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
- The body retains more fluid during pregnancy.
- The growing uterus puts pressure on veins, which impairs return of blood to the heart.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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).
- 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 plenty of massages from loved ones.
- Sleep on your side.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.