Common pregnancy complaints

Pregnancy causes a lot of changes to your body that can cause discomfort.

Many women experience these discomforts. Although they are a normal part of pregnancy, they can be very uncomfortable.

Learn more about these common complaints, what you can do to feel better, and when to see your care provider if they become severe:

Very important: Do not use medicines or remedies from the drug store or health food store that you might use when you’re not pregnant to treat these discomforts. They might not be safe for pregnant women. Talk to your care provider first. 

Constipation

What it is and why it’s happening

Constipation is when:

When you’re pregnant, food passes through your body more slowly so you can absorb the extra nutrients you and your baby need.

What you can try to feel better

To keep your digestion moving:

Very important: Do not use a laxative, enema, or rectal suppository to treat constipation when you’re pregnant. They can trigger contractions that can bring on labour.

When to see your care provider

Contact your care provider, if you have:

Heartburn

What it is and why it’s happening

Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. It’s a digestion problem. Heartburn can sometimes be called acid indigestion or acid reflux.

When digestive acids escape out of the stomach, you can feel a strong burning sensation below your breastbone or ribs (around your heart) or anywhere along the pathway from the back of your throat to your stomach.

It’s caused by the pressure of the growing baby and hormone changes during pregnancy.

Try this to feel better

When to see your care provider

Very important: Some women take an antacid medicine to help with heartburn. An antacid reduces the amount of acid in your stomach. Not all antacids are safe for pregnant women. Check with your care provider before you take one.

Nausea and vomiting

What it is and why it’s happening

Many women experience nausea and vomiting, which is sometimes called morning sickness, even though it can happen at any time of day.

Changes in your hormones can make you feel sick to your stomach, especially during the first 3 months.
The good news is that this daily nausea usually disappears by the 4th month of your pregnancy.

Try this to feel better

Very important: Do not take over-the-counter medicines to treat motion sickness or nausea. See your care provider first.

When to see your care provider

Talk to your care provider if:

Swelling

What it is and why it’s happening

Many women notice some swelling or edema in their feet and ankles in the third trimester. Or they can feel puffy or bloated throughout their pregnancy.

Pregnancy hormones cause women to naturally retain more water in their bodies, so this is perfectly normal, although it can be very uncomfortable. It will go away the day after your baby is born.

It is important to continue drinking water and fluids to stay healthy even when feeling bloated.

Try this to feel better

Very important: Do not take drugstore or herbal diuretics or water pills while you’re pregnant. Talk to your care provider.

When to see your care provider

Some types of swelling can be a symptom of a more serious condition. See your care provider right away if you experience:

For more tips and information about pregnancy

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