Pregnancy isn’t for the weak (that’s probably why only women can get pregnant). Okay, jokes aside, there’s quite a lot that happens to a woman physically (and mentally) during pregnancy. While a few may be lucky enough to not really experience many illnesses, the rest of us have to deal with nausea, aches, and fatigue, to name a few.
It is definitely advisable to seek a doctor’s input about any new sickness or pain that a pregnant mom might feel, but some stuff is pretty “routine” and shouldn’t stress moms that much. Some stuff can just be easily dealt with at home instead of running to the doctor or blowing up their office phone lines about it. For instance, if mom tell her gyno that she has morning sickness, they might just nod and look at her with the expression “of course”.
The truth is, moms don’t always have to run to the doctor. There are a few things that she can easily sort out with some home remedies. But how does she know when to relax and when to start worrying? Relax, because we’ve got this. Scroll down below and have a look at some of the things that are okay to treat at home and some that moms should definitely run to the doctor about.
20 Treat At Home: Morning Sickness
Ah yes, the dreaded “morning sickness”. For many women, this is the first symptom of their pregnancy and we would like to add that it should actually be called “all day sickness”. Morning sickness is very prevalent during the 1st trimester but should ease up a bit as you approach the 2nd trimester. There are a number of home remedies for morning sickness; ginger has tummy-taming properties so adding this to your tea or getting ginger-laced lollipops is a great option. Something sour is also known to help. Parents advises pregnant moms to “try sucking on sour candy or sipping on lemon water”. It is important to note that you should increase your water intake and if you can’t keep anything down for more than 24 hours, it is best to consult your doctor as it may be something more serious.
19 Call The Doctor: UTI
A Urinary Tract Infection can be experienced by any woman, pregnant or not, but unfortunately, it is most prevalent among pregnant women due to changes in the urinary tract. The woman’s uterus is positioned directly above the bladder. As your pregnancy progresses and the uterus grows, that puts more weight on your bladder and this can, therefore, block the natural drainage from your bladder and ultimately, cause an infection. Some typical signs of UTIs are pain or a burning sensation when urinating, you urinating more than usual, and urine that smells unusually foul or strong. Speak to your doctor about this as leaving it untreated may lead to a kidney infection.
18 Treat At Home: Swollen Feet
The swelling of feet is something many women will experience, especially during the later stage of their pregnancy. This happens because of the extra fluid in your body as well as the pressure from the growing uterus. Now, at first, this may seem like a “call your doctor” situation, but a little swelling around the feet and ankles is no real cause for concern (swelling around the face and/or hands could be a sign of preeclampsia, which we’ll discuss later). If you notice the mild swelling on feet and ankles, your best defense is to avoid standing for an extended period of time, stretch as often as you can when you have to sit a lot, and when sitting, try to prop your feet up and don’t cross your legs.
17 Call The Doctor: High Pressure And Preeclampsia
High Blood Pressure may develop either gradually during your pregnancy or very suddenly. Preeclampsia is a complication that is characterized by high blood pressure. If you didn’t have high blood pressure before, it usually occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Mayoclinic highlights that “left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious complications for both you and baby…the most effective treatment is delivery of your baby”. Making sure that you get all your vital pregnancy tests done is therefore very important so that if you have developed preeclampsia, you can discuss with the doctor about the best and safest possible option for you and your baby.
16 Treat At Home: Heartburn
There’s a very good chance that you or someone you know has suffered from heartburn during pregnancy as it is quite common. As painful as it may be, we just want to start out by saying – You are definitely not alone. American Pregnancy gives a number of possible remedies; “eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk, try a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk”. In terms of preventative methods, it is advised that you avoid spicy and fatty foods (sorry to your cravings) and that you also eat frequently – so 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day, rather than three large meals.
15 Call The Doctor: Fever
Whether you’re pregnant or not, getting a fever is normally a cause for concern. While you may get a little hot as your pregnancy progresses and you gain more and more weight, know that a fever should be taken seriously as it is not “normal” during pregnancy. Consulting with your doctor is, therefore, our recommendation here and luckily, it can be dealt with very swiftly. If the cause of the fever is bacterial, the doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics and if it is a viral illness, Tylenol and hydration are the most common ways to effectively deal with it.
14 Treat At Home: Feeling Plugged Up
Ah yes, of course, we had to include this pesky little problem onto our list. Many women will experience constipation because of the heavy dose of hormones that their body produces during pregnancy so again, you are definitely not alone here. It is easy to deal with it though so don’t freak out to your doctor just yet. Increasing your water intake is a great first measure to take, staying active also helps a lot of women, adding high fiber foods to your diet will also be a great help, and try to avoid or limit your intake of tea and other caffeinated beverages.
13 Call The Doctor: Red Downstairs
Any sort of bleeding while you’re pregnant is a cause for concern, especially bleeding from downstairs. Now, some women experience very light bleeding or “spotting” during their pregnancy and this may be caused by an infection, having intercourse or hormone changes. If this is the case for you, then you have nothing to worry about however, bleeding can also be quite serious. It may at times be the first sign of a miscarriage. It is therefore very important to contact your doctor as soon as you see any signs of bleeding so that you can get a thorough checkup.
12 Treat At Home: Craving Things That Aren't food
The craving for non-food items during pregnancy takes many women by surprise. The movies and tv shows we’ve grown up watching have always shown us pregnant women craving pickles, fatty foods or ice cream – stuff that makes sense. No movie ever showed us anything about women craving chalk, dirt or charcoal. What is up with that? Although studies are still ongoing regarding the cause of this, it is largely believed that the cravings are due to low iron or zinc. Luckily, during your first trimester, you would have taken those first essential blood tests so that your doctor may know about any vitamin deficiency you may have and would have prescribed the right multivitamin for you.
11 Call The Doctor: The Flu
When we get flu, most of us either head to our nearest drug store and get medication or we whip up a concoction from our kitchens that usually involves a whole lot of vitamin c foods. During pregnancy, your immune system is already weaker than usual and that simple flu can quickly turn into something serious like pneumonia. This can also be passed onto your baby and you may have some delivery complications. It is therefore important to consult with your doctor as soon as you see any signs of the flu developing so that the doctor can deal with it as soon as possible.
10 Treat At Home: A Cold
Getting a cold can be treated at home by concentrating on natural remedies. American Pregnancy highlights that you need to “Get ample rest – take naps, sleep through the night, and sit down to relax. These are great ways to give your body much-needed downtime…Drink plenty of fluids to add necessary fluids back into your body and also eat well, even if you cannot stomach larger meals, try eating small portions often”. If you’re “lucky” enough to also have a blocked nose, try to reduce congestion by getting yourself a humidifier and using it overnight as you sleep to help you with this bothersome symptom.
9 Call The Doctor: Chicken Pox
The great thing about chicken pox is that most of us get it when we’re young and if you’ve had it before, you’re probably immune. If you haven’t had it before though, it is highly recommended to avoid anyone at work or at home who has it. BabyCenter highlights that “chances are good that your baby would be fine. But if you get chicken pox during the first or second trimester, there’s a slight risk (less than 2 percent) that your baby could get a health problem. The risk is highest if you’re infected between weeks 13 and 20”. We, therefore, recommend that you speak to your healthcare provider as soon as you even suspect that you have it. There are also vaccines available (which most of us got when we were children) which help us be immune. If you didn’t get vaccinated or you don’t remember, it is best to speak to your doctor about it.
8 Treat At Home: Feeling Hot All The Time
Feeling overheated is something many women experience during pregnancy. As long as your temperature is still all good and you don’t have a fever, then you can definitely don't need to run to the doctor about this problem ladies. The great news is that after you’ve delivered your little angel, your internal thermostat will return back to normal but until we get to that delivery, there a couple of measures you can take to help you – drinking more water is always the best place to start, getting some fans for your bedroom and even one small desk fan to place on your desk at work will be very helpful.
7 Call The Doctor: Any Signs Of Preterm Labor
We don’t have to say that much to convince you that preterm labor is something that should raise some major concerns. From the moment your doctor confirmed your pregnancy, chances are, that you have either asked someone or did some online research about labor. Going into labor is the natural last step of our pregnancy, but doing so weeks before our due date is not what we want as we understand the importance of trying to deliver full term. It is therefore important to educate yourself about labor symptoms so that if you recognize any of them occurring to you way before time, you are able to contact your doctor as soon as possible.
6 Treat At Home: Skin And Hair Changes
We have one word for this – hormones. Some women grow healthy, thick and luscious hair during pregnancy and their skin glows like it has never before while other women aren’t so lucky. Some women even lose hair after delivery. Now, we certainly understand that pregnancy can often times take a knock at our self-esteem. As our body changes and makes more room for that growing little angel, we end up hardly recognizing the reflections we see from our mirrors. Don’t despair though – the great news is that after delivery, in time, your skin, hair and even nails will return to just how they were before pregnancy. In the meantime though, you’ll just have to concentrate on how you’re doing an incredible job of housing your little bundle.
5 Call The Doctor: Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are very common and are probably one of the few things on this list that you don’t necessarily need a diagnosis for – they can certainly be seen. They are enlarged veins which typically appear on your legs and feet. Exercising (or even just a brisk walk) daily, not crossing your legs as you sit, not sitting or standing for extended periods of time, are just some of the measures you can take to prevent them from appearing in the first place. Getting these veins during pregnancy isn’t a big concern but if you feel your veins are a bit hard, you may want to consult with your doctor. BabyCenter explains that “a small percentage of people who have varicose veins develop small blood clots near the skin’s surface”.
4 Treat At Home: Back Pain
Back pain is perhaps one of the most common issues that pregnant women deal with, especially during the third trimester as you near your due date. Weight gain, inevitable posture changes, and hormone changes are just some of the reasons why back pain occurs during pregnancy. There are a number of things you can do to help ease this pain – exercising will help to strengthen and boost flexibility, improving your posture when walking or working can also bring great relief and sorry ladies, but high-heeled shoes may also need to be paused as they may also be contributing to your pain.
3 Call The Doctor: Gestational Diabetes
If you were a diabetic before getting pregnant, you would have told your doctor about this as soon as it was confirmed that you’re expecting so that you discuss the best treatment options for you for the duration of your pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can occur for unexpecting moms to be. It basically means that your blood sugar levels were fine before pregnancy but are now high during pregnancy. Managing your blood sugar during your pregnancy will help make sure that your baby is healthy and with help from your doctor, you can find out just how to do that. The great news is that gestational diabetes usually goes away after delivery.
2 Treat At Home: Fatigue
Fatigue during pregnancy will most likely occur during your first trimester. Along with morning sickness, this is usually the first sign of pregnancy. Most women report that they feel better and have more energy during the second trimester but that “lovely” fatigue tends to creep back in once you’re well into your third trimester. It is important to keep taking your supplements throughout your pregnancy so that your body and baby are getting all the necessary nutrients. If you don’t have any health issues, the best thing to do here is relax and get in those naps and rest as you’ll definitely not be able to once the little one arrives.
1 Call The Doctor: Mental Health Conditions
We’ve covered a lot of physical-related illnesses and issues that you are most likely to face during pregnancy. Number 1 on our list deals with something different – your mind. The truth is when a woman is pregnant, that mind simply does not stop running and sometimes, we can’t help it. There’s loads to think about; finances, aid for when the baby arrives, our health, the nursery, and that body that looks nothing like it used to. All these are normal concerns but if you find yourself stressing to the point where you are no longer happy about your pregnancy or you feel like it's too much, we highly recommend that you speak to a professional about this. We would also like to point out that for you to be the best mom to your little one, you need to take care of yourself not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.
References: Parents, Mayoclinic, American Pregnancy, Americal Pregnancy - A Cold, BabyCenter, BabyCenter - Varicose Veins