Pregnancy-Related Ailments No One Tells You About
Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life. It can also be a time of immense discomfort. The ever-increasing hormone levels and the tiny person growing within can cause a host of afflictions that many first-time mothers are not at all prepared for. In case your OB/GYN or mommy friends haven’t already given you the heads up, here are six common pregnancy-related ailments and solutions to help you cope.
Round Ligament Pain
If you thought contractions were the only sharp pains that you had to deal with during pregnancy, think again. Round ligament pain is a highly uncomfortable pregnancy plight caused by your expanding uterus. It can best be described as a sharp sensation near your pelvic area. It is often triggered or worsened by movements such as rolling over in bed, taking the stairs and changing positions (think going from sitting to standing). Some moms have gone as far as to compare RLP to labor pains. The sensation can last for several minutes, several hours or even days in some extreme cases. OB/GYNs are often very reluctant to do anything to treat RLP. Instead, moms are frequently told that it’s a normal part of pregnancy and they will just have to deal. Some of the ways that you can make yourself more comfortable include soaking in a warm bath, putting your feet up, sleeping with a body pillow, and taking an Extra Strength Tylenol. While these remedies won’t make the pain go away, they will make the painful episodes more bearable.
Forever Morning Sickness
Hollywood will have you out here thinking that morning sickness only comes in the morning and only sticks around during the first trimester. While the last part may be true for some, there is a large percentage of moms-to-be who experience nausea and vomiting for the entire nine months of pregnancy. In fact, my nausea and vomiting followed me straight to my labor and delivery room. Thankfully, there’s a lovely little pill called Diclegis that can help to minimize the vomiting.
Speaking of morning sickness, it is sometimes accompanied by excessive salivation, also known as ptyalism gravidarum. Similar to morning sickness, this can end after the first trimester or for some unlucky women (like me), it can follow you straight to the maternity ward. Ptyalism in pregnant women is caused by increasing hormone levels. The thing with hyper-salivation is that it makes morning sickness 10 times worse because women often find themselves choking and gagging on the saliva, which leads to more vomiting, which leads to increased salivation and so forth. It’s a slippery slope. Unfortunately, there aren’t many treatment options available, but many women have found that saltine crackers and lots of water help them to get by.
When people think about pregnancy, they generally don’t think about the fact that this growing baby has to share a space with a full set of organs. As the baby grows from a tiny little cluster of cells to a fetus, they can begin to place extra pressure on the bladder, pelvic floor muscles, and urethra. This pressure can lead to leaks (or waterfalls in some cases), especially when the expectant mom laughs, coughs, sneezes, or vomits. Thankfully, Always has a line of super comfortable disposable diapers.
Shortness of Breath
Speaking of sharing space with organs, as the baby continues to grow, it naturally begins to push against mom’s diaphragm, which results in shortness of breath. Simple activities such as walking and climbing stairs can leave you feeling quite winded. The good news is that while it may feel like you can’t breathe, you can so it’s best to relax. You aren’t actually getting less oxygen and getting yourself worked up will only make you feel worse.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
The cruelest trick mother nature plays on expectant moms would have to be Braxton Hicks Contractions. BHCs (also known as “practice contractions” or “false labor”) are a result of the uterine muscles tightening. They begin as early as 16 weeks into pregnancy and are not a sign of labor.
What was your most annoying pregnancy symptom?