My wife has officially reached the stage of her pregnancy where most everything has become a factor. Moving. Carrying. Sleeping. Eating. Laughing. You get the point. And so does she. And that point is misery.
And that’s the one thing that many men feel totally helpless about with regard to pregnancy — how to help the women we love through all that misery. Sadly, there’s not much we can do, aside from the obvious, like doing all the lifting, offering up massages and going the extra mile for the girls who are going the extra mile for the unborn children they’re carrying.
And part of that extra mile is keeping our eyes and ears open for things that might help in any way. And today, thanks to Ceridwen Morris, I found just that.
Ceridwen authored a piece on Babble that gives readers the down low on 16 pregnancy-related complaints that women often experience. Not only does Ceridwen explain what’s happening, but she also gives fantastic advice on how to minimize the issue. Below, I’ve detailed three that applied to my wife big-time. Have you experienced any one of these?
- Exhaustion: This is usually a big factor early, and this pregnancy proved to be no exception. Caroline was beyond tired for the first several weeks. Until the placenta develops a bit and starts producing hormones, most women find themselves completely whipped. And while it’s nice to know that this condition usually gets better with time, that knowledge won’t exactly help when you’re in the throws of constant fatigue. The way to minimize such fatigue is to nap whenever possible, stay hydrated, exercise (swimming is particularly good) and to eat iron-rich foods. That last one is huge. Caroline found out that she, like many pregnant women, was actually anemic for the first part of her pregnancy.
- Heartburn: Progesterone is a good thing. It sedates your uterus and helps prevent contractions. But it also sedates your esophageal sphincter (there’s a joke in there somewhere I’m not clever enough to come up with) and prevents its contractions, too. That means it can’t do as good of a job as it normally does when it comes to preventing stomach acid from coming up. That, combined with the fact that your stomach is getting squeezed toward your esophageal sphincter often yields heartburn. And boy does Caroline know all about that. She used to eat Tums by the handful. But what she should have been doing was eating smaller meals and eating them more often, avoiding spicy foods, chewing lots of gum between those meals and always keeping her head elevated.
- Back Pain: Quite literally, Caroline complains of this side effect every single night. There are plenty of potential reasons why her back hurts. It might be due to a shift in balance, a big belly or even swollen and heavy breasts. (I didn’t say that, honey. I don’t think they look swollen or heavy. Nor do I think your belly is big. Except when you lament that it should be bigger. Then it looks huge. But not too big. Oh, never mind.) Regardless of what causes the back pain, there are things you can to to minimize it. Like exercising regularly (again, swimming is good — so, too, is prenatal yoga), sleeping with a pillow between your legs, having good posture, sitting in ergonomic chairs, wearing a belly band and using a heat pad can all help.
So what other delightful aspects of pregnancy does Ceredwin’s piece address? Hemorrhoids, snoring, constant peeing, constipation as well as “burping and farting.” Not that my wife does either of those last things. She does neither. Sometimes it sounds like she does, but I’ve been assured its my dog.
And I believe her. He’s getting old.
But, just in case she ever does such acts, or suffers from any of the other things on the list, I take great solace in knowing that Ceredwin has given her some answers to explain why it’s happening, as well as to help it go away.
I highly encourage you to check out Ceredwin’s piece by clicking HERE.