How to Deal With These Pregnancy Symptoms

Posted by Mpho Ashworth on August 07, 2015

When most women become pregnant, they are already familiar with some of the things that they should expect through their nine months of pregnancy. But some never really know the full story. Everyone knows about the dreaded morning sickness, swollen ankles and the stretch marks, but are taken aback by some of the other changes they go through.

Baby hiccups. A lot of expectant mother are thrown by the sensation of their little one hiccupping inside them. This usually happens around the twenty-week mark, and will feel like the baby twitching. There's no need to panic; experts explain this as the baby practicing how to breathe, sometimes leading to hiccups.

What to do? There really is nothing that needs doing, except to enjoy and celebrate the development of your baby!

Extreme gassiness. With pregnancy, muscles and ligaments relax in order to make room for your baby. This affects all your muscles, including your bowel muscles. Your digestive system becomes more sluggish, so that the longer food remains inside you, the gassier you become.

What to do? Drink more water and up your fibre consumption. This will move food through your system faster and reduce the amount of gas.

Acid reflux. Another change brought about by the hormones that relax your muscles. During pregnancy, the muscles that keep food in your stomach don't work as well as they should. Because of this, whatever you eat can travel back into throat, leading to acid reflux.

What to do? If this is a concern, try to eat little and often. If you eat three heavy meals, change it to maybe six smaller meals. If this doesn't resolve the problem, speak to your doctor.  Antacids have also been known to help.

Itchy Skin. As your pregnancy advances, your skin, especially around the belly area will stretch, making the skin drier. This in turn makes the skin crack and itch. Some women experience itchy palms and soles of the feet. As this can be a sign of a pregnancy liver condition called obstetric cholestasis, see your doctor.

What else to do? The immediate and most obvious solution is to smother your skin in lotion. There are also some good oils on the market that are easily absorbed by the skin you can try. This isn't harmful to the baby.

Leg cramps. Some pregnant women get sudden leg pain, especially at night. This pain often disappears as quickly as it came. This could be caused by fluid retention. If the pain is on the same leg, feels swollen, hot or tender, speak to your doctor, to rule out blood clots.

What to do? A little stretching or massage can often help. If this doesn't work, it could be due to not getting enough magnesium and/or calcium, which your doctor will be able to confirm.

Uneven skin. Because your estrogen levels increase during pregnancy, the cells that produce pigment in your skin go into overdrive and produce excess pigment. This can lead to dark patches, more freckles and darker nipples. Luckily, this usually fades when you stop breastfeeding, but could take up to a year after having the baby.

What to do? Wear sunscreen religiously. It won't remove the dark patches, but it will ensure they don't get darker.