Take Caution of the Woman Behind the Belly

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Everyone loves to stare, awe, and touch on the pregnant woman’s growing belly, but many people don’t realize the struggles that the mommy-to-be goes through during pregnancy. They struggle through swollen feet, nausea, back pain, heartburn, dizziness, appetite loss, headaches, depression, and fatigue! So, remember to be considerate when dealing with a pregnant woman!

Deeper Into Why Pregnant Women Experience All These Mishaps

Swollen Feet

  • The body retains more fluid during pregnancy.
  • The growing uterus puts pressure on veins, which impairs the return of blood to the heart.

Nausea

  • Can start around six weeks, but most women are relieved from nausea around 14 weeks.
  • The hormone, estrogen, rises and enhances the sense of smell which creates an enhanced sensitivity to certain odors.

Back Pain

  • Caused by weight gain associated with pregnancy and the growing baby.
  • The uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves located in the pelvis and back, causing pain in the area.

Heartburn

  • Progesterone (the hormone that relaxes muscles during pregnancy) also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus.
  • The growing uterus crowds the stomach, forcing acid back up into the esophagus.

Loss of Appetite

  • Caused by nauseous and vomiting.

Depression

  • Mood disorders are caused by biological illnesses that deal with changes in brain chemistry, and hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the chemicals in the brain.
  • Life difficulties can also heighten this chemical change.
    • Signs of depression= constant sadness, problems concentrating, sleeping too little or too much, anxiety, loss of interest, or the constant feeling of guilt or worthlessness.
  • Depression can lead to poor nutrition, drinking, smoking, or suicidal behavior-- all things that can harm the mother and the baby.

Fatigue

  • Hormonal changes.

  • The body is working harder than usual to produce more blood to carry nutrients to the growing baby.
  • Blood sugar and blood pressure are lower.
  • Hormones (mainly progesterone) levels are responsible for relaxing muscles in the body, causing sleepiness.

 

Ways the Mommy-To-Be Can Deal With These Struggles

 

Swollen Feet

  • Receive massages from loved ones often.

  • Wear comfortable shoes.

  • Rest-- stay off your feet.

  • Keep legs/feet elevated.

  • Sleep on the side of your body.

  • Drink lots of water!

Nausea

  • Eat small meals frequently throughout the day (high protein) and eat slowly!

  • Avoid laying down right after eating.

  • When waking, snack on crackers, and then rest 15-25 minutes before getting out of bed.

  • Snack on saltine crackers throughout the day.

  • Get up slowly when waking or napping.

  • Avoid foods that have extreme smells.

  • Eat foods that digest faster (non-fatty foods).

Back Pain

  • Walk and sit with good posture.

  • Wear a maternity belly support brace.

  • Wear shoes with a good arch support.

  • Lift properly and lift no more than 25 pounds.

  • Get a massage from loved ones.

  • Sleep on your side.

Heartburn

  • Eat smaller meals.

  • Drink milk.

  • Eat slowly.

  • Sit or stand after meals, don't lay down immediately.

  • Chew on tums.

  • Sleep elevated at night.

Loss of Appetite

  • Eat light meals.

  • Drink liquids.

  • Drink/eat cooler foods.

  • Take prenatal regularly and try drinking ensure.

Depression

  • Try support groups or therapy.

  • Communicate your feelings regularly.

  • Make yourself do the things you love (this can sometimes shake you out of the slump you’re in).

Fatigue

  • Take naps regularly.

  • Go to bed early.

  • Drink earlier in the day to avoid having to pee throughout the night.

  • Don’t eat before bed to reduce heartburn throughout the night.

  • Get work/errands done earlier in the day when energy is normally high.