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Understanding Pregnancy Discomforts -- Treatment

What Are the Treatments for Pregnancy Discomforts? continued...

Dizziness and Faintness

Slow down when you stand up or get out of bed. Dizziness when you stand up too quickly from sitting or lying down is called postural hypotension. If you feel lightheaded, sit down immediately. If you're in a crowd and start feeling dizzy, step away and get some fresh air; if possible, lie down on your left side or sit with your head between your knees.

Fatigue

Get a full night's sleep, and rest with your feet up for at least 15 minutes several times a day.

Headaches

Make sure you get enough rest, eat regularly, and drink six or more glasses of water daily. Avoid aspirin or other over-the-counter painkillers except for Tylenol. Instead, try stress-reduction techniques like yoga or meditation. Or try taking a hot bath with a cold pack on your forehead.

Heartburn

Avoid heavy meals and spicy, greasy, sugary, and acidic foods. Stick to a bland, high-fiber diet, drink lots of fluids, and exercise daily. Small, frequent meals may relieve some of the symptoms. Don't lie down right after a meal. Raise the head of your bed 2 to 4 inches with a stable support such as wooden blocks. Antacids can be helpful.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids may develop due to the increased blood in your body during pregnancy, along with the increased pressure to the blood vessels in your pelvis. Hemorrhoids usually disappear after delivery. Eat a high-fiber diet to keep your stool soft, drink lots of water, and don't strain during bowel movements. To relieve itching or pain, try a warm sitz bath, or apply an ice pack or a cloth soaked in witch hazel. Kegel exercises, designed to strengthen the pelvic muscles, can improve circulation in the area. Getting off your feet may also help.

Leg Pains and Cramps

Wear support hose during the day, and elevate your feet when resting, if possible. Use a heating pad or gentle massage on the back of your thigh to ease sciatica.

When a leg cramp hits, straighten your leg and slowly flex your ankle and toes while massaging your calf; or soak your leg in hot water. You may be able to prevent night cramps by wearing socks to bed or by pressing your foot against the bed board. If painful cramps persist, ask your health care provider about calcium or magnesium supplements.

Morning Sickness

You may feel nauseated at any time of the day, typically in the first trimester. Try eating frequent, small meals rather than three full meals. Keep your diet high in protein and complex carbohydrates, and low in sweets and fatty foods. Drink plenty of fluids, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables, which are high in water content.

Talk to your health care provider about trying 25 mg of vitamin B6 taken three times a day. Antacids sometimes help, especially if heartburn is part of the problem. In general, try to minimize stress in your everyday activities.

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