Of course, there are still many much worse off than me, but I definitely don't envy them. So, while doing my own research, I realized how lovely it would be to share with others all the natural ways to relieve those common pregnancy pains.
MigrainesAccording to the American Pregnancy Association and the experience of other mothers, an important tool for coping with and treating pregnancy migraines is tracking your migraines and triggers. To do this properly, you may want to simply keep a journal of what you ate, when you were stressed, etc and see how that relates to when you get migraines. The point is, you're discovering what is triggering these migraines, which could help you prevent them.
Common Home Remedies
- Cool down (cold compress to the head, cold shower, etc)
- Sleep and relaxation
- Meditation or yoga
- Climaxing (orgasms)
Back PainBecause of the weight women typically gain during pregnancy, NYU Langone Medical Center estimates that around half of all pregnant women will experience some discomfort or pain in their back during pregnancy. Therefore, back pain can be considered a rather common pregnancy symptom. Knowing how to relieve back pain is beneficial whether you're pregnant or not. Here are some basics:
Treating Back Pain
- Wear compression garments
- Exercises & stretching (typically swimming and stationary bikes)
- Good posture
- Hot or cold therapy
General Physical PainEvery pregnancy is different, whether we're talking about one mother and her six different pregnancies or we're talking about ten different women who are pregnant at the same time. No two pregnancies are alike. Therefore, the pain experienced (or not experienced) during pregnancy varies and so do treatment options. Northland Family Planning has some great suggestions for pain relief.
General Pain Relief
- Getting a massage, including back, uterus, and thighs
- Utilizing a heating pad or taking a hot shower or bubble bath
- Distraction (whether it be via conversation, an activity, etc)
- Deep breathing exercises
Muscle Cramping or SpasmsThis has been my least favorite side effect of this pregnancy, period! The first time I woke up in the middle of the night with an excruciating, painfully knotted calf muscle, I thought it was a fluke. Who knew that, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (also here) and NYU Langone Medical Center, pregnancy is actually a common cause of muscle cramps or spasms? I certainly had no idea, but those suckers are the worse! So, after complaining to some friends, family, and coworkers, I was able to glean a little light on my problem. Then a google search and some testing on myself led me discover the best ways to treat these horrid cramps/spasms.
Preventing Muscle Cramps or Spasms
- Stretch (I typically did this before bed)
- Stay hydrated (water, water, water...not pop)
- More potassium (bananas or orange juice)
- Calcium or Vitamin D supplements, under doctor's supervision
- Stay active
- Sleep on your side, preferably left side
- Massages or hot/cold treatments
- Walk it out (in the case that it's a foot/leg cramp or spasm)
Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be, a medical professional. Sources of information are linked or from my own personal experiences. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplements, radically changing your lifestyle (including exercise and eating habits) or if you have other concerns. This is just meant as a guide.
What were your worse pregnancy symptoms? Have you tried any of these non-medicated methods? Do you have any to add?