Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful processes of life. There’s nothing like the joy of anticipating your little one. If only it always felt like sunshine and rainbows. Your body goes through a lot of changes as a new little being is formed inside you. Those changes can be a source of quite a few uncomfortable experiences. In addition, you’ve got to be extra vigilant about what you choose to eat and the products you use. Natural remedies are a great way to help ease the negative symptoms of pregnancy without the danger of harmful chemicals. However, be sure you consult your healthcare provider before making any dietary changes.
1. Morning Sickness
- Hydrate: Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. One glass of water every hour and when you get up to use the restroom at night will help provide some comfort. If you can’t keep anything down at all try a frozen fruit popsicle to replenish the sugars you’ve lost.
- Drink tea: Herbal teas like peppermint, lemon, and ginger are natural suppressants for nausea. Red raspberry- leaf tea combats nausea but it also relaxes the muscles in the uterus so make sure you consult your doctor before ingesting it.
- Take your vitamins: Vitamin B6 and complex B vitamins can help reduce nausea and vomiting. Contact your physician prior to adding them to your diet.
- Reduce meal portions: Instead of eating a large meal three times a day try eating small meals throughout the day. This will give your stomach time to process the food and you’ll avoid feeling stuffed and causing nausea.
- Snack: Take your vitamins with food to help keep them down. Keep crackers by the bed so you have something to put in your stomach as soon as you wake up. Avoid foods that are fried, greasy, and fatty.
- Nutrition: What you’re eating is extremely important and directly impact your energy levels. Your diet should consist mostly of organic fruits and vegetables. You should avoid processed foods and carbohydrates that quickly digest like the ones in white bread.
- Exercise: Establish a daily routine where you do some sort of aerobic exercise. It’s even better if you can do it outdoors. Fresh air and brisk movement like walking can help boost your energy.
- Sleep: Set an alarm to help you go to bed and ensure at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep to feel refreshed the next morning. Short intense naps of 15 to 20 minutes can help you feel refreshed. However, be sure to set an alarm because anything over 20 could have you waking up feeling groggy.
- See your doctor: Extreme fatigue could be a sign of a bigger issue. If grogginess persists make an appointment to see your healthcare provider. They may want to test you for anemia or hypothyroidism.
- Eat alkaline foods: Incorporate foods like almonds, avocado, and especially leafy green veggies into your diet. These foods are highly alkaline and will help to prevent heartburn. You can also drink herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile, and lemon for the same effect.
- Avoid acidic foods: Very acidic foods will only aggravate your heartburn. Unfortunately, that eliminates some favorites like chocolate, sugar, and coffee. You should also avoid onions tomatoes, and mustard. It was also help to limit or remove carbonated drinks and spicy foods from your diet.
- Drink apple cider vinegar: It doesn’t sound very appetizing but raw apple cider vinegar will help raise your stomach acid levels which reduces heartburn. Take care to select one that is raw and unpasteurized. To start add one teaspoon to eight ounces of water. Drink it throughout the day and one hour before meals. As you build a tolerance for the taste and acidity increase the amount of vinegar slowly until you can have up to one tablespoon per eight ounces of water.
- Drink water: Drink lots of water throughout the day. If you need a little more flavor replace a glass of water with coconut or lemon water.
- Be proactive: Do what you can to prevent headaches from the start by getting plenty of rest and exercise while staying hydrated and eating a healthy balanced diet.
- Target the pain: Use your preference for hot or cold temperatures to relieve headache pain with a warm damp cloth or a bag of frozen peas. A cold shower may feel a little uncomfortable but the cold would cause your blood vessels to constrict and alleviate some of the pressure.
- See a professional: Book an appointment with your local masseuse. Also consider trying acupuncture and acupressure.
- Breathe in relief: Depending on how sensitive you nose is aromatherapy is a great way to breathe in relief. Use essential oils like peppermint or lavender to place one to two drops on your wrist or behind each ear.
5. Stretch Marks
- Get oily: Natural oils are great for moisturizing the skin and there are quite a few of them that work well for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Rub olive oil of the marks then take a bath. The heat from the bath will help your skin absorb the oil. You can choose a favorite or mix almond oil, coconut oil, castor oil and/or avocado oil to apply to the affected areas. If you choose castor oil apply it and cover the area with a plastic bag. Place a warm damp towel on top of the plastic for 30 to 40 minutes then wash it off.
- Got butter?: Shea butter and Cocoa butter are great for reducing stretch marks. Apply either of them daily.
- Drink water: Staying hydrated will help your skin retain moisture.
- Juice it up: Let the juice of a cut potato or lemon soak into your skin for a few moments then wash it off.
- Get sweet: Make your own sugar scrub with one tablespoon of sugar, a couple drops of lemon juice and a small amount of almond oil. Mix the ingredients well and apply it to your skin before your bath or shower.
6. Swollen Ankles
- Take a supplement: Magnesium is a great nutrient to add to your diet. It helps to reduce edema. However, make sure you consult with your healthcare provider before you begin taking it.
- Get moving: Exercise is a great way to help improve blood circulation. Try going out for a brisk walk or look up some pregnancy friendly yoga classes.
- Soak it in: Soak your swollen ankles in Epsom salt to help reduce swelling. If you can handle the temperature you can also soak in room temperature or cold tonic water. The bubbles in the tonic water will feel relaxing and help reduce inflammation.
- Clingy is cool: Compression socks are hard to get on but the pressure they create can help reduce swelling. There are also footless versions to specifically target your ankles.
- Mix up your water: Add a slice of cucumber and some lemon juice to your water. The water will help flush any excess salt in the body contributing to inflammation and the fruit gives that property an extra boost.
- Do some footwork: Foot exercises can help stimulate blood flow to your ankles. Bend and flex each foot 30 times then rotate each foot in a circle eight times one way and eight times the other way.
7. Sore Breasts
- Get support: As your pregnancy progresses your breasts are going to grow. Your bra will provide support for the new amount of weight the growth will add. Make sure you are getting a bra fitting a few times throughout your pregnancy to make sure you have the proper size. You’ll want to avoid bras with underwire and opt for any seamless styles to reduce any discomfort from stitching.
- Apply some heat: Use a warm compress to reduce soreness. Lay a warm damp towel around your breasts for 10 – 15 minutes. You could also take a warm (under 100 degrees Fahrenheit) bath or shower.
- Apply soothing creams and lotions: Use natural creams and butters like shea, cocoa, and mango. Try to select lotions that contain lanolin because it will help reduce irritation and infection. You could also look for creams containing chamomile or calendula as the active ingredient.
- Eat seeds: Flaxseed works well to relieve pain in your breast tissue. Mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed into a glass of water. If you find the taste unpleasant you can choose to mix it in with your favorite fruit juice or yogurt.
- Eat more fiber: The first step to battling constipation is to eat plenty of fiber. During pregnancy you should be eating at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. You can find large amounts of fiber in fruits, veggies, beans, whole-grains, flaxseeds, and almonds. If you’re still not concerned you’re consuming enough naturally talk to your doctor about taking a fiber supplement.
- Drink tea: Chamomile tea is not only relaxing for the mind but it also relaxes the body. Enjoy up to two cups a day to aid your intestinal tract into relaxing.
- Knees up: Next time you use the restroom take a step stool in with you. Place the stool in front of the toilet so you can set your feet at it as you go. Elevating your knees to a 90 degree angle will put your body in more of a squatting position more conducive to having a movement.
- Get moving: It is strongly encouraged to exercise during your pregnancy. You should be doing some sort of activity three days a week for 20 to 30 minutes at minimum. The stimulation to your body will help relax and motivate your bowels.
- Have a snack: Watermelon is a great snack to help relieve constipation. It’s mostly water so helps smooth the process of food passing through your intestinal tract.
9. Bloating And Gas
- Relax: Stress can cause an irritable stomach. Find ways to relax and reduce your stress. Accept help when it’s offered to reduce your workload.
- Get plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of water is key to maintaining a healthy digestive system. It can get mundane so mix it up by adding some lemon and warming the temperature. Peppermint and chamomile tea are also great ways to drink more water and have helpful stomach calming properties.
- Small bites: Your stomach could be having a hard time processing a lot of food at once. Try having 5 or six small meals throughout the day and make sure to chew each bite thoroughly.
- Find your trigger: Start paying attention to what you’re eating before you stomach becomes upset. Eliminating certain foods that cause your gas or bloating with a food journal can be very helpful. Foods like brussel sprouts, broccoli, wheat and potatoes are typical suspects. You should also try to remove or reduce your intake of fried foods and processed sugars.
10. Muscle Cramping
- Stretch it out: Daily stretching can help muscles keep from becoming tight. It should also be done before and after you perform any aerobic exercise.
- Rub it down: Massaging the affected muscles as well as the muscles surrounding the target area is an effective way to reduce to pain. Use essential oils like chamomile and lavender to promote relaxation or oils like sweet almond and olive to moisturize.
- Warm it up or cool it down: Heat stimulates blood flow and can help muscles relax. Try using a heating pad on the area causing you discomfort. You can make your own heating pad with a cloth sack filled with rice. Heat the sack in the microwave for one to two minutes. Alternatively, cold causes blood vessels to constrict and can provide muscle ache relief. Hold an ice pack wrapped in cloth against the sore muscles.
- Soak it up: Soak in a warm bath with epsom salt to help reduce any inflammation in your muscles.
- Take your vitamins: Your cramps could be due to a lack of sufficient nutrients in your diet. Make sure you are taking your prenatal vitamins daily.
The next time you’re feeling down because of your pregnancy symptoms try one of these remedies. All of these remedies are easy and natural so you don’t have to worry about hurting the baby to get some relief. Remember to always consult with your healthcare provider even when taking natural remedies.