Common ailments during pregnancy

Common ailments during pregnancy

Ailments during pregnancy are common. In fact, only few lucky women sail through pregnancy without so much as a stretch mark. Most of the common discomforts during pregnancy are not serious but none the less are uncomfortable and u unpleasant. However, it is not advisable to take drugs for every ailment and, fortunately, for most of the minor discomforts, there are different remedies or therapies that may help ease the symptoms.

Peer help

Seeking advice from other pregnant women or women who have been pregnant recently is usually a good starting point and can be enormously helpful. As you does this however, beware of the ‘alarmist’. Some women tend to exaggerate their pregnancy experiences. When in doubt, consult your midwife. If something is bothering you, act on it; do not wait for your next scheduled antenatal appointment.

Minor pregnancy ailments can be eased by a small adjustment to your diet or lifestyle. Complementary therapies are increasingly popular with mothers-to-be, and some women have reported great success in treating their ailments. However, just because something is natural does not necessarily make it safe to use in pregnancy. For example, many herbs and some aromatherapy oils should not be used during pregnancy. Always consult a qualified practitioner with experience of dealing with pregnant women, and tell your caregiver before beginning any treatments.

Vaginal infections

Vaginal secretions and infections are quiet common during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor or midwife if you have an unusual or heavy discharge, or if you are itching.  It is important to check if your symptoms are caused by a simple case of thrush or if you have another infection.


Anaemia is a possible, but uncommon, cause of tiredness. It is caused by a reduced amount of haemoglobin in your red blood cells. This is the result either of iron deficiency in your diet or the heavy demands of the pregnancy. If you think your tiredness could be caused by insufficient iron, ask your doctor or midwife for a blood test to check your haemoglobin levels. Beware that iron supplements can cause constipation, so if this is a problem, a different brand or prescription may be better for you.


Pregnancy causes considerable stress on your frame, which is why backache is common. The best way to avoid it is to be mindful of your posture. The classic pregnancy mistake is to arch your back and stick out your abdomen. This taxes your back, and it is far better for your spine if you can pull your tummy in. Balance your body weight between your heels and the balls of your feet, and sit, when you can, with both feet on the floor, rather than cross-legged.


Your digestive system becomes more sluggish during pregnancy but you can counteract the effects by increasing your intake of water (at least eight glasses a day), and your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.


Heartburn is caused by pregnancy hormones relaxing the valve at the top of your stomach so that the acid contents are released upwards, combined with physical pressure due to the enlarging uterus pushing the gastrointestinal tract towards the upper abdomen. The condition is often worse in the evening. You feel bloated and have a burning sensation in your upper chest. Standing tall, with your arms raised above your head, can offer a bit of immediate relief, since it increases the amount of chest space. Eat small meals throughout the day rather than one or two large meals. Avoiding alcohol, spicy foods, fatty foods, and coffee can help. Some people find a glass of milk beneficial; for others, milk can actually bring on an attack. Eat slowly, and avoid eating just before you go to bed. Try sipping warm (not hot) mint or ginger tea after a meal.

Haemorrhoids (pile)

These are varicose veins around the rectum and anus. They are made worse by straining (so constipation can cause or aggravate them), and they can make your life a misery with itching and pain. Avoiding constipation is vital if you are at a risk of piles. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Various creams are available for piles, but make sure any pharmacist you consult knows that you are pregnant. There are also some herbal and homeopathic remedies available.

Varicose veins

These can be the result of the extra strain on your legs. They usually appear as bulging, bluish veins under the skin. Support tights can help, as can lots of walking, since it helps the blood return to your heart. Sit with your legs higher than your head for at least half an hour a day or lie on the floor with your bottom against a wall and your legs up on the wall.

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