Top 10 pregnancy-related aches and pains

Are you facing pregnancy pains? Learn all about the most common pregnancy complications.

By Ann Douglas

Morning sickness, breast tenderness and pregnancy hemorrhoids

Yes, this will likely happen to you...
While there's bound to be at least one woman in your prenatal class who manages to sail through her entire pregnancy without being troubled by so much as a single ache or pain, such mothers-to-be tend to be the exception rather than the rule. The rest of us mere mortals end up experiencing a smorgasbord of different complaints along the way. Here's what you need to know about coping with the 10 most common pregnancy-related aches and pains.

1. Morning sickness
Morning sickness is one of the most bothersome pregnancy-related complaints, but also one of the most common: studies have shown that 80 per cent of pregnant women experience it to a certain degree. The best ways to do battle with morning sickness are to keep your blood sugar level relatively stable by eating frequently throughout the day; avoid fluids at mealtimes, since this may add to your nausea; focus on eating stomach-friendly foods; steer clear of strong odours; and avoid tight-fitting clothing. If all else fails, try wearing a set of anti-nausea wristbands: some pregnant women swear by them.

2. Fatigue
Fatigue is Mother Nature's way of reminding you that you need to slow down. After all, your body is busy growing a baby. Your energy level will pick up during the second trimester, but you can expect to feel pretty dragged out until that time. The best way to cope is to give your body what it needs: plenty of sleep.

3. Breast tenderness
You may find your breasts feel sore and swollen around the time that the pregnancy test comes back positive, particularly if you're pregnant for the first time. Fortunately, this extreme tenderness tends to ease up relatively quickly. In the meantime, you might want to put your partner on notice that there's a hands-off policy in effect.

4. Constipation
High levels of progesterone cause the muscles of the intestine to get a little sluggish when you're pregnant -- something that can lead to the misery that is constipation. Fortunately, the problem takes care of itself if you drink plenty of water, consume large quantities of high-fibre foods, and exercise regularly.

5. Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids occur when pressure from the baby's head causes the veins around the anus to swell. You can minimize the discomfort by applying an ice pack or prescription ointment to the affected area; keeping the area around your anus clean; not straining when you're having a bowel movement; and not sitting on hard surfaces or standing for long periods of time, but chances are your hemorrhoids won't disappear entirely until long after delivery day.

Page 1 of 2 - check out page two for info on pregnancy-related insomnia

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