Sca-a-a-ary Pregnancy Symptoms
Your head may not be spinning around yet … but are you tempted to call an exorcist?
In honor of Halloween, here are some scary pregnancy symptoms and some solutions to make your gestational journey a little less harrowing.
The Zombie (a.k.a. fatigue): The changes occurring in your body are incredible and physically exhausting for you. Fatigue seems to be the most apparent in the first trimester, but it can really last throughout your pregnancy to varying degrees. To combat this monster, you can follow some basic and commonsense tips: go to bed early, eat healthy, try to exercise (even if you really don’t feel like it), and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re beat and need to rest. Take care of yourself; don’t let The Zombie win.
The Blob (a.k.a. swelling): Swelling is caused by the increase of blood and body fluids you’re producing during pregnancy. You’ll notice it mostly in your hands, feet, and ankles. It’s uncomfortable and a little disturbing not being able to see the bones in your feet. To fight off The Blob, lessen your sodium intake, get off your feet and elevate them, keep cool, drink lots of water, eat bananas, and ditch the cute-but-painful shoes for comfortable ones. Note that if your swelling seems to worsen dramatically near the end of your pregnancy, be sure and let your doctor know immediately, as it could be a sign of something much scarier than The Blob: preeclampsia.
The Possessed (a.k.a. morning sickness): Your head may not be spinning around yet, but you are tempted to call an exorcist. Morning sickness, which is not necessarily confined to mornings only, is an especially uncomfortable and irritating pregnancy symptom. Like fatigue, they say morning sickness is most apparent in the first trimester, and then generally fades (although some lucky ones get to manage it for 40 weeks or so). To keep your split pea soup down, here are a couple tips: eat small meals often, keep crackers handy at all times, avoid strong odors (candles, air fresheners, perfumes, certain foods), keep a handkerchief or tissue dosed with a light favorable scent with you in case you need to cover your sensitive nose, rest, eat bland food if feeling nauseous.
Mr. Hyde (a.k.a. major mood swings): Pregnancy is stressful; not only physically, but emotionally as well. On top of the hormonal changes occurring in your body, you may also be experiencing other physical challenges and normal fears about becoming a parent. Sometimes all of this piles up and comes out as Mr. Hyde. (I’m an expert on this one.) To keep Mr. Hyde at bay (at least some of the time), be sure to get lots of rest when you need it, don’t be afraid to talk to people (especially mothers—they know what you’re talking about) about your feelings, and do soothing activities, like a nice bath, prenatal yoga, a walk outside, or cuddling up with a good book. And speaking of books, arm yourself with information to ease some of your fears of being a new parent. My favorites are Baby 411 by Denise Fields and Ari Brown, and Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp.
While there are many more monsters you will encounter during your pregnancy, remember that information is better than any silver bullet or wooden stake. Check out your library, surf the web, and borrow books from friends so that you can know what’s coming and how to deal with it.