Pregnancy health Pregnancy Safe pregnancy pick-me-ups Natural ideas to banish pregnancy aches and pains 1 of Ad break Safe pregnancy pick-me-upsYou'd be lucky to sail through pregnancy without a niggle. So how to feel better when so many medicines are harmful? We show you some clever fast-fixes to perk you up in no time. THE SYMPTOM: Sickness Your action plan: Eat toast in bed in the morning to raise your blood sugar levelsWrist-acupressure can help - try acubands or Sea-Bands, £7.99 from chemistsFruit may freshen your palate, and ginger tea can ease queasinessRest up - tiredness can make morning sickness worse See your midwife of GP if you're vomiting persistently, otherwise you may become dehydrated. THE SYMPTOM: Tiredness and difficulty sleepingYour action plan: Don't bottle things up. Share any worries with your partner or midwifeCalcium has a calming effect on the nervous system, so try yogurt, almonds or seeds at bedtimeDon't drink too much before bed to minimise those loo trips, shun caffeine after 6pm, and avoid big meals, which may make you feel uncomfortablePut a large pillow between your legs to support your bump at night If you feel really exhausted, you may be suffering from anaemia. Talk to your GP or midwife - they can assess the problem and may prescribe an iron supplement. THE SYMPTOM: BackacheYour action plan: Walking and swimming will help to keep your spine flexibleKneeling on all fours can take the pressure off your spine. Warm baths or a gentle back massage can help relieve achesA maternity girdle can help support your back See a physio if pain persists. THE SYMPTOM: HeadachesYour action plan: Get plenty of fresh air and exercise to keep your body suppleDrink lots of water and snack regularly to regulate blood sugarRelease tight muscles with a neck and shoulder massageTo relieve a blocked nose, pop a couple of drops of eucalyptus, peppermint or tea tree oil into a bowl of hot water and gently inhale the steam If your headache is accompanied by swelling, especially if it's sudden, contact your midwife or doctor to rule out pre-eclampsia, a potentially serious pregnancy condition that's characterised by high blood pressure. Continue slideshow > THE SYMPTOM: HeartburnYour action plan: Avoid rich, high-fat, spicy or acidic foods, chocolate and coffeeSipping peppermint tea can helpOpt for small meals and eat little and often - this gives the stomach less time to build up acidGaviscon is safe to take during pregnancy - but do double-check with your midwife firstIf worse at night, avoid eating for three hours beforehand and sleep in an elevated position, propped up with pillows. Gravity will help keep stomach acids where they should be THE SYMPTOM: Mood swingsYour action plan: Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, so stay activeKeep your blood sugar levels stable with regular meals, and swap chocolate and sugary sweets for wholesome alternativesWrite it down - offload your anxieties on paper, or write a blog on Babyexpert.com to share your emotions with others going through the same thing Relaxation and regular treats are good for the soul - think pedicures and a new lipstick! If you constantly feel down, angry or anxious, it could be antenatal depression. Don't suffer alone - see your GP or health visitor and get help. THE SYMPTOM: Swollen legs and anklesYour action plan: Avoid too much salt and processed foods, such as ready mealsMassage your legs from the ankle upwards - or better still, ask your partner to do the honours!Potassium-rich foods, such as leafy veg, bananas and apricots help regulate your body's fluid levelsElevate your legs when you're resting during the day and at night - use a pillow for support If the swelling is accompanied by puffy hands or face, or rapid weight gain, see your GP, as these can also be signs of pre-eclampsia. THE SYMPTOM: Leg crampsYour action plan: Watch your footwear - ditch the stilettos for supportive flatties and wear support tightsEat calcium-rich foods such as dairy foods and dark green, leafy vegetables every day - and boost your magnesium intake with wholegrains and dried fruitStretch your muscles before heading to bed - rotate your legs and wriggle your toes regularly. When spasms strike, straighten your legs and flex your ankles and toes upwards Painful cramping in your legs can be caused by clots, known as thrombosis, so make sure you see your GP if the pain continues. Continue slideshow > THE SYMPTOM: Itchy skinYour action plan: Help to soothe itchy skin by applying calamine lotionMassage your bump and breasts regularly (try natural wheatgerm oil, available from health food shops)Swap fragranced soaps and bath products for unscented productsIn rare cases, severe itchiness in the third trimester (especially when it's your hands and feet) can be a symptom of a pregnancy-related liver disease called obstetric cholestasis. Other symptoms include loss of appetite or nausea. See your GP if severe itching persists. THE SYMPTOM: PilesYour action plan: Drink plenty and eat fibre-rich foods (for example, lots of veg, oats and dried fruit, such as figs and prunes)Anusol is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy, however, check with your midwife before using itExercising can help keep your bowel movements regularSoothing witch hazel or ice packs can make you feel more comfortableTry to lie on your side regularly during the day to help reduce pressure on your backside THE SYMPTOM: Varicose veinsYour action plan: Go for regular walks to help improve your circulationWear support tights every day - pop on a pair before getting out of bed in the morningNutritionists say a diet rich in vitamin C (citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis and green, leafy vegetables) helps keep your veins healthy and elasticRest with your feet and legs raised against the wall for 15 mins a day By Babyexpert.com Last updated on 8 August 2008 Comments Latest on MadeForMums What are stretch marks? 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