How to Feel Better Through All your Pregnancy Symptoms
Your body is changing so much during pregnancy. Between hormones and growing a new human and stretching all your skin, and baby using so many of your nutrients, you’re bound to feel a little off-kilter at some point. We asked a few of our preggo friends about their most difficult pregnancy symptoms, and compiled the top 5 below so you know you’re not alone. But we’re also including some natural remedies for each, because we want you to feel better, not just brace for the worst.
Nausea / Morning Sickness
This pregnancy symptoms can be absolutely miserable! Statistics say that more than 50% of pregnant women deal with nausea and morning sickness at some point or another during their pregnancy. Most of the time it’s during the first trimester, but it can show up later as well. So how can we counter these pregnancy symptoms in a way that alleviates the misery but also keeps baby safe? Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way:
Ginger is a root that has been used as a remedy in Asian cultures for thousands of years. The National Institutes of Health says that it has been proven to help treat a variety of ailments. There are quite a few ways to take ginger for pregnancy nausea and vomiting. Capsule form, grated in tea, crystallized form, candied, and syrup are just a few. Even smelling it can help! And if you want to know a bit more about the science of it all, check out this article by How Stuff Works.
This is another herb that can help you get back on your feet when you’re feeling nauseated. Smell it, chew it, make some tea with it. Just about any way you take it, it will give you a boost. Learn how mint can be used for nausea in labor too!
WebMD says that a typical dose for morning sickness is anywhere from 10mg to 25mg, 3 times a day. How does it work? Doctors don’t really know, except that it helps our bodies process certain amino acids better, which help reduce nausea. Before you start taking any supplements, always check with your doctor or midwife.
Saltines or Toast
Grab a box or 4 of saltines the next time you’re at the store. The starch in these crackers (and toast) helps slow down digestion a bit and absorbs excess stomach acid. Nibble one or two before you get out of bed in the morning might do just the trick. And keeping a few in your purse to much throughout the day can help lessen nausea.
Acupressure or Acupuncture
Both of these practices use gentle pressure or tiny needles to target tine nerve centers in the body. And while these practices aren’t as widely received in the U.S., they are one of the most popular solutions for nausea and morning sickness in the U.K. This modality of Chinese medicine is so healing and helpful for many pregnancy related ailments, that it’s a must for every pregnant mama! We recommend these local peeps:
- Dr. Jayme Mackler at Flourish in Vancouver, Washington
- Sarah Hammer Stevens at The Point PDX in Portland, Oregon
Your body goes through so many changes when you’re pregnant. And so many women deal with hemorrhoids, especially in the third trimester. What a pain the butt, quite literally! How does it happen? The veins in your bottom can swell up and suddenly you have hemorrhoids. Quite simply, they’re varicose veins in your anus.
Here’s why: Your blood volume can increase a lot — like 50% a lot. So with more blood, your veins get bigger to compensate. Add to that that the blood flow below your waist slows down because your expanding uterus blocks things a bit. So as things slow down, so do your bowels. And if they stay slowed down, there’s a good chance you’ll get some hemorrhoids, too.
Ease the Way Birth Spray
Our Ease the Way Spray is our proprietary blend of witch hazel, aloe vera, geranium, cypress, and lavender to give amazing relief. It’s also a great way to create a strong perineum for birth and helps reduce the risk of tearing during birth. Spray at your bathroom trips and before bed to help reduce and soothe hemorrhoids, but can also be used for leg varicose veins, reduce stretch marks and help prepare reduce vaginal tears at birth. Best $18 bucks ever spent! Buy here.
This is definitely the simplest option. And it’s cheap, too! It’s pretty fast relief, but the relief doesn’t last as long as some of our other recommendations.
Witch Hazel Pads
These not only cool you down, they reduce the swelling, too. You can use them after you go to the bathroom.
Heartburn can be a tell-tale sign that your hormones are out of sync. When you’re pregnant, your body produces more progesterone. And that added progesterone causes the valve between your stomach and your esophagus to relax. The result? A little stomach acid passes through and irritates the lining of your esophagus. It’s pretty common in pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. Here are some natural ways to avoid it:
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Don’t lie down right after eating.
- Avoid greasy, fatty foods
- Drink a glass of milk (warm it up and add a touch of honey for even better results)
Body Aches & Sciatica
Your body shifts so much while you’re pregnant! You’re carrying extra weight, and your spine is trying to figure out how to manage everything. Pain isn’t normal in pregnancy, so if you’re feeling it, it usually means something is out of alignment. See a chiropractor! A good chiropractor can help bring your body back into proper balance. We recommend these local chiropractors:
- Portland, Oregon Local: Bright Life
- Vancouver, Washington Local: Cloud Chiropractic, Cooper Chiro, and Healthy Spine Chiropractic
If this is one of the pregnancy symptoms you’re dealing with, you’re not alone! More than 50% of pregnant women deal with constipation. Because of hormone shifts during pregnancy, any food you eat passes through your intestines more slowly. Add to that pressure on your rectum from your growing uterus, and iron supplements, things can move from slow to sluggish in a hurry.
Eat High Fiber Foods
Add some extra fiber to your diet for a while and see how much it can help. Whole grain cereals and fruits and vegetables can really help get things moving again. But be patient — it may take a few days to notice the difference.
Drink Lots of Water
It’s hard to drink all the fluids we need on any given day. The plus side of this is that more water can actually help reduce swelling in your feet and ankles as well! (And if you’re battling some nausea, try sipping water with a bit of lemon or mint throughout the day.)
A little more walking can help keep your blood moving a bit more. You might even want to try some prenatal yoga. Not only will it help your constipation, and make you feel better from some extra exercise, you’ll most likely find a great community of other pregnant women as well.
No matter what ailments you might be facing during pregnancy, we can promise you that the moment you meet your little one, all the discomfort will be worth it! I don’t know of a single mom who regrets the pregnancy symptoms like heartburn, swollen feet, nausea, or even the hemorrhoids because one cuddle with their newborn makes it a distant memory.
Hang in there, mama. Pregnancy symptoms won’t slow you down with these natural remedies. You’ve got this!