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Discomforts of Pregnancy

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Stefanie Porter

on 26 September 2012

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Transcript of Discomforts of Pregnancy

HOPE Clinic Presentation
Stefanie Porter & Jennifer Miner
September 25, 2012 Discomforts of Pregnancy A Journey Through the Trimesters YOU'RE PREGNANT....NOW WHAT? MOST OF THESE CHANGES WILL BE GRADUAL.......AND SOME MIGHT BE UNCOMFORTABLE Over the course of your pregnancy, your body will experience major changes 1st TRIMESTER Morning Sickness
Breast Tenderness
Frequent Urination
Fatigue Constipation
Stretch Marks 2nd TRIMESTER Swollen Feet/Legs
Leg Cramps
Varicose Veins
Shortness of Breath MORNING SICKNESS 1st Trimester Approximately 50% of women experience some degree of morning sickness. It is frequently, but not necessarily, in the morning.
Typically subsides after the 1st Trimester. CAUSE: Some of you may experience all of these discomforts....and some may only experience a few discomforts over the course of your pregnancy EVERYONE AND EVERY PREGNANCY IS DIFFERENT 1st Trimester BREAST TENDERNESS CAUSE: REMEDY: Increase in hormones - Estrogen and Progesterone
Breasts are growing to provide milk for your baby Often the first sign of pregnancy is tender boobs! Wear a supportive, well-fitting bra - without an underwire
Minimize impact, particularly during exercise 1st Trimester Frequent Urination CAUSE: Blood volume increases
Kidneys working harder to filter
Increased thirst due to need for more fluids REMEDY: Completely empty bladder each bathroom visit
Don't restrict fluids - but do limit caffeine Good news....this frequency lessens in the 2nd Trimester.....Bad news...it returns in the 3rd! FATIGUE 1st Trimester So tired you could sleep standing up! CAUSE: REMEDY: Huge amount of energy required to get your body ready for baby
Increase in hormones also implicated
Iron needs increase as the pregnancy proceeds, and fatigue due to anemia can occur Get adequate sleep
Nap if possible
Moderate exercise can provide energy
Eat a well-balanced diet
Take prenatal vitamins
Let a few things slide! 2nd Trimester CONSTIPATION Remember fluids and fiber! CAUSE: REMEDY: Hormones causing sluggish intestines
Growing uterus putting pressure on bowels
Not enough fiber or fluids in diet Increase fiber in diet-fruits & veggies, nuts, whole grains
Increase fluid intake
Don't delay going to the bathroom
Get moderate exercise to keep things moving!
Consult doctor before using laxatives 2nd Trimester INDIGESTION/HEARTBURN Watch what you are eating! CAUSE: REMEDY: Hormones relax the "closure" between the stomach and esophagus allowing stomach contents to rise into esophagus. Small meals every 2-3 hours
Avoid overly spicy or fatty foods
Stop smoking
Minimize or eliminate coffee and sodas
Remain upright for 1-2 hours after eating
Sleep propped up on pillows REMEMBER: Always talk with your doctor before using any antacids! CAUSE: 2nd Trimester Maintain good posture
Avoid lifting heavy objects
Bend from the knees if you do lift items
Avoid high heeled shoes
Utilize foot and arm rests when sitting
Warm baths and massage can lessen discomfort BACKACHE Very common discomfort of pregnancy....can start early and last until baby is born. REMEDY: As the baby grows, the lower back begins to curve more than usual resulting in strained muscles.
The baby's position can increase pressure on the lower back as well.
Hormones cause ligaments to relax and stretch. Surge of pregnancy hormones
Slowdown in gastric motility -or how fast your stomach will move its contents along MORNING SICKNESS 1st Trimester REMEDY: Eat crackers, dry toast or dry cereal before getting out of bed in the morning
Get up slowly
Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day to avoid having an empty stomach
Drink fluids frequently, but not with meals
Avoid smells that increase nausea
Avoid greasy, fried and spicy foods - bland foods are best
Ginger (tea, ginger ale, cookies) and peppermint, salty (pretzels) or tart (lemon) foods can help with nausea CONGRATULATIONS! STRETCH MARKS 2nd Trimester Can appear on abdomen, breasts, thighs, buttocks Not all women will get stretch marks. CAUSE: stretching of connective tissue as weight is gained throughout pregnancy STRETCH MARKS 2nd Trimester REMEDY: No way to prevent stretch marks - occurrence depends on each woman's skin
Keep well-hydrated and moisturize skin to help with dryness and itching
Palmer's Cocoa Butter lotion is a good choice Good News - Though they won't entirely disappear, most mild stretch marks will fade after pregnancy! SWOLLEN LEGS & FEET 3rd Trimester CAUSE: REMEDY: 3rd TRIMESTER OVERVIEW 3rd TRIMESTER Most discomforts that arise in the 3rd trimester are related to the growing weight of the baby and uterus.

Blood volume has significantly increased from the pre-pregnancy level, and the added pressure of baby causes more work for veins in the lower half of the body to carry blood back up to the heart........which can result in tired, achy, swollen legs and feet - and possibly varicose veins and hemorrhoids!

Ongoing discomforts of constipation, fatigue, and indigestion will still need to be managed.

And here comes the "need to pee" again! Increased blood volume and body fluids, and the effects of gravity
Too much sodium in diet causes body to retain water
Venous return impaired due to weight of baby/uterus Elevate legs when sitting
Monitor sodium intake -but don't restrict sodium!
Drink plenty of water to help kidneys do their job
Maintain exercise if doctor approved to assist with circulation LEG CRAMPS 3rd TRIMESTER Typically occur at night - a "charley horse" in calf muscles CAUSE: REMEDY: Dehydration
Muscle fatigue
Possibly due to too much phosphorous and decreased magnesium levels Drink plenty of fluids
Gently stretch calves, rotate ankles and wiggle toes several times a day
If doctor approved, take a daily walk
Gentle massage or warm bath before bed can help If you get a leg cramp: Straighten leg and gently flex foot back toward body VARICOSE VEINS 3rd TRIMESTER If you already have varicose veins, they will likely increase in pregnancy. CAUSE: Venous congestion - blood just can't get back up the legs easily with added volume and weight of baby
"Pooling" of blood in legs causes varicosities
Can also occur in the vulvar region REMEDY: Elevate legs whenever possible
Wear support hose
Exercise with doctor approval to help with circulation HEMORRHOIDS 3rd TRIMESTER Things no one likes to talk about....essentially they are varicose veins of the rectum. CAUSE: REMEDY: Increased pressure when straining to have a bowel movement
Increased blood volume and weight of uterus AVOID CONSTIPATION!
Get plenty of fluids and fiber
Try not to strain during bowel movements
Warm sitz bath to relieve inflammation SHORTNESS OF BREATH 3rd TRIMESTER Pregnant women require 30-40% more oxygen than non-pregnant women. CAUSE: REMEDY: Increased oxygen needs of mom and baby
Uterus pushes on diaphragm making it difficult for lungs to fully expand
Breathing becomes more shallow in the chest, instead of deep and abdominal Check with doctor regarding nutritional needs Maintain good posture to allow the most lung expansion
Don't overexert yourself when exercising
Sleep on left side, slightly propped on pillows to avoid added pressure on major blood vessels that are carrying oxygen throughout body Fear of not knowing what to expect
Financial worries
Added responsibilities
Changing roles in the family ADDITIONAL DISCOMFORTS.....NOT NECESSARILY PHYSICAL Attend prenatal classes to help eliminate fear of the unknown with pregnancy and birth-related concerns
Visit the library for books on pregnancy and childcare
Seek the advice of a financial planner for help with budgeting for baby
Talk with a counselor to learn coping strategies for this major life change
Rely on friends and family for support! ASK FOR HELP! WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
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