Common health problems in pregnancy

During your pregnancy, mothers may experience a number of annoying problems that are not dangerous but obviously need some attention. These problems are very common including cramps, urinary frequency and incontinence, heartburn and indigestion, varicose veins, backache and other infections.

A few simple changes made in your daily routine can often relieve your symptoms. Always contact your doctor if you have any concerns about these or any other health problems during your pregnancy. Some of the major common health problems in pregnancy include:

Cramps: Leg and foot cramps are most common during the second half of your pregnancy and usually happen during night.

If you experience this, keep your leg straight on the mattress and pull your toes back towards your knee. This will stretch your calf muscle and should help the pain. If this doesn’t work, try standing up and stepping forward with the other foot to stretch the cramped muscle. Keeping the foot flat on the floor will increase the stretch.

When the pain eases, you can massage the area or place a hot water bottle or heat pack on the area.

  • Urinary issues- During pregnancy, you will need to pass urine very often. This is known as urinary frequency. This can be a problem in the first 12–14 weeks of pregnancy. After this, urinary frequency is not usually a problem until the last weeks of your pregnancy, when the baby’s head sinks lower into the pelvis ready for delivery.

    Leaking urine is another issue. When you are pregnant, you may leak a little bit of urine when you cough or laugh. This problem is called urinary stress incontinence, and it tends to become more of a problem later in pregnancy.

  • Heartburn and indigestion: Heartburn is a very common and uncomfortable problem during pregnancy. You can relieve heartburn with an antacid solution or tablets. Ask your doctor to recommend a product that is suitable to use in pregnancy.
  • Indigestion: This issue is also very common during pregnancy. Consult your doctor, if it continues.
  • Blocked nose: Many women find their nose becomes blocked up and runny, and sometimes bleeds for no obvious reason. This is probably because of pregnancy hormones, which cause the delicate lining of the nose to soften and swell. It can start in the first few months, and last until your baby is born.
  • Swollen leg veins: This is also known as Varicose veins. It usually appears as swollen, knotty, bluish veins that may develop on your legs during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones are thought to make you more likely to develop these veins.

    To deal with this:

    • Avoid standing for long periods
    • Avoid crossing your legs
    • Rest with your feet and legs
    • Regular exercises such as walking or swimming
    • Wear supportive stockings
    • Tell your doctor if you develop any reddened, swollen or painful areas on your legs.
  • Backache: Many pregnant women get backache during pregnancy because of the combination of softened ligaments and the increasing weight of a growing baby. If your backache continues or is worrying you, please speak to your midwife.
  • Infections: As already discussed, a variety of infections may complicate pregnancy and these infections may include bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. These can be harmful to both the mother and the baby. It is advised to visit a doctor if suffering from any kind of infection during pregnancy to avoid serious problems.

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