Having a baby makes you a superhero. You've created life and if that doesn't warrant a cape, then what does? But as they say, with that power comes great responsibility and, well, weight gain, nausea, swollen feet, headaches, back pain, vomiting, fatigue . . .
There are common physical occurrences at each trimester that can make pregnancy uncomfortable but you have to be cautious about how you treat them. Here are the three big ones and when to expect them:
First Trimester: Morning Sickness
This is the perhaps the most recognizable symptom of pregnancy before you begin to show. The nausea and vomiting can make it hard to keep down the food down your body needs. Here are some natural fixes to keep you up and moving without constantly running to the bathroom:
Ginger -- This root has been used to aid in digestion for years as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It helps to alleviate nausea caused by pregnancy as well as motion sickness. Ginger is available in capsules or liquid form as well as gum form to make taking it easier.
Red Raspberry -- A member of the rose family, red raspberry leaves are rich in vitamins B and E as well as iron, calcium and magnesium. These nutrients can be helpful in relieving nausea as well as cramping and diarrhea. You can find red raspberry in liquid, capsules and even tea bags.
Vitamin B6 -- This B vitamin has also been shown to help reduce nausea in pregnant women while supporting a strong immune system. The American Pregnancy Association recommends 50 mg a day of vitamin B6 to help with symptoms, but check your prenatal vitamin first.
Peppermint -- A member of the mint family, peppermint oil can be taken alone or with other ingredients to aid proper digestion in the intestines and soothe the stomach. Peppermint can also help with cramps and gas, which are common among pregnant women.
All of these ingredients are available in individual supplements or are included in blends designed for morning sickness. This is also the time when you'll begin taking prenatal vitamins for the health of you and your baby. Make sure these vitamins contain 100 percent or more of your recommended vitamins and minerals, especially, calcium, vitamin C and folic acid. These vitamins will keep your health on track and make sure the baby grows and develops properly.
Second Trimester: Fatigue
During this point in your pregnancy, the demands of pregnancy on your body will probably make you feel very worn down. The hormonal upheaval pregnancy causes can make you lose energy and feel groggy, which can interfere with your daily responsibilities at home and at work. Here are some natural ways to beat pregnancy fatigue:
Protein -- No matter if you get it from meat, nuts or dairy, protein is an essential part of your diet during pregnancy. You can try a protein drink if you feel fatigued to help boost your energy. Look for one that's low in sugar and is as natural as possible, to not compromise your nutrition.
Iron -- You can eat foods rich in iron like nuts or leafy greens to boost energy. Your doctor may also recommend an iron supplement, as some women can become anemic during pregnancy. Make sure the recommended amount, 27 mg a day, is already in your prenatal vitamin and only add more in supplemental form if advised to do so by your doctor.
Vitamin B12 -- The B vitamins are known for helping to boost energy. You may be low in vitamin B12 during pregnancy, which can directly cause fatigue. A vitamin B12 supplement, available in capsule, lozenge or liquid form, can help to boost energy levels during the day and promote more restful sleep at night.
Third Trimester: Back Pain
As you get closer to your due date, the extra weight you've put on can lead to back pain from stress and strain. But pain medication can be tricky to take while pregnant -- you should avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and codeine. According to the Mayo Clinic, small changes such as wearing supportive shoes with a low heel and sleeping on your side can relieve pain. You can also try a heating pad and ice packs, alternating to relieve pain and stretching exercises like yoga. Oral and topical pain medications, even natural ones, aren't commonly recommended during pregnancy.
Of course, these supplements are recommendations you should take to your doctor before adding them to your routine to make sure they'll help you feel better, not worse. As with all supplements, do your research to determine any possible interactions with your current medications.
Just remember, making a baby is no small task and means you're pretty amazing. Treat your body right for continued health after delivery.
Products you may like:
MOM Enterprises Mommy's Bliss Morning Sickness Magic Why you may like this product? This morning sickness blend
contains ginger and vitamin B6
for nausea as well as red
raspberry leaf for overall
health. Folic acid, an
essential nutrient for a
developing baby, has also been
added. You get relief from the
nausea plus a boost to your
Garden of Life RAW Protein Natural Why you may like this product? If you're feeling fatigued
during your second trimester,
you may not be getting enough
protein in your diet. This mix
from Garden of Life contains
whole food-based nutrients and
is vegan, gluten free and
dairy free with no artificial
flavors or fillers.
What To Look For In a Prenatal There are a lot of opinions out there about prenatal vitamins and pregnancy. These are the bare facts so you can feel more confident about your pregnancy and health.
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