The human body is an amazing thing. During your pregnancy, while your belly grows to accommodate your little one, you're most likely sharing in our amazement. But pregnancy can have some pretty uncomfortable side effects, too – many of which may have you begging your health care provider to grab his or her prescription pad. If that's the case, you're about to learn that doctors and midwives aren't so quick to dole out medication during pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester. So, how do you survive months on end without heavy duty drugs to treat your aches and pains? You look to alternative and natural pain relief.
More than half of all pregnant women experience vomiting and nausea during their first trimester. While morning sickness is actually a sign of a healthy pregnancy, it can really put a damper on your experience.
Natural relief: Try sipping ginger or peppermint tea to unlock the herbs' stomach-settling properties. If teas don't pack a big enough punch, pick up a set of Sea-Bands from your local pharmacy. These bands, worn like bracelets around your wrists, utilize acupressure points to apply continuous pressure and soothe symptoms. A study carried out in Italy reported that 70 percent of women found morning sickness relief from these handy little bands.
Blame it on that growing belly and chest of yours, but back pain during pregnancy is as common as it gets. During the third trimester, baby's head applies pressure to a woman's back, irritating her sciatic nerve and causing leg and buttock pain to boot.
Natural relief: Try simple stretching, such as a yoga pose known as cat-cow. While on all fours, round your back to resemble a frightened cat. While you breathe deeply, bring your back down so that it dips below your buttocks, providing a soothing stretch. To take your relief one step further, see a chiropractor. Chiropractic manipulation is safe for both you and baby and can help relieve lower back pain.
After your fluctuating hormones have you battling fatigue all day, you'd like to think a full night's sleep is ahead of you. But that's not always the case.
Natural relief: Try regulating your sleep cycle by getting out in the afternoon for a healthy dose of sun. Bonus: Mild exercise, early enough in the day, can help promote restful nights as well. Talk to your doctor or midwife about taking calcium and magnesium supplements. Studies suggest that a deficiency of these nutrients may lead to disrupted sleep.