5 Natural Ways to Overcome Pregnancy Symptoms

5 natural ways to overcome pregnancy symptoms
Respective images via Flickr/links below; adapted by Amanda Austin

The best parts of pregnancy are almost too numerous to list. Gorgeous hair, long nails, the feeling of that sweet little baby moving around in your belly — all highlights of pregnancy, at least to me. Of course, the negatives are always on your mind, too.

From aches and pains (I will never forget my pinched nerve from sleeping during my first trimester) to the common cold and everything in between, pregnancy complicates many of the everyday health annoyances we take for granted when we're not pregnant. I mean, how many of you popped a couple of Advil for a headache or drifted into a NyQuil dreamland when a cold set in? Those medications, as well as many more, are off limits to pregnant women. Bummer, huh?

I mean, how many of you popped a couple of Advil for a headache or drifted into a NyQuil dreamland when a cold set in?

Let's not forget the pregnancy-related problems many women experience, including heartburn, leg cramps, and insomnia. Luckily, there are many natural ways to prevent or lessen these problems. Here are 5 natural ways to overcome pregnancy symptoms.

coconut water
Image via Flickr/SingChan

Heartburn

As your little one takes up more and more space in your body, your stomach will have less room to hold food. This causes heartburn for many women, which can lead to nausea and difficulty sleeping, especially in the third trimester. Certain foods can help soothe the sensitive esophageal lining or prevent heartburn. Nuts, especially raw almonds, contain oils that can minimize heartburn. Drinking coconut water, which is a natural acid neutralizer, can bring relief, and it tastes way better than antacids. Ginger (familiar to many women during first trimester morning sickness) can also counteract stomach acids that cause heartburn (try the candied variety for a sweet treat).

{ MORE: All-Natural Remedies for Heartburn }

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water
Image via Flickr/Greg Riegler Photography

Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are a painful reminder that your body is carrying a heavy load. Although the reason for leg cramps during pregnancy is still somewhat of a mystery, many experts believe the extra weight you pack on during pregnancy or the pressure from your uterus on blood vessels may cause nighttime spasms, which are influenced as well by dehydration and low potassium levels. 

Bananas in your regular diet will increase your potassium, which is known to combat muscle spasms. Additionally, one of the key ways to combat leg cramps is to drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated all day, drinking at least 75 to 80 ounces of water (or eating fruit that contains water). Also, take this old saying to heart: “Don't stand when you can sit; don't sit when you can lie down.” Avoid getting too tired during the day and take frequent breaks if you’re on your feet for long periods of time.

body pillow
Image via Flickr/Wicker Paradise

Insomnia

Insomnia is the result of the perfect storm of separate issues during pregnancy: leg cramps, anxiety, hormones, hot flashes, and heartburn can all play a part. While taking the occasional sleep aid (my OB recommended one Benadryl before bed when I am having trouble falling asleep; you can speak to yours if you are having issues), natural remedies are always best. Use a few of the natural remedies for heartburn and avoid large meals and beverages before you hit the sack. This will not only keep your heartburn at bay, but it can help you avoid tons of bathroom trips during the night. If you're anxious, keep a diary by your bed and write your thoughts before you turn off the light; getting the thoughts out of your head may help you sleep. Make sure your room is comfortable and cool, and use a pillow to contour your legs and knees.

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5-natural-ways-to-overcome-pregnancy-symptoms-gas
Image via Flickr/[jRa7]

Gas

I hate to admit it, but my excess pregnancy gas is legendary at my house. There is one main reason: progesterone. This hormone, which is considerably higher during pregnancy, slows down digestion and relaxes the muscles in your gastrointestinal track, leading to gas, burping, and bloating. Your late second and third trimester brings a crowded abdomen that complicates excess gas issues.

Lessen the effects by eating smaller meals and avoiding fried and fatty foods, beans, cabbage, and onions. Very hot or very cold beverages can also contribute to excess gas, so try drinking room-temperature drinks. Try to keep extra air from getting into your system; don't chew gum, drink from a straw, or talk a lot while eating. Give your bigger belly plenty of room; wear pants and shirts that won't constrict.

body butter
Image via Flickr/shinycatcreations

Stretch Marks

At least half of pregnant women get stretch marks, which occur because your skin is stretching far beyond its boundaries. Genetics play a role in whether you'll get stretch marks or not, but there are a few natural ways you can help prevent the severity. Keep your skin hydrated by using a thick cream or oil your entire nine months. Not only could this help your skin stay in better condition, but it can help alleviate itching.

What other natural ways have you discovered to get rid of pregnancy symptoms?

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What do you think?

5 Natural Ways to Overcome Pregnancy Symptoms

Amanda is a social media manager for a health care organization by day, a blogger and freelance writer by night, and a celebrity news junkie all the time! She's also mom to an amazing 2 year-old boy and wife to a great guy who indulges all her celebrity gossip (and sometimes tries to scoop her!) Amanda loves coffee, fashion, nail polish, cats, and Tim Gunn (not always in that order.) For more celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty and DIY, visit Amanda's blog, It's Blogworthy. ... More

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10 comments

  1. lydia says:

    I use chia seeds for my heartburn! They work instantly! Also, using an all natural liquid calcium magnesium really helps with leg cramps and insomnia. It is also very nourishing for your uterus and helps to make labor less painful.

  2. Chaunte says:

    Thanks! Has anyone ever had spotting throughout their pregnancy? I had to go to the hospital because I started to bleed and cramp. I am 5 weeks along. They just told me to take it easy, wear pads to keep track of any drainage and make sure I am not stressed. What could be causing this bleeding? It’s not heavy, either. Will it last throughout my entire pregnancy. Please help.

    • Megan Klay says:

      Hi Chaunte – I replied to your other comment but want to be sure you see my response. This is likely just late implantation bleeding. If you were miscarrying the amount of blood would be similar to a period or worse. Some women do bleed through their entire pregnancies for various reasons. You should still get in to see your OB so that they can run some tests. Best wishes!

  3. Christine says:

    Thank you! I learned a lot from this article. Next time I get heartburn I’ll try some coconut water. I’ve been getting really painful leg cramps at night too and didn’t know what to do. I guess I have been sweating a lot a night and getting dehydrated.

  4. Daniela says:

    I’ve been doing lotion every day to try to help with stretch marks. I haven’t gotten any yet (knock on wood) but I know its still early

  5. Lauren says:

    I’m 24 weeks pregnant. For me, the best way for me to overcome nausea was stop thinking about it when it came along. The only 3 times I actually got sick were when I started to feel sick and then I kept thinking about it until I threw up. It was partly psychological! I know some women get sicker than others any way, and I am having a boy if that has anything to do with it, but yeah mind over matter!

    • Dany says:

      I’m glad mind over matter worked for you 🙂 However that theory isn’t always true for everyone. My pregnancy was miserable. I was sick from 6 weeks through the end of my pregnancy. Some people have it worse than others and I’m a tough gal 🙂 Some people think it’s not that bad because they didn’t get nausea, heartburn etc. But everyone is different that’s for sure. Hope my next one goes better. (Fingered crossed).

  6. Sarah says:

    this was some nice helpful adivce for a few things that i can be doing around the house. but the biggest negative of pregnancy wasnt even touched on for me and that is constipation. i have been dealing with it since day one. i have tried fiber and fruits and water but i still seem to have no difference. i do however need to invest in some heavy cream because i am already noticing new stretch marks on my upper legs by my hips and i dont need anymore of those.

    • Bernadette says:

      yes, the constipation is a big deal for me too! some have suggested its the increased iron from the prenatal vitamins. Whatever it the case may be, not enjoying this symptom one bit.

  7. I kept my skin super hydrated throughout my pregnancy and still got a road map of stretch marks…not cool!

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