Safe pregnancy pick-me-ups

Natural ideas to banish pregnancy aches and pains

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Safe pregnancy pick-me-ups

You’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.

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THE SYMPTOM: Sickness

Your action plan:

  • Eat toast in bed in the morning to raise your blood sugar levels
  • Wrist-acupressure can help – try acubands or Sea-Bands, £7.99 from chemists
  • Fruit may freshen your palate, and ginger tea can ease queasiness
  • Rest up – tiredness can make morning sickness worse

See your midwife of GP if you’re vomiting persistently, otherwise you may become dehydrated.

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THE SYMPTOM: Tiredness and difficulty sleeping

Your action plan:

  • Don’t bottle things up. Share any worries with your partner or midwife
  • Calcium has a calming effect on the nervous system, so try yogurt, almonds or seeds at bedtime
  • Don’t drink too much before bed to minimise those loo trips, shun caffeine after 6pm, and avoid big meals, which may make you feel uncomfortable
  • Put 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. 

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THE SYMPTOM: Backache

Your action plan:

  • Walking and swimming will help to keep your spine flexible
  • Kneeling on all fours can take the pressure off your spine. Warm baths or a gentle back massage can help relieve aches
  • A maternity girdle can help support your back

See a physio if pain persists.

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THE SYMPTOM: Headaches

Your action plan:

  • Get plenty of fresh air and exercise to keep your body supple
  • Drink lots of water and snack regularly to regulate blood sugar
  • Release tight muscles with a neck and shoulder massage
  • To 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. 

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THE SYMPTOM: Heartburn

Your action plan:

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  • Avoid rich, high-fat, spicy or acidic foods, chocolate and coffee
  • Sipping peppermint tea can help
  • Opt for small meals and eat little and often – this gives the stomach less time to build up acid
  • Gaviscon is safe to take during pregnancy – but do double-check with your midwife first
  • If 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 

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