Minor Ailments in pregnancy
Pregnancy is a wonderful milestone in the life of a woman. It is the origin of human life. Pregnancy is a time of physical and hormonal changes and emotional and psychological preparation for motherhood. During pregnancy, most of the women experience some common minor ailments such as nausea, vomiting, back pain, heartburn, constipation leg cramps, etc. that spontaneously subside after delivery.
Some Common Ailments of Pregnancy and Their Management:
During pregnancy, most of the women experience some common minor ailments which are mentioned below:
- Nausea and Vomiting,
- Back Ache,
- Leg cramps,
- Heart Burn,
- Varicose Veins,
- Frequent Urination,
- Striae Greavidrum.
All the above minor ailments have explained in the following with their management:
1. Nausea and Vomiting:
Nausea and vomiting are very common in the early weeks of pregnancy. It is more in the first pregnancy. They usually appear following the first or second missed period and subside by the end of 3 months.
Cause of Nausea and Vomiting:
- The exact cause is unknown,
- Increased of Human Chronic Gonadotrophin (hCG) and estrogen.
- Some pregnancy complications and medical diseases such as multiple pregnancies, molar pregnancies, and thyrotoxicosis.
Advice for Nausea and Vomiting:
- Move the limbs for few minutes before getting out of bed.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep whenever possible.
- Take dry like toast, bread, biscuit, low- fat food, carbohydrates-rich food( e.g. rice, noodle, mashed potatoes).
- Try some sour drinks (e.g. lemonade, plum juice).
- Avoid fatty, deep-fried, or greasy food, garlic, and other spices, and avoid drinking coffee.
- Eat small amounts of food often rather than several large meals, every 2-3 hours.
- Drink plenty of fluids in between meals to avoid stomach fullness.
- Avoid brushing teeth and tongue immediately after eating.
- Take anti-emetic drugs with plenty of glucose drink usually cure the condition.
2. Back Ache:
Back pain is very common in pregnancy. Between a half and three-quarters of pregnant women have it at some stage.
Causes of Back Ache:
- During pregnancy some hormone allows pelvic joints and ligaments relax that cause backache,
- Faulty posture,
- High heel shoes leading to increase in lumber Lordships,
- Urinary infection,
- Additional weight,
- Stress usually accumulates in weak areas in the body and because of the change in the pelvic area, may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of pregnancy.
Advice for Back Ache:
- Rest on a hard bed.
- Massages of back muscles.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights, wearing high-heeled shoes.
- Avoid long-standing.
- Support back with cushion. kneeling on all fours and rocking from side to side.
- Sleep on one side with a pillow between legs.
- Sit with back straight and well- supported.
- Apply hot or cold compression on the back.
It is one of the common ailments during pregnancy.
Causes of Constipation:
- Progesterone hormones, which relaxes smooth muscle throughout the body, including the digestive tract.
- Growing uterus creates pressure over the rectum.
- Iron supplements, particularly in high doses, can make constipation worse.
Advice for Constipation:
- Intake of high fiber foods such as whole-grain cereals and bread, brown rice, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
- Intake of at least 10 to 12 glasses of fluid every day in the form of water, milk, juice, or soup. the warm or hot fluid is particularly helpful.
- Maintain an active lifestyle with regular exercise such as walking, swimming, riding a stationary bike, and yoga that help to increase intestinal motility.
- Bowels are most likely to be active after meals, so make time to use the bathroom after eating.
- Avoid all laxatives except those prescribed by doctors.
- If prenatal multivitamin contains a large dose of iron, ask health care provider about switching to a supplement with less iron.
4. Leg Cramps:
Leg cramps are common during pregnancy. Sharp and painful lower-leg cramps often crop up during the second and third trimesters.
Causes of Leg Cramps:
- It usually results from muscle tension.
- Sometimes severe vomiting can lead to a low level of calcium and potassium in the blood, resulting in cramps.
- Weight gain of pregnancy.
Advice for Leg Cramps:
- Avoid standing or sitting with legs crossed for a long period of time.
- Massage calves and feet regularly during the day and several times before you go to bed.
- Rotate ankles and wiggle toes when sit, eat dinner, or watch TV.
- Take a walk every day.
- Avoid getting too tired. lie down on the left side to improve circulation to the legs.
- Take a warm bath before going to bed to relax muscles.
- Rest with legs elevated.
- Wear supportive stockings.
- Apply local heat.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of calcium and magnesium.
- Stay hydrated during the day by drinking water regularly.
5. Heart Burn:
It is quite normal. Many women experience heartburn for the first time during pregnancy
Causes of Heartburn:
- The relaxation effect of progesterone on the esophageal sphincter results in the reflex of acidic fluid to the esophagus, causing irritation and heartburn.
- Oily, fatty, and spicy food is another cause of heartburn.
Advice for Heart Burn:
- Eat five to six smaller low-fat meals throughout the day rather than three large meals.
- Chew the food well and eat slowly.
- Wait an hour after eating to lie down and avoid bending and stooping after eat.
- Elevate the head of the bed.
- Avoid spicy, greasy, and fatty food.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Do not take any antacids without consulting a doctor.
6. Varicose Veins:
Varicose veins are swollen, bulging, or blue veins near the surface of the skin. It can be sore to the touch, itchy, and make legs feel tired and achy.
Causes of Varicose Veins:
Pregnancy is one of the biggest accelerating factors in the formation of veins. During pregnancy, blood volume increases, while the rate at which blood flows from your legs to your pelvis decreases. This puts pressure on the veins, which can cause varicose veins.
Advice for Varicose Veins:
- Try to avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Do not sit with your legs crossed.
- Do not put on too much weight as this increases pressure.
- Sit with legs up as often as can, to ease the discomfort.
- Try wearing support tights or stockings, which may also help to support leg muscles.
- Sleep with legs higher than the rest of the body, use pillow under ankles.
- Do regular foot exercise and another antenatal exercises, such as walking and swimming.
- Reduce sodium intake to minimize swelling of the veins.
- Avoid wearing high heels.
7. Frequent Urination:
Causes of Frequent Urination:
- This the result of an increase in blood flow to kidneys by 50% during pregnancy and the relaxation effect of progesterone on the smooth muscle of the urinary tract.
- The urinary tract of pregnant women is more susceptible to infection. Urinary tract infections also cause pain and frequent urination.
- The extra weight and pressure of the baby pressing on the bladder and pelvic floor also cause incontinence.
Advice for Frequent Urination:
- Regular pelvic floor exercises during and after pregnancy.
- Lean forward when urinate. This helps empty the bladder better.
- Keep drinking. Do not cut back on liquids thinking it will keep you out of the bathroom.
- Avoid diuretics like caffeine.
8. Striae Greavidrum:
Stretch marks begin as pink to violet thinning in the surface of the abdomen, breast, and thigh skin. Stretch marks in pregnancy; occur in about 90% of all pregnant women.
Causes of Striae Greavidrum:
Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid weight changes and the influence of hormones.
Advice for Striae Greavidrum:
Certain creams or cocoa butter may help lighten the marks. Over time, the skin will shrink and the stretch mark will fade into white-colored scars.
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”