Natural Solutions to 10 Common Pregnancy Ailments
I’m not going to overwhelm you with all the thousands of natural remedies out there for pregnancy ailments. I am here to give you specific tips to get you started feeling better right now.
These are the things that helped me and my preggo friends.
You will want to know what to stock up on to avoid sending your partner out into the wild. Plus you probably dont want to be going out yourself when you don’t feel well.
I mean who feels like getting dressed and going for a car ride when you’re nauseous with hemorrhoids and sore boobs? No thanks.
Plus this may spark some creative ideas for a well deserved care package for pregnant moms.
As a pharmacist I know the risks medications can pose. I took the natural, non medicated route first and I’m sharing it here with you so you can be armed with the knowledge to do the same.
You’ll also learn about the most common pregnancy hormones, how they play a role in each ailment and of course how to make yourself feel better naturally.
10 Pregnancy Ailments
1. Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea : Here’s a secret nobody tells you. Even though it’s called morning sickness, you can actually experience it anytime of day. Say whaaat?! I know, crazy.
Mine was in the evening which worked out well because I worked during the day. Nausea in pregnancy occurs because of the pregnancy hormones running through your body. Mine was a nagging queasiness that started around week 5 and lasted just before my second trimester, but every mama is different. Like any nauseated preggo would, I looked into natural remedies.
Vomiting : Ahhh yes, the infamous preggo hurl! Not all women experience it, but you know when you do. You will often see nausea and vomiting linked together. I separated them here for a few reasons.
In pregnancy you can have that nagging queasy type of nausea routinely throughout the first trimester, but may only vomit a few times if at all. However, if you do vomit then you were probably warned with a bout of nausea. Soooo you can see how one can avoid vomiting if you treat the nausea effectively. Still with me? Cool
Another reason vomiting is separate here is because I want to make sure you understand I’m referring to mild vomiting that occurs on occasion. Don’t get it confused with a more serious type called hyperemesis gravidarum which requires more serious medical attention from your physician.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming….I was telling you how to kick nausea’s butt naturally.
Natural remedies :
- Ginger has a always been a staple for natural nausea treatment. This may be enough for some of you, but I found that over time I needed to switch up the options. So let’s keep digging.
- You can also try mint and lemon. My husband was desperate to help me and started researching other natural remedies for morning sickness. He told me to sniff a lemon and I thought he was trying to make me laugh. It actually worked. Try it and let me know if it works for you!
- Vitamin B6. A typical dose for morning sickness is 10mg to 25mg three times per day.
- Bland diets and smaller, more frequent meals can work wonders because you’re keeping your blood sugar steady. Low blood sugar can lead to that nauseous feeling.
- What about vomiting? Again, the best natural options for mild vomiting would be to treat and prevent the nausea with the nausea remedies we just discussed. After you’ve thrown up, be sure to stay hydrated and replenish calories as needed.
Oh my heartburn! I think every pregnant woman has that one issue that is specific to her pregnancy experience. Heartburn was mine! I feel like I had it from day one until I gave birth.
In normal conditions, the stomach keeps acid in the stomach with a clever muscle that contracts to keep it shut. Buuuut in pregnancy there’s a hormone called progesterone that relaxes smooth muscle and keeps it from shutting tightly.
This allows stomach acids to travel up your esophagus. Plus as your belly keeps growing it pushes the stomach up even higher so the acid is closer to the throat.
Natural remedies :
For the sake of time I’m only going to give you a few key nuggets on natural relief here because there are plenty and each have worked for me.
- First, make sure you invest in a quality pregnancy pillow and sleep on your left side with your head propped up on the pillow.
- Don’t eat meals too close to bedtime. Give yourself at least an hour.
- You know that lemon and ginger tea I suggested I suggested for nausea? It works wonders for heartburn as well.
- Baking soda isn’t just for cooking! If extra acid in your stomach is causing discomfort try mixing 1/8 teaspoon with water and sip it.
I mean… you knew pushing would probably be involved with pregnancy, but I’m sure this wasn’t the kind you were hoping for. But hey, aint no shame.
Constipation happens especially early on so here’s to having that poop baby naturally! But first, why does it happen?
Remember meeting that pregnancy hormone called Progesterone when we discussed indigestion? I said it’s one of the pregnancy hormones running crazy and it’s a smooth muscle relaxant.
Your bowel muscles contract to move poop along, so when this hormone is involved it slows that movement.
Natural remedies :
Key natural ways to get things moving are exercise and more water.
- Fiber. I know salads and veggies aren’t the typical pregnancy cravings, but make sure you’re getting enough fiber. Try adding flax seeds to the mix for an extra fiber boost as well.
- Try lemon in the water for a soothing warm tea. The two together help with detox and digestion by causing those bowel contractions that are oh so missed. The tea will also help keep nausea at bay.
- Exercise. Treat yourself for a brisk walk! The movement will help move things along nicely.
This is typically brought on by the constipation. They can also occur from increased pressure on the veins from your growing baby. I was so physically active in my pregnancy that I drank a lot of water and exercised nearly every day. This combination helped me to avoid constipation and hemorrhoids, but that’s my story and every mama is different.
Natural remedies :
- For some non medicated relief try soaking in a warm bath without soap or chemicals, just warm water only.
- You can also use soft pillows to sit on. I’ve seen some mamas have sitting pillows with cute sayings or their name embroidered on it. May as well make the most of it and that would be a cute little pick me up. The point is that you want to relieve pressure from the swollen blood vessels.
5. Back Pain
When you get pregnant the body starts releasing a hormone called relaxin. Just as the name suggests, it relaxes the pelvic joints to prepare the body for birth. The thing is that it doesn’t just single out the hips. All joints and ligaments are affected and this lack of support can lead to back pain due to excess strain.
Natural Remedies :
- Correct your posture. Mom’s posture, weight distribution and even the baby’s position as it grows can each lead to back pain in pregnancy as well.
- Staying physically active can improve circulation, posture and strengthen muscles which can help alleviate a painful back.
- Try some prenatal yoga! It looks cool and there are so many ways to get access to it either online or at your local studio.
- Supportive clothing. I wore pregnancy Spanx and a bump brace for extra support and it helped big time.
- Stress can also tighten muscles so don’t feel guilty about taking a warm bath and practicing regular self care to destress!
This one got me good! When you’re pregnant you get a boost in blood supply thanks to…yep, you guessed it… the hormones!
This leads to swelling of blood vessels and causes that congested feeling in the nasal passages. When lying down with nasal congestion it can feel like you literally have an elephant tap dancing on your face.
Natural Remedies :
- Try using a pillow to prop up your head.
- Warm compresses on the face feel nice and relieve congestion as well.
- Saline will quickly be your bestie. It’s not too expensive and it’s just salt water so it’s a great natural therapy for both nasal congestion and a dry nose. I kept one on the nightstand, my purse and at work!
Progesterone slows digestion and can cause bloating. You may notice it as soon as you find out you’re pregnat and it’s totally normal.
It makes you look farther along than you are. With pregnancy bloat you can see it more so as the day progresses so don’t let your ever changing belly size freak you out.
Natural Remedies :
- brisk walk
- drink plenty of water
- avoid gassy foods
- lemon tea we discussed earlier can help here too
- many of the natural treatments for constipation work well for gas as well
If at some point during the day when you go to put on your rings or maybe your shoes and notice that fit got a little extra snug, you may be experiencing some prenatal swelling. It occurs because you get about a 50% increase in blood and other fluids.
Mild swelling like this is totally normal and occurs in about 75% of pregnant women.
Please be aware that there is a very serious condition called pre eclampsia that needs to be reported and examined by your physician so make sure you speak directly to him or her when you experience swelling while pregnant.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming….I was telling you how to kick swelling’s butt naturally.
Natural remedies :
- Drink water
- Minimize salt intake
- Rest with your feet up.
- Warm / hot weather makes it worse. I was pregnant during the summer in Florida, so yeah, I can attest to this one.
- Wearing those supportive Spanx will help as well because it has great circulation support with all that new blood flow your body is adapting to.
9. Sore Boobs
Sooo yeah, naturally going from a C to DD in record time kiiiinda gave it away for me.
The size wasn’t the issue, it was the soreness. That was one of my first, obvious signs of pregnancy. It can start at around 1 to 2 weeks after conception and doesn’t last too long. It was just in the early first trimester for me.
Can you guess who the culprits are in this one? If you guessed those sassy hormones estrogen and progesterone you get a gold star! The soreness starts to subside and your breasts will continue to change throughout pregnancy as they get ready to produce baby’s first food called colostrum and then breast milk.
Natural remedies :
- The game changing natural remedy for me was a dang good maternity bra! Oh My Boobs! I cannot express enough how much better I felt after making the switch to a great quality maternity bra.
- You will want to get a good sleeping maternity bra as well to provide extra support. Plus there are so many cute ones now, it can really be a nice self care pick me up.
- Experiment with cold and heated compresses. You may find relief from one or both.
- Avoid direct pressure. You will find out quickly that hugs may not be your friend. If anything hurts don’t do it, and be sure to communicate to your partner because it may freak them out if you punch them in the face as a reflex. Just sayin’.
Increase in blood volume and the hormonal surge causes headaches. Plus add in poor posture from trying to adjust to a new body with relaxed joints, stress and lack of sleep. That’s a recipe for headache right there my beautiful, waddling buddy!
When I started getting headaches I went straight to Google and started searching for natural remedies. I wanted something easy that I could do daily because I only wanted to reserve medication during pregnancy as an absolute last result.
Headaches that are frequent, especially in the third trimester could be a sign of that serious condition called pre eclampsia. So again, you need to discuss the symptoms of this condition with your physician.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming….I was telling you how to kick preggo headache butt naturally.
- Lavender and lemon essential oil. A few dabs across the back of the neck and temples. The lavender also helps to soothe which is a great stress reliever for moms. The lemon oil can help with nausea! The benefits of this combo is a huge win for pregnant mamas.
- Something else you can try is massage and pressure points. I found almost instant, long lasting relief with pressure point activation through acupressure for pregnancy.
- Add honest rest, relaxation and drinking plenty of water to these suggestions for some natural pregnancy headache relief.
Putting it together
Were you able to identify any trends here? If you said pregnancy hormones and increased blood volume you are correct my friend! What about natural remedies? Yep, self care, relaxation, water, physical activity, saline, ginger, lemon, and peppermint should all be at an expectant mother’s finger tips.
The balance of staying physically active, resting and an overall healthy and nutritious lifestyle are important common threads among the natural remedies for each ailment and great habits to maintain throughout pregnancy.
Try to keep in mind that these ailments have end dates! You may experience each of these issues, maybe just a few like me or maybe you don’t notice any at all.
Just like every mama is different, so is every pregnancy. The issue wont last forever even though it can feel that way.
My mission is that you have the safest, healthiest pregnancy possible and that you are aware of ways to make yourself feel better. You can do this.
You were specifically picked out of all the women in the world to carry this baby! Practice your breath and mindful meditation when you get stressed. Those are two tools you have constantly with you to help bring the moment back into perspective. You. Got. This. Mama!
Leave a comment below and let me know what natural remedies work for you!
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