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    Understanding Pregnancy Discomforts -- Treatment

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

    Contractions

    Mild, painless uterine contractions usually start sometime after the 20th week of pregnancy. If they cause discomfort, try changing positions. If contractions start coming at regular intervals, call your health care provider.

    Cystitis (Bladder Infection)

    If you develop bladder irritation, like persistent burning when urinating, ask your health care provider about appropriate treatment. Bladder infections in pregnant women are more common and dangerous than in non-pregnant women. Many bladder infections are triggered by sexual intercourse. Remember to empty your bladder immediately after sex and watch for symptoms. Several glasses of cranberry juice a day may prevent urinary tract infections.

    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.

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