Pregnancy is a very exciting stage in your life. But it’s also a time in which your body starts to go through some mind-blowing physical changes. From your rib cage expanding to your ligaments loosening, your body takes charge and prepares for the growth of the baby. However, these changes can result in several health issues.
Pregnancy is never easy – whether it’s your first child or you have already gone through the process in the past. Which is why it’s so important to be prepared for both the physical and mental issues that might come your way. Of course, not all of these can be predicted. So if you start to notice the symptoms, it’s important that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Depression and Anxiety
Most people are familiar with the condition ‘postpartum depression’. Occurring after the birth of the baby, it’s a very common condition that affects more than 1 in 10 women around the world. But many aren’t aware of the risk of depression and anxiety during pregnancy. Millions globally experience this, along with other mental health conditions throughout the 9 months.
According to some resources, there is no particular cause for this. But it’s frequently linked to the changes in your hormones, changes in brain structure, family history and the amount of stress that you are feeling. Depression and anxiety during pregnancy can result in dangerous issues for both you and your baby. Which is why it’s so important to take care of yourself by attending frequent prenatal visits and to talk to your healthcare provider if you start to notice any symptoms.
Another common condition that affects many pregnant women is anemia. A condition that affects your red blood cell count, it signifies that you’re lacking in iron. During pregnancy, the volume of your blood increases due to the growing placenta and fetus. And if you don’t have enough iron stored, your body won’t be able to keep up with this demand.
While this health issue isn’t considered as immediately serious, if it’s left ‘untreated’ it could lead to future problems such as preeclampsia and premature labor. To help control this, you should ensure that you eat foods that are high in iron, such as eggs and chicken, and any iron/folic acid supplements that are safe for pregnant women.
During pregnancy, as the ligaments within your body start to stretch in preparation for labor, strain will be put on your lower back joints and pelvis. This, in turn, can result in back pain that makes life very uncomfortable. Although it’s one of the most common issues faced by expectant mothers, there are certain things that you can do to help ease the pain:
- Try to keep your back straight and bend your knees if you have to pick up anything.
- Avoid lifting heavier objects – if the occasion arises when you need to, ask a relative or your partner to do it for you to help ease the strain on your back.
- Wear flat shoes and avoid high heels.
- Avoid twisting your spine when you have to turn – instead moving your feet.
- Distribute any weight that you’re carrying evenly – e.g when you go shopping, carry one bag in each hand.
- Purchase a maternity support pillow that you can use during sleep.
- Take frequent warm baths/treat yourself to a pregnancy massage.
Unfortunately, morning sickness is a very common side effect of pregnancy. Faced by around 4 in 5 women either at the start or throughout the duration, it’s something that can, luckily, be managed. Usually, morning sickness strikes between the 4th and the 17th week of pregnancy and is at its worst between weeks 9 and 10.
But how do you manage it? Well, one of the key things that you can do is to take care of what you eat everyday and to ensure that you drink plenty of water. If that’s not working, then you can also get antacids from your GP or anti-sickness tablets. If it’s more severe, then the symptoms might need to be managed from a qualified obstetrician.
This frustrating side effect can cause a huge negative effect on your everyday life, making each moment more uncomfortable and stressful. An inevitable part of pregnancy for many women, it happens due to the loosening of ligaments, changes in your sleeping pattern, etc.
There are several ways that you can combat this type of pain during your pregnancy. From warm baths to massages, simple changes in your lifestyle will help to ease this frustration. Another solution that’s often forgotten about is using magnesium to relieve hip pain during pregnancy. Put into your bath, it’s soothing qualities make it ideal for those wanting to unwind and relax.
So, there you go! Those are 5 of the most common health issues that you could face throughout pregnancy. Of course, this isn’t a complete list. So it’s important that you thoroughly research the various issues that you could face so that you’re prepared for what might come. During this process, you need to keep in mind, however, that everyone is different. And what one person faces, another might not.
Pregnancy is a very individual process – and whether you face any of the above is the luck of the draw. If you do face any of them, however, just make sure that you know how to manage the symptoms and that you ask for any help when you need it.
As well as professional help, it’s also a good idea to keep your partner or a close family member in the loop – providing you with support or any helpful advice when you need it, it will make you feel as though you’re not alone throughout the 9 months and beyond.