St. Joseph Hospital of Orange
1100 West Stewart Dr, Orange, CA 92868714.633.9111
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Your Pregnancy
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Common Discomfort

As your pregnancy progresses and your baby begins to grow inside you, you may start to feel various symptoms that could make you feel uncomfortable. Although these symptoms do not normally represent a hazard to you or your baby, please call your doctor if you become concerned. Also, make sure to talk to your doctor before you take any over-the-counter medication.

Discomfort

Cause

Relief Measures

Constipation Increased levels of a pregnancy hormone called progesterone causes slowing of digestion in the stomach and intestines. Drink plenty of fluids.
Heartburn Due to slowing of the gastrointestinal tract and displacement of the stomach by the growing uterus. Eat small, frequent meals. Don't eat and drink at the same time. Don't eat right before going to bed.
Round ligament pain (sharp stabbing pain, often on one side, usually beginning while walking or turning over in bed) Caused by stretching of the ligaments that support the uterus. Bring your knee as close to your chest as possible and slowly extend it. Also, a warm bath or shower might help.
Urinary frequency Bladder size reduced by growing uterus. Don't drink any liquids at night. Call your doctor if you experience a burning sensation while you urinate.
Shortness of breath Lungs displaced by growing uterus Maintain good posture. Sleep with extra pillows. If you smoke, stop.
Leg cramps Cause uncertain; possibly related to calcium intake Rotate foot in a circle to relieve cramps. Increase your intake of milk products.
Difficulty sleeping Usually due to increased fetal movement, urinary frequency, leg cramps, and shortness of breath. Support body parts with extra pillows. Ask coach to give you a back rub. Take a warm bath or shower for relaxation.
Ankle swelling Decreased circulation due to the growing uterus When resting, lie on left side with feet slightly elevated. Put on support hose before getting out of bed.