We help you figure out what you can do for all those ailments a pill can no longer cure.
Being pregnant is no picnic. Take a quick trip to the grocery store, for example—as you speed down the aisles in a wake of flatulence, you pause to stare longingly at the assortment of pills you can’t take, each one holding the cure for what ails you. Feeling your steady state of nausea threatening to turn into a clean-up-on-aisle-four situation, you abandon the store empty-handed. But don’t descend into a hormonal meltdown just yet—we’ve tracked down some safe alternatives to easing your pain (and embarrassment).
Morning Sickness & Nausea
Wear anti-seasickness wrist bands. It sounds odd, but you’d be surprised how applying pressure on a certain point on your wrist can give you your sea legs back (even on land).
Take your prenatal vitamins at night and with food. If changing the time you take your vitamins doesn’t help, ask your doctor to switch you to a low-iron formula.
Eat cold, water-rich foods. Citrus especially can work miracles for morning sickness. If even a few cold grapes start churning your stomach, try plain old ice chips for a while.
Heartburn & Gas
Don’t finish your broccoli. Try cutting gas-inducing foods such as beans and broccoli from your diet. Also nix carbonated beverages if you grow tired of everyone keeping a 10-foot range for breathing room.
Eat less, more often. Doctors have found that eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day can help keep embarrassing stomach issues under wraps.
Sit in the dark. Take the old-fashioned approach and sit or lay in a dark room with a cold compress until the pain subsides.
Learn pressure points. Simply applying pressure to certain points on the head and neck can often relieve pain even faster than taking a few aspirin. Check your local bookstore for books on how to find your pressure points and use them correctly.
Wash the pain away. Sometimes a long, steamy shower is all your body needs to erase the pain. Try using a eucalyptus shower gel to clear your sinuses and help speed up the process.
Reflexology/massage. More than just an excuse to go to the spa, reflexology and massaging techniques can be just the thing you need to lift that 50-pound dumbbell off your forehead.
Stress & Anxiety
Work it out. Sign up for a pregnancy exercise class or yoga to relieve your stress the old-fashioned way. Exercise releases endorphins to lift your mood and, as a bonus, helps you stay fit and healthy during pregnancy.
Relax. Try sitting in a dark room and listening to a relaxation CD for a set period of time each day to focus on staying calm.
Note: If you feel that you are experiencing a more serious state of depression and anxiety, talk to your doctor about some more advanced options.
Just because something is “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. The American Pregnancy Association has put out a list of herbs that should be avoided during pregnancy that can be found at The American Pregnancy Association website.