How to Cope with Embarrassing Pregnancy Symptoms
On the one hand, you have excitement and expectation, a beautiful belly, a rosy glow. On the other hand, you might be dealing with gas, constipation, incontinence – the more frustrating end of pregnancy symptoms.
How to cope with these embarrassing (but normal) symptoms?
—Gas. Pregnancy hormones affect digestion, which can lead to bloating and gas, frustrating symptoms that most pregnant women face. While you can’t do much about the hormones influencing your GI tract, you can get regular exercise, which boosts digestion, and cut back on foods that tend to cause gas and bloating: milk and other dairy products, carbonated drinks, broccoli, cabbage, foods with artificial sweeteners (gum, candy), prunes and peaches.
—Constipation and hemorrhoids. The same hormones that cause gas can also lead to constipation, which can be exacerbated by worry, your growing uterus placing pressure on your bowel, lack of exercise and a low-fiber diet. And what comes with constipation? Hemorrohoids. Again, regular exercise keeps things moving and drinking a lot of fluid (at least eight and up to 15 glasses of water a day) will help. The trick is that some of the high-fiber foods (fresh fruits and veggies, whole-grain products and beans) that reduce constipation can cause gas, so you’ll need to find the right balance for you. You can also talk to your doctor about iron consumption, which can also cause constipation. If you do develop hemorrhoids when you’re pregnant, anti-inflammatory creams and witch hazel pads are safe to use.
—Frequent urination and incontinence. A sneeze can be dangerous and you might find yourself racing to the bathroom multiple times during dinner – again, this is completely normal, if not welcome. Your blood volume is increasing, which places more pressure on the kidneys, and the weight of your baby on your bladder creates pressure throughout your pregnancy. If you’re having incontinence issues, you can wear a panty liner. Otherwise, make regular trips to the bathroom a point so that you never get to that point of panic.
—Excess hair. On your face, on your body – you might notice more hair growing in unwanted places (thanks yet again to those hormones). The best bet here is to enjoy the extra hair you might be sporting on your head and to tweeze, shave or wax everywhere else.
—Sore breasts and intimacy issues. Make sure you’re wearing a well-fitting, comfortable, supportive bra, and if your breasts remain tender, ask your partner not to touch them for a while. But if you’re having intimacy issues in general due to your changing body, talk to your partner about what’s going on and why you feel the way you do. You will enjoy those nine months (and the ones to come) if you can communicate and stay flexible throughout your pregnancy.
Other issues might include odor, acne, bleeding gums, and new aches and pains, which you should always discuss with your doctor, who can recommend treatment, support and understanding.