Carrying, giving birth to and nursing a baby is a special time of physical and emotional closeness between mother and child. However, sometimes minor ailments can make this time difficult and interfere with your happiness. Common discomforts during pregnancy include:
- Acid reflux;
- Bladder infection;
- Vaginal discharge and/or irritation.
Breastfeeding can also be a challenge in some situations. Cracked or sore nipples, low milk production or yeast infections can make breastfeeding uncomfortable and less fulfilling. Fortunately, most pregnancy and breastfeeding problems can be treated.
How to prevent and treat discomforts
Many discomforts can be avoided or treated with some simple measures. A few tips:
- Drinking plenty of water and eating high-fibre foods helps avoid constipation.
- Elevate the head of your bed if you suffer from acid reflux.
- Drink milk or yoghurt if you have an upset stomach: calcium binds to excess acid produced by the stomach.
- If you feel the urge to go to the toilet, go as soon as you can. The longer you delay, the more chance of constipation or bladder infection. Do not overstrain in the toilet: overstraining is a major cause of haemorrhoids.
- When breastfeeding it is important to keep your breasts clean and dry. You should also wear a clean nursing bra every day.
If your symptoms do not improve, there are over-the-counter drugs, homeopathic remedies and food supplements that you can use. However, you should always consult your doctor before trying any type of medicine or supplement.