Today we are sharing Part 4 of a four part series highlighting some of the most common pregnancy complaints, along with some tips for how to deal with them from a professional doula and childbirth educator! Be sure to check out the rest of the series by going through Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!
Why It Happens: Oftentimes during pregnancy, it is harder to sleep due to discomfort as your body is stretching and changing. You might also be experiencing some anxiety or nerves as you get closer to the big day.
What to Do About It: Limit caffeine (a good idea anyway), and try to get some exercise during the day. You can also use pillows to provide your body with the extra support it needs at night. Sometimes epsom salt baths are calming, and may also help to soothe any aches and pains.
Round Ligament Pain
Why It Happens: The ligaments in your pelvis and connected to your uterus are growing and stretching.
What to Do About It: Try to move slowly if you are prone to round ligament pain, or if you feel it coming on. Do pelvic rocks (think, Cat/Cow from yoga), and take deep breaths to where you feel the sensation to allow it to gently stretch and release.
Why It Happens: As your belly rapidly grows, it stretches the skin, and sometimes leaves a mark.
What to Do About It: There is no way to prevent stretch marks, unfortunately, and some of it may even be genetics. However, you can try to keep your skin hydrated with lotions or oils to try to help support its expansion.
Why It Happens: As the uterus grows and expands, it puts more downward pressure, and may cause poorer circulation.
What to Do About It: You can improve circulation by avoiding sitting or standing in one position for too long, and elevating your legs when possible. Doing ankle circles also may help to improve circulation.
Why It Happens: Bacterial imbalance in the vagina, which can happen during pregnancy with all of the changes and upheaval.
What to Do About It: Talk to your health care provider for a diagnosis, and to get a prescription medication if needed. To prevent infection in the first place, wear cotton underwear or none at all, and ask your health care provider about taking a quality probiotic during pregnancy to promote good bacteria growth.
Why It Happens: Increased fluid retention in pregnancy combined with slower circulation can cause your legs and feet to swell, especially during later pregnancy.
What to Do About It: Exercising regularly helps to improve circulation, which can reduce swelling. Also, propping your feet up at night or during rests, and making sure you are adequately hydrated can also help. Some people also like to wear compression socks as well to give their feet and legs a little extra support during the day, especially if they must be on their feet a lot.
Are any of these complaints familiar to you? If so, what are some of your tips and tricks to share? We would love to hear!