What you can do: Relieve stuffiness with a steam inhalation and breathe the vapour in deeply

What's safe: Nasal sprays without steroids, such as Aller-eze

Avoid: Antihistamine tablets, unless prescribed by your doctor


More like this

What you can do: Sit and stand up straight, and rest. Gentle exercise such as walking may help too

What's safe: Hot water bottles, the odd paracetamol, heat rubs or heat pads

Avoid: Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or aspirin

Coughs and colds

What you can do: Steam helps clear a stuffy nose while gargling with salt water eases a sore throat

What's safe: Cough lozenges and the occasional paracetamol

Avoid: Big doses of vitamin C (no more than 60mg a day), Lemsip and Benylin as they contain decongestants, and anti-inflammatories, wuch as ibuprofen

Down-there infections

What you can do: Ask your GP for a urine test if you feel a burning sensation or find it hard to pee. Water or cranberry juice can hep. In bad cases you may need antibiotics

What's safe: Canesten Oasis


What you can do: See your GP if you have chronically itchy skin as it could be linked to a liver problem

What's safe: Emollients such as aqueous cream, E45 and Oilatum

Avoid: Steroid creams that contain hydrocortisone, and Eumovate

Flu and fever

What you can do: Rest and drink lots

What's safe: The odd paracetamol

Avoid: Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen

Gum problems

What you can do: Go for a check-up - dental care is free in pregnancy. Floss and pay particular attention to where your teeth meet your gums when brushing

What's safe: Bonjela and Anbesol

Avoid: Betadine Mouthwash


What you can do: Drink enough water, and don't get too stressed. Get checked out if paracetamol isn't helping orif your vision is affected, as this may be a sign of pre-eclampsia

What's safe: The odd paracetamol

Avoid: Anti-inflammatories and caffeine - found in coffee and cola, and some drugs

Inflated ankles

What you can do: Avoid standing for a long time and lie with your feet raised above your hips in the evening

Health alert: Sudden swelling can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, so if you're concerned, tell your midwife

Just can't go

What you can do: Eat fibre-rich fruit, veg and wholemeal bread and cereals, and drink lots of water

What's safe: Fibre supplements such as Fybogel or lactulose

Avoid: Strong laxatives, unless prescribed

Killer heartburn

What you can do: Eat little and often and stay upright after you've eaten, plus do some gentle exercise

What's safe: Gaviscon

Lack of sleep

What you can do: Nap during the day. Have a routine of warm bath, a hot milky drink and the same bedtime each night. A wedge-shaped pillow under your bump may also be comfy

Avoid: Sleeping pills, unless prescribed

Mouth ulcers

What's safe: Bonjela or Gengigel

Avoid: Adcortyl


What you can do: See your GP if they're severe or frequent as they can contribute to anaemia or be a sign of an underlying illness

Ouch, my pelvis!

What you can do: A physio may provide a pelvic support belt and suggest exercises to strengthen the muscles

What's safe: The odd paracetamol

Avoid: Anti-inflammatories and aspirin


What's safe: Preparation H and 'original' Anusol

Avoid: Anusol HC - it contains steroids


What you can do: Eat little and often, if you feel sick first thing, have tea and toast as soon as you wake up

Red, sunburnt skin

What you can do: Wear a cream with a higher SPF than usual

What's safe: Most aftersun lotions

Avoid: Solarcaine, as it contains a mild anaesthetic


What you can do: Not a lot, sadly. Despite their claims there's no hard evidence that any creams or oils work, but they may make your skin feel smooth

Tingling wrists

What you can do: See your GP. They can refer you to a physio who may give you exercises and a wrist support

Unhappy tum

What you can do: Eat little and often, and avoid fatty and spicy food

What's safe: Gaviscon

Varicose veins

What you can do: Your midwife may suggest gentle exercises or support tights. Seek advice about sharp let pains immediately as they can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis

Warts and verrucas

What's safe: Bazuka

Xtra sore boobs

What you can do: Get measured for a non-underwired maternity bra

Yucky skin

What you can do: Cleanse well, drink lots of water and stay out of the sun

What's safe: Normal skin cleansers

Avoid: Isotretinoin (Accutane), tretinoin (Retin-A), tetracycline antibiotics

Zonked out

What you can do: Tell your GP if you're very tired as you may have anaemia

What's safe: Brewer's yeast - a vitamin B supplement


Avoid: Caffeine pills, such as Pro-Plus, caffeine drinks, such as Red Bull, and herbal pick-me-ups