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Common Pregnancy Complaints

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Pregnancy can be uncomfortable

Your body goes through lots of changes when a little one is growing inside of you. Some of these changes can cause discomfort, but there are things you can do to manage these symptoms. Here are some of the most common discomforts women experience and what you can do about them.

Morning sickness

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 60% of women will experience nausea throughout their pregnancy. This sickness tends to happen in the morning, but it can occur at any time of day. There is no evidence to suggest what actually causes this nausea. For many women, this symptom is most common during their first trimester and then gradually lessens, but it can last throughout the entire pregnancy.

Here are some tips you can try to help keep the queasiness at bay:

  • Eat protein-rich foods
  • Eat and drink things that contain ginger
  • Stay hydrated
  • Don’t get out of bed too quickly

If you continue to experience severe nausea and/or vomiting, talk to your doctor. Also, be sure to check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications for nausea.

Heartburn and indigestion

As your baby grows, it can cause pressure to increase on the organs in your digestive tract. This change can push stomach content back up into the throat and cause heartburn. To alleviate this symptom, here are a few things to try:

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day
  • Avoid eating before bed
  • If laying down, prop your head up with a pillow to elevate it above your stomach
  • Avoid spicy foods

Before using antacids or other over-the-counter solutions, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Hemorrhoids and constipation

Similarly to how the increased pressure on your digestive system can cause heartburn and indigestion, it can also cause constipation and hemorrhoids. In fact, more than 70% of pregnant women experience this issue at some point in their pregnancy. Higher blood volume and the pressure placed on your rectum specifically can cause constipation throughout pregnancy and hemorrhoids in the later stages.

Alleviating constipation can help avoid the straining that can cause hemorrhoids. To help with constipation, try the following:

  • Eat foods high in fiber
  • Stay hydrated
  • Talk to your doctor about taking a pregnancy-safe probiotic


From swollen feet and ankles to just feeling puffy in general, swelling is a common issue women experience during pregnancy. To lessen this discomfort, here are a few things to try:

  • Elevate your feet
  • Wear supportive shoes
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time
  • Minimize time spent outdoors during hot weather
  • Use a cold compress on swollen areas
  • Stay hydrated

While swelling is normal, if you experience severe swelling it is important to talk to your doctor immediately. Severe swelling may be a symptom of preeclampsia, which is a rapidly progressive condition that can affect both you and your baby.

Labor and delivery in Duluth, Minnesota

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To learn more about St. Luke’s Birthing Center or establish care with a provider visit our website.