Being pregnant is beautiful in many ways, but it can also cause all kinds of physical discomfort. For example, nausea attacks or episodes of tiredness and dizziness. For the sake of the baby, avoid taking medicines as far as possible. On the other hand, there are many natural home remedies that can provide relief with no unwanted side effects either for the expectant mother or the baby.
Pregnancy puts a lot of stress on your body. Your body is focusing on the creature growing in your belly and making sure your baby thrives. There are a lot of demands on the mother's body, particularly in the first three months of pregnancy. It is only natural for your body to react, but unfortunately it is not always a pleasant experience. Many pregnant women feel just like you. Some women are more affected by pregnancy-related health complaints than others.
Nausea is the most common symptom during pregnancy. Many women experience bouts of nausea, usually from around the fifth week of pregnancy and predominantly in the morning. The nausea is most pronounced during the first three months of pregnancy. However, it can occur at intervals throughout the pregnancy. Approximately 75% of expectant mothers suffer from morning sickness. The nausea often occurs in conjunction with dizziness, vomiting or diarrhoea. Hunger, tiredness and stress exacerbate the problems. The hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin, which is produced during pregnancy, is thought to cause morning sickness. The hormone is produced by the placenta to prevent any further ovulation and therefore protect the endometrium.
Simple household remedies to reduce morning sickness:
- Eat a snack before you get up in the morning: a piece of fruit or a couple of biscuits. Wash it down with slightly sweetened tea.
- Keep on eating small snacks throughout the day. Eating frequent light meals or snacks can help to prevent morning sickness.
- If you do vomit, your body will need plenty of fluids. Take small sips of still water or tea.
- Choose protein-rich foods rather than carbohydrates and avoid spicy and fatty foods.
- Get out in the fresh air as much as you can – don't stay cooped up in airless rooms.
Some women try alternative medical treatments such as acupuncture and acupressure to alleviate morning sickness.
You should consult your GP if you experience frequent and extreme vomiting and are losing weight. This is particularly important because your baby may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals. However, morning sickness is not usually a problem for the baby.
In addition to morning sickness, which is very common, a whole range of complaints can be caused by pregnancy:
|Headaches||These are usually caused by hormonal imbalances. Once your hormone levels have stabilised, the headaches should ease.|
|Back pain||Every now and again, treat yourself to a relaxing soak in the bath and a back massage. If you experience a lot of back pain, try a maternity support belt. Physiotherapy and osteopathy can also provide relief.|
|Difficulties sleeping||The hormonal changes also often disrupt sleep. Allow yourself to take more frequent rests and try relaxation exercises.|
|Heartburn and burping||Pregnancy-specific hormones affect the stomach valve that prevents acid from coming back up the oesophagus. Make sure you keep your upper body upright after eating. You can neutralise the acid taste with peppermint tea or milk.|
|Constipation and bloating||Don't take laxatives. Instead, eat high-fibre foods, drink lots and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.|
|Food cravings||Your body may be lacking minerals, iron or trace elements. Consult your GP or pharmacist.|
Heavy, tired legs and calf cramps
|Prop your legs up when sitting and lying. Massage your legs regularly with a refreshing gel, starting at the feet and working up. Bathing your ankles in cold water, leg compresses and support stockings can all help.|
|Varicose veins||Pregnant women are more prone to varicose veins. Try wearing compression stockings, doing leg exercises and avoid crossing your legs.|
|Vaginal discharge||This is caused by hormonal changes. There is no need to worry provided that the discharge is white and does not smell.|
Caution with medication
Conventional medicine offers medication for many pregnancy-related complaints. However, you will need to be careful and consider your baby. Always try natural household remedies first. Consult your pharmacist or GP if your complaints become unbearable. They will recommend treatments that won't harm your baby.