Expecting parents know both the joys and the pains, sometimes literal pains, of pregnancy. Looking for solutions for alleviating some of those discomforts? Incorporating exercise, managing the temperature in your home, and adjusting your diet can improve your quality of life while pregnant.
Back pain is one of the most commonly reported discomforts during pregnancy. Comfortable shoes, warm baths, and good posture may help; many women report that low-impact exercises have been effective. Stretching, strengthening exercises, and feedback on posture can all help the pregnant body keep pace with the ever-changing demands of the baby.
Start early! Don’t wait until back pain interferes with your day-to-day life to start using strengthening exercises or stretching to help. Make low-impact exercise, with an emphasis on back muscles, a part of your daily routine at the beginning of the pregnancy. Stronger muscles are better at tolerating stress, so prevention is key.
What about hot or cold flashes? Having a house that is too hot or too cold is especially stressful for pregnant women and newborn babies, even affecting their health and well-being. Routine maintenance on your HVAC system could mean avoiding a major malfunction during the end of pregnancy or when you have a new baby in the house. Planning ahead and having your HVAC inspected before it breaks could save you ample money and heartache later on.
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Sure, you’re eating for two, but what and how you eat can have a major impact on the quality of your pregnancy. Unnecessary weight gain will be an added stress on the body, increasing the likelihood and severity of back pain. Talk with your doctor about goals appropriate for your pregnancy.
Apart from the weight-related burdens of pregnancy, diet also helps, or hurts, common discomforts like hemorrhoids, constipation, excessive salivation, swelling, insomnia, and morning sickness.
Frequent, small meals or snacks are often recommended for managing morning sickness and excessive salivation. Many women carry healthy snacks with them all the time, like crackers, which help both with nausea and salivation. Stash saltine crackers at your bedside to have a nibble before you get out of bed in the morning, which can also help reduce nausea. Lavender, ginger, and lemon all offer some benefits, whether taken in tea or another edible form.
While not every expectant mother cuts out caffeine entirely, caffeine can have unintended consequences on your sleep schedule. Continuing to drink caffeinated beverages may keep your baby active, which could interfere with your sleep schedule. Reducing or cutting out caffeine can help you and your baby stay on a sleep schedule.
A diet full of fresh fruits and raw vegetables is recommended to help alleviate constipation and hemorrhoids. Spinach, bran, whole grains, and beans are all good sources of fiber that fight constipation, which can reduce the strain that leads to hemorrhoids for many pregnant women.
A diet high in salt can increase swelling. To minimize swelling, reduce salt intake and drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated also helps avoid constipation. Drink 10 cups of water per day, and eat water-rich fruits and vegetables, like watermelon and cucumber.
Planning ahead during your pregnancy with your exercise regime, home HVAC maintenance, and diet will help to prevent as much discomfort as possible. Expecting parents won’t ever regret it.