It’s a time of joy, hope and excitement, but let’s be honest – pregnancy isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
There’s a lot going on as your body prepares to release a new human into the world, and not all of it is pleasant to experience.
So how can you tackle the most common annoying symptoms that accompany pregnancy? I tried and tested a lot of theories during my two pregnancies, and now I’m going to share my top tips with you!
Being pregnant sometimes can turn you into an expert at knowing the locations of all public bathrooms in your area – especially if you’re out at night!
The pressure on your pelvic floor – the part of your body that supports your bladder, among other things – during pregnancy means that many women experience a near-constant urge to pee, and sometimes incontinence.
Kegels are a key part of keeping your pelvic floor strong and happy during pregnancy and when you’re postpartum. The pelvic floor opens and releases when you’re emptying your bladder and bowel, so if it’s not strong enough you may experience leakage. Stay on top of your Kegels and you’re guaranteed to feel the bladder benefits.
Most women experience some kind of tummy trouble during pregnancy – from morning sickness to evening sickness and food sensitivities and everything in between. It may have even been the first sign you had that you were pregnant!
Check out Advanced Sports Dietitian Lisa Middleton’s comprehensive guide to battling nausea during pregnancy for all the tips and tricks but here are a few of my personal favourites:
Sip carbonated mineral water throughout the day.
Lean on loved ones when it comes time for food prep.
Batch cook! If you do have to prep your own meals, at least get a week’s worth of prep done in one go.
Stick to plain foods if rich or spicy flavours are making you ill.
Remember that if you experience constant, daily nausea that lasts beyond your first trimester, you should seek advice from your doctor.
The combo of nausea and wild food cravings can make eating well during pregnancy a struggle. While you can’t stop a craving entirely, you might find keeping nutritious snacks around the house helpful. I even liked to carry things like carrot sticks and crackers in my handbag just for hunger emergencies.
Remember that pregnancy isn’t the time to focus on your regular diet goals. Of course, eating healthy food is going to benefit you and your baby. But if all you can stomach on some nights is plain pasta and butter, don’t beat yourself up.
What makes the constant need to pee even more annoying? When it messes with your sleep.
It’s normal to feel unusually tired when you’re pregnant, especially during the first and third trimesters. Your body is busy giving your baby their first growth spurts, and as a result, you can be left feeling depleted and fatigued.
The best thing you can do to address the exhaustion is to make the rest you DO get count. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary, and invest in pillows that help you to get into a safe and comfortable position before you doze off.
Some women find naps during the day help (just remember to set an alarm for 20 minutes), and don’t forget that regular exercise supports better quality sleep.
Pregnancy hormones can make you feel all kinds of crazy, but I promise, you’re not.
Mood swings, including bouts of anger and out-of-control crying, are common during pregnancy. Unfortunately, the same hormones that prep your body for gestation and birth also affect your emotional state.
So how do you cope? Remember that while what you’re feeling is emotional, the cause is primarily physical. Keeping this in mind can help you (and your partner or loved ones) survive the mood swings. When you’re feeling calm and in control, have a conversation with your partner and explain to them what’s happening to your hormones. This will help them understand the mood swings and might help you both navigate this tricky time more successfully.
If anxiety in relation to any of these issues becomes a problem during your pregnancy, Dr. Sarah has tips that can help.
Emily Skye is a strength training expert and the face of FIT, the digital fitness app that helps women worldwide build strength and confidence, stay active through pregnancy and rebuild post-pregnancy. Emily holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and Master Trainer qualification from the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also co-founder of James Cosmetics and a mother of two.
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