Doctors usually worry about major obstetric conditions and rightly so. But most women suffer greatly due to minor ailments of pregnancy. To pregnant mothers minor ailments may be not so minor. Knowing a bit about common aches and pains of pregnancy will put your mind at ease.
Our spine needs a lot of support from our muscles to maintain posture. Anterior abdominal wall muscles are key among them. As pregnancy advances anterior abdominal muscles relax a bit. Then the spinal curvatures increase and back muscles bear the brunt of it. The result is back ache. If you get fit before getting pregnant the backache may not even occur during pregnancy. Supporting your back with a cushion, sleeping on left side, sitting with a straight back and taking a simple pain killer help you cope with it.
* Weight gain During Pregnancy
You gain a bit of weight because your body tend to retain water. If you stand for a long time your legs swell up. Walking reduces leg swelling. Water loosing drugs should not be taken. Keep in mind that your weight gain includes the growth of the baby and the weight of amniotic fluid around it.
Hormones of pregnancy affect almost every organ. During early pregnancy, progesterone increases secretion of saliva, cause nausea, vomiting and slow down transit of food along the bowels. With retarded bowel movement comes constipation. Just ensure adequate water and fibre intake and you will gain much relief.
Acute gastritis presents with burning sensation at the centre of your chest, regurgitation and nausea. Large womb presses on the stomach and shifts its position. Transit of food out of the stomach goes down and stuff may go back up even. Tea, coffee, chocolate and fatty food increase symptoms. Sleeping with your back supported by a few cushions, taking less fat food and antacids provides sweet relief.
* Marks on the Abdomen
Every pregnant woman gets a few striae and stretch marks on her abdomen. A line from your umbilicus down the midline of the abdomen to your pubic area is called linea nigra. With enlargement of the abdomen many women get stretch marks on flanks. A few red lines on the breast is another common finding. Certain creams may provide relief.
* Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are dilated superficial veins. Legs are the usual site. Enlarging uterus presses on the pelvic veins. There is a failure of valves of the superficial venous system during pregnancy. All these factors amount up to a few unsightly protruding bluish veins on your legs. These go away on their own after delivery. Some may persist and necessitate surgical treatment.
* Leg Pains
You bear a few additional kilograms of weight towards the end of your pregnancy. That extra bit will cause a strain on your legs and give rise to constant leg pains. Being fit before getting pregnant is the sure fire way to prevent leg pains during pregnancy. A few simple pain killers do not harm the baby and you are quite safe to take them.
Dr T. M. S. Sameera B. Madugalle MBBS (COL)
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