Discomfort In Pregnancy

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Discomfort In Pregnancy
Discomfort In Pregnancy

Video: Discomfort In Pregnancy

Video: Discomfort In Pregnancy
Video: Common Discomforts of Pregnancy 2023, May

Discomfort in pregnancy

The woman's body goes through numerous changes during pregnancy and works at full speed to provide adequate care for the unborn child. The hormonal balance, the metabolism, the cardiovascular system and other organ systems adapt to the new requirements. As a result of these adjustments, there may be more or less pronounced side effects or complaints. These are uncomfortable, but mostly harmless. They go away on their own in the course of pregnancy or in the initial period afterwards.

The following applies to all complaints: Do not take any medication during pregnancy without discussing this in advance with your doctor.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sluggishness and constipation
  • Varicose veins (varices)
  • Hemorrhoids (hemorrhoidal disease)
  • Edema
  • shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and circulatory problems
  • Bladder weakness and frequent urination
  • Hair loss
  • Stretch marks
  • Dental problems
  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Calf cramps

Nausea and vomiting

Many women suffer from nausea, nausea and vomiting, especially at the beginning of pregnancy. Often the symptoms occur especially in the morning, but they can also be spread over the whole day. Some women also develop an aversion to certain foods or smells as a result of the changes. The symptoms usually improve again towards the end of the third month of pregnancy.

The cause of pregnancy sickness is not fully understood, but the hormonal change and the increase in the hormone hCG are essential factors. Nausea and vomiting can also be related to low blood pressure or psychological factors.

More on the topic: Physical changes during pregnancy

The attending doctor explains the natural causes of the symptoms to the pregnant woman. To prevent and relieve nausea in the morning, it can be helpful to have a small meal before you get up, for example a piece of dry bread or rusks. Crispbread, low-fat yogurt and herbal tea or milk in small sips can also be recommended. For many women, the symptoms are more pronounced on an empty stomach; in this case, eating several small meals throughout the day can help. Spicy or spicy foods and foods rich in fat or very sweet should be avoided, as should beverages containing caffeine and carbonated acid. Cold drinks are usually better tolerated than warm ones.

If the vomiting continues for a long time (beyond the third month of pregnancy) or if it occurs particularly strongly or several times a day, it must be clarified more precisely by a doctor. Severe, prolonged vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum) can lead to a serious clinical picture with a lack of fluids and vitamins as well as disorders of the metabolism.

Sluggishness and constipation

Due to the hormonal changes - especially due to the increase in the hormone progesterone - the intestinal muscles relax during pregnancy and the intestine works more slowly. As a result, constipation and / or flatulence often occur.

A diet high in fiber, such as whole grain products, fruit and vegetables, promotes bowel activity. Dried fruits can also help with constipation. It is also particularly important to drink enough during pregnancy. Make sure you consume two to three liters a day, ideally water, teas or diluted fruit juices. Regular exercise also supports digestion.

Most laxatives and enemas must not be taken or used during pregnancy. In very persistent cases, talk to your doctor about possible drug treatment.

More on the subject of nutrition during pregnancy

Varicose veins (varices)

During pregnancy, the woman's blood volume increases in order to be able to better supply the tissue with oxygen. At the same time, the blood vessels expand. For the venous system, these changes mean an increased burden: For example, there is a decrease in venous return flow in the leg veins and, as a result, a backlog of blood. Standing for a longer period of time intensifies this.

As the pregnancy length increases, the pressure with which the uterus presses on the large pelvic vein increases, making it even harder for the blood to drain off. If the blood builds up in the superficial veins, spider veins or varicose veins can be seen on the skin. The risk of this increases from the second half of pregnancy, genetic factors also play a role. Varicose veins can also develop in the groin or on the labia or in the vagina during pregnancy.

Varicose veins on the legs can lead to various symptoms such as pain, numbness, itching or calf cramps, but they can also remain symptom-free. They often resolve on their own in the first few weeks after the birth.

As a preventive measure, wearing support stockings is considered, these should be adjusted individually. Support stockings relieve the leg veins by putting pressure on the veins and thus improving the return flow of the blood. In addition, regular exercise (e.g. walking, cycling, swimming, gymnastics) is important to stimulate blood circulation in the legs. Standing for long periods of time should be avoided and the legs should always be raised up in between. More on the topic: Exercise during pregnancy

The doctor will provide information on further measures to prevent and treat varicose veins.

More on the topic: Varicose veins in pregnancy

Hemorrhoids (hemorrhoidal disease)

Hemorrhoids is the name for a special network of blood vessels that is located in the last part of the rectum and plays an important role in sealing the anus. Physiologically, everyone has hemorrhoids.

Colloquially, however, the term hemorrhoids usually means an enlargement or thickening of these blood vessels (hemorrhoidal disease). Like varicose veins, these can develop when the pressure in the venous system increases. During pregnancy they are favored by the accumulation of fluid in the lower half of the body and by the increased pressure exerted by the growing uterus. If the pregnant woman is constipated and has to press harder when defecating, this can increase the pressure on the blood vessels. After the birth, enlarged hemorrhoids often resolve on their own.

Enlarged hemorrhoids are itching, wet or painful, and bright red blood deposits on the stool are possible. Depending on the severity, the hemorrhoids can be palpable from the outside.

Preventive and relieving measures are:

  • Fiber-rich food and enough drink to loosen up the stool or prevent constipation,
  • avoid long standing and long periods of sitting,
  • regular exercise or pelvic floor exercises to stimulate blood circulation or
  • cool hip baths and careful hygiene of the anal area (to relieve the discomfort).

Doctors provide information about further measures for the prevention and treatment of hemorrhoids.

More on the topic: hemorrhoids


The larger blood volume and the increased strain on the veins during pregnancy can also cause water retention (edema). If the veins are dilated and the increased pressure makes it difficult for the blood to drain, it backs up; as a result, water escapes from the vessels and is deposited in the tissue. In principle, edema can occur anywhere on the body during pregnancy (e.g. on the hands, face). The legs, especially the ankles, are particularly often affected. The edema typically develops slowly and is particularly pronounced towards the end of pregnancy. They regress after birth.

Prevention can be prevented to a certain extent through regular exercise (e.g. swimming, gymnastics) and by avoiding long periods of standing. Raise your legs regularly and sleep with the foot end of the bed slightly raised (e.g. place a pillow under the mattress). Wearing compression stockings can also alleviate the symptoms. Make sure you drink enough and eat a balanced diet.

If edema occurs early in pregnancy or very suddenly, or if there is also high blood pressure, you should consult a doctor; under certain circumstances this can be a sign of the onset of a pregnancy disease (e.g. preeclampsia).

shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is one of the early symptoms of pregnancy. Various changes in the organism are responsible for this. For example, a woman's chest expands and the tidal volume (breathing depth) increases; this is often perceived as an increased effort in breathing. Breathing often returns to normal in the middle of pregnancy.

As the uterus grows, the diaphragm is pushed further upwards, compressing the lungs. In addition, the increased stress on the heart can lead to shortness of breath. Towards the end of pregnancy, the breathing volume of the lungs is therefore increasingly restricted. This can make breathing difficult again.

Dizziness and circulatory problems

Changes in the cardiovascular system can cause dizziness and circulatory problems, especially in early pregnancy. As blood volume increases and blood vessels expand, the heart has to do more pumping work. In addition, blood pressure usually drops slightly in the first few weeks of pregnancy. The metabolic processes also change, and at the beginning of pregnancy it is easier for a low blood sugar level to occur. This can also make you dizzy and faint.

It is advisable to always have a small snack with you just in case (e.g. apple, crispbread) and to drink enough. If you are very dizzy, sit down or, if possible, lie down and raise your legs. Alternating showers, exercise in the fresh air and regular light sport help to stabilize the circulation in the long term.

If the problems persist in the second half of pregnancy, this can also indicate a pregnancy disease (e.g. high blood pressure, anemia).

Bladder weakness and frequent urination

Frequent urination is quite normal during pregnancy. The kidneys are supplied with more blood during pregnancy, which in turn leads to increased urine production. If the uterus presses on the bladder as the child grows, the urge to urinate is increased. Unwanted urine leakage can also be the result, especially in late pregnancy.

Training the pelvic floor muscles can be helpful for prevention or treatment. It can start during pregnancy and should be continued after the birth. The midwife or physiotherapist offer appropriate training.

Hair loss

Due to the changed hormone level (especially the increased estrogen), many women have thicker and fuller hair during pregnancy, and the hair appears shinier. The facial and body hair can also be affected. After the birth, the hormone level drops again, which often results in temporary hair loss, especially during the puerperium. After that, the hair can grow stronger for a while.

Stretch marks

The stretching of the skin puts a lot of strain on the connective tissue towards the end of pregnancy. Overstretching can cause reddish stretch marks to develop in particularly stressed areas, such as the stomach, buttocks or breasts. These can also be itchy and uncomfortable. Most of them fade again after birth and become narrower, but they do not regress completely. Genetic factors also appear to play a role in the propensity for stretch marks.

There are some preventive measures that can be taken to improve the elasticity and blood circulation of the skin. This includes targeted, regular massages with skin oils, gymnastics and alternating showers.

Dental problems

During pregnancy, the gums are supplied with more blood, which makes it easier for the gums to bleed. The composition of saliva also changes. The higher acid content favors the formation of caries or inflammation of the gums.

Regular careful oral hygiene is important to prevent dental problems. This includes thorough cleaning of the teeth and interdental spaces after every meal. If necessary, use a softer toothbrush than usual. Avoid very sweet or acidic foods, as this increases the acidity in the mouth. Vomiting can also attack the teeth due to the composition of the stomach acid. After vomiting, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water; However, wait about 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, as brushing can also damage the tooth enamel if there is a lot of acid in the mouth.

More on the topic: Dental care during pregnancy

In the case of very persistent problems or pronounced inflammation, a dentist should always be consulted. Dental treatment is possible at any time during pregnancy.

Back pain

In the last third of pregnancy in particular, many women complain of back pain, especially in the lumbar spine and sacrum. Pubic bone pain is also common; it often radiates to the groin and thighs.

To compensate for the increasing weight of the unborn child, the physiological curvature of the lumbar spine increases. The ligaments and joints of the pelvis loosen up to facilitate the upcoming birth. Back pain can be the result. In addition, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to adopt a certain bad posture (the stomach is pushed forward, the hollow back becomes stronger), which causes additional complaints.

Regular exercise and light sport to strengthen the muscles are important for prevention. Swimming, gymnastics or water aerobics as well as yoga or walking are recommended. If you experience acute pain in everyday life, take a break and, if possible, rest briefly. Avoid heavy lifting or prolonged standing.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is an anatomical structure in the area of the wrist that is bounded by the carpal bones and a firm connective tissue band. Various tendons and a nerve (median nerve) run through the canal. The nerve is responsible for the sensations of the thumb, index and parts of the middle finger and has functions for certain movements of the hand.

During pregnancy, various changes often lead to fluid accumulations in the connective tissue, which can also affect the carpal tunnel. If the tissue in the carpal tunnel swells, the increased pressure on the nerve can cause discomfort. These include tingling, numbness and pinprick-like pain in the thumb, index and middle fingers. The pain can radiate into the shoulder. The fingers often fall asleep, especially at night or when the arm is held in certain positions.

A splint or physiotherapeutic measures are available for treatment during pregnancy. The symptoms usually go away after the birth.

More on the topic: Carpal tunnel syndrome

Calf cramps

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to suffer from leg cramps, which occur mainly at night and can be painful. Changes in metabolic processes and physical overexertion may be the cause; a lack of minerals (magnesium, calcium) can also play a role.

If cramps occur, it can be helpful to stretch the affected muscles. Stand in a lunge and press your heel firmly to the floor. Movement can also help; take a few steps around the room. Or stretch your leg while lying down and press your toes up towards your body. A balanced diet, adequate fluid intake and regular moderate exercise are important for prevention. Massage, stretching before bed, applying heat, or elevating your legs may also help prevent night cramps.

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