Important COVID-19 Updates: Office Guidelines | Vaccine and Pregnant Women

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Tips to Combat Common Pregnancy Complaints

By: Dr. Robert Wool

Ahh the glow of pregnancy. The joy of new life. The hope. The heartburn. The hemorrhoids. For most women, pregnancy is a time of excitement, but it also comes with some challenges. The good news is that they are usually temporary and there are strategies you can use to help minimize common pregnancy complaints.

Morning Sickness

One of the most common challenges women often face early in their pregnancies is morning sickness. Up to 80 percent of pregnant women experience queasiness, nausea and vomiting in the first trimester, and not just in the morning.


Several tactics may help, such as eating small amounts regularly throughout the day, sticking to bland, starchy foods; staying hydrated; and even using aromatherapy. If you experience frequent vomiting and weight loss, call your provider to rule out a more serious condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.


Constipation and Hemorrhoids

Changing hormones during pregnancy can make it harder to move your bowels; however, if you are constantly straining, you may end up with hemorrhoids. To help relieve constipation, eat foods that are high in fiber—raw vegetables, multi-grain bread and cereals, nuts and dried fruit—and drink plenty of water. Regular exercise, such as walking, can also help. If you are taking iron supplements, ask your provider if you can stop them for a time or switch to a gentle version.


Witch hazel or Tucks pads can provide relief for hemorrhoids. If constipation aggravates the condition, talk to your provider about taking stool softeners, but avoid laxatives.



Pregnancy hormones can relax the muscle at the top of the stomach, and as your pregnancy progresses, the growing fetus pushes up against the bottom of your stomach. This can cause food and stomach acid to back up into your esophagus, resulting in feelings of pressure and burning known as gastroesophageal reflux, commonly called heartburn.


Try eating smaller meals more frequently and avoiding foods that are spicy, fatty or greasy. Avoid laying down for at least 30 minutes after eating. Using risers to lift the head of your bed a few inches may be helpful while sleeping. If these changes don’t help, talk to your provider about antacids or heartburn medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.

Swelling Hands, Fingers and Feet

It’s not uncommon to experience slight swelling in your hands and feet, especially in the last trimester of your pregnancy, as your body retains more water. It’s important to stay hydrated; however, so don’t cut back on your water intake.


You may find it more comfortable to wear shoes a half size or so larger if your feet swell. Elevate your legs as much as possible and consider wearing compression socks if you’re sitting or standing for long periods. You may want to take off any rings during this period and avoid bracelets and watches that are tight on your wrists. If swelling becomes moderate to severe, see your provider for a blood pressure check.


We’re Here to Help

Every pregnancy is different and comes with its own unique challenges. We’ve helped thousands of women navigate their pregnancies and are happy to answer your questions and offer our best advice to help you manage any symptoms or uncertainty. Just give us a call or schedule an appointment.