Fighting Pregnancy Symptoms with Food

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The following is a guest post by Olivia Maloy.

Pregnancy is a time of joy and anticipation… as well as a time of throwing up frequently, suffering from heartburn, and many sleepless nights. Almost every woman experiences various unpleasant pregnancy signs and symptoms. While they are all worth it, most expectant mothers would rather do without these pregnancy ailments. Luckily, some of the most common on can be “treated” with foods and herbs. Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently encountered pregnancy issues, and how to make them go away with food.

Morning sickness

Pregnancy nausea is still popularly called morning sickness, despite the fact that it can turn up at any time of the day, and even last all day long. Whatever you call it, this is one of the most infamous and common pregnancy ailments, especially during the first trimester. If you are currently pregnant, you’ll no doubt have found out that avoiding morning sickness totally is next to impossible. You might even join the seventy-five percent of women who will throw up regularly during the first trimester and perhaps beyond – I sure did!

Eating smaller meals more often keeps your blood sugar levels steady and can reduce nausea. Protein-rich snacks like boiled eggs or brown rice and miso are the most effective. In addition to foods you can eat to prevent morning sickness or make it go away, there are also foods to avoid. Every pregnant woman’s nausea triggers are different, so keeping track of what you eat and how it affects your morning sickness can be of great help. Greasy foods, spiced meals, and highly processed products are common triggers. In my own case, the only thing that would send pregnancy nausea packing was… Coca Cola. I’m not recommending you stock your fridge with this unhealthy drink to avoid throwing up, but I am saying relief might come in unexpected forms.

Varicose veins

When you are contemplating how to get pregnant and what it will be like to expect a baby, varicosities are probably not on your mind. Still, these ugly and sometimes painful swollen blood vessels are relatively common during pregnancy. According to herbalists, eating onions and garlic regularly can help prevent and cure them. It seems to have worked for me; I am an avid garlic lover and got no varicosities. Whether that was due to garlic, I guess I will never find out.

Heartburn

Photo by janineomg

Episodes of pregnancy heartburn can be treated by chewing your foods better, eating raw almonds, or drinking yogurt. Fresh papaya eaten after meals, or papaya enzyme tablets if fresh ones are not available, can also offer relief. Like with morning sickness, heartburn can be triggered by certain “offending” foods. Once you know what they are, you can take steps to avoid them. Some women have great success with “cushioning” their meals with bread. When I was pregnant with my youngest child, I noticed that this prevented heartburn some of the time – perhaps by soaking up some of those stomach acids?

Constipation

This is another unfortunate problem many expectant mothers came across. You may be successful in preventing constipation through a fiber-rich diet that includes a lot of whole grains. Making sure to stay hydrated can help as well, but once you are severely constipated already, prune juice can come to the rescue. I know from experience that constipation can be a pain – literally. It might sound silly to you, but I also had luck with setting aside regular time to have a bowel movement in peace each day. Forgive me for sounding obsessed with poo. Trust me, once you have your baby that will only get worse!

Hypertension

Photo by passitonfromthemill

Gestational hypertension can be a serious problem, as can chronic high blood pressure during pregnancy. In some cases, high blood pressure can be kept in check by drinking nettle leaf tea, eating plenty of fresh garlic and cucumber, and avoiding foods that can make blood pressure shoot up. Examples are coffee and rosemary. My friend who suffers from chronic hypertension tried all those things before finally relenting to medication. Not everyone’s high blood pressure will react positively to food cures, but because hypertension medications can cause all kinds of nasty side effects (my friend, for instance, had heart palpitations, very frequent urination, and headaches all the time), natural cures have got to be worth a try.

You can find Olivia Maloy, a mom of two kids, at Trying To Conceive. She blogs about conceiving, fertility problems, and pregnancy.  With her free ovulation calendar, it will be easy to pinpoint your most fertile days and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

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About Nicole

Nicole can be found blogging at her lifestyle blog GidgetGoesHome.com, and is the editor of Simple Homemade. She loves to read, sew, make ice cream, take pictures, watch baseball and go for walks by the beach with her hubby and three little kiddos. She loves anything handmade and is affectionately known as a bit of a hippie among family and friends.

Comments

  1. hmmm…the brown rice + miso sounds really tasty and would probably even be comforting for anyone with an upset tummy. is there a recipe/link you could share for it?
    amanda {the habit of being}´s latest post: weekending

  2. What a great post. It is so nice to use food to help fight physical problems! I love that.

    The only food I remember using during pregnancy, that gave me the desired result, is pineapple. I heard it could help induce labor, so, I ate a whole one over the course of the evening. My baby was born the next morning!

    Of course, I can’t say whether or not the pineapple was responsible. But there’s a good chance it was :)
    Stacy´s latest post: Keep On Keeping On and a picture of my living room

    • I forgot about that– I totally ate raw pineapple as a labor-inducer last time too. Not sure if it helped me either but worth a try– Guess it’s almost time for me to start going pineapple-crazy! :)

  3. Heather says:

    YOu need to be careful with the nettle tea though… ask your doctor or midwife before using it, because it can be bad to use in early pregnancy. It should only be used in the last couple weeks, I’m told. Even natural remedies can be dangerous if used wrong!

  4. Thanks for the tips! I will have to try some papaya for heartburn. Even bread has been giving me heartburn lately….go figure!
    Any tips for anemia?

    • the papaya enzyme seems to be working for me! I got a minty chewable one made by SolarRay.

    • oh, and I meant to add that I’m anemic in pregnancy too, and have been taking a liquid supplement called Floradix that I really like. It is made from whole foods and herbs and doesn’t taste too bad. I just have to remember to take twice a day like I’m supposed to!

      • thanks! I am supposed to be taking iron 3 times a day…but I hate taking pills! I would love a more whole foods supplement. I will check it out!

  5. That is an amazing ! Keep up the good work!
    Andrew´s latest post: Start Weeping- Landlords Want More Olive Gardens!

  6. When I developed Pregnancy Induced Hypertension with my third pregnancy, my doctor who was also a certified midwife recommended drinking 2 gallons of water a day. Not only did my blood pressure stabilize I ended up having plenty of amenotic fluid. Considering that most people are under hydrated I think it would be worth checking into.
    Lisa´s latest post: Surviving Summer Vacation with Kids

  7. Thanks for great tips.I’m pregnant and I’m so tired with its simptoms, I don’t want to eat anything.But after reading this post,I think I can improve my meal.Have a nice day
    Haley´s latest post: Lip plumper

  8. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Very informative.

  9. The miso soup is a great cure for morning sickness, it worked great for me. I also found that ginger did the trick pretty well too. Ginger lollipops to be specific.

  10. I would like to propose not to hold back until you get enough amount of money to order goods! You can just get the credit loans or just short term loan and feel yourself fine

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