Sure, pregnancy has its benefits. You’re supposed to have an amazing glow (although I really think it’s just a little glistening from all of the sweat thanks to hormones), your hair is thicker and fuller, and you might even have a nice new amazing rack to show off. Not to mention, at the end of it all you get to have a brand new baby to snuggle which is truly the most amazing gift of them all. However, there are plenty of not so pretty symptoms, aches, and ailments that you’ll have to deal with during the pregnancy that you might not have expected.
Awful back pain – so bad that you can’t sleep at night, stand at work or do anything, really. Sleep deprivation is REAL and happens way before the baby comes. Not to mention, the unmentionable, constipation that you’ll most likely experience during pregnancy. We told you these weren’t pretty, fun, or glamorous (but keep in the back of your mind, all worth it for that beautiful baby at the end!).
If you think you’re alone in fighting back against some of these problems, or have tried everything recommended on the web to help with these issues, don’t worry mama to be – we’ve got your back (..literally!) Here are a few things that are tried and true that have helped us out here at Modern Day Moms!
Thanks to the growing weight of your belly and that nice pair of double D’s you’re sporting, your back is experiencing a great amount of pressure and new weight that it has to lug around. Because of this, your posture is also changing which typically leads to back pain for mamas to be. A combination of added weight, poor sitting and standing posture and pelvis misalignment can all contribute to all day back pain which isn’t comfortable for anyone – pregnant or not.
So, what can you do?
Our absolute #1 recommendation when you’re experiencing back pain is to go and see a licensed chiropractor. It may or may not be covered by your insurance, but we promise that the money is more than worth it! No one deserves to be in pain all day long!
A chiropractor will asses the anatomy of your spine and pelvis and will make adjustments to correct your alignment and give posture and exercise recommendations. Midwives preach about pelvic alignment and the effects of labor which is why seeing a prenatal chiropractor is highly recommended. After the first few sessions, your body will have to get used to the adjustments but after time you’ll sleep better, have less pain and overall have a higher quality of pregnancy!
Most people who have had children already LOVE to tell first-time parents that they better prepare to be extremely sleep deprived. What most first time moms aren’t told is that they’ll most likely experience a loss of sleep or pregnancy insomnia early on in their pregnancy. According to Americanpregnancy.org, Insomnia during pregnancy is normal and affects approximately 78% of pregnant women. So, as a first-time mom, you’re more than likely to experience pregnancy insomnia. We really hate to break this to you!
A few things that have helped us with pregnancy insomnia are magnesium and using lavender essential oils.
Magnesium is a naturally occurring substance that can help with many pregnancy related issues, especially if you’re having trouble finding sleep. Healthline.com shares that Magnesium helps activate neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming the body and the mind. They also report that magnesium acts upon the nervous system and contributes to deep, restful sleep. Several studies have confirmed this effect in older adults. We purchased the brand Natural Vitality from Amazon and have had great results so far!
Essential oils are another great alternative to typical pharmaceuticals, especially in pregnancy. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the most versatile of all essential oils and can help you relax the body and mind and get a restful sleep. Our favorite way to use lavender is to either put a drop in your hands and give a deep inhale, or rub a small amount on the soles of your feet before you go to sleep. Sounds odd, but it works!
The last, and definitely the least talked about an issue that pregnant women deal with is constipation. According to babycenter.com, one reason for constipation during pregnancy is an increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes smooth muscles throughout the body, including the digestive tract. This means that food passes through the intestines more slowly. This also means straining on the toilet which could lead to hemorrhoids (yikes), achy cramps and the overall feeling of being ‘backed up’.
There are a few natural ways you can treat constipation without having to use over the counter meds. Magnesium (that we mentioned earlier to help with pregnancy insomnia) is also a great natural cure for constipation. Magnesium is an osmotic laxative, which means it relaxes your bowels and pulls water into your intestines. The water helps to soften and bulk up your stool, which makes it easier to pass.
Staying hydrated is not only healthy for you and growing your little one, but drinking plenty of water throughout the day also helps keep everything moving so you can have healthy bowel movements. Be sure that you’re drinking at least a gallon of water each day during your pregnancy, and on through while you’re breastfeeding as well.
Another natural cure for constipation is walking. Webmd.com reports that simply getting up and moving can help constipation. A regular walking plan — even 10 to 15 minutes several times a day — can help the body and digestive system work at their best. Not only is this good for healthy digestion, but walking is good for pelvic alignment, muscle tone and overall wellness for you as a mama to be!
Remember mama, you’re never alone in dealing with these issues! Do your research and be proactive if you’re losing sleep, having trouble with digestion issues or any back pain. There are several ways to help you have a healthy and pain-free pregnancy!