The less glamorous and talked about side effects of pregnancy and best practices for preventing and managing them include:
Bleeding gums. Because hormones change and blood flow increases during pregnancy, some women’s gums become more susceptible to bleeding easily.
You can help cut down on bleeding and keep your gums and teeth healthy during pregnancy by brushing after each meal, eating fewer sweets, maintaining regular dental checkups and using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Gas. While everyone experiences gas buildup, women who are pregnant are prone to more buildup than the average person due to increased levels of progesterone, a hormone that relaxes the body.
Reduce or manage gas buildup by avoiding fatty foods and carbonated beverages, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly to promote better digestion, eating slowly, and thoroughly chewing food before swallowing.
Hemorrhoids. Constipation, hormones and increased pressure and blood flow to the lower body can all contribute to hemorrhoids, which are particularly common during late pregnancy.
Avoiding constipation by making simple lifestyle changes can help prevent hemorrhoids. Be sure to drink a minimum of eight to 10 glasses of water each day and perhaps a glass or two of fruit juice, such as prune juice. Eat high-fiber foods, exercise at least 30 minutes a day and maintain a healthy weight.
Varicose veins. Unfortunately, these unpleasant-looking veins are common not only in the legs, but also around the vagina during pregnancy, typically due to increased pressure on these areas in addition to a boost in blood volume.
Exercising and walking regularly are the best ways to prevent varicose veins. Additionally, keeping your legs elevated as much as possible, consuming low-sodium foods, avoiding standing for long periods of time and maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent the onset of varicose veins.
Yeast infections. Hormone changes and vaginal discharge increases make pregnant women more prone to developing yeast infections. Fortunately, yeast infections are highly treatable, and you can take simple steps to help prevent them.
Regularly and thoroughly washing your genital area, keeping it dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose clothing, restricting sugar intake, incorporating yogurt containing lactobacillus acidophilus into your diet, and getting plenty of rest to help your body fight off infections easier can all help prevent a yeast infection from developing.
While there are some less-than-pleasant symptoms of pregnancy, most are easily managed and nothing to be concerned about. Perhaps the best news is that these symptoms are short-lived, and your little one will soon be in your arms.