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Help for Common Symptoms while Pregnant (5456)

Help for Common Symptoms while Pregnant (5456) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, OB, GYN, Womens Health, Infertility


Help for Common Symptoms While Pregnant

Many women have symptoms in their bodies
while pregnant. This is a list of the most
common symptoms, with ideas to treat them.
If these continue or get worse, please contact
your care provider.

This is caused by the slowing of food
moving through your stomach and pressure
from the growing baby. Taking iron
supplements and exercising less may add to
this problem.
ξ Drink plenty of water to keep urine
light colored
ξ Eat more fruits and vegetables and
foods high in fiber such as bran
muffins and other whole grained
ξ Drink prune juice – ½ to 1 cup each
day or eat prunes or other dried fruits
ξ Take a magnesium supplement – 200
mg 2 or 3 times a day (maximum of
600 mg/day).
ξ Try to have a routine for bowel
habits. If you feel the urge to have a
bowel movement, be sure to go.
ξ Start or maintain an exercise routine
ξ Bulk laxatives like Metamucil® or a
stool softener such as Colace® may
be used
ξ Milk of Magnesia® or Miralax® is a
laxative you can try if needed.
Follow the directions on the bottle

This is caused by a change in your posture.
Hormones cause the joints and ligaments in
your pelvis to relax. These changes may
cause backache and joint pain. These tips
may be helpful.
ξ Wear a supportive bra, low-heeled
shoes and/or pregnancy support belt
ξ Use proper body movements – when
lifting or moving
ξ Change your position often. Do not
stay in any one position for more
than 30 minutes
ξ Use pillows to support your lower
ξ Put pillows between your legs when
you sleep on your side
ξ Take a warm tub bath for 30 minutes
with or without Epsom salt
ξ Have a massage
ξ Do pelvic rocking exercises or try
doing prenatal yoga
ξ Start or maintain an exercise routine
3-4 times a week. There are classes
and home based programs geared for
pregnant women
ξ Eat healthy foods and a well-
balanced diet
ξ Consider chiropractic or physical
therapy treatments
ξ It is ok to use Tylenol up to 1000
mg every 4 hours now and then. Do
not take over 4000 mg in 24 hours.


Some causes of headaches in pregnancy are
changes in hormones, increased blood flow,
changes in posture, muscle tension,
eyestrain, stress, and fatigue.
ξ Spend 15 minutes twice a day using
techniques to relax, meditate,
breathe, or stretch
ξ Make sure you are drinking plenty of
ξ Eat a healthy diet and have an
exercise routine
ξ Wear comfortable shoes, use proper
body movement and make sure your
work station supports good posture.
ξ Rest in a dark room with a cold cloth
on your forehead
ξ Avoid perfumes, cleaning products,
or hair sprays that may cause
headaches in some people
ξ Having massages, acupuncture, or
chiropractic treatments may help
ξ Tylenol® up to 1000 mg every 4
hours may be used. Do not take over
4000 mg in 24 hours

Hemorrhoids are swollen varicose veins of
the rectum. They are caused by hormone
changes and increased pressure from the
pregnancy on the rectum.
ξ Avoid constipation and straining to
have a bowel movement.
ξ Take tub baths (sitz baths) 2 to 3
times a day for 10-20 minutes.
ξ Use witch hazel pads, such as
Tucks®, for comfort and cleaning
after bowel movements.
ξ Gently ease (reduce) hemorrhoid into
the rectum.
ξ Apply a skin numbing ointment with
lidocaine such as Preparation H®
and follow directions on the tube.

Heartburn can be caused by increased
hormones, which cause the muscle at the top
of the stomach to relax and allow stomach
contents to back up (reflux) into the
esophagus. To prevent, lessen, or treat this
problem, we suggest that you:
ξ Eat many small meals throughout the
day instead of 3 large meals
ξ Chew well and eat slowly
ξ Avoid greasy or highly spiced foods,
coffee, colas, tea, citrus or chocolate
ξ Don’t lie down for 2 hours after
ξ Avoid drinking too much fluid with
your meals
ξ Sleep with more pillows if this is a
problem at night
ξ You can try a liquid antacid like
Maalox® or Tums® chew-tab.
Follow the directions on the bottle or

Trouble sleeping
Many women have trouble sleeping, which
can be caused by body changes or a need to
go to the bathroom at night. Changes in
sleep patterns can also be caused by
hormone changes, stress or anxiety.
ξ Take a warm tub bath or shower
before bed.
ξ Drink a decaf tea before bed such as
Sleepy time®
ξ Use techniques to relax—progressive
relaxation or meditation is very
ξ Talk about any fears with partner,
friend, counselor or care provider.
ξ Use pillows to support good body
ξ Get daily exercise, but not within 4
hours of bedtime
ξ Eat a bedtime snack such as cheese
or protein foods
ξ Read or write in a journal if you
cannot fall asleep. Do not watch TV.


ξ Take a calcium-magnesium
supplement at bedtime. That may
lessen leg cramps

Over-the-counter products can be used after
the first twelve weeks of pregnancy:
Sore throat:
ξ Chloraseptic Spray and most throat
ξ Nasal congestion or feeling stuffy
from colds or flu (follow directions
on the box and take only as needed):
ξ Plain Sudafed – 30 to 60 mg every 4
to 6 hours (Do not take PE formula.
You will need to ask the pharmacist
for this as it is kept behind the
ξ Chlor-Trimeton – 4 mg every 4 to 6
ξ Saline mist spray as needed or
Afrin nasal spray – every 12 hours
(avoid using Afrin for more than 3
Feeling stuffy from allergies:
ξ Chlor-Trimeton – 4 mg every 4 to 6
Cough or sinus symptoms:
ξ Guaifenesin – 1 to 2 tsp. every 4
hours (do not take more than 8 tsp in
24 hours).
Headache or fever:
ξ Tylenol – up to 1000 mg every 4
hours (do not take over 4000 mg in
24 hours).

Swelling may be normal while you are
pregnant. This is most common in your legs
and hands towards the end of pregnancy.
These tips may be helpful:
ξ Wear loose-fitting clothes and
comfortable shoes
ξ Elevate your legs for a period of time
each day
ξ Avoid sitting or standing for a long
ξ Drink plenty of fluids. Restricting
fluids is not advised
ξ Spend 20-30 minutes a day in a
swimming pool or a warm tub with
Epsom salts

Colds, Flu, and Allergies
When the first symptoms of a cold or flu
appear, try to:
ξ Increase fluids including warm fluids
that can help relieve a sore throat.
ξ Inhale steam from boiling water. Be
careful to avoid burns. You may
also take a warm shower.
ξ Gargle with salt water to relieve sore
throat: ½ teaspoon salt to 1 cup of
warm water.
ξ Balance active and rest periods.
ξ Avoid spreading the virus to others
with good hand washing.

The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #5805

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911 Copyright © 11/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
& Clinics Authority, All Rights Reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5456