For many women, pregnancy is an incredibly exciting time. But negotiating some of the early effects of pregnancy, on the other hand, can definitely fall in the “less than exciting” category.
Every woman—and every pregnancy—is different. But there are some standard pregnancy effects (like nausea and low energy) that the majority of women will experience at least once or twice before baby makes their debut. And if you don’t know how to deal with those occurances, it can make pregnancy a real challenge.
So how, exactly, do you deal with the pregnancy-related morning sickness and all the other not-so-fun pregnancy effects you might experience between now and your due date?
Pregnancy increases levels of the hormone progesterone in the body. Progesterone loosens the muscles and ligaments in the body—including those in the intestines. This loosening can cause digestion to slow down, which can lead to one of the more uncomfortable effects of pregnancy—constipation. (2)
If you’re struggling with pregnancy-related constipation (and the bloating that may go with it), a diet full of high-fiber foods (including fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges; vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts; whole grains; beans and legumes; and nuts) can help move things along; aim for 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber per day. Drinking plenty of water (10 to 12 cups per day) and getting daily exercise (even if it’s just a quick walk around the block!) can also help you stay regular. (3)
Pregnancy-Related Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a blanket term used to describe the nausea and vomiting that many women experience during pregnancy—and, unlike the name suggests, it can happen at any time of the day (morning, noon, or night).
The causes of morning sickness are a bit of a mystery; no one knows exactly why some women get slammed with nausea during their pregnancy (especially during the first trimester), but it’s believed that the hormonal changes are a contributing factor. (4)
For many women, the rapid change in hormones can play a large role in low energy as an early sign of pregnancy. (6) But as you move through the weeks of pregnancy into your second trimester and third trimester, there’s a whole host of other events (for example, carrying around the extra pounds from your pregnancy weight gain, sleep disruption, or worry about the baby’s arrival) that may make you feel more tired than usual.
If you’re feeling tired, sleep! Getting plenty of rest (which might mean an earlier bedtime or a mid-afternoon nap) is an essential part of feeling your best and keeping sleepiness at bay.
Remember: These are just another part of pregnancy
Pregnancy signs and effects aren’t necessarily the most enjoyable part of being pregnant. But if you’re dealing with these common occurrences, try not to worry too much. Many of these are just another part of growing a human—and they’ll all be worth it once baby arrives.
- Healthline. 2015, September 8. 5 Safe Remedies For Constipation in Pregnancy.
- American Pregnancy Association. Pregnancy and Constipation.
- Mayo Clinic. Morning Sickness.
- American Pregnancy Association. Fatigue During Pregnancy.