When you’re newly pregnant, you might discover there’s a lot to learn. You read about your baby’s development, what foods you should avoid, and what to expect during your routine prenatal care appointments. You also learn that pregnancy can lead to several less-than-pleasant symptoms, like morning sickness and headaches.
Our all-female team of board-certified specialists at OBGYN Westside PLLC offers compassionate obstetric care to women in the Upper West Side of New York City.
It’s our mission to support you through your journey to motherhood, from fertility counseling to labor and delivery and postpartum care 一 and that includes helping you navigate those unpleasant side effects of pregnancy.
Below, we highlight a few at-home remedies to help you overcome the most common pregnancy ailments.
Morning sickness is a well-known pregnancy ailment, and unfortunately, it can linger for months. Thankfully, there are many over-the-counter remedies you can try:
- Sea-bands, or other acupressure bands
- Ginger chews
- Preggie Pops and Drops
- Vitamin B6 supplements
In addition to the above remedies, many mothers-to-be find that lifestyle modifications, such as snacking on crackers or other carbs, avoiding an empty belly, taking prenatal vitamins at night, and eating bland food can help tame nausea. If these are not effective, there are prescription medications that can also provide relief that we would be happy to discuss with you.
Fatigue is a common complaint during pregnancy, especially the first and third trimesters. Before you were pregnant, you might’ve overcome fatigue with an extra cup of coffee or even an energy drink. But energy drinks, energy supplements, and excess caffeine are off-limits during pregnancy.
Here are a few tips to safely combat fatigue during pregnancy:
- Take your prenatal vitamins 一 many vitamins, including the B vitamins, can help support your energy levels
- Exercise 一 gentle exercise, including walking or swimming, can boost your energy levels
- Take an iron supplement if you are anemic 一 studies show iron supplementation can boost energy levels in women with anemia
If the above tips aren’t enough, don’t hesitate to schedule a power nap, especially if you’re in your first trimester when fatigue is the most intense. A quick nap may be enough to help you push through the rest of your day. Remember, your body is busy supporting your growing baby, and it’s okay to take it slow.
Headaches are common in pregnancy, especially in the early weeks. You might develop a headache from changes in your hormones as well as withdrawal from caffeine. Dehydration, often a result of morning sickness, is also a common trigger of headaches. Aim to drink at least eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water each day. In addition to the above remedies, avoid any known headache triggers you have, such as sleep deprivation.
Acetaminophen, an active ingredient in over-the-counter pain relievers such as TYLENOL®, is a popular go-to for headache relief and can be used if medically necessary. Please contact us at OBGYN Westside to discuss the pros outweigh the cons. We will generally recommend that you take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time.
Avoid over-the-counter remedies such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and any category X drugs, including ergotamine derivatives. Safe options to treat headaches during pregnancy include
ginger (studies show ginger can reduce pain and inflammation of headaches and migraines), cold compresses (including compresses designed especially for headaches), massage, and dim lighting.
In addition to the above remedies, avoid any known headache triggers you have, such as sleep deprivation and eye strain.
Natural remedies for heartburn include:
- Papaya enzymes (which don’t contain high sodium or aluminum like common antacids)
- Eating dairy products, such as milk or yogurt
- Honey and warm milk
If you do need antacids, talk to your OBGYN Westside provider to determine which medication and dosage is right for you. TUMS® is an over-the-counter calcium-carbonate antacid that is safe when taken correctly.
This is just a small sample of the ailments you might experience. Never hesitate to give us a call if you’re concerned about the safety of a particular medication or supplement. We’ll happily guide you to the best options for you.
For more information or to schedule a prenatal appointment at OBGYN Westside, call our office or request an appointment online.