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Pregnancy: Morning sickness and more
By taking certain precautions—for example, getting good nutrition and enough exercise—you can make your pregnancy more comfortable.
As your baby grows, he or she places new pressures on your body and introduces changes in your system. That's why you may, at times, be more tired, have heartburn or feel nauseated.
Here are some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to help you deal with some common pregnancy discomforts.
During your first three months of pregnancy, you may have morning sickness, which is often caused by hormones and can occur at any time during the day, especially when your stomach is empty. Talk to your doctor if your morning sickness is severe.
To ease nausea:
- Have frequent, small meals.
- Eat carbohydrates, such as plain pasta, crackers, potatoes, rice, fruits and vegetables.
- Limit fried, fatty and spicy foods.
- Avoid smells that bother you.
- Eat a snack, such as crackers and a glass of milk, before going to bed and first thing in the morning.
- Drink beverages between, rather than with, your meals.
Heartburn is a burning sensation felt in the throat and chest. Following the above tips for avoiding nausea should also keep heartburn under control.
Remember not to lie down right after you eat, and talk to your doctor before using antacids.
Many pregnant women have problems with constipation, according to the ACOG. However, do not take laxatives unless your doctor prescribes them. Instead, try to:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Eat high-fiber foods (bran, grains, fruits, vegetables and beans).
- Exercise daily—walking is a good activity.
- Drink prune juice or eat prunes or figs as natural laxatives.
Women who experience constipation often have hemorrhoids—swollen veins in the rectum. They may itch and can be quite painful.
To prevent hemorrhoids, try the same tips that help relieve constipation. Remember, don't take over-the-counter medicines unless your doctor tells you to.