Pregnancy health – advice from mums and mums-to-be

If you’re struggling with pregnancy symptoms such as a sore back and morning sickness, then read these top tips from pregnant women and mums, who know exactly what you’re going through…

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Eating dinner earlier may help ease heartburn

Easing pregnancy backache

“Mothercare’s multi-purpose support pillow, is great for helping with backache during the day, especially when I’m sitting on the sofa or watching TV. Because of its curved shape, I feel supported and, as I can push the pillow right into the small of my back as I sit or lie down, it stops the shooting pain I get in my back when I sit for a long time.”

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Celine Philibert, 25, from Surrey, 38 weeks pregnant

Keeping fit with a bump

Walking is the easiest and cheapest way to keep fit when you’re pregnant. I find that getting off the bus one stop earlier and going the rest of the way on foot is the best way to get some walking in. If you’ve got a toddler, you can walk to the park, too.”

Jessie Cooley, 33, from Leicestershire, mum to Taylor, 3, and 25 weeks pregnant

Coping with SPD

“I suffered with symphysis pubis dysfunction (pain in pelvic joints) when pregnant with Rose and needed crutches to get around. The only thing that helped me was rest, but I would recommend seeing a physiotherapist as early as you can. Also, remember that it only happens in pregnancy. My SPD cleared up a few weeks after Rose was born.”

Louise Burnyeat, 26, from Northumberland, mum to Adele, 3, and Rose, 13 months

Preventing constipation

“I’ve been eating Kellogg’s All-Bran religiously for months now to try and ease my pregnancy constipation, and it’s worked because I’m almost as regular as clockwork! It’s nice and filling when the pregnancy munchies kick in, too.”

Rachel Pratt, 28, from Sunderland, 32 weeks pregnant

“I suffered badly when I was pregnant with Sophie, and found the key was fibre, fibre and more fibre! I made sure I had a piece of fruit with my breakfast, and then another with lunch and a dinner packed with veggies. It sounds a lot but it eased my discomfort after a few days of sticking to it, and it got Helen interested in greens as we had so many in the house.”

Danielle Jones, 34 from Dorset, mum to Helen, 4 and Sophie, 3 weeks

Coping with morning sickness

“I’ve found that if I have a bad night’s sleep then the next day my sickness is a lot worse. I use a pregnancy body pillow to make sure I sleep well, and get my partner to massage my back. I’ve also found lemon squash helps with the nausea and it’s very refreshing with lots of ice.”

Joanna Pierre, 23, from Staffordshire, 12 weeks pregnant

Easing varicose veins

“I use an ice pack to relieve the itchiness from my varicose veins but to stop them getting worse I put on special support tights when I get up and I also put my feet up whenever I can. I do a lot of standing at work, so to help keep the circulation moving I go up and down on my tiptoes every now and then.”

Hayley Smith, 30, from London, mum to Jamie, 2, and 30 weeks pregnant

Preventing cystitis

“I make sure I drink lots of water to keep my bladder flushed out, and cranberry juice too. I’ve also invested in a big pack of cotton pants and swapped tights for loose trousers as that’s supposed to help keep bacteria away. It’s worked so far!”

Debbie Holden, 26, from Leicestershire, mum to Chloe, 2, and 33 weeks pregnant

Coping with bleeding gums in pregnancy

“I suffered from bleeding gums when I was pregnant with Siân. First I visited the dentist – it’s free when you’re pregnant – as I thought it best to get them checked out. Everything was OK, so to help I used a soft toothbrush as it was gentler on my gums.”

Jenna Cole, 33, from Berkshire, mum to Jamie, 3 and Siân, 3 months

Coping with leg cramps

“I had bad leg cramps at night during my pregnancy with Kodie and found putting a pillow under my feet when I went to bed and wearing some support socks really helped. The key was to keep my feet moving as soon as I felt the cramp coming on. Using a hot-water bottle eased the pain and meant it didn’t last as long.”

Simone Pollock, 25, from Cambridgeshire, mum to Kayllum, 2, and Kodie, 5 weeks

“I prop my legs up on pillows and pop a hot water bottle in a pillowcase over them to help ease cramps. My partner also suggested not tucking the bed covers in round the bed. Now the covers are loose there’s more room to stretch my legs and help stop cramps.”

Kerry Walton, 27, from London, 34 weeks pregnant

Relieving heartburn when pregnant

“I work odd hours and was used to eating big meals late at night. I carried this on when I first became pregnant, but started suffering bad heartburn. Eating smaller meals earlier in the evening and having a proper sit-down meal has really helped as I’m not rushing and overloading myself so late at night right before going to sleep.”

Angela May, 29, from London, 36 weeks pregnant

“The bigger I got with Gemma, the more I suffered from heartburn. Eating earlier in the evening, helped, but I still found it was uncomfortable at night. Sleeping propped up with a few firm cushions behind me really eased it, and I instantly slept so much better upright without any chest pain.”

Jessica Miles, 25, from Dorset, mum to Gemma, 3 months

“I really suffered after big meal in my third trimester, and found changing the way I ate really helped. Instead of having a massive evening dinner, I started making three smaller snack-style meals to have throughout the early evening. I had one when I got in from work, one about an hour late, and, if I still felt hungry, the third around 8pm.”

Kirsty Smith, 33, from Luton, mum to Abigail, 3 months.

For dry, flaky skin

“My face really flared up with spots and dry, flaky patches during my last pregnancy. I found cutting out hot baths and showers and just using warm water helped the dryness. I also stopped using foundation which eased the spots.”

Kelly Duncan, 35, from Norfolk, mum to Ryan, 4, and Queenie, 3 months

For pelvic workouts

“When I was first pregnant, I was determined to do regular pelvic floor exercises. But then I started forgetting them. I now make sure I do them whenever I’m washing up. It works as I associate them with standing at the sink, so I’ve got into a routine.”

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Rebecca Willow, 25, from London, 34 weeks pregnant

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