10 Common Pregnancy Symptoms: How to Manage Them

Pregnant women or moms-to-be deal with a wide range of concerns when navigating through their journey. While there’s a long list of symptoms, every woman—and every pregnancy—is unique.

But yes, you can’t escape from pregnancy symptoms. Some are distressing, causing pain and a great deal of discomfort. The symptoms change as you progress from the start to the home stretch of your journey.

During your first trimester prenatal appointments, your doctor will discuss the symptoms so you’ll know what to expect and what to do. Some signal a serious concern, but generally, symptoms are normal and there’s no cause to worry.

Let’s explore some of the common pregnancy symptoms and how you can manage them through every trimester. We at Omega Pediatrics hope you find this list beneficial as you ride through this beautiful phase of your life. 

1. Nausea and Vomiting

pregnancyThe American Pregnancy Association reveals that 60% of expectant women experience this symptom. Commonly referred to as morning sickness, it’s said to be one solid sign that you’re pregnant.

As opposed to its name, this unpleasant symptom happens during the day and night. It’s very uncomfortable and distressing, but the good news is that, as research says, it indicates that a fetus is developing normally.

There’s a layman’s myth that morning sickness happens because the baby’s vital organs are developing. However, not all expectant mothers experience morning sickness. If you’re one of the few who don’t, it’s not alarming, consider yourself lucky.

The human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG) is produced when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This condition causes nausea and vomiting. This lasts through the first trimester until the placenta fully takes over.

The natural remedies to alleviate morning sickness are detailed in the succeeding section. However, a severe case may result in hyperemesis gravidarum, which necessitates hospital admission where intravenous insertion is needed to replace lost electrolytes.

2. Fatigue

The numerous bodily changes make you feel tired. You’re unable to keep up with the activities the way you used to before pregnancy. Hormonal changes, such as the rise in progesterone production, are the culprits for fatigue during the first trimester.

Prioritize nap times and adequate sleep at night. Take prenatal vitamins, which can help prevent anemia and boost energy levels. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugary foods. Energy levels usually perk up by the second trimester.

If you’re a working mom, consider limiting your work travels, reducing your commitments, and seeking assistance from others. Even short commuting can take its toll, so it’s best to ensure you don’t do a lot of standing and walking to and fro.

3. Heartburn

pregnancyThis symptom may last throughout, but it’s common during the last stretch as the expanding uterus puts pressure against the stomach muscles. You feel a burning discomfort in your mid- and upper chest, extending to the neck and throat.

Heartburn happens when the hormone progesterone relaxes the tight esophageal muscles, causing acids and food to make back-and-forth flow less systematically. This causes a burning sensation in the middle and upper chests.

A good remedy is to eat in smaller quantities. Another way is to avoid eating before lying down. You need to stay upright to enable the food to stay up well and digest fast. Also, reduce your intake of greasy, acidic, and spicy foods, to ease digestion.

 If you can’t still get relief, your doctor will recommend antacid medication.

4. Back, Pelvic, or Hip Pain

As your unborn baby grows, so does your belly. Muscles, ligaments, and joints stretch and work doubly hard to support the increasing belly size and weight. You will be experiencing pains in the back, pelvis, and hips, as well as leg cramps.

All these cause a lot of discomfort, restricting body movements even by just sitting, walking, and standing. Refrain from standing for extended periods since your legs bear the weight of your growing belly.

Correct posture, supportive shoes with low heels, and avoiding sudden movements can help alleviate the pain. Prenatal yoga or massage can help, too. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be considered, but ensure clearance from your doctor. 

5. Frequent Urination

Why does this happen? It’s because there are increased fluid levels, and the growing uterus puts pressure on the pelvic muscles and the urinary bladder. The pressure may also cause you to leak urine, causing frequent trips to the bathroom.

Ensure to take bathroom breaks often and drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends Kegel exercises for pregnant women to strengthen the pelvic muscles.

6. Constipation

The progesterone hormone is essential while pregnant. Due to its increased production, it slows down digestion and causes your bowels to move more slowly, leading to constipation.

Increased intake of fiber-rich foods and hydration are ways to manage this. Good sources of fiber are bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, beans, legumes, and whole-grain bread.

For hydration, drink at least 2 liters of water daily. Grapes, cucumbers, and watermelons are good alternatives due to their high water content.

Besides constipation, good hydration can also help prevent uterine irritability, which is characterized by mild contractions, cramps, and increased energy. Also, physical exercise can keep the digestive tract moving.

Lastly, start with over-the-counter stool softeners. Prunes, prune juice, and laxatives are safe ways to increase regular bowel movements and provide relief.

7. Round Ligament Pain

Women have two round ligaments on either side of the uterus. These ligaments act as suspenders to elevate and support the uterus. While pregnant, the increasing size and weight of the uterus cause these ligaments to stretch.

The stretching of the ligaments causes sharp, shooting, or jabbing pain that starts from the sides of your belly down to the vagina, called round ligament pain. The pain commonly occurs when walking or exercising, or at night after a day spent standing and walking.

A belly band or pregnancy support belt can provide relief. The belt supports the back and the uterus, thus reducing strain on the ligaments. Also, you can position a pillow under your belly when sleeping on your side. Other ways to manage are through yoga and stretching exercises.

Additionally, consider chiropractic services specializing in the Webster technique to help manage round ligament pain.

8. Swelling

The numerous physical changes during pregnancy could be a result of increased blood and fluid in your body, causing swelling in the hands, legs, feet, ankles, fingers, and face. Your pre-pregnancy clothes, shoes, and jewelry ring may not fit you anymore.

Swelling in the lower extremities can be relieved by regular exercise and sitting with elevated feet. While sleeping at night, ensure your feet are elevated by stacks of pillows or against a wall. This swelling can cause difficulty in movement and mobility.

Swelling is a normal symptom; but if it’s accompanied by headaches, dizziness, or vision changes, reach out to your doctor, as these could be a prelude to preeclampsia.

9. Brixton Hicks Contractions

 These contractions happen toward the home stretch of your pregnancy. Characterized by being short and mild, they don’t come in regular intervals, similar to labor contractions.

When you’re nearing your due date, your doctor will discuss with you how to detect labor pains and contractions. It’s time to go to the hospital!

10. Food Cravings and Aversions

Cravings for certain foods, especially those high in energy and calcium, are very common among pregnant women. On the contrary, symptoms of sudden dislikes for previously enjoyed foods can also occur.

Morning Sickness: Some Natural Remedies

At the start of pregnancy, a majority of women can’t escape morning sickness. This symptom is very distressing and can interfere with your activities during the day. Here are some natural remedies to alleviate the symptoms during the first trimester:

  1. Making dietary changes by eating small but frequent meals of bland, starchy foods like crackers or toast can help settle the stomach
  2. Avoid large meals, fatty or spicy foods, and strong smells that may trigger nausea.
  3. Make use of ginger, known to be a classic and effective natural remedy for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
  4. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration, which can trigger nausea.
  5. Over-the-counter antihistamines such as doxylamine.
  6. Vitamin B6 supplements, up to 100mg per day, can improve morning sickness.
  7. Slow down and rest, avoiding overexertion.
  8. Use acupressure. Apply pressure to the P6 pressure point on the wrist.
  9. Practice aromatherapy: Essential oils like mint, lemon, or orange can alleviate nausea when inhaled. Diffuse these oils or place a cotton ball with the oil.

These natural remedies are generally considered safe for pregnant women. It’s still important to consult your healthcare provider before trying any new treatments

For New Moms, Learn the Pregnancy Symptomspregnancy

Pregnancy symptoms are normal. The problem lies if you can’t comprehend what’s normal and what’s not. Nevertheless, if the symptoms get persistent or worry you, don’t hesitate to discuss them during your prenatal appointments.

Your doctor will make sure that the symptoms are normal and not indicators of serious or other health conditions. After this, the doctor will recommend ways and techniques to alleviate the symptoms through safe and healthy methods.

Every pregnancy is unique, and so are the symptoms. The symptoms may be present in other women while they don’t appear in yours. Since most cause pain and discomfort, you’re lucky if you don’t feel the same.

Manage these common pregnancy symptoms with dietary and lifestyle changes, taking supplements, and drinking plenty of water. Managing the symptoms ensures that your and your baby’s health are safeguarded.

We understand how you feel, with all the pains and discomforts that pregnancy brings. Omega Pediatrics aims to help you learn, through this beneficial guide, how to navigate your pregnancy with confidence and happiness.

As much as you’re excited about the arrival of your little one, so are we. We at Omega Pediatrics care for your health as much as we care for your little one.


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