Pregnancy can be an incredibly exciting time for both new mums and dads alike, that is, when the mum to be isn't battling unpleasant pregnancy symptoms! All to often what should be an enjoyable and happy time in a mothers life, turns out to be just plain uncomfortable.
Here are the top 5 most common Pregnancy Symptoms and how to eradicate them!
- Lower Back Pain: Lower back pain is the number one negative pregnancy symptom for women in Sydney. It's cause can be multi-faceted, but it is generally attributed to the increased ligament laxity that occurs during the second and third trimester. Now, the good news is this ligament laxity is what allows the pelvis to survive the birthing process, the not so comfortable news is that while the ligaments and increasing in laxity, the rest of your body can feel a little sluggish and floppy. Often the place this shows up the most is in the lower back and pelvis, as the baby grows, there is more and more pressure put on this area and the surrounding joints and soft tissue structures... not much fun!
The good news is that while the ligaments may be increasing in laxity, if your muscle system is strong you should have no trouble holding it all together, so to speak. This is where prevention is definitely better than cure. Rather than waiting until the third trimester (when the painful pregnancy symptoms kick in) starting early with a core and pelvic floor strengthening routine such as Pilates, will help to ensure that but the tae your ligaments begin to stretch, your muscle system is ready to take over and protect your boney alignment.
- Depression: The good news is there are many ways to combat pre and post natal depression. Exercise, mindfulness, social groups are all great ways to ensure you have the support and positivity around you to get through this sometimes stressful time! The food you eat also plays a huge factor, as much as your craving random combinations of peanut butter and pear, try to ensure you are still drinking enough water, decreasing and where possible eliminating caffeine and ensuring you eat plenty of greens and healthy fats!
- Urinary Urgency: As your bub grows, there are many changes your body goes through to accomodate this little bundle of joy. The increased load and pressure your unborn puts on your pelvis can start to have a negative impact on your pelvic floor. You might find urination becomes more frequent and occasionally urgent. This is because not only do the muscle of your pelvic floor have to support your growing baby, but they also have to do their normal job of supporting your bladder! Sometimes the increased work load is just too much.
Again, prevention is better than cure here. Getting involved in pre-natal exercises such as yoga and pilates helps to increase the strength and endurance of your pelvic floor muscles (very important even after the pregnancy!) Not sure if your doing your pelvic floor connection correctly, never fear, we have some great tools to teacher you how here!
- Middle Back Pain: Unbeknownst to many people, it is not only lower back pain the falls into the negative Pregnancy Symptoms category! Middle back, also known as thoracic, pain is a common symptom in later stage pregnancy. As your baby grows, your changing body has less and less space left to accomodate them! Often you will feel little feet or hands getting lodged in between ribs and chest cavities. At this stage, as much as we love them, there can moments where you seriously wonder will this ever end!
In this case, the best way to get relief is to see a Physiotherapist. This takes a special and trained therapist to help adjust your alignment to ensure rib and thorax pain are kept to a minimal.
- Foot and Ankle Pain: The word 'Cankles' comes to mind. You pull out your favourite scrappy candles (as there is no way your wearing heels right now!) but to your dismay that starts won't fit around your now ballooning ankles. Increased swelling is most common Pregnancy Symptoms and although not necessarily serious, it can definitely be uncomfortable and at the very least unsightly!
The best way to keep the candles to a minimum is through movement and elevation of the feet. in the Pilates studio we do many exercises with the feet over head to help return the excessive fluid to the heart. It also helps to keep the feet moving, especially while sitting at a desk. If all else fails, compression stockings (yes the attractive kind you wear on an aeroplane) will keep candles at bay!
So there you have it, while we are not denying there are many unpleasant Pregnancy Symptoms that plague the pregnant women, there are also many easy fixes and ways to prevent the discomfort if your just a little bit prepare!