- Women's Health
Late Pregnancy Discomforts
There are many changes and discomforts that occur throughout the pregnancy. Although every women are different, there are some similarities in the aches and pains that you will encounter. Many of these changes are mainly due to hormones. The following list targets the late pregnancy discomforts.
1. Backache: As your baby continues to grow, the additional weight in front causes you to lean back to compensate. This stresses the ligaments and muscles of your lower back, and often causes back pain.
Tips to relieve pregnancy backache discomfort:
- Remind yourself to walk with your back straight and avoid the waddle.
- Take breaks throughout the day and rest your back.
- Wear low, rubber soled shoes.
- Place a small pillow or rolled towel in the lower part of your back when sitting down or driving your car.
- Avoid lifting anything heavy. Always bend at the knees keeping your back straight to lift. Never bend at the waist to lift.
- When getting out of bed in the morning, roll on your side first and push yourself up to a sitting position. Never sit straight up from a back lying position.
2. Hemorrhoids and constipation: Constipation is common during pregnancy. Hormone changes can affect the digestive system. Women who tend to have a problem with constipation can have hemorrhoids.Hemorrhoids are swollen veins of the rectum that can cause you much discomfort like itch, burn and sometimes bleed.
Tips to relieve hemorrhoids and constipation discomforts:
- Avoid becoming constipated by eating a high fiber diet.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Sometimes a hot cup of decaffeinated coffee to drink first thing in the morning is enough to naturally stimulate your system.
- Do not take enema and over the counter laxatives. Always talk to your healthcare provider first if you are having a problem.
3. Heartburn: Heartburn caused by pressure on the intestines and stomach can be reduced by eating smaller meals throughout the day and by avoiding lying down shortly after eating.
Tips to relieve pregnancy heartburn:
- Try eating five or six smaller meals a day instead of three normal meals.
- Do not take any over the counter medications for heartburn until you talk with your doctor.
- Do not eat right before you go to bed or drink a large amount of fluids.
- Avoid spicy, hot, fried or greasy foods.
4. Shortness of breath: Going up a few stairs is tough towards the late pregnancy and you will find it harder to breathe. At night, you cannot find a comfortable position without difficulty breathing.
Tips to relieve pregnancy shortness of breath:
- Avoid sleeping flat on your back. Lying on your side at night is usually more comfortable.
- Use pillows all around you, between your legs, and behind your back.
- Sleep in a recliner with pillows all around.
- Slow down when climbing stairs.
5. Swelling: Most women experience some swelling of the feet and lega towards the late pregnancy and especially in hot months. With the added weight of the pregnancy, the circulation is slower returning the fluid to the heart, especially, from way down at your feet. If you ever have excessive leg swelling, and swelling of your face and hands, it is important for you to let your doctor know. Excessive swelling could be a sign of pregnancy induced hypertension or toxemia of pregnancy. Toxemia is a condition only related to pregnancy and needs medical attention.
Tips to relieve pregnancy swelling:
- Elevate your legs whenever possible and place pillows under your legs when lying down.
- Try not to cross your legs when sitting.
- If you normally stand at work, ask your employer if you may sit from time to time.
- Try to get up and move around throughout the day.
- Lie on your side when sleeping or resting.