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Managing Pregnancy Symptoms

pregnancy symptoms


Healthy pregnancy: common symptoms and how to manage them

From morning sickness to Braxton Hicks contractions, moms-to-be may have a wide range of concerns when they’re expecting. While there are dozens of symptoms caused by pregnancy, every woman—and every pregnancy—is different. And, your symptoms often change as your pregnancy does.

Your OB GYN will likely provide you with a list of symptoms that could signal a serious concern. But, in general, minor symptoms shouldn’t cause you to worry. Find out some of the most common pregnancy discomforts and how you and your doctor can manage them through every trimester. 



Morning sickness

The American Pregnancy Association says as many as 60% of moms-to-be have what’s commonly called “morning sickness.” But nausea and vomiting can happen at any time of the day or night. Many women find that eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day helps. You might also talk to your OB GYN about remedies like ginger or vitamin B6.




The changes in your body during pregnancy can leave you feeling tired. Many women report increased fatigue, especially during the first and third trimesters. If you’re struggling with fatigue, give yourself permission to reduce your commitments, take a nap, or ask others for help. If you’re having trouble sleeping, ask your doctor for suggestions to help you get the rest you need.




Heartburn can happen throughout pregnancy. But many moms notice it the most during the last trimester, as the growing baby pushes against the stomach. The Office on Women’s Health recommends eating smaller meals and avoiding food right before lying down. You may find that it helps to reduce greasy, acidic, and spicy foods. If you still can’t get relief, talk to your OB GYN about trying an antacid. 



Back, pelvic, or hip pain

As your belly grows, it’s common to have discomfort in the muscles, ligaments, and joints. Correct posture, supportive shoes with low heels, and avoiding sudden movements can reduce issues. You may find activities like prenatal yoga or massage also help. If you’re considering taking medication for pain relief, make sure your OB GYN has cleared it first.



Urinary leaks and frequency

Your growing baby can cause pressure against your pelvic muscles and bladder. As a result, frequent trips to the bathroom or leaks are common in pregnancy. Be sure to take bathroom breaks often and drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. The American Academy of Family Physicians stresses the importance of Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles too. 





Pregnancy can slow down your digestive tract. And this can lead to constipation. The American Gastroenterological Association recommends increasing fiber, fluids, and exercise to keep your digestive tract moving. While some laxatives may be safe during pregnancy, ask your doctor first before using these to get relief. 





The increase in blood and fluid in your body during pregnancy can cause swelling in your hands, legs, feet, ankles, and face. For swelling in your lower body, regular exercise and sitting with your feet propped up may help. While some swelling is normal, let your OB GYN know if you’re having other symptoms with swelling, like headaches, dizziness, or vision changes. These could be a sign of a condition like preeclampsia.  



Braxton Hicks contractions


Braxton Hicks contractions tend to happen more often as you near the end of your pregnancy. According to the National Library of Medicine, these contractions are usually short and mild. They do not come in consistent intervals like real labor contractions. As you near your due date, your OB GYN will let you know how to spot the signs of real labor contractions and when it’s time to go to the hospital. 

In the end, if a symptom is bothering you or causing concern, don’t be afraid to bring it up at your prenatal checkups. Most importantly, your OB GYN can make sure your symptoms are normal and not a sign of some other condition. Then, he or she can help you manage your symptoms in a healthy—and safe—way for you and your baby. 


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