Congratulations! This is a beautiful and amazing time full of a good amount of fear as well. But set that fear aside when it comes to pregnancy pains!
Pregnancy is a challenging time for your body and mind. But you can ease pregnancy problems through all three trimesters with this comprehensive guide of everything you need to make it through.
So shower some love on yourself and enjoy this glowing time with your baby by trying these products and home remedies for your worst pregnancy pains!
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Everything You Need For Pregnancy Pains
Back pain is a common complaint among pregnant women since the beginning of time! Pregnancy pains like back pain are caused by the hormone relaxin. As the name implies, it relaxes your ligaments to prepare your body for birth.
While this hormone helps you birth a baby, it’s also murder for your back! Pregnant women typically experience pain in the lower back area.
Combine this hormone with the growing weight of your baby and you could wind up having your sciatic nerve pinched, which brings even more back pain. If you’ve never experienced sciatica pain before, then consider yourself lucky! It’s literally a pain in the butt!
Sciatica will cause pain to run from deep in your buttock down your left or right leg (and sometimes both legs). It’s a horrible pain-causing shooting, stabbing, and even burning pain.
To help with sciatica pain or back pain altogether, there are many ways to find relief for these pregnancy symptoms by trying the following products:
KT Tape– KT Tape can be applied across the lower back and extended down the butt and leg to relieve sciatic pain. It’s a game-changer for long-lasting relief! Just remember to buy synthetic and not cotton. Synthetic lasts for well over 8 hours and it’s waterproof!
Hot and Cold Therapy– Rotate a heating pad and a cold pad for 20 minutes on and off.
Pregnancy Pillow– Pregnancy pillows are basically large fluffy pillows designed to contour a pregnant belly and provide comfort from back and round ligament pain. They’re amazing! There are many different types of pregnancy pillows, but all of them provide the same type of relief.
Yoga Ball– Exercise balls are fantastic for relieving back pain and straighten the spine simply by sitting on it. Plus, it helps strengthen abdominal muscles to prepare for birth.
Foam Roller– A foam roller is able to stretch hip and lower back muscles that contribute to a pinched sciatic nerve.
Pregnancy Girdle– Mostly reserved for the third trimester, a pregnancy girdle is able to take the baby weight off a pinched nerve and lift the baby slightly off the pelvis.
Believe it or not, bleeding gums during pregnancy is a normal pregnancy problem. In fact, half of all pregnant women experience it. Thankfully, it’s only temporary!
Once the pregnancy hormones wear off, your gums won’t be nearly as sensitive and the bleeding will most likely stop. However, bleeding gums is still something that needs to be addressed and treated otherwise bleeding gums, (AKA pregnancy gingivitis) will stick around well after pregnancy.
Here are some at-home treatments for bleeding gums during pregnancy:
Water Pick– A water pick uses water to force plague out of hard to reach areas in the mouth. This helps lessen plaque buildup leading to gingivitis.
Tea Tree Oil– A natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial product that kills bacteria causing plague and reduces gum swelling. Simply take 4 drops of tea tree oil and 3 oz. of water and rinse once a day.
Calcium- Add calcium to your diet by making sure your prenatal has at least 1,000 mg’s or add the following calcium-rich foods:
- Low-fat yogurt
- Firm tofu
- General Mills Total Raisin Bran
Baking Soda- Use as a rinse with water or brush with it. It contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to eliminate plaque.
Turmeric– Turmeric contains the ingredient curcumin to fight bacterial infections and swelling of the mouth. Take 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of mustard oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to make a paste. Then massage over your gums and rinse with water. Repeat twice a day.
Aloe Vera- Aloe vera has antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties to help stop bleeding gums. You can use aloe vera as a rinse or massage it on your gums for a half an hour and rinse with water.
Olive oil- Olive oil prevents bone loss and helps with gum bleeding and inflammation. Just add more olive oil to your diet!
Cloves- Cloves contain antiseptic properties to prevent present and future bacterial infections in the mouth. You can either chew on a piece of clove or use clove oil to massage the gums.
Pomegranate- Pomegranate prevents the buildup of plaque. All you have to do to reap the reward is squeeze 30 ml of fresh pomegranate juice into a glass and swish in your mouth.
Hydrogen Peroxide- Research studies found hydrogen peroxide is able to reduce plaque and gingivitis with prolonged use. An added benefit of rinsing with hydrogen peroxide is it whitens teeth!
Arnica– Arnica is able to relieve pain caused by bleeding gums. Combine arnica with water and use it as a mouthwash.
Oil Pulling- Both coconut oil and sesame oil contain antibacterial and antioxidant components to relieve swelling and bleeding gums. Simply take a tablespoon of oil and swish and ‘pull’ through your teeth for 10 to 20 minutes a day.
Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes pregnancy cravings, experts can’t seem to agree. But some pregnancy food cravings can be caused by vitamin deficiencies.
If you’re craving things you shouldn’t be craving like… Dirt, ice chips, sand, coffee grounds, toothpaste, and more than it’s safe to assume your experiencing pica.
Although there are no known causes of pica, some experts agree there’s a connection between pica and low iron. If you’re eating non-food items, always talk to your OBGYN or doctor right away!
To control food cravings during pregnancy, try the following:
Eat smaller meals- By eating smaller meals you avoid sudden drops in blood sugar contributing to eating unhealthy foods.
Aim for a balanced diet- This includes grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Avoid large portions of your craving- If you’re craving ice cream, choose a smaller bowl or small ice cream cone compared to a bigger size.
Exercise- Exercise is able to suppress cravings by releasing endorphins that contribute to happiness. The same feeling you get when eating your favorite craving!
Keep small snacks on hand- Proportion small containers of nuts, blueberries, yogurt, granola, and more.
Nausea is not just designated for the morning. It can strike at any time! Some women get worse nausea at night and others experience increased nausea with movement similar to motion sickness.
It doesn’t matter when it happens… It’s miserable either way!
But here’s some products to help reduce pregnancy pains like nausea fast:
SeaBands– Wearable wrist bands that use acupressure to decrease nausea. These work and I swear by them. SeaBands were my saving grace during the first trimester of my second pregnancy!
Prenatal Vitamins- There are prenatal vitamins available to prevent morning sickness. Try Gentle Prenatal Vitamins.
Nausea Lozenges– These are perfect for work or on-the-go to get rid of nausea.
Morning Sickness Tea– There are many different types of teas for nausea that can be sipped on throughout the day.
Read more about pregnancy nausea HERE
Leg cramps are miserable! Most leg cramps occur during the third trimester and caused by the growing weight of your uterus and baby. Add the weight of the baby and combine that with a change in blood circulation and you have a recipe for leg cramp disaster!
To alleviate these pregnancy problems, try the following:
Compression Stockings– Compression wear provides relief from leg cramps by applying light pressure to the calf muscles.
Massage Roller– Massage rollers can be used on any part of the body, but I’ve found the best way to use one is to use it on the legs to ward off leg cramps.
Magnesium- Some research points to magnesium being able to prevent leg cramps in pregnancy. But consult your doctor first before taking a magnesium supplement in combination with other vitamins and medications. Personally, my favorite magnesium supplement is Natural Calm.
Read more about relieving leg cramps HERE
Many women agree one of the first signs of pregnancy they noticed was sore breasts. Breast soreness ranges from tender and swollen to shooting sharp pains.
Unfortunately, these pregnancy pains start at four to six weeks of pregnancy and continue to well after you give birth.
Breast soreness is due to a couple of reasons:
- Estrogen helps develop milk glands and ducts to prepare for breastfeeding. It also increases blood flow throughout the body including the breasts making them feel tender and swollen.
- Progesterone helps the body to store water to provide nutrients to the baby in the uterus. This extra stored water also causes an increase in water weight to the breasts causing them to stretch and feel sore. It also contributes to the growth of milk glands and breast tissue.
To help alleviate tender and swollen breasts try:
Hot/Cold Therapy- You can rotate cold/hot pads on your breasts until the swelling or pain subsides.
Supportive Bra- A quality bra is a must during pregnancy! You can go for a comfy sports bra or go ahead and purchase a breastfeeding bra. If you don’t prefer to wear a bra, breastfeeding camisoles are VERY supportive and comfy. Plus they provide easy access for breastfeeding your little after birth.
Foot Swelling And Pain
This is a miserable pregnancy symptom and is often referred to as the “puffy” stage of pregnancy.
Swollen feet occurs as early as the fifth month of pregnancy and is caused by a 50% increase in blood volume. That water retention adds to your hands and feet feeling puffy.
As you continue throughout pregnancy, water retention will only get worse! But thankfully after you give birth the water retention will go down.
In the meantime, try some of these home remedies for feet swelling:
Elevate Your Feet- This will help reduce the swelling temporarily.
Reduce Sodium Intake- Salt makes the body retain extra water. Try and reduce sodium intake in your diet especially unhealthy salty foods like potato chips.
New Slip-On Shoes- Find a new pair of shoes that are comfy and stretchy to accommodate swollen feet.
Knee-high Compression Stockings- Compression stockings will help keep fluid circulating through the legs and lessen the swelling in your feet.
Read more about relieving foot swelling, read my article 3rd Trimester Products To Make You More Comfortable
Insomnia is mostly seen in the third trimester of pregnancy due to the added weight of the baby making it uncomfortable in almost every position you’re in. However, insomnia can strike in all three trimesters!
In fact, research suggests 20% to 60% of women experience insomnia during the course of their pregnancy.
It’s important to note that insomnia is more than just having trouble falling asleep. It’s trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and having problems going back to bed.
Although it’s tempting to take medication for insomnia, it’s better not to take sleep-inducing medications, especially in the first trimester. Instead, there are many ways to help with insomnia in pregnancy that is all-natural.
Natural ways to fight insomnia during pregnancy:
Warm bath- A warm bath will help relax and soothe any pregnancy pains you may be having. Make a warm bath part of your nighttime routine and spare 10 to 20 minutes right before bed to soak in a nice warm bath!
Eat a snack- But not just any snack… Eat specific foods to aid sleep. Some sleep-inducing foods include:
- Warm milk
- Tart cherries
Read- Reading a good book is especially helpful during pregnancy if anxiety is getting in the way of your sleep. It allows your restless thoughts to take a break and propel you into another world!
Practice relaxation techniques- This can be anything from deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or light stretching. Anything to calm your mind and release pent-up energy before bedtime.
Although you can’t sleep at night, you’re probably exhausted during the day! Pregnancy brings on a whole new meaning to fatigue. Fatigue is worse during the first and third trimesters.
It’s tough work making a baby. Your body is going through so many changes in such a short amount of time, it’s no wonder you are so tired!
It’s a common myth that you cannot have caffeine during pregnancy. You can have caffeine, but it needs to be limited to 200 mgs or less per day. For fighting fatigue, it’s best not to rely on caffeine to get you through your day.
Try one of these remedies instead:
Take naps- There’s nothing wrong with taking power naps whenever possible during the day. If you find some time in your schedule, then grab your favorite blanket and curl up on the couch. Even 20 minutes of restful sleep will make a huge difference!
Eat well- Eating balanced meals and small frequent meals will help combat fatigue.
Exercise- A moderate exercise routine or even a simple 30 minute walk a day will help give you the energy you need to power through your day.
Not every woman is prone to stretch marks during pregnancy. Although genes play a small role, the amount of weight gained during pregnancy is also a contributing factor.
Stretch marks are essentially small scars from the stretching of the skin. For many women, the most stretch marks are gained during pregnancy. Although stretch marks cannot always be prevented, there are measures you can take to diminish the appearance.
Natural remedies for diminishing stretch marks:
Moisturize- Dry skin will only add to the appearance of stretch marks. Keep your skin moist by applying lotion at least twice a day. Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer. But remember a little goes a long way!
Hydrate with water- Drinking water will help skin cells function, repair, and recover from skin scarring.
Exfoliate- Exfoliating the skin where stretch marks may appear helps to remove dead skin cells and the buildup of too much lotion. It also helps promote new skin cell growth.
Bio-Oil- Bio-oil is used for maximum hydration to help prevent stretch marks and is filled with vitamins A and E to help promote skin cell growth and recovery.
Pregnancy pains like constipation are the combination of hormones, limited exercise, and lack of fiber. But some women exercise and eat a balanced diet with tons and fiber and still experience occasional constipation.
Constipation is one of the many pregnancy problems thought to be caused by hormones that relax the intestinal tract causing it to be sluggish and slow down digestion. Another culprit of constipation is prenatal vitamins. Prenatals contain iron that in turn slows down digestion as well.
Here are some ways to relieve pregnancy constipation:
Fiber- It’s recommended to get between 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Start adding high fiber breakfast cereals, prunes, and whole-grain bread to your diet.
Metamucil- An over-the-counter stool softener to help reduce constipation.
Water- When both fiber and water intake are increased, it helps eliminate waste from the digestive system.
Probiotics- Probiotics help support gut health and eliminate bad bacteria.
Pink Stork Constipation Tea- A tea to help ease constipation with the help of peppermint, dandelion, ginger, and more.
Blame hormones again for the cause of nasal congestion. High levels of estrogen flooding the body during pregnancy cause the nasal passages to swell and increase mucus production. This annoying pregnancy symptom often lasts for 6 weeks plus!
While nasal congestion may seem like a mild pregnancy issue, too much mucus and nasal swelling and you could end up fighting a sinus infection. It’s important to treat mild nasal congestion before it becomes a serious problem.
Here’s what you can to do fight pregnancy problems like nasal congestion:
Ayr Saline Nasal Gel– A nasal gel that soothes dry noses and relieves congestion.
Saline Rinse– A saline rinse to clear nasal passages of excess mucus.
Steam Shower- A hot shower creates steam that will open up nasal passages and relieve congestion. Although it may be a temporary relief, combine a steam shower with the above products to keep your sinuses clear.
Headaches are common during the first trimester due to a major increase in hormones and blood volume. Once you approach the second trimester your headaches should disappear. In the meantime…
Try some of the following remedies for headaches:
Acetaminophen- Acetaminophen is considered safe to take for pregnancy pains. But always check labels of medications and discuss it with your doctor first.
Cold Therapy- Place a cold ice pack on the back of your neck to find relief.
Eat Frequent Meals- Frequent meals will keep your blood sugar steady to avoid sudden dips that could cause headaches.
Massage Roller– A handheld massage roller works perfectly for relieving shoulder and neck pain and stiffness which could contribute to headaches.
Full Back Massager– A full back massager is not only relaxing, but a shiatsu massage will release stiffness throughout the back, shoulders, and neck that could cause tension headaches.
Final Thoughts About Pregnancy Pains
Pregnancy comes with a host of pregnancy pains. But after nine months, it will all be worth it to hold your precious baby in your arms!
For now, take your pregnancy day-by-day and try to find joy in it when you can. It can be hard sometimes growing a baby, but with the help of home remedies and the best pregnancy products out there…
You can find the relief you so desperately need to make it look easy and relieve your pregnancy problems!