Morning sickness gets all the attention when it comes to tummy troubles during pregnancy, but (unfortunately) that’s just the beginning. Our moms have been through every kind of stomach issue imaginable, so we know firsthand how to get relief and get back to enjoying the little miracle growing inside of you.
We’ll start with morning sickness because there are some secrets here, too. Like morning sickness doesn’t just happen in the mornings. And the fact that it doesn’t necessarily end when your first trimester is over: For some moms it’s all day, all pregnancy long. Head over to our favorite tips and tricks to beat morning sickness.
Got that gassy, bloated, nothing’s-moving-right feeling? Welcome to pregnancy constipation, an all-too-common complaint for moms-to-be. Blame it on your pregnancy hormones and then get to work to loosen things up.
- Load up on fiber (whole grains, leafy greens, and dried fruits) or add a fiber supplement.
- Drink between eight and 10 big glasses of water a day.
- Forget the big three. Try eating six mini-meals so you don’t overtax your digestive system.
- Check your supplements. Make sure your prenatals are crafted with ingredients that help you avoid constipation (fiber, magnesium, probiotics).
- Exercise regularly. Even a 10-minute walk can get things moving.
Heartburn and indigestion
Lots of women feel the burn during pregnancy, especially at the beginning. Cool things down by:
- Chewing on sugarless gum after you eat. It’s shown to neutralize excess acid in your esophagus.
- Grab a handful of almonds after meals. They’re also shown to neutralize acids in your stomach, which may relieve or prevent heartburn.
- Sleep with your head and upper body raised a bit to keep acid down in your stomach where it belongs.
- Fresh or dried papaya helped some of our moms.
Bloating and gas
Get ready: that bloated, gassy, full-to-the-top feeling may stick around until the end of your pregnancy. Here’s how to tame things:
- Drink plenty of water to avoid constipation, which can aggravate bloating.
- Boost your fiber, making sure to increase your intake gradually.
- Slow down at mealtimes so you swallow less air while you’re eating.
- Cut back on the beans. Though they’re a great source of nutrients, but if you’re gassy, find those nutrients elsewhere.
Though not an internal tummy trouble like the others we’ve been tackling, you know how crazy it can make you when your growing tummy starts getting that itchy feeling. Here’s what you can do:
- Tempting as it may be, scratching only causes more irritation.
- Slather your belly with moisturizing lotion (fragrance-free, please).
- Remember calamine lotion, that chalky pink itch-reliever from your childhood? It can help you now, too.
- A warm bath with a cup or two of oatmeal can soothe skin (make sure water’s not too hot).
Though constipation is more common, the opposite can be a big problem, too. Here’s how to deal with your diarrhea during pregnancy:
- Try the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples, toast).
- Cook up some carrots, green beans, or squash, but avoid beans, broccoli and chickpeas.
- Eat yogurt with live, active probiotic cultures.