Minor Problems in Pregnancy
Many of the minor digestive problems of pregnancy can be lessened through healthy
eating - five portions of fruit and vegetables a day --and exercise. Walking really does help!
Probably caused by hormonal changes. Some degree of morning sickness is actually
an encouraging sign of a healthy pregnancy.
Usually improves after 14 weeks.
May be made worse by:
- Poor diet -- particularly fatty or spicy food
- Skipping meals
- Prenatal vitamins or supplements
- eating small amounts
- regular meals or snacks.
- Increase fluids (usually taken separately from meals)
- mild exercising (walk in the fresh air)
- avoiding foods that increase nausea – greasy, pungent foods
- sweet teas may help
- dry foods – toast,
Constipation and hemorrhoids:
food moves mover slowly through the intestines. This can cause constipation and/or
hemorrhoids. Pregnancy hormones which relax the veins may also contribute to hemorrhoids as well as varicose veins.
Made worse by:
- Long hours of standing at work
- Long periods of sitting
- Low fluids
- Iron supplements or vitamins (causing harder
- Women who have to take additional iron
may find that this worsens the problem.
- Increasing fluids – WATER!
- Changing brands or types of vitamins
- Regular exercise – especially walking
- Adding fiber – FRUIT and VEGETABLES
- Safe to use OTC creams such as preparation
- Comfrey or calendula creams or compresses
- Witch hazel wipes (tucks is one brand)
- Gentle wiping with moistened toweletts
(store bought or home-made)
- Baths – sitz or shallow bath. May also add
healing/soothing herb mix
- Reposition if protruding – after a warm bath, gently reinsert.
Do kegal for a few minutes. They will ‘usually’ easily slip inside and stay there.
- Raw potato poultice. Old advice which really
works. Grate a raw potato and put on a cloth pad. Old docs used to advise cutting a small piece of potato to make a suppository.
It’s said to shrink hemorrhoids quickly.
- Keep bowels loose by eating stewed or dried
fruit or prunes
- Some fruit juices will soften BMs. Apricot,
Avoid laxatives or enemas.
have similar causes and treatments as hemorrhoids. Caused by hormonal changes and
pressure. Made worse by long hours of standing. Some believe that keeping the bowels loose will improve varicose veins as
well as hemorrhoids.
May also try:
- Raising the foot of the bed or mattress
an inch or two
- Sleep and sit with feet elevated
- Wearing support hose or panti-hose. Put
on the first thing in the morning, as you get out of bed.
- Calcium magnesium supplement may help
- Some doctors advise women to take a baby
aspirin to prevent blood clots
- Regular daily walk to strengthen muscles
and keep blood moving.
- Long hours on your feet
- Prolonged hours of sitting
- Crossing your legs while sitting
- Tight or restrictive underwear or socks
May help to increase
calcium – more dairy products,
or take supplements.
If it happens
in the back of the leg, push your heal “down”
while curling your toes upward.
Warm packs – heated rice socks – help to treat and may help prevent cramps.
and heart burn
Hormonal cause, but also is made worse by pressure on the stomach as the uterus
grows. Heartburn is miserable, but not fatal!
Made worse by:
- Spicy foods
- Greasy foods
- Heavy meals
- Drinking liquids with meals
- Sleeping – or
lying down -- soon after eating
- Milder foods
- Avoid or decrease fats and grease
- Stay upright for 2 hours after a meal – eat earlier in the evening
- Going for a walk after meals
Holistic Remedies for Heartburn or Indigestion
- Calcium tablets -- like Tums or calcium carbonate
- papaya tablets or even dried papaya.
- Raw celery.
- Raw almonds or raw cashews.
- peppermint/chamomile teas
- Ginger -- candied or make a tea by shredding ginger root into hot water. Use either
root or candied. This helps with nausea too.
- Apple-cider vinegar tea is a surprisingly effective old time cure. Put a tablespoon
with a little honey in hot water, and drink like tea. Orjust take a teaspoon of the stuff, if you can stand it straight. The
idea behind it is that "acid stomach" may actually be an "alkaline” condition and that a mild acid such as vinegar will help bring
- Lemonade –
cold or as a hot tea may also balance acids
- Yogurt or acidophilus capsules are recommended for any malady of the stomach or
intestines: heartburn, nausea, gas, diarrhea, stomach flu, etc.
- Over The Counter Products: Kalenzyme gum. Tums or generic calcium
- Exercise: Flying Angel: Sit up tall (or tailor sit)
and flap your arms up and down like a bird (high enough so the hands meet above the head).
- Acupressure tip: Standing up, gently place the first two fingers of each hand side
by side-index finger next to index finger-on the top of the diaphragm, centered under the breastbone. Then bend at the waist,
with your fingers in the same place. When bent as far forward as comfortable, start applying pressure, with both sets of fingers
in the direction toward one's feet (although when you are bent over it feels like you are pressing toward your spine). Slowly
straighten up keeping the pressure firm and steady: When standing straight, the direction of the pressure should be clearly
toward one's feet, instead of toward the spine. Hold for as long as comfortable. Repeat twice. Do this every time you think
of it, or when heartburn strikes. this adjustment/pressure point is supposed to close the hiatal valve that is responsible
for acid reflux and causes heartburn.
- Aloe Vera juice (2 tbls) combined with liquid chlorophyll MINT (1 tablespoon) taken ½ hour before meals. (This recipe
is from a naturopath).
- Some find relief with a deep bath or hot water bottle.
Caused by softened ligaments and forward weight of the uterus. Will probably improve when the baby engages
(drops lower in the pelvis)
Made worse by:
- Long hours standing or sitting
- Poor posture when sitting
- Lifting heavy objects or carrying heavy purses or diaper
May be improved by:
- Trying to improve posture
- Maternity girdle/support device (even queen-sized pantyhose)
- Correct sitting position (upright chair, pillow to support
for lower back)
- Exercise – strengthening exercises such as crunches, or gentle modified sit-ups.
Pelvic rocks. SWIMMING and water exercises are perfect!
- Warm baths, hotpacks, liniments.
- Herbal rub (St John’s wort oil)
of Midwifery © gail hart