Most experts advise against taking prescription drugs during pregnancy, if at all possible, especially in the first three months when the baby's important organs are still developing.
Ironically, pregnancy is also a challenging time in which a woman experiences almost all sort of aches and pains in her body. There's soreness of the breasts, nausea, cramping, and vomiting. The terrible triad of pregnancy pains, however, would arguably be heartburn, hemorrhoids, and back pain.
While it's convenient to pop a pill whenever these pregnancy-related pains strike, learning about the natural ways to effectively prevent and manage them is still the best route to take.
Heartburn can be uncomfortable even for people who are not pregnant. Imagine stomach acid rising up the chest, leaving a burning feeling and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. It's usually triggered by certain food, medications, and sometimes stress. During pregnancy, heartburn happens because of the presence of progesterone and the growing uterus forcing the acid out of the esophagus.
A pregnant woman can prevent heartburn naturally by watching what, when, and how she eats. Stick to small, frequent meals daily. Eat slowly. Get rid of spicy, oily, or highly acidic food. Identify trigger food, such as coffee, soda, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and onions are notorious heartburn triggers.
Stand or sit in an upright position after meals. Don't eat before hitting the hay, and always elevate the head using pillows when sleeping.
Hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the rectum, can be extremely painful. They usually occur as a consequence of constipation, which is also an issue during pregnancy, and due to the increased pressure of the blood vessels in the pelvis.
To prevent any encounter with hemorrhoids during pregnancy: eat a high-fiber diet of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of fluids to maintain a soft stool. Never delay going to the bathroom. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods.
To relieve itching, pain, swelling, or bleeding: have a warm sitz bath, apply a cloth soaked in ice or a witch hazel to the affected area, or apply baking soda on the affected area.
During pregnancy, the body produces relaxin, a hormone that relaxes and loosens up joints and ligaments in the pelvic area to make way for delivery. This hormonal change also messes up with the ligaments in the spine, leading to back pain, which can be unbearable at times.
As in all aspects of pregnancy, a healthy diet and exercise are essential. Weight gain can worsen back pain during pregnancy. Do not take painkillers; use a hot compress instead. Wear an elastic sling or a pregnancy girdle for back support, particularly during the last stages of pregnancy when the tummy becomes bigger and heavier. Take a swim to relieve the soreness and pressure in the body.