Pregnancy is the most exciting thing a woman can experience during her lifetime. You will experience many changes physically and emotionally. Below is a little background on what you can expect during your pregnancy and some natural remedies to help with complications.
Pregnancy is divided into three stages or trimesters. The first trimester takes place during the first twelve weeks. During this stage your baby is very small and his organs are slowly beginning to form. You may feel tired, nauseous, be constipated, gassy, dizzy and your back might be sore. You also may experience an increase in irritability and a wide range of mood swings.
Weeks 13-27 is the second trimester. During this stage of pregnancy your baby is developing facial features, becomes more active and responds to sound and music. The second trimester is usually when women feel the best. You may feel more energetic, your hair may shine and you might also find an increase in your libido. In addition to these positive changes you may experience negative ones. You may become short of breath, have aches and pains in your groin and thighs. Other symptoms you may have during the second trimester are changes in your skin, itching, stretch marks and you appear to have gained about three to five pounds.
Week 28 is the start of the third and final trimester of pregnancy. This is the most exciting time for both mom and baby as they prepare for the birth. You might also find this trimester the most uncomfortable. You may feel more tired, the pressure of your baby on your bladder can cause you to urinate more often. You might also suffer from indigestion, swollen hands and feet, constipation, hemorrhoids and Braxton-Hicks contractions. Your baby grows rapidly during this last stage of pregnancy. By the 36th week your baby drops and a couple weeks later his lungs and brain are fully developed as he prepares for birth.
Natural and holistic remedies have been proven to be highly effective in alleviating uncomfortable pregnancy issues. Essential oils, herbs, homeopathic remedies and tissue salts are safe to use during pregnancy. Essential aromatherapy oils such as Litsea cubeba, Grape fruit and Mandarin help to quickly uplift, refresh and energize the mind, body and spirit when you are feeling fatigued.
Mag Phos, Nat. Sulph, Melissa oficinalis and Mentha Piperita are herbal and homeopathic ingredients that relieve heartburn and digestive discomfort. Tissue salts, such as Atriums Muriaticum, Calcium Fluoride, and Calcium Phosphate work internally to prevent stretch marks, improve skin and connective tissue tone. Flower essences can also help the mind and spirit adjust during each trimester of pregnancy.
Sometimes complications can occur during the different stages of pregnancy. These complications include:
Nausea and vomiting during the first trimester. Even though this is called “morning sickness” it can occur during any time of day. Women usually find relief by eating crackers or drinking ginger tea. You can also use herbal remedies to help with nausea.
Heartburn or acid indigestion is a burning sensation that starts from below the breastbone and extends up to your throat. This is very common during pregnancy but only occurs during the last few months. You can relieve heartburn by eating smaller meals throughout the day and eating slowly. Homeopathic and herbal remedies can also be very beneficial in alleviating this problem safely.
Many women experience fatigue during the first trimester of pregnancy. Their bodies are getting used to the idea of being pregnant. Taking extra cat naps during the day can help. If you are fatigued during the first part of your pregnancy this will go away once you hit your second trimester. It is common to get a burst of energy during the second stage of pregnancy.
Your energy level may drop again during the third trimester. Rest as much as possible and avoid strenuous chores that may tire you. Relaxing massages, warm baths, can also help with fatigue. Foot soaks and foot rubs are wonderful for relieving aching feet.
Women experience frequent urination during the first trimester due to hormonal changes and the pressure of the uterus on the bladder. This may also lead to an increase in urinary infections. To avoid this always use the bathroom the moment you feel like your bladder is full. Also drink plenty of water. If you do experience a bladder infection during pregnancy it is safe to use biochemical tissue salts to treat it.
As your uterus expands you may feel constipated. When a high amount of progesterone is released into the body, the muscles of the intestine lose some of their strength, slowing down the passage of food through the intestines. To prevent constipation eat foods rich in fiber such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Drinking plenty of water can also help with constipation.
You may also have leg cramps during your pregnancy. This is due to the changes in blood circulation in the legs as well as the excess weight. You can relieve leg cramps by increasing your calcium and magnesium intake, stretching, walking, taking warm baths, massage and using a heating pad.
During pregnancy your breasts become fuller, sensitive and swollen. Wearing a comfortable supportive maternity bra should relieve any discomfort.
A lot of pregnant women may develop itchy skin. This is due to hormonal changes. It can also occur in the abdomen as your skin stretches and expands.
Backaches are also very common during pregnancy. This occurs as a result of the extra weight and size of the uterus and breasts. The muscles in your back have to work extra hard to support your balance which can cause lower back pain. Warm baths and massages help ease this pain.
Edema or swelling can occur if you retain water. This usually affects the ankles, feet and hands. Swollen ankles can be relieved by elevating your feet when sitting, exercising, massage or wearing support hoes or tights.
Enlarged veins or varicose veins affect a lot of women during pregnancy. This is due to the changes in hormones which causes the walls of the blood vessels to relax and the growing uterus places extra pressure on the veins in the pelvis and legs. To prevent varicose veins from occurring, elevate your feet as much as possible, wear support hoes or tights and exercise your legs gently. Regular use of biochemical tissue salts can also relieve this problem.
Make sure you keep up with regular prenatal check-ups to avoid more serious complications. For the minor ones that are listed above the use of aromatherapy oils, biochemical tissue salts and homeopathic remedies can give you relief. Always remember that some herbal supplements are harmful to use during pregnancy. They may lead to premature labor, or even miscarriage. Always read and follow the product label and discuss it with your doctor before using any natural herbal supplement.
This originally appeared on The Healthy Moms Magazine on June 18, 2010.