- ITCHY SKIN
*Relief: Slather on moisturizer or cocoa butter after bathing, and avoid harsh soaps, which remove your skin’s natural oils.
- FREQUENT URINATION
*Relief: By four months, the uterus moves up, relieving the pressure. Meanwhile, keep drinking liquids and don’t wait to urinate — it can lead to a urinary tract infection.
*Relief: Put your feet up, switch standing and sitting positions often, and don’t cross your legs. If your rings get tight, put them on a chain and wear them as a necklace.
- VARICOSE VEINS
*Relief: Avoid crossing your legs, standing in one position for too long, or wearing anything that cuts off circulation (like knee-high stockings). Support hose may also help soothe the aches.
*Relief: Rest often and avoid sugar and caffeine.
- LEG CRAMPS
*Relief: Gentle massage or stretching (with toes flexed, not pointed) can help relax the muscle. Try stretching your legs before bedtime.
- ROUND-LIGAMENT PAIN
*Relief: Get off your feet, and support your belly with a pillow when you’re lying on your side. Warm baths are soothing too.
*Relief: Try ice packs, sitz baths, or witch hazel compresses, and ask your doctor about a stool softener or suppositories.
*Relief: Stand up straight, and be careful lifting. While sitting, elevate your feet, and use a pillow for the small of your back.
- INCREASED VAGINAL DISCHARGE
*Relief: Wear a light panty shield in your underwear to help you feel fresher, but don’t douche or wear tampons.
- DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS
*Relief: Eat a diet high in fiber (whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of liquids, and try to take a walk every day.
*Relief: Eat small, frequent meals high in protein and carbohydrates, and keep a few crackers by your bed to help settle your stomach before you get up in the morning.
*Relief: Even when you’re ravenous, eat slowly. Avoid greasy foods and stay upright after meals. Also, try eating yogurt or chewable calcium tablets.
- TENDER BREASTS
*Relief: Buy a comfortable and supportive bra (without underwire is best).
*Relief: Try hot and cold compresses, temple massage, and fresh air. Acetaminophen is considered safe for pregnant women, but talk to your doctor before taking any drugs.
- NASAL CONGESTION
*Relief: Use a humidifier to loosen congestion, and lubricate the inside of your nose with a little petroleum jelly.
- IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE — OR NOT
By the way, there’s no reason to fear that you’ll harm the baby during intercourse. She’s well-protected in her amniotic bubble, and unless you’re at risk for miscarriage or preterm labor (in which case, you should seek your doctor’s advice), sex generally poses no danger whatsoever.
- THE EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER
On the other hand, if your symptoms include prolonged weepiness, anxiety, sleeplessness, guilt, anger, pessimism, or detachment, talk to a professional about pregnancy-related depression. This potentially serious condition can last anywhere from weeks to months, and it can be treated safely with therapy and medicine. Women who experience severe depression during pregnancy are also at high risk of postpartum depression, so this is one condition you don’t want to wait out.
When Woes Are Serious
With everything your body’s going through during pregnancy, it can be tough to tell which changes are simply uncomfortable and which are dangerous. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor when in doubt. And be sure to talk to her if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- EXTREME FATIGUE
- PERSISTENT VOMITING OR DIARRHEA OR A HIGH FEVER LASTING MORE THAN 24 HOURS
- CONSTANT ABDOMINAL PAIN OR CRAMPING
- SEVERE HEADACHES OR SUDDEN, EXCESSIVE SWELLING OF THE HANDS AND FACE
This is one time when everyone will let you enjoy a much-deserved break. Take advantage!
- Light some candles and soak in the tub.
- Get your hair washed at a salon.
- Buy yourself flowers.
- Get a pedicure even if you can’t see your feet anymore.