10 com­mon preg­nancy nig­gles And what to do about them

and how to cure them

Your Pregnancy - - Contents -

From bloat­ing to back­ache, preg­nancy sure isn’t glam­orous. Luck­ily, most of the com­mon ail­ments can be re­solved with a few life­style changes. Dr Re­nardo Lourens, an ob/gyn prac­tis­ing at Medi­clinic Panorama, of­fers some tips, writes Me­lany Bendix

1 BACK­ACHE

Al­most all women will ex­pe­ri­ence back­ache at some time dur­ing their preg­nancy. Dr Lourens says this is be­cause in­creases in the oe­stro­gen hor­mone cause lig­a­ments to be­come lax: “This causes the muscles to take over the ac­tion of the lig­a­ments and there­fore mus­cle spasms and back­ache are quite com­mon.”

CURE

The say­ing “pre­ven­tion is bet­ter than cure” ap­plies here, and that means be­ing fit, healthy and not over­weight be­fore preg­nancy. “Dur­ing your preg­nancy, see­ing a chi­ro­prac­tor or a phys­io­ther­a­pist will help quite a lot. Tak­ing walks for 20 to 30 min­utes at least three to four times a week is also a good habit,” Dr Lourens ad­vises. It’s also a good idea to avoid lift­ing heavy weights, wear­ing high heels or stand­ing for too long. If you still suf­fer from back­ache, try sleep­ing with a pil­low be­tween your legs; us­ing a sup­port cush­ion for sit­ting; ap­ply­ing a hot or cold pack to the area; or hav­ing a pro­fes­sional mas­sage (al­ways tell the ther­a­pist you’re preg­nant).

EN­SUR­ING YOU DRINK PLENTY OF WA­TER AND HAVE A FI­BRE-RICH DIET CAN HELP PRE­VENT CON­STI­PA­TION

2 BLOAT­ING

Oe­stro­gen is also to blame for this one. “Under the in­flu­ence of oe­stro­gen the gut re­laxes and there is a build-up of gas and there­fore bloat­ing oc­curs,” ex­plains Dr Lourens.

CURE

The good doc sug­gests avoid­ing fizzy drinks and food that causes gas, such as cab­bage and peanuts.

3 CON­STI­PA­TION

The big­gest cul­prit is – you guessed it – oe­stro­gen! “The in­crease of this hor­mone makes the gut lazier, there­fore the clear­ance of the gut is not so good,” ex­plains Dr Lourens. “There is also an in­creased up­take of wa­ter out of the gut and that leads to con­sti­pa­tion.”

CURE

En­sur­ing you drink plenty of wa­ter and have a fi­bre-rich diet can help pre­vent con­sti­pa­tion. Oth­er­wise, Dr Lourens rec­om­mends the bowel bulker and soft­ener Movi­col: “It is not ab­sorbed sys­tem­i­cally and there­fore is ab­so­lutely safe to take dur­ing your preg­nancy.”

4 FLATULENCE

Em­bar­rass­ing, yes, but also to­tally nor­mal. It’s usu­ally due to the same rea­son as bloat­ing and con­sti­pa­tion – an in­crease in oe­stro­gen lev­els de­creas­ing bowel mo­tion, caus­ing a build-up of gas. “There is also more pres­sure on the bowel, which can make the pass­ing of stool a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult, lead­ing to a build-up of gas.”

CURE

Take the same ac­tions as you would for bloat­ing and con­sti­pa­tion.

5 HEART­BURN OR IN­DI­GES­TION

Aside from your diet, Dr Lourens says boy ba­bies may be the cause of your in­di­ges­tion – due to the in­flu­ence of an­dro­genic (male type) hor­mones. An­other sur­pris­ing rea­son may be that your baby’s hair is grow­ing: “There is quite a good sci­en­tific re­la­tion be­tween heart­burn and the baby’s hair growth,” he notes.

CURE

Pre­ven­tion is best. Eat small, fre­quent meals, avoid spicy and greasy foods, choco­late, al­co­hol and cof­fee, and don’t drink a lot of liq­uid be­fore bed­time. If you still ex­pe­ri­ence heart­burn or in­di­ges­tion, prop your­self up with a pil­low, or Dr Lourens rec­om­mends man­ag­ing heart­burn or in­di­ges­tion with preg­nancy-safe med­i­ca­tions such as Gavis­con or Gelusil.

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