headaches to your primary care provider.
  • Heartache
  • Eat small, frequent meals each day. Avoid overeating, as well as spicy, fatty, and fried foods.
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Avoid constipation and straining with a bowel movement. Take a sitz bath. Apply a witch hazel compress.
  • Leg cramps
  • Avoid pointing your toes. Straighten your leg and dorsiflex your ankle.
  • Nausea
  • Eat six small meals per day rather than three. Eat a piece of dry toast or some crackers before getting out of bed. Avoid foods or situations that worsen the nausea. If it persists, report this problem to your primary care provider.
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Use cool air vaporizer or humidifier, increase fluid intake, place moist towel on the sinuses, and massage the sinuses.
  • Ptyalism
  • Use mouthwash as needed. Chew gum or suck on hard candy.
  • Round ligament pain
  • Avoid twisting motions. Rise to a standing position slowly and use your hands to support the abdomen. Bend forward to relieve discomfort.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Use proper posture. Use pillows behind head and shoulders at night.
  • Urinary frequency
  • Void as necessary, at least every 2 hours. Increase fluid intake. Avoid caffeine. Practice Kegel exercises.
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Wear cotton underwear. Bathe daily. Avoid tight pantyhose.
  • Varicose veins
  • Walk regularly. Rest with feet elevated. Avoid long periods of standing. Do not cross your legs when sitting. Avoid knee-high stockings. Wear support hosiery.

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