Common pregnancy related ailments and how to deal with them

As a foetus starts to grow inside the womb, mothers-to-be can begin to feel very uncomforatble. Carrying the extra weight of the growing baby can cause fatigue and a lot of discomfort and health problems. The enlarging uterus encroaching upon the region where the stomach and intestines are results in acidity, constipation and haemorrhoids. Here are some simple tricks to make these symptoms go away and make you feel better.

As the months go by and your pregnancy advances, it can begin to feel more like an encumbrance than a miracle in the making. I mean think of it, leg cramps, morning sickness, heartburn, varicose veins, swollen legs, back pain, gestational diabetes and stretch marks and a whole lot of other health problems. Women have a lot to deal with, to bring that little life into the world.

It is a beautiful experience, to have a life growing inside you, but it also comes with problems. Some of these can be exasperating, making it difficult to go through the day and sleep through the night.

But, worry not, for there are some simple ways to ease all the discomfort that comes with being pregnant. You can make changes in your everyday routine and watch what you eat, to fight most pregnancy-related problems. So, here are some comforting suggestions, for the most common pregnancy-related issues.

Fighting fatigue during pregnancy

Energy levels can dip when you are pregnant and it is easy to feel extreme tiredness during this phase of your life. But, there are ways through which you can overcome pregnancy induced fatigue –

Take a nap

A half-an-hour nap during the day can be very refreshing and helpful in easing fatigue. Raise your feet when you take the nap, ensuring that they are higher than your heart. Use a few cushions to rest your legs and feet on. Doing this removes pressure off your feet and legs. Don't go on a guilt trip, about resting a while – building a baby is not easy and you deserve the rest.

If you have a toddler to look after, it is best to take that nap when your little one sleeps. If the child refuses to sleep, get the child to watch a cartoon, so you have him confined in one place. And while he watches the show, you put your feet up and relax.


Exercise is good for you unless your doctor advises you against it. Light forms of aerobic exercise, like walking and swimming, can, in fact, boost energy levels. And the cherry on the cake is that labour and delivery, is relatively easy, for women who make exercise a part of their routine, during pregnancy.

Dealing with swollen feet

Oedema results in swollen feet and is a common complaint of women, during pregnancy. Swelling on the feet can be reduced through some simple practices –

Improve circulation

Swollen feet can be deflated if blood circulation is improved. This can be effectively done by alternating hot and cold foot baths. Hot water rushes blood to the feet and cold water moves it back out. Sit on a comfortable chair with two tubs placed in front of you, one with hot water and the other with cold. Dip your feet into the tubs, alternating between the hot and the cold tub.

Keep your feet immersed in the tub with hot water for 3 minutes and then dip them in the cold water tub for half-a-minute. Repeat this six times, ending with the cold water foot bath. This trick not just boosts circulation, but also has a relaxing effect.

Rest your feet

Once you are done with the footbath, sit on the bed, for about 10 minutes, with your feet propped up your. You'll find much relief, especially if you have had a long day and been on your feet for long.

How to reduce heartburn during pregnancy

Pregnancy and heartburn go hand in hand. The heartburn only worsens as the pregnancy progresses. Keep in mind that along with the baby, the pressure on the abdomen is also increasing. And that is not all, the oesophageal sphincter, which is the valve that separates the oesophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach) from the stomach, relaxes, with the increase in pregnancy hormones. This is the most likely cause for the stomach acids to be pushed into the oesophagus, causing that nasty heartburn.

There are several things that can be practised to reduce the burning sensation, caused by acid reflux –

Almonds can help

Almonds have certain chemical compounds that strengthen the oesophageal sphincter and thus prevents the stomach acids from moving upward. Even though almonds are packed with all the right nutrients, desist yourself from going overboard eating these healthy nuts, as they are also high in calories. Each almond has roughly 10 calories and eating too many can lead to weight gain, which will exacerbate the condition. If weight gain becomes a concern, you can cut down on other high-caloric foods, to create a balance.

Avoid these foods

Certain foods irritate the oesophageal sphincter and they must be struck of the menu. They include:

  • Tomato products
  • Fried foods
  • Coffee
  • Peppermint
  • Citrus Foods
  • Alcohol

Eliminate them from your diet and if that cannot be done, then work at reducing the intake.

Eat smaller meals

Eat healthy food, but not all at one go. Instead of having three big meals, have 6 smaller meals, every two-hours, eating foods that provide all the nutrition that you need. Have your dinner a few hours before you retire for the night - preferably, three hours before you go to bed. This gives the body time to digest the food and reduces the incidence of heartburn.

Dress appropriately

Tight-fitting clothes, especially around the belly, can aggravate the condition. Wear loose, flowing garments that do not constrict the region around the waist and that would reduce the external pressure on your digestive tract, making you feel better.

Watch you weight

Weight gain during pregnancy is expected, but you need to worry if you get overtly overweight for that would definitely lead to acidity and heartburn.

Avoid bending

Bending forward heightens acidity, so avoid it. If you do have to lift something off the floor, it is better to bend the knees and get into a squatting position, to lift it.


Speak to your doctor if none of these remedies works and you might be prescribed antacids, which neutralise the acids in the stomach. Don't self-medicate, since not all antacids are safe during pregnancy. Keep in mind that excessive intake of antacids could harm the growing foetus. So, exercise caution.

Combat constipation during pregnancy

Most women suffer from constipation, while they are pregnant and this can result in painful haemorrhoids. Haemorrhoid are surgically removed, as they are a painful condition .It is advised that precautions are taken before it becomes a problem, rather than after the condition sets in. Here are a few things that can be done as a precautionary measure, to prevent constipation. Increase fibre intake by eating the following foods –

  • Whole fruits
  • Raw veggies
  • Green veggies
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Raisins and sultanas
  • Dried dates (chuara) soaked in milk
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Whole grain breads
  • Banana
  • Psyllium husk

Do you know of any safe, home remedies to combat pregnancy related conditions? Do share them with us in the comment section below.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Author: Natarajan02 Nov 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

Good article that would be very useful for first-time mothers to be as they would have so many concerns and worries. Young woman who have acidity issues, constipation or hemorrhoids before pregnancy should mention this to the doctor as these conditions worsen during the later stages of pregnancy and they would need the attention of specialists. Often women hesitate to mention this to their obstetricians and only when it gets bad, then urgent advise is sought.

It is often useful for the pregnant mother and the family to remember that the medical ailments that affect any woman (trouble with gallbladder stones, urinary infection, appendicitis etc) can affect the pregnant mother also.So, if the symptoms don't settle easily, please discuss with your regular obstetrician. The main reason is managing these conditions often needs discussion between various specialists to minimize the impact of the illness or treatment on the growing child.

Author: Swati Sarnobat18 Dec 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

This article is about combating different problems during pregnancy and one of the most common problem is body ache or back pain. It is caused due to weight gain during pregnancy. So, a pregnant woman should walk daily whenever possible, so that she feels relaxed. Getting up and sitting down should be done utmost steadily.

Author: Juana02 Jan 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2


Thank you for your response. I agree with you that pregnant women should divulge their medical history to their obstetrician or gynaecologist, but most women do not do so, due to lack of information. I think that the doctors should ask probing questions during consultations and checkups, so women open up and talk freely about the problems they face. Afterall, it is the doctor who is more aware of common complications that can affect pregnant women.

Author: Juana24 Jan 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3


I agree with your comment. Most women look at pregnancy as a problem and refrain from straining themselves. Walks, as well as physical exercise, is good for pregnant women, as long as there are no complications and she has not been adviced to curtail herself from physical exertion.

Exercise also helps with an easy delivery. It is women who shun exercise that go into prolonged labour.

However, pregnant women must consult with their obstetrician before carrying out strenuous physical activity.

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