While pregnant, your body is constantly changing, which can result in some less-than-comfortable side effects. The good news is there are ways to reduce these disturbances in your everyday life. We’re sharing ways to handle three of the most common pregnancy discomforts so you can truly enjoy this special time.
Probably one of the most recognizable symptoms of pregnancy, morning sickness typically occurs during the first trimester. Due to your enhanced sense of smell, any strong odor can quickly upset your stomach. You can also develop aversions to certain foods, even if you loved them before you were pregnant.
Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to keep your stomach settled. The more food you eat at once, the more likely your stomach is to become upset, so opt for several small meals throughout the day instead of the traditional three. However, don’t let yourself go hungry, either. An empty belly allows your stomach acid to upset the lining of your stomach, so munch on snacks throughout the day and right before bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, consider snacking a little more so you don’t wake up to a sour stomach.
Acid reflux is common when you’re pregnant because your body releases certain hormones that relax the muscles, including the sphincter muscle, which keeps stomach contents from creeping back up. This relaxation makes it easier for stomach acid to escape and make its way up your esophagus. Symptoms are most likely to occur at night when you’re lying down. To avoid the harsh effects of acid reflux, avoid eating spicy or greasy foods, and sleep with multiple pillows underneath your head, so you’re propped up at an angle. If you still experience heartburn, speak with your doctor, who might give you the go-ahead to take certain antacids.
Whether it’s having to run to the bathroom multiple times each night or the inability to find a comfortable sleeping position with your expanding uterus, there are numerous causes for insomnia when you’re pregnant. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider the cause and adjust accordingly. If your insomnia is due to a full bladder, reduce your fluid consumption an hour or so before going to bed. If it’s due to uncomfortable sleeping positions, try using regular or pregnancy pillows around areas of your body that could use a little extra cushioning.
If you’re expecting, find a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group OB/GYN and learn more about the services offered at St. Luke’s Health Family Birthing Centers. Our experienced maternity teams provide the resources you need to help your pregnancy go as smoothly as possible, giving you a VIP—Very Important Pregnancy—experience.
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