Mar 8, 2017


Pregnancy is a wonderful thing to experience. I'm making and creating and growing a baby! Holy shit! How incredible is that? And I am so grateful for the opportunity as I know not every woman has the chance to experience it. However... there are some things about being pregnant that, until you fall pregnant, you might not know about. Little niggly things that you're not used too and the usual remedies are not always safe in pregnancy, making it all the trickier to treat.

Now "common nuances" are common, but not a given. I never got nausea or morning sickness for example. Neverthless, here we go. A few of the common pain-in-the-bum-but-not-life-threatening-niggly-issues of being pregnant.

- Leg cramps. Oh the joys. Never had I had these before and the first time you get one, holy freaking guacamole somebody kill me! And all I've been told is "they're common in pregnancy". Yay. But I like to do my own research. Apparently these happen due to calcium stores being taken for fetal skeletal development. So calcium could help (in the form of tahini, sesame seeds, dark leafy greens, or a plant based supplement - avoid the coral or chalk ones that are NOT food [but very ocmmonly sold in stores]!) but what I found useful was magnesium oil applied topically. You can also take magnesium internally which is also of great benefit, but for those cramps that wake you in the night, have your whole leg or cramp seize up and you cursing until it passes... apply magnesium oil topically before bed each night.

- Back pain. A tough one to prevent due to the large bolus growing on your front pulling your back out ... but getting regular massage is glorious. It need not be a $100-a-pop professional one. I get my fiance to rub my back when it's killing me and that's enough to relieve it most of the time (this will also prepare him for the actual birth when he better be all over it). Stretching is also a life saver! And yoga. Watch your posture too ~ a trick my mum (qualified prenatal yoga teacher) taught me is imagine a string pulling you up taller from the space in between your collar bones. It's not a forceful shoulders-back and chest-out, it's a subtle yet very effective lifting upwards.

- Constipation. I only had this niggly issue mildly in my first trimester and having something I could consume daily really helped - for me it was Amazonia Paleo Protein powder which is high in fibre (not just a protein powder) so this was my afternoon snack most days. It was easy for me. And I could drink it at work. Otherwise try a few prunes each day, double your water intake (hot water also helps), and take a magnesium supplement. Ease up on processed foods a bit and eat more fresh fruits and veg as this also helps move things through. If it gets really bad early on, I'd suggest a colonic or at home enema as you don't want to be straining when (attempting to) emptying your bowel. I also applied a light magnesium cream on my belly when it felt crampy and sore (as essential oils I previously used when needed were not recommended in pregnancy). Oooh and movement! Walking or yoga will get things moving.

- Vaginal discharge. Yep an annoying one there's nothing we can do about as this is due to increased blood flow and fluid production in the reproductive area. And this is one no-one warns you about! So I'm gonna go there! Getting organic panty liners as thin as you can and wearing these daily are a god send.

- Nausea. Ginger tea, ginger lollies, ginger cookies! We've heard it all. They work for some and not others so do at least give them a go if you're feeling under the weather. With your water intake, sipping it is better than sculling lots in one go, which can only make you feel worse. And at night, go to bed with some dry crackers beside your bed so when you wake up in the morning you can nibble a couple before you get up, as this can help settle that queasy tummy. Small frequent snacks instead of 3 large meals benefits some women as well. And in general, looking after your liver!

- Headaches. Increase your water intake girl! But remember to sip it not scull it if you're likely to feel a tad nauseous. Other tricks are applying a drop of peppermint or lavender essential oil on the back of your neck, magnesium cream rubbed on your neck and shoulders can ease tension, and just be aware of bright fluroescent lights, lots of noise and lots of people (like in shopping malls) which can trigger headaches - get outdoors as much as you can.

- Baby Brain. Ha! Accept it and laugh at it! Seriously. I know it's a pain in the ass (trust me I know) but there's not a whole lot we can do if we experience it! Some things that can help though include ensuring your essential fatty acid intake is optimal. We cannot make omega fatty acids in our body and therefore must include them in our diet. Fats = Brain Food! So if you're eating a low fat diet, you're not feeding your brain as optimally as you could be. Also keep a pen and paper with you. And your diary. Write everything down. Refer to your notes. Talk slowly if you need and explain to people you are around often, that you might need more time (and patience from them) in explaining things (coz your brain, thoughts and words can end up all over the place). And breathe. Be kind with yourself. Know this will pass. And hashtag #babybrain. Everyone will understand.

- Sleeping issues. Invest in a good pregnancy pillow. I wish I did early on but the prices of some put me off and I figured I'd be fine. So instead, at 32 weeks, I sleep with 4 different pillows, a teddy bear, my partner and his pillow! As your belly grows you will definitely need a good quality pillow. There are many shapes and sizes but essentially you need to support your neck and head, sometimes your back and belly from rolling around, and having something in between your legs to keep your pelvis level and happy... Getting comfy in bed as a pregnant woman can be a challenge so invest in something to make it easier for you. Also, sticking to a bedtime routine and lying down at the same time each night can help. Again, magnesium before bed, but not too much water (as you'll be getting up to pee whether you've had liquids or not so you wanna minimise this).


I hope these helpful hints are of use to you or can be passed on to someone you know so they can feel supported by them.

Did you experience any other pain-in-the-bum-but-not-life-threatening-niggly-issues during pregnancy? 

Do you have anything you could add to the list above? I'd love to know!
Please share in the comments below and get the ball rolling!


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