The 12 most common discomforts of pregnancy

Varicose veins, incontinence, nausea, heartburn … With pregnancy, some cumbersome ailments occur in your body. Understanding the cause that causes them helps not to be distressed. We explain why it happens and we give you some solutions to cope better.

Gesturing a baby means living an era of maximum physical demandAlthough you take care of yourself a lot, during pregnancy some discomforts of pregnancy may appear that require some special attention.

Understanding the cause of these symptoms and knowing that they are normal and transient will reassure you and help you cope.


Let’s review one by one the ailments, discomforts and small typical health problems that mothers suffer before giving birth.
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1. Nausea


They are typical at the beginning of pregnancy, although not all women notice them. They can be a sign that sugar is going down in the blood.

Making  small but frequent meals reduces them, also some foods like ginger. You can choose natural remedies and drugs, always under medical supervision.

Sometimes, sleeping more and resting during the day at times, together with proper nutrition, is what helps to improve symptoms.


2. Digestive discomfort

During pregnancy, because of hormones and the relocation of the stomach, digestion is heavier.

Immediately you feel satiety, it is easier to reflux and we notice a burning sensation.

Making frequent and less copious meals, and avoiding foods that are worse digested, is usually enough. The drugs antacids can be used during pregnancy, if necessary.


3. Heavy legs and varicose veins

Some women, especially if they already had varicose veins or “bad circulation“, usually have pain, heaviness in the legs or increase in the size of varicose veins. Some measures can provide relief:

  • Raise the legs. They should not be placed at right angles to the body, a position that compresses circulation in the groin. A good posture is to lie down and place your legs somewhat elevated.
  • Cold showers. Another method is to apply cold water to the legs for a few seconds at the end of the daily shower, in addition to avoiding very hot baths for a long time.
  • Compressive stockings. If you stand for a long time usually, it is advisable to use compression stockings, and compensate for this immobility by doing some exercise.
  • Swimming. Thus, the extremities are exercised in a continuous movement without suddenness.


4. Feeling short of breath

It may be normal towards the end of pregnancy, because really the space available for breathing is lower, and because from the seventh month the heart is more overloaded.

It is necessary to walk and exercise without getting tired. If the symptom is very striking, it is advisable to consult with the midwife or doctor.

5. Cramps

Towards the end of pregnancy, some women notice cramps in their hands or legs. These may be due to the lack of some mineral, or simply to the retention of water in the tissues, which compresses the blood vessels and nerves.

To prevent them, it is important to take foods rich in magnesium and potassium at dinner and plenty of fruit and salads rich in minerals.

The bathrooms with salt and frequently change position in bed, help.


6. Hemorrhoids

They are dilatations of the veins, in this case those located in the rectal mucosa. Sometimes they bleed. They can be internal or seen with the naked eye.

A possible solution is to soak a gauze with very salty water and put it for a while in contact with the part of veins that come out of the hole, so they shrink. Then, with a little lubricant, try to introduce carefully.

The remedies we have discussed for varicose veins are also useful in this case.


7. Pain in the breasts

During pregnancy, the size of the breasts varies and at times you can have them very sensitive and may even feel pain.

A suitable bra – without underwire and that does not compress – can alleviate the discomfort, but it is not convenient to sleep with it.

If the chest is not very bulky, dispensing with the bra may also be useful. The exercise and the use of some moisturizing product help.

8. Itchy skin and stretch marks

Its appearance depends a lot on the constitution of each woman. Maintaining active circulation, doing some exercise, and moisturizing the skin, can help keep it in better condition.

A little sun, always with adequate protection and without reaching too much temperature in the abdomen, also strengthens the tissues.


9. Tiredness

It is completely normal for the pregnant woman to get tired more , since she is overweight and her body attends to the demands of two … although sometimes we forget it.

The legislation allows the pregnant woman to request a change of job if she needs it, and even that she can be dismissed if her job puts her under excessive fatigue or has other risks for pregnancy.


10. Edema in hands, feet and face

It is a relatively normal effect at the end of pregnancy. However, if the pregnant woman awakens excessively swollen, it would be advisable to go to the doctor to rule out hypertension and protein in the urine.

In general, sleep more and rest, preferably lying on the right side, improve the situation. Do exercise, get a massage and wear comfortable clothes wide and also provides relief.

It is important to remember that in pregnancy it is dangerous to take diuretics if they are not necessary.


11. Insomnia


Most women are very sleepy throughout pregnancy, but some say that they are getting less sleep every time, despite feeling tired.

As a first step, even if you do not fall asleep, you have to think that resting is also good. Doing some exercise or outdoor walks, light dining, or whatever the body asks for, can make resting easier.



12. Urinary incontinence

Sometimes, at the end of pregnancy, not only is urination very frequent, but also small leaks occur due to the pressure of the baby’s head.

It is normal, and although small contractions of the pelvic floor can be done, it is better to leave them for the puerperium, if at that time the incontinence has not been corrected by itself.




Post Author: Dr. Carrie Luxem

Dr. Carrie is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is affiliated with University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine. She received her medical degree from University of Michigan Medical School and has been in practice between 3-5 years. She is one of 87 doctors at University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine who specialize in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

1 thought on “The 12 most common discomforts of pregnancy


    (July 9, 2019 - 12:47 am)

    thanks for the list you provided here. This is an awesome blog. More power!

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