Common Pregnancy Pains and Their Causes
Difficulty Sleeping During Pregnancy
Finding a comfortable resting position can become difficult later in pregnancy.
- Don't take sleep medication.
- Try drinking warm milk at bedtime.
- Try taking a warm shower or bath before bedtime.
- Use extra pillows for support while sleeping. Lying on your side, place a pillow under your head, abdomen, behind your back and between your knees to prevent muscle strain and help you get the rest you need.
- You will probably feel better lying on your left side; this improves circulation of blood throughout your body.
Pregnancy Heartburn or Indigestion
Heartburn is a burning feeling that starts in the stomach and seems to rise up to the throat. During pregnancy, changing hormone levels slow down your digestive system, weaken the stomach sphincter, and your uterus can crowd your stomach, pushing stomach acids upward.
- Eat several small meals each day instead of three large meals.
- Eat slowly.
- Drink warm liquids.
- Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods, or any foods that seem to give you indigestion.
- Don't lie down right after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Or, place pillows under your shoulders to prevent stomach acids from rising into your throat.
- Don't mix fatty foods with sweets in one meal, and try to separate liquids and solids at meals.
- Try heartburn relievers such as Tums, Maalox, Titralac, Mylanta, Riopan, or Gaviscon.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that appear as painful lumps on the anus. During pregnancy, they may form as a result of increased circulation and pressure on the rectum and vagina from your growing baby.
- Try to avoid constipation. Constipation can cause hemorrhoids and will make them more painful.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time; change your position frequently.
- Don't strain during a bowel movement.
- Apply ice packs or cold compresses to the area or take a warm bath a few times a day to provide relief.
- Avoid tight-fitting underwear, pants, or pantyhose.
- If you still need more help, consult your health care provider.