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How to Feel Better During Pregnancy



Nausea and Vomiting (Morning Sickness)

  • Eat smaller meals and eat more often. Morning sickness is worse if your stomach gets empty.
  • Avoid foods that trigger nausea and foods with strong smells.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.
  • Morning sickness is usually gone by the 3rd month of pregnancy.
  • Never take any medication or herbs for morning sickness without talking to your doctor or clinic first.

Heartburn

  • Eat smaller meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid high-fat or greasy foods, and foods that are spicy.
  • Avoid caffeine and beverages that are carbonated.
  • Try not to eat at bedtime. If you have heartburn at bedtime, try sleeping in a more upright position (propped on pillows) and sleep on your side.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Never take medicine for heartburn without asking for your doctor or provider’s approval.

Backache

  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
  • When you are walking or standing, tilt your lower pelvis forward to help prevent “swayback”.
  • Try wearing an abdominal support made especially for pregnancy.
  • Report unresolved backache to your healthcare provider.
  • Backache may indicate pre-term labor.

Increased Vaginal Discharge

  • Wash more often with mild bath soap.
  • Do not douche as this may cause an infection. Notify your doctor or clinic if the discharge smells bad or if it doesn’t go away.

Constipation

  • Eat high fiber foods: fruits (prunes and raisins) and whole grain breads and cereals.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of fluids each day (water, juice or milk).
  • If your doctor allows it, get plenty of exercise such as walking.
  • Never take a medication for constipation without asking your doctor or clinic first.

Hemorrhoids

  • Avoid constipation.
  • Try gauze pads soaked in witch-hazel to reduce burning and itching.
  • Never take any medicine for hemorrhoids without your doctor or clinic’s approval.

Leg Cramps

Calcium and phosphorus are two minerals that should be present in about equal amounts in your body during pregnancy. Too much phosphorus (from too many soft drinks) or not enough calcium can cause leg cramps. To avoid leg cramps:

  • Eat more calcium-rich foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables, and corn tortillas).
  • Avoid soft drinks.
  • If there is severe pain in back of your lower leg that lasts for more than a few minutes, be sure to call your doctor or clinic. (Call the emergency number given by your doctor’s office or clinic if it is closed).

Varicose Leg Veins

  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Elevate your feet and legs when possible (avoid pressure behind the knee).
  • Ask your nurse or doctor about wearing support hose.
  • Mild exercise such as walking may also help.

Swelling of the Feet, Hands or Ankles

  • Elevate legs when possible.
  • Avoid salty foods. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • If you also have a severe headache, which does not go away, or if you are seeing spots, call your doctor or clinic immediately. (Call the emergency number given by your doctor’s office or clinic if it is closed.)

Shortness of Breath

  • In late pregnancy, use a few extra pillows under your head and upper back when you are sleeping to avoid being short of breath.
  • If shortness of breath is sudden or severe, notify your clinic or call the hospital immediately.

Stress and Mood Swings

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Talk with your family and friends about how you are feeling.
  • Ask for and accept help whenever you need it. Take breaks whenever you feel tired.

When in doubt, call your doctor's office or clinic.