5 Pregnancy Symptoms and Remedies
Seeing a positive pregnancy test is one of the most exciting feelings in the world; however, in the weeks and months to follow, you’ll have moments where you feel a little less ecstatic. From morning sickness in the beginning stages to fatigue throughout pregnancy, your symptoms may seem unbearable at times.
Luckily, there are a few at-home and natural remedies that can help minimize your symptoms and get you back to feeling like your normal self.
Since you may experience the below symptoms at different times throughout your pregnancy, make sure to bookmark this page so you can quickly check back when needed.
Nausea is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms at the beginning of your journey to motherhood. The sickness is due to the overwhelming amount of pregnancy hormones travelling through your body. For some women, this feeling will only be present during the first stages, while others will battle it throughout nine months.
While it’s unlikely that you will be able to completely prevent pregnancy sickness, there are quite a few natural remedies that may help you minimize the feeling.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Make sure you are getting the daily nutrients you need during pregnancy. While this sounds simple, being low on some vitamins, such as vitamin B6, can contribute to nausea. You can take B6 vitamins or eat foods high in the nutrient such as chicken and avocado.
- Realize which foods trigger your nausea and avoid them. Common nausea triggers during pregnancy include spicy foods and foods that are fatty or fried. Eating bland foods such as potatoes, rice and crackers are a safer bet. Instead of eating large meals a couple times a day, it may be easier on your stomach to eat smaller quantities more often throughout the day.
- Drink water. It’s important to keep well-hydrated through morning sickness. If you don’t like water, try adding a few fruits to flavor it.
- Try acupuncture. While some people make think acupuncture is a mumbo-jumbo treatment, there is actually some evidence that it could work to reduce sickness. A 2002 study concluded that acupuncture was an effective treatment for women who experienced nausea and dry retching early in their pregnancy. Although a placebo effect was found for some women, it could be another treatment to try if you need relief. When you make your appointment, make sure to specify that you’re pregnant and wanting to treat morning sickness. You can also try applying pressure to an acupressure point anytime you feel sick. Use the video below to find the correct spot:
- Diffusing specific essential oils. Essential oils like peppermint, lime or sweet orange may help decrease nausea. However, if certain scents trigger your nausea, you should avoid them. Although ginger is known to decrease nausea, ginger essential oil should be used with caution or avoided altogether by pregnant women.
- Consume ginger. You probably already know that ginger can help stomach aches, but it can also help morning sickness. You can drink ginger ale or ginger tea or eat raw pieces of ginger, if you can stomach it. Another option is to purchase ginger capsules. If you think the ginger treatment is just an old wives’ tale, you’re wrong. A 2009 study concluded that ginger is an effective herbal remedy for decreasing nausea as well as vomiting during pregnancy.
Another symptom pregnancy hormones can cause is fatigue, especially in the first couple of months. By the time you’re in your second trimester, you’ll probably begin feeling less tired; however, if you lead a busy lifestyle, tiredness could last throughout pregnancy. In addition, if you have trouble sleeping, your energy could further plummet. Here are a few remedies to help you stay awake during the day:
- Get exercise. Although you may think that exercise could further deplete your energy, it can actually give you a surge of it. You don’t have to go for a run or even on the treadmill; a simple workout including yoga or pilates may help. Taking a short 20-minute walk can also boost energy.
- Eat the right foods. We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat” and that can be especially true during pregnancy. Eating high-fat and fried foods are known to make people feel sluggish; whereas fruits, vegetables and whole grains give your body the right fuel it needs to function optimally. Eating small, frequent meals may also help.
- Aromatherapy can help fatigue in two ways. If you are fatigued because you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try diffusing lavender essential oil or putting a few drops on your pillowcase. This oil is known to help people relax and drift off to a restful night’s sleep. For daytime use, peppermint oil may be helpful. The scent is said to help awaken people and increase energy. Another option is to get a prenatal aromatherapy massage using these oils.
- Check your ferritin levels. If you are experiencing extreme fatigue, ask your doctor if you should get your ferritin levels checked, which requires a blood test. Low iron is common among pregnant women, especially towards the end of pregnancy. If you have low iron, your doctor will probably recommend that you purchase an over-the-counter iron supplement. Since iron capsules are known to cause constipation, if you are already experiencing digestive issues, you can opt for more expensive and quality supplements or liquid iron. Another option is to eat more foods rich in iron, such as leafy greens or iron-fortified cereals.
Despite your best efforts, you may still develop pregnancy stretch marks. Although these can serve as reminders that your body once carried your beautiful baby, there are ways to minimize the number of marks that form.
- Healthy lifestyle. It’s normal to have cravings during pregnancy and eat more calories than usual, but you should not over-do your food intake. Pregnancy shouldn’t be a free-for-all food buffet because you can still gain unhealthy weight if you’re eating an excess of unhealthy foods. No matter what, you will gain weight during pregnancy. However, eating a balanced diet and exercising frequently can help minimize your weight gain and therefore minimize stretch marks. Working out also improves your circulation, keeping your skin elastic.
- Massaging with cream. Using coconut oil, cocoa butter or bio-oil, massage your skin in circular motions for about five minutes a day. Another option is to get regular massages.
- Get your vitamins. Doctors always encourage patients to meet their daily requirement for vitamins and minerals, but it’s even more important during pregnancy because it has so many benefits. Getting your Vitamin E, Vitamin C, silica and zinc can all help your skin grow strong and prevent stretch marks. Vitamin B2 and B3 are also known to promote healthy skin.
Many women — about half — experience constipation during pregnancy. We can blame the surge of the hormone progesterone for this. Since it relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, it takes longer for food to pass through the intestines. There are a few home remedies that may help get your digestive system back to normal.
- Increase fiber. Eating foods rich in fiber such as fruits and vegetables can help you pass a bowel movement. However, if your body is not used to high amounts of fiber, increase your intake in increments. Going from low fiber intake to a very high fiber intake quickly can also cause constipation. Whole grain breads and cereals are also good options.
- Increase water intake. You should be drinking about 10 cups of water per day. If the taste of water is too bland for you, try infusing it with fruits or drinking it in tea form. To pass a stool, your bowel needs enough water, and if you’re dehydrated, it can lead to irregularity.
- Getting your body moving can help your bowels. Even a small, slow walk can help stimulate a bowel movement.
That burning sensation is yet another symptom we can attribute to fluctuating hormones. Luckily, you can get natural relief from heartburn.
- Change your eating habits. When your stomach is too full, it will push up under your diaphragm, causing heartburn. To prevent this, you can eat small, frequent meals. Try not to eat dinner before bed and avoid spicy and fried foods. Some people find that sugar and caffeinated beverages also cause heartburn. Try to notice what types of food trigger your symptoms and avoid them.
- Don’t drink water with meals. Drinking water with your meal can prevent your food from breaking down. Instead, try drinking water before or after your meal. Also avoid soda or other carbonated beverages.
Which natural remedies have you tried for your pregnancy symptoms? Comment below and let us know whether they worked. If you have any pregnant friends or family members, be sure to share this article to help them feel better, too!
P.S. All those pregnancy symptoms will be worth it once you hear your baby’s heartbeat. Luckily, you can hear it from home with our fetal dopplers. Pregnancy can be pretty amazing, right?