Pregnancy and Childbirth Staying Comfortable During Pregnancy By UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, February 26, 2015 The joys of having a baby can be dampened by a host of aches, pains, and other inconveniences that many expectant mothers face. It’s no secret that a woman’s body undergoes a number of changes during pregnancy – and many of these changes aren’t always pleasant. While not every woman experiences every pregnancy-related discomfort, here are ways get relief from a few of them. Taming Tummy Troubles Hormonal changes are the likely cause of morning sickness, which occurs in about half of all pregnant women. And it can happen at any time of the day. Keep crackers, dry cereal, or dry bread beside your bed. Eat a small amount slowly in the morning before you get out of bed. Eat 5 or 6 small meals each day. Never go for long periods without food, and try not to overload your stomach when you eat. Drink Up When you’re pregnant, it’s important to stay hydrated. Water helps with kidney and liver functions for both you and the baby. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day to help ease constipation and fatigue. Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks, which can cause dehydration. Drink liquids between meals — not with them — to avoid heartburn. Rest Is Best The baby growing inside of you is taking a lot of energy, so be sure to rest or sleep whenever you can. Listen to your body. When you feel tired, take a nap, or sit down and your feet up. Taking naps and going to bed early also can help. Avoid the temptation to work late or take on extra responsibilities. Are You Sleeping? As the baby gets bigger, it will likely become harder for you to find a comfortable sleep position. Make yourself as comfortable as possible with pillows. Avoid eating a large meal or drinking liquids within 2 to 3 hours of bedtime. Remember to lie on your side. Banish Back Pain Backache is the most common problem in pregnancy. To keep your body balanced, your back curves inward as your uterus grows. This change in posture causes varying degrees of backache. Good posture is important. Sit, stand, and walk with your back straight. Use good body mechanics. When lifting something from the floor, bend your knees instead of bending at your waist. Avoid wearing high heels and shoes that don’t provide enough support. Pregnant and Puffy Mild swelling of the feet, legs, and hands can be expected during pregnancy. With the added weight of pregnancy, circulation is slower to return the fluid to the heart. Avoid standing for a long periods of time. Keep your feet and legs up when you sit. Do not cross your legs when sitting. Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC offers a wealth of specialty services with a specific focus on gynecology and obstetrics. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, visit Magee’s website or call 1-866-MyMagee (696-2433).