Coping with minor discomforts in pregnancy
Today is another beautiful Monday for a sequel to last week’s post. The minor discomforts series would last for the whole of July , I started last week with the first six most common discomforts. This week I would be sharing ways to cope with five other discomforts. Some of these discomforts cannot be avoided but you can reduce the discomfort it brings and like I mentioned in the last post different discomforts for different people you don’t necessarily have to experience all the discomforts. Today I would be sharing coping strategies for backache, leg cramps, insomnia, dyspnea(difficulty in breathing) and syncope(faintness).
Backache is very common, it is due to the weight of the uterus which causes the your posture to be altered , there is usually an exaggerated curvature of the back to compensate for the increasing uterus. It Is also due to the hormones progesterone and relaxin which also cause a softening and relaxation of your pelvic ligaments. If you do not maintain proper positioning and posture there will be a strain on the muscles and ligaments and will cause backache. Simple measures to reduce pain include limiting physical activity, wear low-heeled shoes, have adequate rest , use supportive pillows beneath the knees and abdomen. Use of proper posture and good body mechanics such as when picking up objects and bending.
Leg cramps are often caused by extension of the foot, other causative factors include inadequate calcium intake, pressure on the pelvic vessels causing impaired circulation. It is more common in the third trimester because of the increased weight of the uterus on the nerves supplying the lower extremities. Relief measures include doing stretching exercises before bedtime , this can help to prevent leg cramps. You can achieve immediate relief of the leg cramps by stretching the muscles, also massage can be used to alleviate the discomfort from the cramps.
Insomnia is caused by back pain, heartburn, frequent urination during the night , anxiety, hormonal changes and also discomfort due to the increased size of your abdomen. Try new sleeping positions , exercising regularly will help to improve sleep, relaxation techniques, prepare yourself for sleep by taking a warm bath or receiving a nice massage, sleeping with the lights off also works. Pregnancy pillows can also be used as pregnancy pillows help in relieving discomforts such as back pain which would cause insomnia, read my post on relieving sleep discomforts in pregnancy to learn more about pregnancy pillows.
Dyspnea which is difficulty in breathing occurs due to the rising uterus in the abdomen, which causes pressure on the diaphragm. Learn to use proper posture when sitting and standing also ensure you are propped up with pillows for relief if problems occur at night, sleeping in a semi fowler position can help to expand the chest region and ensure for adequate breathing.
Syncope is also known as faintness. It is caused by postural hypotension, sudden change of position causing venous pooling in dependent veins, standing for long periods in warms areas and also by anaemia. Avoid standing for long hours in warm or stuffy areas. Also ensure you see your midwife or doctor in order to check your hematocrit and hemoglobin levels in order to rule out anaemia.