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Dealing With Pregnancy

Updated on April 12, 2016

From day 1 of gestation, you will experience physical and emotional changes as your baby goes through different stages of development. If you’re seeking information about depression during pregnancy or looking for a cure on certain pregnancy symptoms (read detail here about pregnancy symptoms), such as heartburn, backaches, morning sickness, increased vaginal discharge or hemorrhoids, we have the answers to the most common questions about pregnancy symptoms:

Is there a cure for heartburn?

Heartburns are one of the most common complaints of pregnant women. If you’re suffering from one, there are several things you can do. Eat 5 to 6 small meals and chew your food slowly. Limit fried, fatty or greasy foods, especially for dinner. Avoid eating spicy foods and certain foods that may aggravate your heartburn, such as chocolate, caffeine, garlic, onions, cabbage and broccoli. Drink plenty of fluids. Wear loose-fitting clothes, particularly around the waist. Avoid lying down 1-2 hours after meals. Lastly, check with your doctor before taking any kind of medications as this may be the cause of your heartburn.

How can I relieve leg cramps?

Like everything else about pregnancy, suffering leg cramps may be a different experience for you than other pregnant women. As such, some of the remedies that may work for others may not work for you. The best way to get rid of leg cramps is to exercise regularly and get drink plenty of fluids. You can also massage your legs and apply heat, take a swim, wear comfortable shoes and avoid sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time. When you have leg cramps, you can relieve it by stretching your legs and toes before going to bed.

How should I deal with morning sickness?

Nausea is aggravated with sudden movements, so get up slowly in the morning. Make sure to eat five or six small meals and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Avoid fatty foods and choose foods that don’t make you nauseous. Lastly, make sure you get lots of fresh air.

How can I relieve hemorrhoid pain?

To avoid having hemorrhoids, you should stick to a high-fiberdiet, drink lots of fluids, exercise regularly and avoid standing or sitting for long periods. If you’re suffering from hemorrhoid pain, you can relieve it by applying cold compress or taking periodic sitz baths. Before applying creams, make sure to seek the advice of your doctor to determine which over-the-counter creams are safe to use.

Does pregnancy affect gums?

Since pregnancy increases your body’s hormone levels, gingivitis can become a problem during your second up to eight months of pregnancy. It could lead to red and tender gums, which often bleed when brushing. To avoid this problem, you may be required to more frequent cleanings, particularly around your second to early third trimester.

How can I avoid backaches while pregnant?

To avoid straining the muscles on your lower back, avoid wearing high-heeled shoes. Stick to low-healed footwear with good arch support. You should also refrain from lifting heaving objects and standing for long periods of time. Unless prescribed by your doctor, don’t take medications for back pain. You can relieve back pain with a cold pack, warm water bottle or heating pad.

I’m going through depression. Is this normal?

Depression during pregnancy is normal because fluctuating hormone levels and several other factors could contribute to your emotional changes. According to research, it is one of the most common complications associated with pregnancy. It is also thought to be caused by the transition to parenthood and other stress factors in your life that accompany pregnancy. The best way to fight depression is by joining a support group in your local hospital. Medications are not recommended.

Pregnancy And Lifestyle

Do you have concerns about your normal routines that may affect you and your baby’s health now that you’re pregnant? Did your girlfriends advise you not to dye your hair or were stopped from boarding a plane? Are you wondering if you can still have sex with your partner? Here are the answers to your questions:

  • Can I dye my hair?
    There is little research to support the effects of chemicals from hair dyes on a developing fetus. However, doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid or minimize the use of any kind of hair dye, particularly during the first trimester. Since streaking or highlighting involves lesser scalp contact with the dye, it might be safer. To ensure your baby’s safety, don’t leave the dye longer than necessary and always wear latex gloves. You can also consider using vegetable-based products, such as henna dye.
  • Can I travel on a plane?
    Travel policies vary with each airline. While your travel agent may give you a ticket even if you’re already in week 35, some airline may request you not to go on board for safety measures. Generally, domestic travel is okay until the 36th week, while international is safe until your 35th week. Trips until the end of your second trimester are more comfortable for you because you’ll have a stronger abdomen. However, it is best to take precautions and bring your doctor’s contact number and information about your allergies and blood type when you go on board. If possible, sit on the aisle to make it easier to stand, stretch and facilitate bathroom trips.
  • Can I still have sex? If so, for how long into my pregnancy?
    Sex is recommended during pregnancy. You can continue to have sex as far into pregnancy as you and your partner are comfortable. However, some doctors may recommend you to stop having sex when you experience certain conditions, such as bleeding, preterm labor or sexually transmitted infection you or your partner may have. To ensure safety, make sure to ask your doctor detailed questions involving orgasms, intercourse and for how long the abstinence is required.
  • Is it safe to go for a sauna or a hot bath?
    For centuries, warm baths have been used in relaxing the body and mind. Although there is no research to suggest that warm baths are unsafe during pregnancy, you have to be wary about “hot” baths since pregnant women cannot make their body temperature too high. This is because you may faint or lower your blood pressure, which are both dangerous to pregnant women.
  • Is it safe to smoke marijuana?
    For years, it was believed that marijuana had little effect on a developing fetus. In newer studies, tests have shown that marijuana smoking interferes with the normal production of male sperm, which in turn, could lead to abnormalities of your baby. In addition, smoke from cigarettes or marijuana is forced into your lungs, which competes for oxygen that is supposed to be for your baby. Also, since the government cannot trace the chemicals that contaminate marijuana, it could be dangerous to your baby.
  • Will sleeping on my back harm my baby?
    In general, the sleeping positions you choose have little effect on your unborn baby. However, women with pregnancy complications, such as growth restriction of the baby, your doctor may recommend sleeping on your left side to improve blood flow to the fetus. In some women, resting on their backs for too long may lead to dizziness or low blood pressure

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