As long as your pregnancy symptoms are not severe, there are ways to manage them with a balanced diet and make your pregnancy more pleasant.
Being pregnant means having to expect some of these common disorders that can affect your daily routine: nausea, constipation, fatigue, heavy legs, frequent urination, and heartburn. Feel free to test some of the tips below.
1. Nausea After Waking Up
Nausea or morning sickness usually appears in the first few weeks of pregnancy and often subsides by the end of the first trimester, but it still lasts in about 20% of cases until the end of pregnancy.
This unpleasant symptom is most likely due to hCG hormone that the placenta overproduces to keep pregnancy in progress. When it returns to balance, the symptoms also disappear.
Here are some tips that will help you cope with nausea during pregnancy:
Breakfast In Bed
Leave some fruits or cookies on your nightstand so you can eat something while you are still in bed. Make sure you enjoy a good breakfast, and avoid drinking or lying down immediately after eating, as this can trigger more nausea.
Ideally, wait about 5 to 10 minutes before getting up from bed. However, avoid coffee with milk and excessive fat or heavy breakfasts that are too hard to digest.
Drink enough water during the day to prevent nausea. Take a few sips of water every time you feel nauseous, especially if you are still fasting. Water with few minerals and a slight acidity after waking up seems to be particularly beneficial.
Water with lemon juice
Lemon is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium that help eliminate morning sickness in pregnant women. Yes, it is safe to include lemon juice in your diet, but in moderation.
Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice to a big cup of water and drink after breakfast or sip throughout the day. Lemon can also provide mouth freshness, which can help to reduce nausea and vomiting.
Various clinical studies have evaluated ginger as an effective and safe treatment for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Although there is no clear decision on the correct dosage, moderation is always the key.
You can use ginger in many forms, including fresh, dried, powdered, or ground. It can be presented as capsules, tablets, herbal teas, or liquid extracts.
Vitamin B-6 is actually an excellent way to reduce and prevent most morning sickness. A variety of foods that provide healthy natural sources of vitamin B-6 include:
- Lean meats.
- Whole grain wheat and other cereals.
- Seeds and nuts.
- Fruits such as bananas or papaya.
- Dried fruits such as prunes, raisins or apricots.
- Fish such as wild salmon and safe catch elite tuna.
Splitting The Meals
Split your diet into 5 or 6 small meals over the day instead of three large meals, and don’t skip any of your meals. If you don’t have enough appetite in the morning, just eat a few light foods like a dairy product with fresh fruit to start with.
Constipation affects about 50% of pregnant women, especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. Even if it is mild and temporary, constipation can still be very unpleasant.
Progesterone is the main cause: a hormone released in large amounts during pregnancy which slows down bowel muscle contraction. Other possible causes include: growing uterus, lack of activity, dehydration, and stress.
Constipation can also be a side effect of excessive iron supplements. You may need to discuss with your midwife or doctor about switching to a prenatal vitamin with less iron.
In order to keep your bowel muscles moving faster, a good daily intake of water combined with a fiber-rich diet is necessary. Here are some useful tips that can help you fight constipation:
Much more water and fluids
Drink plenty of water during the day to keep your stools hydrated. Make sure you drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day and focus on magnesium-rich water. If your physical activity level is high, consider taking more fluids as well.
Boost your fibre intake
Fiber-rich foods help to remove undigested food from your intestines, add volume to your stools and stimulate their passage through the digestive tract. It is recommended to gradually boost your fiber intake in combination with an increase in water intake.
Make sure you eat plenty of whole grain cereals and breads, vegetables and fruits at every meal. Choose fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables (raw or lightly cooked – preferably with the skin on) to benefit from the laxative effects of their fibres.
You can safely get your recommended fiber intake by mixing the following sources:
- Whole grains: brown rice, cooked barley
- Fruits: apples, raspberries, pears.
- Vegetables: broccoli, peas, artichokes.
- Legumes: black beans, chickpeas, lentils.
Take your probiotics dose
Yogurt and kefir are two excellent options for adding probiotics to your diet. This will stimulate your intestinal bacteria to break down food better so that things move.
Magnesium And Vitamin C
Taking magnesium and vitamin C can stimulate stool movement, which helps to ease your constipation. They are known to direct water into your intestines, making them softer and easier to pass.
However, large amounts of vitamin C can be harmful. It can cause loose stools or even diarrhea and stomach cramps
3. Fatigue And Tiredness
Fatigue and tiredness are the most frequent symptoms of pregnancy. Some pregnant women suffer from persistent fatigue during the first three months of pregnancy.
While these symptoms often disappear around the 12th or 14th week of pregnancy, they usually reappear within the last three months. Again, this refers to the physiological effects associated with increased progesterone levels.
If you feel tired, beyond the essential rest, nutrition can help you regain your energy, especially by eating healthy seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Vary Your Fruits
It is preferable to regularly vary your fruits to benefit from the nutritional properties of each one, as well as the antioxidants they contain. When cut and mixed with dairy products and cereals, they will make a delicious breakfast!
Vegetable juices have the right balance: celery, carrot, fennel, zucchini, etc. But if it’s not your cup of tea, stay in the classic by choosing your favorite fruit at every meal.
Vitamin C is crucial for anyone dealing with fatigue. It can help boost the immune system and prevent fatigue associated with common diseases. Choose fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.
Vegetables high in Vitamin C: Sorrel, turnips, raw green, red bell peppers, watercress, broccoli, kale, fennel, and spinach are all nutritious vegetables with high levels in vitamin C.
Fruits high in Vitamin C: When it comes to fruits, guava and blackcurrant are leaders in vitamin C. Kiwis, lychees, khakis, papaya, grapefruit, oranges, and berries come next.
Finally, use fresh parsley on your vegetables. It’s a very simple way to add vitamin C to all your dishes.
4. Heavy Legs
During pregnancy, expectant mothers are sometimes exposed to the well-known heavy leg syndrome. Pain, cramps, heaviness, swelling, tingling…
These unpleasant sensations are due to blood flow disorders caused once more by hormonal changes in pregnancy, but also by increased weight gain.
Regular exercise, especially daily walking, is one of the keys to stimulate your blood circulation. In addition, a balanced and varied diet can also be very helpful:
Take plenty of vitamin E to improve your blood flow and capillaries (small blood vessels). Make sure to consume as much as possible: Nuts, almonds, cereals, cereal grains, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables (asparagus, spinach, etc).
Vitamin B-3, also known as niacin, can act to improve your blood circulation and protect your blood vessels as well. Try it for lunch and dinner: Cold-water fish such as cod or salmon, also rich in omega 3. Which all offer benefits to heart health.
Consume fresh fruits and vegetables with high levels in vitamin C and antioxidants at every meal to give a quick boost to your blood circulation, and protect your vessels. Orange juice, grapefruit juice, whole strawberries, broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin C.
Selenium and zinc
Selenium and zinc help to maintain and protect your heart and all blood vessels by ensuring the functioning of your circulatory system. Have seafood and well-cooked dried vegetables such as split peas, lentils, dried beans, and chickpeas at least once a day for selenium and zinc.
5. Frequent Urination
Frequent urination is also part of the pregnancy process. It can be exciting when you first notice it and discover you are pregnant. But in recent months, this can be very frustrating, as it involves frequent visits to the bathroom while you need to sleep at night.
Drink plenty of fluids
You probably don’t want to drink more if you are already worried about running to the bathroom, but you need to keep your body hydrated.
You lose a lot of water when you urinate frequently, so it is necessary to increase your fluids intake. Keep drinking at least 8 cups of water or other healthy fluids every day.
To reduce night-time urination, you can try to reach your daily fluid intake goal by drinking more liquids in the morning and afternoon. As you get closer to bedtime, you can then drink less.
Avoid caffeinated drinks
Stay away from caffeine. Because it is a diuretic, it drains water from your body, and you are more likely to go to the bathroom afterwards. It may thus be useful to limit or skip coffee, tea, and soft drinks, and opt for caffeine-free drinks instead.
Heartburn is by far one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints experienced during pregnancy. Around 45% of all pregnant women have severe heartburn symptoms, especially during the first and third trimesters.
Progesterone hormone plays its role and relaxes the muscular valve of the digestive system, allowing gastric acids to flow back into the esophagus, which results in inflammation and pain.
In addition, the growing fetus must fight over space with the stomach, forcing the acid content to rise. Here’s how you can reduce heartburn symptoms:
- Eat slowly and choose smaller, lighter meals than heavy ones. This means skipping rich or high-fat dishes.
- Avoid foods that produce acidic reflux, such as, citrus fruits and juices, spices, chocolate, alcohol, as well as, caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
- Stay hydrated and drink less while eating to avoid increased risk of acid reflux. Have a good glass of water a few minutes before starting your meal, and drink again a few minutes later.
- Drinking a glass of milk can help reduce acidity feelings and ease symptoms.
- Avoid lying on your back on a flat area after meals. Hold the top of your bed high above the bottom, or place pillows under your shoulders to prevent gastric acid from rising into your esophagus.