Health Issues During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a natural phenomenon for women, and can be a source of joy, anticipation, reconciliation, fulfillment, contentment and other feel good emotions. However, on the flip side of it, it can equally cause fear and anxiety in some cases. During pregnancy, you will agree that your body feels differently every now and then; some quite annoying like nausea, vomiting, irritability at the mild level while in more extreme cases, you may feel cramps, heartache, constipation, unrelenting urge to urinate, heartburn, backache, and indigestion among others.  Some of these issues can be overwhelming and stressful to pregnant women. Although, such conditions may or may not occur to every pregnant woman and even when they do, may occur in varying degrees between individuals, that notwithstanding, it is crucial that every woman whose egg has been fertilized by a spermatozoa should have a grasp on these conditions and how to deal with them if or when they surfaces. Also, it is important to emphasize that regardless of the fact that many of these issues can easily be attended to without much ado, it will equally be necessary to seek medical attention in some cases.  

For lack of space and time, I may not be able to go through every single one of them, but will still try as much as possible to cover the most common ones.

  • Cramps

Only women that have given birth in the past or currently at an advanced stage of pregnancy can understand how it feels during such episodes. I have experienced it first hand, and I can assure you that it ain’t a tea party!

What to do when you experience it

Alright, the cramps are all over your leg and foot, and the pain keeps racking through your spine. All you will need to do is to stretch your leg on a mattress and draw your toes backwards toward you. By so doing, you will be strengthening your calf muscle which would help to ease the pain. If the cramps persist, you will need to stand up while keeping your feet flat on the ground to increase the stretch.

Once you can feel some relief, you may proceed to rub the area in a soothing way or if you have it handy, you can place a heat pack or a container of hot water on the trouble spot.

Just like the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, it will be better to prevent muscle cramp by ensuring that you stretch your calf muscles at night, moments before retiring to your bed.  

Heartburn

Generally speaking, heartburn can be a very disconcerting health issue but it transcends to a whole new level when it comes to pregnant women, and the bad news is that its occurrence can be more frequent too in women with a growing fetus in their womb than the general population. 

How to avoid or ameliorate it when it occurs

Try to eat small rations and also avoid spicy and fatty foods as much as you can.

A glass of milk or yoghurt has been found to be helpful in both preventing and ameliorating heartburn.

Antacid solution can help too when you are having a bout of heartburn but as a pregnant woman a medical practitioner’s recommendation on which one would be okay for you is necessary.

Do not lie down on a flat mattress, especially after a big meal. 

  • Varicose Veins

Aside the aching that comes with the development of varicose veins, it is equally not a pleasant sight to behold. Although varicose veins can develop in any adult but it is more prevalent in pregnant women as certain pregnancy hormones are believed to be a trigger.

How to prevent or inhibit its occurrence

 Do not stand on your legs for extended periods of time.

When resting, ensure that your leg and feet is on a higher pedestal than your body

Do not cross your legs

Obviously, as a pregnant woman, not all forms of exercise will be suitable for you, therefore avoid rigorous exercise, instead, swimming or leisurely walk among other similar ones are recommended.

  • Backache

Backache can be a common occurrence among pregnant women and it is attributed to the weight of the increasingly growing fetus in the womb and a combination of other factors associated with pregnancy.

How to prevent or manage it

Always endeavor to maintain a good posture while standing or sitting

Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes; you should rather wear flat and comfortable ones 

Regular exercise has been found to be helpful too but you should go for exercises that are suitable for pregnant women.

  • Constipation

Constipation can occur in anyone including pregnant women, and when constipation is not treated accordingly, it can get worse and lead to haemorrhoids/piles. If this ailment is bad for anyone then it is outright terrible for a pregnant woman and so should be avoided at all costs.

How to prevent or ameliorate it

Drink lots of water (6 – 8 glasses would be okay for you each day).

Ensure you eat foods that are rich in fiber and they include vegetables, whole grain bread, nuts, cereals, fruits etc. In all, consuming upwards of 30 grams of fiber on a daily basis will be sufficient for you.

You can never go wrong with exercise especially the recommended ones for pregnant women.

However, if unfortunately the constipation leads to haemorrhoids, then it is not the end of the world as it can be managed effectively by doing the following:

  • Get hold of an ice cube, place it inside a tissue paper and hold it against your anus. It will go a long way in reducing the irritation and swelling.
  • After visiting the toilet, ensure that your anus is thoroughly cleaned with certain recommended products (you should ask your doctor on which product to go for).
  • Certain creams and wipes have been found to be helpful too but should be recommended by a certified medical personnel.