Your pregnancy health

Our midwife offers advice on your health during pregnancy, from backache to heartburn


How to soothe swollen tootsies

  • Don’t cram puffy feet into tight shoes. Go for summer flip-flops and sandals or even trainers with loosely tied laces.
  • Avoid socks as these can restrict blood flow. It’s better to go without or opt for support tights instead.
  • Take frequent breaks from activity, and try not to be on your feet all day.
  • Raise your feet in the evenings to help get your blood flowing.
  • Soak tired feet in a cool footbath. Add a couple of drops of peppermint oil for a refreshing zing.

Ways to reduce pregnancy backache

  • Perfect your posture. Yoga can help improve the way you hold yourself.
  • Gentle exercise like walking and swimming can do wonders.
  • Request a risk assessment at work to make sure you’re not spending too long on your feet or sitting at your desk.
  • Get support. Ask your midwife about a support belt especially if you have pain in your lower back or pubic region.
  • When lifting (including toddlers) bend your knees, and keep the load close to your body.

5 ‘never ignore’ symptoms in pregnancy

  • Headache – this can sometimes be a sign of high blood pressure.
  • Visual disturbances like flashing lights or spots in front of your eyes, which can also indicate high blood pressure.
  • Severe abdominal pain that doesn’t go away and isn’t relieved when you change position. It may be muscular but get it checked.
  • Any signs of labour before 37 weeks – this is considered premature.
  • Bleeding. Although it can be common in early pregnancy, it’s still important to get it checked out.

Ways to reduce pregnancy heartburn

  • Eat little and often, as food neutralises tummy acid.
  • A glass of milk before bed, and peppermint tea after a meal, can help digestion.
  • Sitting up straight helps – slouching can put pressure on your tummy so sit up straight.
  • Propping yourself up with pillows when you go to bed lets the gravity do its job as you snooze.
  • Over the counter remedies are often safe in pregnancy – check with your midwife or GP first to be sure.

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