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Comfort Tips During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can bring discomfort of different kinds. Below are tips for ways to feel better. Talk with your healthcare provider before using pain-relieving medicine at any time during your pregnancy.

Pregnant woman drinking bottled water.

First trimester tips

Easing nausea

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

  • Stay away from smells that bother you.

  • Eat small, bland, low-fat, high-protein meals at frequent intervals.

  • Sip on water, weak tea, or clear soft drinks, like ginger ale. Eat ice chips.

  • Try taking vitamin B6.

Coping with fatigue

  • Take catnaps when you can.

  • Get regular exercise.

  • Accept help from others.

  • Practice good sleep habits, like going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Use your bed only for sleep and sex.

Calming 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.

Soothing headaches

  • Get fresh air and exercise.

  • Relax and get enough rest.

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

Second trimester tips

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

  • If you have pain in your groin and stomach (round ligament pain), don't make sudden twisting movements with your body.

  • For leg cramps, flexing your foot often brings immediate relief. Also 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. Eat foods rich in calcium.

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.

  • Don't eat greasy, fried, or spicy foods.

  • Don't have citrus fruits or juices.

Treating constipation

  • Eat foods high in fiber, such as whole-grain foods, and fresh fruit and vegetables.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Get regular exercise.

  • Ask about your healthcare provider about medicines that have docusate or psyllium.

Taking care of your breasts

  • Don't use harsh soaps or alcohol, which can make your skin too dry.

  • 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 your arms, legs, and belly.

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Heather M Trevino BSN RNC
Online Medical Reviewer: Irina Burd MD PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2023
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