Home remedies for common pregnancy problems

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

The 9 months of pregnancy can be a little bit of a challenge to face up to; nonetheless it is such a wonderful time in a woman's life! Everyone knows that pregnancy can really make its presence felt – the morning sickness, the indigestion and heartburn, and the distressing cramps. Furthermore, the blooming belly makes it really tough to be comfortable in any position and your moods are sure to be all over the place too!

The body has tremendous work to do during pregnancy and the various changes that are taking place within the body are bound to cause some degree of discomfort. However, these need not throw you into a panic mode, there is seldom any need for alarm; conversely it is very vital that you do mention anything that is worrying you to your OB/GYN.

We’ve gathered 5 common discomforts that pregnant women suffer at different phases of their pregnancy. Fortunately, simple home remedies and certain foods can help take the edge off your symptoms. Help is at hand with our round-up of natural remedies to tackle pregnancy-related ailments!

5 frequently experienced conditions during pregnancy

Morning sickness can be somewhat distressing

Eat Breakfast

It's absolutely common to feel under the weather during the first few months of pregnancy; luckily most cases of morning sickness fade away at the finish of 3 months. Morning sickness comes on due to changes in the hormone profile occurring during pregnancy and is usually a response to elevated levels of the pregnancy hormones, primarily the human chorionic gonadotropin. For a majority of women, the first two and a half to 3 months are the worst; thereafter they start to feel better. Morning sickness is characterised by intense nausea, queasiness and vomiting.

These recommendations afford enormous help:

• Eat small, frequent meals. Never miss a meal – that makes the nausea worse.

• Have frequent, small drinks; avoid chugging large amounts of fluids.

• Restrict your intake of fatty, greasy foods.

• Avoid your triggers – steer clear of all foods that make you queasy.

• First thing in the morning; before you step out of bed, have a biscuit or a toast.

• Ginger is excellent for the management of morning sickness. In fact, the root is often called one of the most outstanding home remedies for pregnancy nausea. The herb greatly helps calm pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Nevertheless, you must discuss with your OB/GYN before starting any herbal treatment.

• If you’ve been vomiting, it is very essential that you drink adequate fluids to replenish. Try an assortment of fluids such as water, herbal teas, fruit juices, smoothies, buttermilk, slushies and clear soups.

On the whole, you don’t need to take any medications to manage your morning sickness, unless your health care provider has prescribed specific medicines. In severe cases, not responding to home remedies medical intervention becomes necessary.

Morning sickness is a fairly trivial inconvenience that’s experienced by women; however, it can have a huge adverse impact on your daily routine and quality of life. Happily, dietary modifications and lots of rest do the trick. Also, good support from your partner makes morning sickness less distressing.

Dealing with agonizing leg cramps


Leg cramps are fairly common during the last couple of months of pregnancy and generally tend to come on at night. Typically, women complain of being rudely awoken by a sudden acute pain in the leg. Cramps are sudden, sharp and excruciating, usually in the muscles of the calves and feet. A cramp is indicative of the fact that your muscles are contracting exceedingly when they ought not to. Probable causes include – carrying all that extra weight, being very active or being completely inactive, alterations in your metabolism, or a vitamin insufficiency.

Trying to avert an episode of cramps or knowing what to do when a cramp comes on can greatly alleviate your discomfort.

Gentle exercises, like walking, Yoga or specific ones, such as calf raises help boost the blood flow in the lower limbs and ward off cramping. Confer with your health care professional what exercises are suitable for you. 3 exercise routines that are decidedly beneficial are -

1. Moving the foot upwards and downwards vigorously daily; about 15 repetitions. Repeat for the other foot.

2. Draw circles with your foot; 5 repetitions. Repeat for the other foot.

3. Stretching the calf muscles before bedtime is a very good exercise to prevent cramps at night.

Magnesium supplements proffer help as well; however, talk to your OB/GYN before embarking on any kind of supplementation. Calcium is also often advocated to manage cramps. Step up your intake of milk, yogurt and cheese; these are fantastic home remedies for leg cramps during pregnancy. Also, seek advice from your OB/GYN regarding supplementation.

When a cramp does strike, to ease it, stretch the muscle by pulling your toes hard upwards. Massaging the muscle firmly also yields brilliant results. Some swear by standing up immediately and keeping the foot flat on the floor. When the pain abates, place a heat pack on the affected area.

Banish acidity, heartburn and bloating naturally

Eat Breakfast

The enlarging belly puts loads of pressure on to your GI tract and this can affect your digestion, triggering episodes of acidity and flatulence. The hormone progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles in the digestive tract; the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach relaxes, and consequently, acid from the stomach easily moves back up into the food pipe. All this can leave you feeling bloated, gassy, and with a horrible burning sensation. 80 % of mums-to be will experience heartburn at some time during their pregnancy. The condition is characterized by – acidity and burning in the tummy and chest, acid and food reflux, flatulence, bloating, constant burping and feeling queasy.

The good news is that you can manage acidity and indigestion through dietary modifications and including certain specific foods which have been touted as brilliant home remedies for acidity during pregnancy. Let’s dive into them:

• Primarily, you must eat small, frequent meals

• Never lie down immediately after a meal

• Keep away from all foods and drinks that you suppose trigger acidity and heartburn

• Steer clear of acidic and spicy foods

• Avoid coffee

• When lying down, raise the head end of the bed to avoid a reflux

• Incorporate cumin seeds into your diet. Jeera is a very powerful carminative and an excellent digestive. It proffers practically instant relief from bloating, indigestion, acidity as well as the tummy pain that’s associated with it. You could have a spoonful of roasted jeera after every meal or have a glass of jeera paani once daily; it affords significant amelioration. Just mix some Tata Sampann Jeera Powder in a glass of water to make jeera paani concoction. Read the whole recipe here.

In case there’s no relief even after following these guidelines, talk to your health care professional, they will prescribe you some antacids.

Manage varicose veins naturally effectively

Varicose veins develop during pregnancy because the volume of blood increases and this exerts immense pressure on the veins. Furthermore, changes in the hormone profile as well lead to the occurrence of varicose veins, given that raised levels of progestin dilate the veins. Additionally, during pregnancy the uterus exerts pressure on the inferior vena cava which conveys blood from the lower extremities to the heart; thereby further contributing to the formation of varicose veins.

By and large, the condition is harmless; though, the veins do get engorged, itchy and a tad bit uncomfortable. The good tidings fortunately are that they tend to fade away after about 6 months post-delivery. These preventive guidelines are your best option to tackle varicose veins and in case you have already developed varicosity, these recommendations help allay the discomfort substantially:

• Avoid standing or sitting in one position for a protracted interval of time. Make sure you take breaks and keep changing your position often.

• Do not cross your legs while sitting.

• Say goodbye to your heels! Wear flat shoes, it will foster healthy blood circulation.

• Raise your legs from time to time to improve the circulation of blood.

• Try to schedule gentle, mild exercises into your daily routine. You must, however, discuss with your OB/GYN to verify whether it’s safe for you to exercise during pregnancy.

• Wear maternity support hosiery. These can help stimulate the flow of blood upwards towards the heart. On the other hand, do not wear stockings that are too tight, they can cut off circulation and be counter-effective.

• Sleep on your left side - it decreases the pressure on the inferior vena cava.

If you perceive that the veins feel warm, excruciatingly painful, hard, or the skin looks red, speak with your health care provider immediately; never ignore.

Haemorrhoids can cause a lot of discomfort

It’s common to have constipation during pregnancy, when your motions are hard and very difficult to pass. Neglected, constipation leads to haemorrhoids, which are basically swollen and enlarged veins around the anus. Haemorrhoids develop chiefly because of chronic constipation and due to pressure from the expanding uterus. Hemorrhoids or piles itch, ache, feel sore and may even bleed. They make visiting the toilet really uncomfortable and painful. Thank heavens they tend to vanish within a couple of weeks after delivery!

In the intervening period, here’s what you can do to assuage your discomfort:

• Constipation is the chief cause of hemorrhoids and so it is vital that your stools are soft and regular. Step up your intake of fibre – make sure you consume plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Fibre adds bulk to the stool and makes the passage of feces smooth and quick.

• Ensure that you drink 8 glasses of water per day; it thwarts constipation.

• Get plenty of gentle exercise - walking is excellent.

• Incorporate loads of natural bulking agents into your daily menu – psyllium, chia seeds, dates, figs and prunes. They are absolutely the best home remedies for constipation during pregnancy. They work like magic!

• In case piles have developed, apply a cold pack on your bottom to allay the inflammation, swelling, irritation and pain. Use the ice pack frequently through the day.

• Do not stand for long intervals of time, treat a chronic cough and stay active to improve the blood circulation.

• Most importantly, contact your OB/GYN if you feel extreme discomfort and if the constipation does not respond to the home remedies. There are certain medications which quickly soothe the pain and inflammation around the anus. Don’t use any medication or cream without checking with your health care provider.

Armed with all this knowledge, you can undoubtedly have a healthy and safe pregnancy, with minimum discomfort. Also, remember that pregnancy is the most ideal excuse to pamper yourself thoroughly for all the 9 months! Indulge in a glorious home spa or gently massage a luxe lotion into your mushrooming bump! For once, watching your tummy get bigger can be a real positive experience! Luxuriate in the experience. The instant you look into your newborn's eyes, you’ll know it was all worth it. All those months of exhausting work led to this, and it's time to delight in your new family! Have a happy and healthy pregnancy!


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