20 Common Pregnancy Discomforts And How To Manage Them

By Simi
20 Common Pregnancy Discomforts And How To Manage Them

When you find out you’re expecting a child, it’s exciting news but as your body starts to change it can dampen your enthusiasm for a while. Your body starts stretching and growing, and you will usually feel some discomfort. Some women manage to sail through pregnancy with few complaints but it can be a very trying time for others. Most women deal with issues such as nausea, heartburn, constipation and swollen feet.

These discomforts are not dangerous. They are a natural part of the process as your body accommodates for the growth of your baby and starts preparing for birth. Some of them are easy to relieve and others can be more debilitating. When you are so nauseous you wretch constantly and can’t stomach most food, you may feel miserable.

When your back aches, your hands, and feet are swollen and you want to pee all the time, the pregnancy ‘glow’ people speak about may seem like a myth. You have to remember that most of the discomfort is temporary. Nausea usually disappears after the first trimester. Your other complaints will take a little longer to go but most of them are temporary. Some may disappear as soon as your baby is born. Others, like hemorrhoids, may be more permanent.

The birth of your baby more than makes up for what you go through during your pregnancy. Here are some of the discomforts you may experience and natural ways to ease them.

1. Nausea and vomiting

Many women first realize they might be pregnant when they start feeling nauseous. Nausea usually lasts throughout the first trimester of the pregnancy and most women find that it improves after week twelve. It does not cause any problems for the baby and studies show it may mean a lower risk of miscarriage. The cause of the nausea is unknown and despite the fact that it is referred to as morning sickness, it can occur at any time of the day or night.

It may help to keep some crackers in your bedside drawer and eat a few before getting out of bed in the morning. It is better to eat small meals throughout the day because an empty stomach makes you feel queasier. Keep a stash of suitable snacks like crackers, pretzels or nuts nearby at all times.  Warm foods tend to have a stronger smell so you may prefer to opt for cool foods such as yogurt, fruit, and salads.

It may sound like a no-brainer but staying hydrated is important.  Sucking ice cubes made from fruit juice or drinking cold ginger ale diluted with soda water may help. Tepid beverages will often make you gag. You will also need to discover and avoid what triggers your nausea. It is often smell-related. If your trigger is the smell of coffee, for instance, you will soon find out and you can take steps to avoid it wherever possible.

Ginger is commonly used to treat nausea and vomiting. There are many ways you can add ginger to your diet such as sucking on a ginger lozenge or eating some crystallized ginger candy. Grate a teaspoon of ginger root and add to hot water, steeping it for about 10 minutes to make a ginger tea. If you don’t like the taste of ginger, it’s possible to buy ginger capsules.

2. Heartburn

Heartburn often feels like acidic lava rising up through your chest.  You experience it when your stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your stomach to your throat). Heartburn can occur more often during pregnancy for various reasons, including hormonal changes and the fact that the growing baby puts pressure on your digestive organs.

Fortunately, there are a number of natural ways to prevent heartburn during pregnancy. Eat small meals more frequently, eat slowly and chew the food thoroughly. Try to eat your main meal at lunchtime and eat your evening meal early so your body can digest it before you go to bed.  Don’t drink liquid while you eat because it dilutes your digestive juices. Don’t overeat and wait for about half an hour before lying down after a meal.  You can raise the head of your bed a little to help prevent heartburn at night.

The type of food you eat affects the amount of acid your stomach produces. It’s often a question of trial and error to find out which foods affect you most. Foods to avoid include spicy, high fat, fried foods, tomatoes, citrus fruit, onions, mustard, chocolate, and sugar. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Carbonated drinks can be added to the list because they create pressure in the stomach and can force stomach acid up through the esophagus.

Eating alkalizing foods like avocados, almonds and green vegetables can help to prevent heartburn. Oatmeal for breakfast is filling and doesn’t cause reflux. Non-citrus fruits such as apples, melons, bananas, and pears are less likely to trigger heartburn. The oil in almonds is great for neutralizing stomach acid and soothes symptoms.

3. Constipation

Increased levels of progesterone in the body can result in constipation during pregnancy. Taking iron supplements can also lead to constipation. Constipation may affect women during pregnancy and after the birth. Unless it is managed, it can result in the formation of hemorrhoids. These swollen veins inside or outside of the rectum can cause pain and itchiness.

The best way to prevent constipation is to eat foods high in fiber and drink enough liquids. Fiber is found in all plant foods, including vegetables, nuts, fruits, seeds and grains. Whole grains, cereals, wheat bran, seeds and fruit and vegetable skins contain insoluble fiber which adds bulk to your stool and helps it to pass through your digestive system. Any food with more than five grams of fiber in a serving is considered a high fiber food.

It is recommended that you eat at least nine servings (2 cups) of fiber-filled vegetables and fruits every day. If you have not been eating enough fiber, you may experience gas and stomach cramps when you increase the amount. It is better to change your diet gradually and increase fluid intake to help you make the transition to a more fiber-filled diet.

Peppermint may help with constipation because it has calming properties that loosen muscles in the intestinal tract and allow a stool to move more easily. If you are still having problems, you may have to try a fiber supplement like psyllium powder which has a laxative effect. Make sure you drink plenty of water when using fiber supplements as fiber needs water to move a stool out of the body.  Light exercise can also keep your muscles toned and help to move food through your digestive system.

4. Backache

Backache is a common complaint during pregnancy. This pain usually starts in the second half of your pregnancy and affects your lower back. There are various factors that contribute to the pain. Your spine has to cope with your increased weight. You may find that your center of gravity shifts as you grow larger, affecting your posture. The weight of the growing baby also puts pressure on nerves and blood vessels in the pelvic area and back. Your body releases a hormone that relaxes joints and ligaments.

One way to help avoid lower back pain is to sit in chairs with good lumbar support and use a footrest for your feet. Wear flat shoes and try not to lift heavy objects.   If you do have to lift or pick up an object, bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible. Try to avoid standing or sitting for long periods and sleep on a firm mattress with a pillow between your knees to remove pressure from your back.

If you catch yourself slouching or slumping, try to straighten up as slouching strains your spine. Using a support belt might just help you to keep your spine straight and some exercises like walking or swimming can strengthen your muscles and ease stress on the spine.

Heat or cold can help to relieve a backache. Use a cold compress on the painful area for up to 20 minutes a few times a day. Ice wrapped in a towel is all you need. After a few days, you can switch to using a hot water bottle or heating pad on the area. If the pain persists, speak to your doctor and do not take any medication without finding out whether it is safe to take during pregnancy.

5. Swollen hands and feet

When you are pregnant, your body produces more fluid and blood for the unborn baby. Excess fluid collects in the body tissues. Blood also pools in your legs as the growing uterus puts pressure on your vascular system and slows the return of blood to the heart. In the third trimester when your baby is bigger, fluid can be forced out of the veins and into the tissue of the legs and feet.

Many methods can be used to avoid and reduce swelling. You need to put your feet up whenever possible and avoid sitting with crossed ankles. Stretch your legs often while sitting, and flex your feet to stretch your calf muscle. Wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles. If you have to sit for some time, try to take regular little walks to prevent blood from pooling. Keep a pile of books or a footstool under your desk at work to support your feet and keep them elevated.

Wear comfortable shoes that stretch to accommodate the swelling. Don’t wear socks or stockings with tight bands around ankles or calves. If you wear maternity support stockings, put them on before you get out of bed so blood has no chance to pool in your legs Try not to let the swelling get you down because it is a temporary condition that passes after you give birth.

It’s normal to have swelling in your hands and feet during pregnancy but a condition called pre-eclampsia can occur. You need to call your doctor if you notice puffiness around your eyes and facial swelling or excessive swelling of your ankles, feet or hands. If your one leg is more swollen and you feel pain in your calf or thigh, it could indicate a blood clot.  

6. A blocked nose

Higher levels of estrogen and other hormones produced during pregnancy cause the mucous membranes lining the inside of your nose to swell and produce more mucus.  A blocked nose may also be due to the higher volume of blood being produced. This causes the tiny blood vessels inside your nose to swell. Congestion can start in the second month and get worse during the later stages of your pregnancy. It causes discomfort and prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep when you really need it.

Non-medicated saline nasal sprays are readily available at pharmacies.  Making your own is very simple too and all you need is baking soda, sea salt, water, a nasal spray bottle and a measuring cup. Pour a cup of boiled water into the measuring cup and add a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt. Stir until they are dissolved, allow the mixture to cool and pour into the spray bottle. Squeeze a couple of times into each nostril for relief.

Steam is soothing and relieves congestion. Take a warm shower and inhale the steam or boil some water and inhale the steam with a towel over your head. A humidifier in your bedroom at night adds moisture to the air and helps you to breathe. Just make sure that you clean it after use or bacteria can breed in it.

Avoid potential irritants such as cigarette smoke or chemical fumes. Any kind of air pollution can irritate the nose lining and make congestion worse. Using nasal decongestants you buy at the pharmacy has a rebound effect and usually makes your congestion worse in the long run. Mild exercise may help to clear congestion as does elevating your head with extra pillows when lying down to sleep.

7. Cramps

Cramps are common during pregnancy and can occur for a variety of different reasons such as weight gain, low potassium or magnesium levels, compression of blood vessels or muscle fatigue. Leg cramps occur mainly in the calves at night during the second and third trimesters. The calf muscles are not used to the extra weight and they contract, causing painful cramps. The uterus is a muscle and when it expands, some cramping may occur. You shouldn’t need to call your doctor about cramping unless it is severe and does not subside.

Regular stretching exercises can help with cramping of calf muscles.  Avoid tiring activities that may put extra strain on your calf muscles. Do prenatal yoga or water aerobics to help keep cramping at bay. Improve your blood circulation while sleeping by putting a pillow under your legs to keep them elevated.

If you have a cramp, keep your leg straight and try to pull your toes towards your knee. This stretches the calf muscle and reduces the pain. Once the pain eases, massage the area gently with warm oil or place a heat pack or hot water bottle on the area. Soaking in a warm bath is another way to deal with cramps. Try to eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium.

Some types of cramping are signs of more serious problems and you need to contact your doctor. An ectopic pregnancy when the egg is implanted outside the uterus can cause painful cramping. Vaginal cramping with spotting can be a sign of a miscarriage. Pre-eclampsia is a condition that may cause severe cramp in the upper abdomen. A painful cramp that does not go away could be a sign that the placenta is separating from the uterus.

8. Bladder problems

Frequent urination and incontinence are common bladder problems that occur during pregnancy. When you move suddenly, sneeze, laugh or cough you may release a small leak of urine. You have less control over your pelvic muscles because they begin to relax to prepare for the birth. The baby’s head may also press on your bladder as it grows bigger, and you find you need to pee more often. These symptoms are usually temporary and often end a few weeks after you give birth.

You can take comfort in knowing that there are some strategies that help to minimize your risk of leaks occurring. There is no way around the fact that you will have to take more bathroom breaks when you are pregnant. If you are more cognizant of this and go to the ladies’ room on a regular basis, it can help you to avoid leaks. If you find you have to get up to urinate often during the night, you may want to cut out drinking in the evening. You will have to make up for this by drinking enough during the day. You don’t want to become dehydrated or constipated from not drinking enough. You should try to avoid drinking alcohol, too much coffee, and fizzy drinks.

Try not to gain too much weight during your pregnancy because you are more likely to experience urinary problems if you gain excessive weight. Later in your pregnancy, you may find that it is difficult to empty your bladder. It may help to rock backward and forwards while you are on the toilet. This will lessen pressure on the bladder and emptying it properly helps to prevent leakage.

Kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic floor and help to prevent leakage. Start by trying to stop the flow of your urine while urinating. Those are the muscles you need to target and you need to contract and release them 10 to 20 times a few times a day. It may take a while before you feel the effects. If you ever feel burning when you pee or keeping feeling the urge to pee, you may have a urinary infection and you will need to see a doctor.

9. Insomnia

As exhausted as you may feel during pregnancy, it may still be difficult to sleep. As your abdomen grows, it may seem impossible to find a comfortable position in which to lie. You will probably need to pee during the night and by the time you get back to bed, you may be wide awake. Leg cramps or heartburn may also be keeping you awake. With so many physical and emotional changes taking place, it’s no wonder that getting enough sleep is a problem during pregnancy.

Try to start winding down before going to bed by having a cup of chamomile tea, listening to soothing music or taking a relaxing bath.  If you worry too much about not sleeping, it will just make you worry more and sleep will elude you. Rather than lying awake for hours, get up and read a magazine or listen to some soothing music in another room until you feel drowsy and then go back to bed.

Learning some techniques to induce sleep may help. These techniques include progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery or deep breathing exercises. You often feel warmer than usual when you are pregnant, so it’s best to keep your room cool and it also helps to block out any light or noise.

Try to train yourself to sleep on your left side. This is the best position for allowing nutrients and blood to flow to your uterus and to help your body eliminate waste products. If you get used to this position in the early days of your pregnancy, it can really help you to sleep better when your stomach is much bigger. If you have the opportunity to take a nap during the day, it can help to reduce tiredness. Don’t nap for too long during the day, however, or it will interfere with your night sleep.

10. Increase in vaginal discharge

You may notice an increase in discharge from your vagina during pregnancy. This is the same odorless, milky white discharge you may have already had before pregnancy but you notice it more during pregnancy because it increases. More blood is flowing to your vaginal region and your body is producing more estrogen. The discharge consists of secretions from your vagina and cervix, normal vaginal bacteria and old cells.

The increased vaginal discharge prevents any infection from moving from your vagina to your womb. This discharge may be thick or thin and has a mucous-like texture.  It is odorless or mild-smelling and the color is clear to milky white. This discharge may increase during the third trimester and wearing panty liners and regularly changing underwear may be necessary at this time.

Whenever your discharge has a noticeable odor or has changed in color, consistency and amount, it could be a sign of a problem. If you have an odorless, white ‘cottage cheese’ type discharge that’s causing itching or burning, you could be suffering from a yeast infection.  If you have a thin whitish-gray discharge with a fishy smell, you may have a vaginal infection. Sometimes a thick, gelatinous discharge or leaking clear, watery fluid can be an indication of preterm labor. If you have any type of discharge that you suspect is abnormal, it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis and the right treatment.

A mucous plug forms early in pregnancy to seal the cervix and help prevent infection. When it comes out, it’s a sign that the cervix is starting to open. This plug is usually a blood-tinged color and may be stringy or sticky. If your mucous plug comes out, your doctor will need to assess how much your cervix is dilated and whether labor is imminent.  For a first-time mother, labor may only begin a week or so after the plug comes out. If you have given birth before, labor may only be hours away.

11. Headaches

Headaches are experienced during pregnancy for a number of reasons. In your first trimester, blood volume increases and you have a surge of hormones, both of which can cause headaches. They may be aggravated by other factors such as stress, lack of sleep, caffeine withdrawal and dehydration. Poor posture and carrying extra weight are often to blame for headaches experienced in the third trimester.

You may be able to prevent headaches by eating healthily, exercising regularly, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep. Eat frequent, small meals to make sure your blood sugar levels remain constant. Make sure you deal with stress in the right way and get enough rest and relaxation.  Practice good posture, especially in the third trimester.  If you find yourself slumping, straighten up your spine to allow for proper blood circulation..

If you can’t avoid headaches, you will want to treat them in as natural a way as possible. One of the best ways to relieve headaches is to apply heat or cold to the back of the neck, sides of the head or the forehead. If you have a tension headache, for instance, it may help to apply an ice pack to the base of your neck. For a sinus headache, apply a warm compress to the nose area. A warm shower or bath and massaging the neck or shoulders can also help to relieve pain.

You may need to contact your doctor if none of the above remedies help and your headaches grow worse in intensity and more frequent. You must see him or her if your headaches are accompanied by upper right abdominal pain, swelling of the hands and face, blurry vision or sudden weight gain.

12. Itching belly

Your belly often becomes itchy during your second trimester of pregnancy.  In most cases, an itchy belly is caused by the growing uterus. The skin expands, stretches and dries out. When skin is dry it feels itchy. Itchiness is usually worse if you’re expecting twins because the skin has to stretch more. Hormonal changes, such as the increase in estrogen, also cause itchiness.

Avoid drying out your skin by taking hot showers or baths. Adding a cup of oatmeal to your warm bath helps to soothe irritated skin. Half a cup of baking soda in the warm water has the same effect. Don’t use strongly scented soaps as they tend to dry out the skin. Moisturize your skin after bathing with a liberally applied moisturizer. A heavy moisturizer like cocoa butter can help reduce stretch marks. Applying coconut oil or an aloe vera gel also mitigates dryness and itchiness.

You can use calamine lotion on spots that are really itchy. It contains zinc carbonate, iron oxides, and zinc to relieve itchiness.  Store your calamine lotion in the fridge so it has a cooling sensation when applied. Wear loose-fitting clothes made of natural fibers to avoid further irritation to the skin. Try not to scratch the itch because pregnancy hormones make the skin more susceptible to tearing.

Sometimes an itchy belly is a sign of a more serious medical condition. When you have severe itching that is unrelated to dryness and it spreads all over the body, you need to consult your doctor. For instance, a few pregnant women develop a condition called PUPPS which is characterized by itchy red bumps on the belly and patches of hive-like rashes. If you notice skin issues, check with your doctor who will recognize the exact nature of the problem and treat you accordingly.

13. Pelvic pain

A fair number of women experience pelvic pain during pregnancy because hormone levels are changing, ligaments are stretching and organs are shifting to make room for your growing baby.  You may experience this pain on both sides of your lower back, near the pubic bone and in the area between your anus and vagina. You usually feel the pain most when climbing stairs, walking or turning in bed.

Another feeling you may experience in your pelvis in pregnancy is a tightening that comes and goes. These Braxton-Hicks or ‘practice’ contractions may be experienced in the second trimester but are usually felt in the third trimester. In your second trimester, the ligament going from the top of your uterus down to your groin stretches. You may feel the pain on your side and if you lie down on this side, the pain should disappear and it should go altogether by 24 weeks.

In your third trimester, your baby is growing rapidly and pressing down on nerves running from the vagina into the legs. Towards the end of pregnancy, more of the hormone relaxin is produced to make your ligaments ready for childbirth. It can also relax your pelvic joint, creating pain near the pubic bone and your legs may even feel a little unsteady. For normal pelvic discomfort, you can try avoiding any activities that worsen the pain, including quick movements and sharp turns of your waist.

Exercises designed to strengthen your spine, pelvic girdle and hips can improve your stability and reduce pain. A pelvic support belt can be worn, especially while exercising. Try not to do any heavy lifting or pulling and don’t part your legs far enough to cause pain when getting out of bed, into or out of a car or the bath. Try to sit down for activities you would normally do standing, like ironing.   

14. Hemorrhoids or piles

Hemorrhoids, also known as ‘piles’, are swollen veins in and around the rectum. These may be caused by increased volumes of blood and high levels of progesterone circulating through your body and relaxing the walls of the blood vessels. Other causes are constipation and pressure from the baby’s head. You may feel some lumpiness around your anus and piles will often itch, ache and feel sore. You may feel pain when passing a stool and sometimes you may see bright, red blood.

Making changes to your diet can help to prevent hemorrhoids or ease them if you already have them. As constipation can make them worse, introducing food high in fiber such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, vegetables, and fruit to your diet and drinking plenty of water can help to keep stools soft and regular. Straining to pass a stool makes piles worse.  Don’t rub too much with dry toilet paper after passing a stool. Rather use moist toilet paper and dab.

Standing for too long can worsen piles. It will help if you move regularly because this improves your circulation. A cloth wrung out in iced water held gently against the piles may help to ease the pain. Push piles gently back into the rectum if they are hanging out by using a clean finger and some lubricating jelly.  If you are very uncomfortable when sitting, it may help to use a special inflatable cushion.

Make your own ice packs by soaking pads in witch-hazel and freezing them by applying to the area. Some medicines are available to help soothe an inflamed anus. Don’t use any anal creams or rectal suppositories without checking first whether they are suitable for use in pregnancy. The same applies if you want to use a stool softener.

15. Fatigue and tiredness

Many factors during pregnancy contribute to fatigue and tiredness. All the changes taking place in your body use up plenty of energy. Hormonal changes may make you feel tired, even if you are resting and getting enough sleep. Your fatigue is a sign from your body that you need to rest and take it easy. Tiredness is often worse during the first and the third trimesters.

Listen to your body and rest whenever you feel the need. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet up when you can. Try to forget about everything else that needs doing, like dirty laundry and washing dishes. If you have other children you need to take care of, get friends and family to look after them when necessary. The right type of exercise like a walk or water aerobics can be just as refreshing as a nap.

Your body needs fuel when it’s burning up energy. Make sure you’re getting enough calories and focus on foods that will boost your energy, like complex carbohydrates and proteins.  Scale back on the sugar and caffeine that you normally use to get a boost. Like many of the other pregnancy symptoms, fatigue can be helped by eating small meals regularly. This prevents your blood sugar from crashing and helps you to maintain your energy levels.

If you feel unrelentingly exhausted and experience other symptoms that cause you to feel concerned about your health, visit your doctor. He or she can rule out any underlying conditions. A sample of your blood may be taken to check for iron deficiency (anemia).  This can be dangerous for your baby if left untreated but it is also easy to rectify by taking an iron supplement. Remember that it’s quite normal to feel fatigue when you body is in the process of making another human being.

16. Cold feet

You may experience cold feet toward the end of your pregnancy and during labor. This is not the cold feet of wondering if you’ve made the right decision and wanting to get out! It refers to a sensation where your feet are cold all the time, and nothing you do can warm them up. Even during the hottest of summers, some pregnant women find that they need to wear socks to keep their feet warm. While the rest of their body is boiling hot, their feet remain stubbornly cold.

Cold feet are not an abnormal discomfort a woman may experience during her pregnancy. It’s believed that they can be attributed to several causes, some or all of which may affect a pregnant woman. The first is the change in hormone levels in the body.

Pregnancy is a time of great hormone fluctuations. These hormones can affect the autonomic nervous system. This is a part of the nervous system that is responsible for your body’s ability to control breathing, heartbeat, and digestion. Breathing and the heartbeat are the driving factors of circulation. If these are at all affected, blood flow may be disrupted. This is something that affects the circulation of blood in the lower extremities. Blood is warm and keeps your body warm. When it is not circulating correctly to a part of the body such as the feet, a sensation of coldness will follow.

In another hormonal effect, the thyroid gland can be affected by pregnancy. The levels of thyroid hormones fluctuate. This results in an underactive thyroid gland which can leave you feeling cold.

The differences in the metabolic rate during pregnancy can make your feet feel cold too. It slightly elevates the body temperature, which makes the air around you feel cooler.

17. Varicose veins

It’s possible that a pregnant woman may develop varicose veins during her pregnancy. These form in the legs. They are a result of decreased blood circulation to the lower extremities during pregnancy. The volume of blood in the body increases during pregnancy because the fetus needs it for sustenance. Even though there is more blood in the body, less of it is being circulated to the lower half of the body. The body prioritizes the fetus for blood supply. Blood that reaches the pelvis would normally circulate into the legs. But, during pregnancy, that blood is diverted to the uterus.

This affects the blood vessels. The veins are put under more pressure which results in varicose veins. Varicose veins are veins that have enlarged. In a pregnant woman, they will form in the legs, but may also appear in the buttocks or vaginal area.

Another cause of varicose veins during pregnancy is the hormonal fluctuations the body experiences. The progestin levels increase in the body for the duration of the pregnancy. This hormone can dilate the veins. This means the veins are opened wider, making them susceptible to the enlargement that will cause varicose veins.

The pressure of the fetus in the uterus may put pressure on the inferior vena cava. This is one of the largest veins in the body. It carries deoxygenated blood to the heart to be re-oxygenated. The inferior vena cava transports the blood from the lower body up to the heart. The weight of the uterus pressing against the inferior vena cava affects its ability to function properly. The result may be varicose veins.

Varicose veins that are formed during pregnancy get smaller after a woman gives birth. Within three months to a year after birth, they should all but disappear.

18. Bleeding gums

Up to 50% of pregnant women report that their gums are swollen and sensitive. They also state that their gums are prone to bleeding after they have brushed or flossed their teeth. In most cases, it’s caused by pregnancy gingivitis. This condition causes inflammation in the gums and is mild gum disease. The hormonal changes a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy are what causes pregnancy gingivitis. Changes in hormone levels make a woman’s gums more sensitive to the bacteria in plaque that attacks the teeth.

Pregnancy gingivitis will not affect the baby. The mother needs to practice good dental hygiene. It is advisable to see a dentist if it persists or worsens. Some studies have linked bleeding comes to preeclampsia, premature labor, and low birth weight. However, similar studies have found no causal link exists.

It’s also possible that a pregnant woman may develop a pregnancy tumor or pyogenic granuloma. This is a lump or nodule on the gums. It bleeds when you brush over it with a toothbrush. They can occur anywhere in the body, but most often manifest in the mouth. As intimidating as the name may sound, they are not dangerous and do not cause any pain. The pregnancy tumor accompanies gingivitis. It appears in an area where there is gingivitis. It can cause swelling in the gum that makes it up to 75% larger than usual.

A pyogenic granuloma will in all likelihood disappear as soon as the baby is delivered. However, if it causes extreme discomfort during pregnancy and interferes with eating and hygiene, its removal is essential. If a pregnancy tumor does not disappear after the baby is born, it must be removed.

19. Pica

Pica doesn’t often occur in pregnancy. But it happens with enough frequency that it deserves mention. Pica is a powerful urge to eat things that offer the body no nutritional value. It involves cravings for non-food substances. These include sand, pebbles, and chalk.

Cravings during pregnancy are normal. One of the most common questions pregnant women face related to cravings they experience. They differ from woman to woman. Some women report different cravings when they’ve had multiple pregnancies. Pregnancy cravings are on the whole confined to food. A lot of women report craving pickles or ice-cream during pregnancy. Some report wanting to eat pickles with ice-cream! Cravings are interpreted as the body’s way of telling a woman something is lacking in her diet that her baby needs.

Pica is a different matter altogether. It’s not clear why some pregnant women develop pica. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association speculates that a lack of iron may trigger it. It may not only be iron that the body needs. Pica may be a symptom of a shortage of other vitamins or minerals in the body. This means the pregnant woman is not consuming them at all or is not getting enough in her diet. It’s possible, therefore, that pica in pregnant women can be managed with vitamin supplements and dietary changes.

It is advisable for women to report pica to their doctor so that treatment can be prescribed. That’s because eating non-food substances is not suitable for the expectant mother or her unborn child. Some of the substances ingested may contain toxic elements that are harmful. Chewing sugar-free gum may help to bring the cravings under control. An active support system of caring friends and families can help a pregnant woman with pica when the cravings set in.

20. Pimples or acne

Another frequent side effect of pregnancy that is hard to manage is acne. Outbreaks of pimples or severe acne are common during pregnancy. Up to 50% of women report pimples, acne, or skin blemishes on their faces. It’s usually at its worst during the first trimester. The higher hormone levels in the body are responsible. When girls reach puberty, they have a sudden upswing in hormonal activity.

That’s what causes many of them to have a pimple or acne outbreak on their faces. Well beyond puberty, many women report getting pimples or acne outbreaks when they menstruate. This is also what happens when a woman falls pregnant. Acne and pimples are the body’s response to these increased levels of female hormones.

The surge of hormones in the beginning stages of pregnancy cause the skin to produce more oils that it did before. This is what prompts the outbreaks. Women with a history of pimples or acne during adolescence or around the time of menstruation are far more likely to have flare-ups during pregnancy. If a woman doesn’t experience an episode of pimples or acne during her first trimester, it’s not likely she’ll have any problems during her second and third trimesters.

Acne is difficult to manage without the complication of pregnancy. Many of the treatments that can be obtained on prescription or over-the-counter are not regarded as safe for pregnant women. They bear the risk of causing birth defects. A pregnant woman should avoid any medicine that has the potential to harm her baby unless her doctor recommends it. This will only happen when medication is required to keep the expectant mother to stay alive. Acne and pimples do not fall within this category.

Expectant mothers should use natural remedies for a pimple and acne breakout. It’s uncomfortable and makes them feel self-conscious. But they should bear in mind that it will clear up in time.

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