at Mason General Hospital
Eating dry crackers, cereal, or toast before getting out of bed or whenever your nausea usually occurs may help. Eating 5 - 6 small meals a day rather than fewer large meals often helps. Avoid greasy or very spicy foods. Try drinking fluids between meals rather than with meals, and avoid caffeine. Ask your healthcare provider about antacids such as Tums. Chamomile tea may be helpful. If you have severe vomiting and keep little food down, call your healthcare provider.
Drink lots of water and other non-caffeinated fluids every day. Eat raw fruits, dried fruits, vegetables and whole-grain cereal. Walking 15 - 30 minutes a day is very helpful. Do not hold back the urge to have a bowel movement, but do not strain for a bowel movement, either. If hemorrhoids appear, elevate your hips a little with several brief rest periods during the day. Practice Kegel exercises daily. Witch hazel pads can be soothing, as can cool or warm baths. If constipation is severe or if hemorrhoids are bleeding, see your healthcare provider about a stool softener or other remedies they may recommend.
Do not stand in one position for too long, and be aware of good posture. Use a footstool when sitting, keeping knees higher than hips when possible. Wear low-heeled shoes. Balance activity and rest during the day. Warm, moist heat and/or massage may help.
Do not eat just before going to bed, and limit caffeine, especially after noon. A warm bath or shower before going to bed may help. Use extra pillows and cushions for positioning as pregnancy progresses. Ask your healthcare provider about use of any medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), to ease minor discomforts. Avoid sleeping pills unless specifically prescribed by your obstetric healthcare provider.
Do not wear stockings or girdles that have elastic bands. Support hose may help. Lie down for rest periods and raise your legs. Do not cross your legs at the knees when you sit. Do not sit or stand for more than one hour at a time. Move around and walk.
Lower Leg Cramps
Daily walking for at least 15 - 30 minutes is helpful. Keep your legs warm. Raise your legs a lot during the day. Use a heating pad or hot water bottle for relief. You may want to take two Tums-style antacids before going to bed to avoid nighttime leg cramps.
Swelling of Hands and Feet
Lie down for 30 minutes at a time, 3 - 4 times a day, especially on your side. Raise your legs when you have to sit for long periods. Daily walking and other gentle exercise helps circulation. Increase your liquids, but avoid those with high sodium and/or sugar amounts. Do not wear tight clothing, and use support hose. If you have swelling when you wake up in the morning, call your healthcare provider.
Limit fluids a few hours before going to bed, but be sure to drink plenty of fluids the rest of the day. Practice Kegel exercises. If you have any burning, pain, or blood with urination, call your healthcare provider.
Braxton-Hicks Contractions ("False Labor")
Change your position and activity. True labor tends to get stronger when you walk around, and the contractions get more regular and stronger as they get closer together. Braxton-Hicks contractions tend to be more noticeable when you sit or lie down, but usually are irregular and do not have a pattern of getting closer and stronger. Try relaxation techniques and a warm bath. If they go away, they are not labor contractions.