As much as pregnancy sounds magical and the entire idea of another human being growing inside of you seemed extraordinary, this wonderful period in your life is also characterized by various discomforts. But, before you start worrying you should bear in mind that experiencing various uncomfortable and oftentimes frustrating problems is perfectly normal during pregnancy and there are different ways you can deal with them. In this article you will find out more about 8 most common problems during pregnancy as well as a few tips on how to tackle them.
1. Stretch marks
Stretch marks are defined as tiny tears in supporting layers of tissue under your skin. Most pregnant women fear these lines and likeliness of developing these lines has a lot to do with genetics. Rapid pregnancy weight gain can also put you at a higher risk of developing stretch marks. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to treat stretch marks although you can find a lot of products that promise exactly that. There’s also good news, they will fade eventually and become barely noticeable. There are different ways you can slow down formation of stretch marks, here are a few examples:
Moisturize your baby bump regularly
Nourish your skin from the inside by eating foods rich in Vitamin C
Manage your weight.
2. Varicose veins
Varicose veins are, in fact, swollen veins that might bulge near the surface of your skin and they are most likely to develop on your legs. While some women don’t feel any discomfort at all, others experience pain due to varicose veins. You’re at a higher risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy if there is a history of this problem in your family. Furthermore, when you’re pregnant, the amount of blood in your body increases thus forming a burden onto your veins. During this time, progesterone levels rise thus causing walls of your blood vessels to relax. Luckily, in most cases varicose veins improve after you give birth. Here are some tips to prevent varicose veins:
Maintain your weight at a healthy range
Elevate feet and legs whenever possible
Wear special support hose.
Melasma is a very common pregnancy skin issue. It is characterized by formation of darker patches usually on your face hence the other name mask of pregnancy. This skin issue is a hyper-pigmentation disorder that occurs due to excessive production of melanin or pigment that gives your skin its natural color. Although all women can get melasma, women with darker complexions are more prone to the mask of pregnancy than women with lighter complexions. The condition is caused by hormonal changes. Skin discoloration changes usually disappear on their own after delivery but there are a few things you can do to minimize them and avoid greater darkening:
Limit sun exposure
Apply concealing makeup
Use gentle cleansers and toners.
Most pregnant women experience constipation, and the primary culprit for this symptom is increased the level of progesterone. This hormone relaxes smooth muscles throughout your bad thus allowing food to pass through the intestines slowly. Another cause of constipation occurs later in the pregnancy when your growing uterus forms pressure on your rectum. Here are a few tips to relieve constipation:
Eat foods rich in fiber
Drink plenty of water
Cramp is a sharp, sudden pain you usually experience in your calf muscles and feet. This pregnancy issue usually “strikes” at night and experts aren’t quite sure why it happens. You can prevent cramps by performing low impact exercises such as bending and stretching your foot vigorously for 30 times (then repeat the same process with the opposite foot), or rotating your foot 8 times in one direction then repeating the same process in the opposite direction and switch feet.
6. Vaginal discharge
If you notice vaginal discharge, don’t panic. It is quite normal for pregnant women to have vaginal discharge during pregnancy and it occurs because the cervix and vaginal walls get softer and discharge increases to prevent infections. Here are some tips to tackle this discomfort:
Avoid using bath oils
Sleep without underwear
When in bathroom, wipe from front to back
Wear comfortable, cotton underwear.
7. Itchy and dry skin
Although experiencing itch and flakiness can be quite uncomfortable, itchy and dry skin are quite common problems during pregnancy. Due to hormonal changes, your skin lacks natural oils and elasticity thus causing dryness. You can address this problem with the following tips:
Clean your face regularly
Don’t steam your face
Apply facial masks
Stay hydrated and use a humidifier.
On the other hand, it is thought that skin itchiness is caused by increased blood supply, skin stretching, and is also associated with other skin conditions such as eczema. About 1 in 5 pregnant women experiences skin itchiness. Here’s how to relieve the problem:
Avoid hot baths
Avoid using products that contain alcohol and parabens
Avoid using strong perfumes and detergents
Moisturize your skin with fragrance-free moisturizers.
Acne during pregnancy usually occurs due to hormonal imbalance in women and they usually pop up on your face around the 6th week of pregnancy.
Here are some tips to relieve acne breakouts and prevent new ones:
Clean your face regularly with gentle cleanser
Don’t squeeze or pick acne
Reduce exfoliation to once per week as your skin is extra sensitive during pregnancy
Apply face cream regularly
Protect your skin from the sun
Cut out sugar and refined grains from your diet.
As already mentioned, pregnancy is associated with different discomforts. Luckily, these discomforts are easy to deal with and aren’t harmful. This article listed eight common discomforts during pregnancy and showed you how easy it is to tackle them. You can also consult your healthcare provider if you’re worried about issues you experience.
Adonia Dennis (@adoniadennis) is a Health, Beauty and Skin Care advisor. She loves to read about general health and wellness information. She utilizes her experience in writing about beauty tips and health related problems. She works as a content coordinator for many Online health portals. She is very passionate to write anything related to human body and loves to dispense unbiased advice through writing.