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Understanding Pregnancy Discomforts -- Treatment

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

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.

Mouth and Gum Discomfort

Pregnancy can be demanding on your teeth, so make sure you get your regular dental checkup and cleaning. Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day, and floss regularly. Sugarless gum can be substituted for an after-meal cleaning if it isn't feasible to brush your teeth.

Nasal Congestion or Nosebleeds

Use a vaporizer to humidify your bedroom at night. Lubricate each nostril with a dab of petroleum jelly during the day to prevent nosebleeds. Avoid decongestant nasal sprays, which can constrict blood vessels.

Numbness

Avoid lying on your hands while sleeping. If your hands feel numb when you wake up, shake them over the side of the bed. Soaking the hand in warm water or using a heating pad twice daily may help ease numbness; or try wearing a wrist splint.

Skin Changes and Stretch Marks

Rashes from hormone changes during pregnancy generally go away after the baby is born. To prevent freckles or darkened skin on your face, called a "pregnancy mask" or chloasma, wear a wide-brimmed hat and use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when outside.

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