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Comfort Tips During Pregnancy

Talk with your health care provider  before using pain-relieving medication at any time during your pregnancy.

Closeup of woman eating cracker.

First Trimester Tips

Nausea

  • Get up slowly. Eat a few unsalted crackers before you get out of bed.

  • Eat small, light high-protein meals at frequent intervals.

  • Drink water with lemon slices.

Fatigue:

  • Take catnaps when you can.

  • Get regular exercise.

  • Accept help from others.

Mood Swings

  • Talk about your feelings with others, including other mothers.

  • Limit sugar, chocolate, and caffeine.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Don’t skip meals.

  • Get regular exercise.

Headaches

  • Get fresh air and exercise.

  • Relax and get enough rest.

  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking any pain medications.

Second Trimester Tips

  • To limit ankle swelling, sit with your feet raised or wear support hose.

  • If you have pain in your groin and abdomen (round ligament pain), avoid sudden twisting movements.

  • For leg cramps, flexing your foot often brings immediate relief. You also may try massaging your calf in long, downward strokes, or stretching your legs before going to bed. Get enough exercise and wear shoes with flexible soles.

Third Trimester Tips

Reducing Heartburn

  • Eat small, light meals throughout the day rather than 3 large ones.

  • Sleep with your upper body raised 6 inches. Don’t lie down until 2 hours after you eat.

Treating Constipation

  • Eat foods high in fiber (whole-grain foods, fresh fruit and vegetables).

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Get regular exercise.

  • Discuss other medicines (such as docusate and psyllium) with your health care provider.

Taking Care of Your Breasts

  • Avoid using harsh soaps or alcohol, which can cause excessive dryness.

  • Wear nursing bras. They provide more support than regular bras and can be used after pregnancy if you breastfeed.

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Take a warm shower before bed.

  • Sleep on a firm mattress.

  • Lie on your side with one leg crossed over the other.

  • Use pillows to support arms, legs, and belly.

Online Medical Reviewer: Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 5/2/2013
© 2000-2015 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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