Some discomforts during pregnancy are normal. The most common discomforts experienced in the first trimester are fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea and/or vomiting, excessive salivation and urinary frequency. Additionally, some common discomforts which may occur are fainting, heartburn and low-back ache. Below are some ideas on how to cope with them.
It is often one of the earliest feelings you might experience in pregnancy. It varies from a slight loss of appetite to vomiting but it usually disappears after the first trimester. You will find the following suggestion helpful.
- About 30 minutes before rising in the morning, eat some plain, dry biscuit such as cream crackers or toasted bread which you should have by your bedside.
- Get up slowly, avoiding sudden movement
- Eat small amounts of food at a time.
- Avoid spicy foods such as pepper and ginger.
- Drink small amounts of fluid frequently between meals.
- Avoid foods with too much fat or oil.
- If you have severe, prolonged and persisted vomiting consult your doctor in order to avoid dehydration and other complications.
It is a burning sensation which occurs as a result of a slow backward flow of food from the stomach and it is felt in the chest region. The backward flow of food is caused by the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the upper part of the stomach and the upward push of the growing womb on the stomach. The burning sensation can be reduced by avoiding fatty and spicy foods and large meals. It is also helpful to avoid bending down or lying flat for one or two hours after a meal or eating too fast.
A LOW BACKACHE
It is caused by the size of the womb and relaxing of the supporting ligaments due to the action of the hormone progesterone. This ache usually goes away within a week or two following childbirth. The following measures can prevent the occurrence of low-back ache.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes, especially in the 2nd and 3rd Shoes with broad heels, not more than an inch is better than those with thinner heels.
- Do not bend from the waist but rather from the knees and do not maintain one position for a long time.
- Use a firm mattress.
- Lie on your side with your knees drawn up.
- When sitting, flex the knees and hips or whenever possible use a footstool.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects and when lifting any object bend both knees and hold heavy objects close to the body.
It begins shortly after the first missed period and lasts until the 14th-20th week. Late in pregnancy, sleep is usually lighter, inability to find a comfortable resting position and urinary frequency contribute to shorter periods of sleep. At least 8-10 hours of rest per day is suggested throughout pregnancy. Try to get a mid-day rest or shortly after you return home from work. During the last trimester, try to avoid sleeping on your back. This is because when you are on your back, blood flow to the womb and to the brain is slowed down and you may faint.
It is experienced by some women more often than others. Since much saliva is produced in the mouth, some women feel the urge to spit it out. Although not much can be done about excessive saliva. The following measures can help,
- Take a frequent little snack, avoiding very starchy foods.
- Take frequent small sips of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
- Some women find the use of chewing stick beneficial.
- Keep a covered container that you can spit into whenever you need to and dispose of the contents frequently.
Source; the ministry of health/Ghana health service; reproduction and child health department.