Pregnancy Discomforts

Pregnancy Discomforts

Shortness of Breath

Causes: Increased pressure on diaphragm, decreased room for lung


Relief Measures: Kegels, hip elevation. Replace with lubricated finger. Sitz baths. Avoid constipation

Hemorrhoids

Causes: Increased pressure on veins, "straining" due to constipation. Decreased venous return. Prolonged sitting or standing inactivity

Relief Measures: Kegels, hip elevation. Replace with lubricated finger. Sitz baths. Avoid constipation

Varicosities of Vulva

Causes: Increased pressure on veins, "straining" due to constipation. Decreased venous return. Prolonged sitting or standing inactivity
Relief Measures: Kegels, hip elevation. Knee/chest position, regular exercise, avoid long standing

Pelvic Pressure, Heaviness

Causes: Increasing weight of uterus, decreased venous return, increased pelvic circulation

Relief Measures: Kegels, hip elevation, knee/chest position, regular exercise, avoid long standing

Rib Soreness

Causes: Pressure from growing uterus, baby's limbs, kicks



Relief Measures: Rib cage stretch "pulled-up" posture. Frequent position changes, especially at night

Lower Backache

Causes: Change in posture, pull of abdomen on lower back. Lack of abdominal support. Relaxation of pelvic ligaments and body joints, caused by estrogen and relaxin

Relief Measures: Pelvic rocking, good posture. Spine stretch, pelvic tilt. Lie with knees pulled up, press lower back into floor. Use proper lifting, carrying. Wear low heels

Middle Backache

Causes: Postural change


Relief Measures: Spine stretch, rib cage stretch. "Cat back." Avoid sitting or standing for long periods

Upper Backache

Causes: Same as above, tension in shoulders and neck

Relief Measures: Shoulder circling, head circles. Good sitting and standing posture

Leaking Urine (Stress Incontinence)

Causes: Relaxation of pelvic floor muscles, increase in pressure on bladder


Relief Measures: Kegels. Empty bladder frequently

Cramp in Leg, Buttocks


Causes: Imbalance of calcium-phosphorus ratio. Excessive or inadequate dairy intake, excessive soda intake (high in phosphorus). Fatigue, sudden stretching
Relief Measures: Limit dairy to 4 servings per day, limit soda intake. Flex, do not point feet when cramping occurs. Elevate legs at night. Take warm bath to relax irritable muscles

Tired legs, feet


Causes: Increased body weight tires legs. Decrease in circulation to extremities. Prolonged standing. High heels

Relief Measures: Leg elevation, foot circles. Calf stretches, foot massage or soaking. Regular exercise. Avoid prolonged standing. Wear low heels

Abdominal Pain when coughing

Causes: Stretching and spasm of round ligaments which support uterus, reduced abdominal support

Relief Measures: Lie on side. Squatting. Spine stretch, slow movements. Abdominal contractions to strengthen support

Side-Stitch

Causes: Hormonal changes, anxiety, excitement, difficulty getting comfortable


Relief Measures: Relaxation exercises, slow breathing. Many pillows for support of body parts. Exercise, eat right during day. Protein snack before bed

Fatigue

Causes: Increased demand on body systems, hormonal changes. Increase in metabolism. Incorrect posture or body mechanics. Possible anemia

Relief Measures: Frequent short rests. Good nutrition, regular exercise. Slow down! Deep breathing and relaxation. Regular bedtime

Numbness in Arms, Fingers

Causes: Postural changes, especially in neck. Decreased circulation, possible edema

Relief Measures: Shoulder circling. Good sitting and standing posture. Watch edema, tell doctor

Heartburn

Causes: Relaxation of sphincter of esophagus-reflux of stomach acids into esophagus

Relief Measures: Eliminate spicy, greasy foods. Eat frequent, small meals. Drink at separate times. Plenty of fluids. Loose clothing. Sleep propped up. Maalox or TUMS

Urinary Frequency

Causes: Hormonal influence, decrease in bladder capacity. Increased kidney activity, especially in supine position

Relief Measures: Drink lots of fluids, but limit night intake. Empty bladder frequently to avoid "stasis" and infection. Limit caffeine. Kegels to reduce leakage

Altered Sex Drive

Causes: Hormonal, emotional changes. Physical changes and discomfort, fatigue. Fear, anxiety about harming the baby. Increased pelvic circulation

Relief Measures: Maintain couple communication. Alternate sexual activities, positions. Patience, understanding, flexibility

Mood Swings

Causes: Depressant effect of progesterone. Physical and emotional changes, body image. Physical discomforts, fatigue. Anxiety, changing roles, responsibilities

Relief Measures: Maintain open communication with spouse, family, friends, pregnant others. Good nutrition, rest. Activities that bring enjoyment. Exercise, good grooming

Increased Vaginal Discharge

Causes: Increased production or cervical mucus, caused by estrogen. Possible vaginal infection



Relief Measures: Avoid douching, tampons. Wear mini- pad, especially during exercise. Change frequently. Discuss any odor, itching, or discomfort with doctor