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Top 4 Common Struggles During Pregnancy And How To Tackle Them

Top 4 Common Struggles During Pregnancy And How To Tackle Them
By Clinical Nutrition 1 month ago 1953 Views

Pregnancy often comes with unwelcome side effects too as your body adapts to the responsibility of growing another person.

Take a look at our top four pregnancy-related complaints and how to tackle them:

1. Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are very common complaints in pregnancy, affecting 50–90% of pregnancies.[i] The cause is not clearly established but thought to be connected with rising hormone levels. It has also been suggested that nausea is a protective mechanism during pregnancy, causing women to avoid foods that could potentially be harmful or contaminated.[ii] Women with H. pylori infection are also more likely to experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.[iii] Ginger and vitamin B6 have both been shown to reduce mild nausea during pregnancy,[iv] however be sure to check with a Registered Nutritional Therapist regarding an appropriate intake of these during pregnancy.

2. Reflux and heartburn

As the pregnancy progresses the stomach is displaced upwards and rising progesterone levels can relax muscles and sphincter tone. [v] Eating small and regular meals can reduce the pressure in the stomach. Eat dinner early in the evening, so your body has time to digest it before you go to bed. Spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, coffee, and tomato products can aggravate reflux and should be avoided as well.

3. Constipation

Hormone fluctuations and space restriction can slow down your motility and cause constipation. Packing your diet with fresh vegetables will ensure you get enough fibre. Good hydration is also important to keep things moving so make sure you have regular sips through the day. Getting a regular intake of prebiotic fibre and probiotics through food and/or supplements can also help.

4. Cravings

There are various hypotheses regarding food cravings in pregnancy. From hormonal changes affecting sensory perception, to cravings caused by nutrient deficiencies, or even cultural influences.[vi] What we do know though, is that food cravings can be exacerbated by blood sugar fluctuations. Chromium can prevent low blood sugar levels[vii] and reduce fatigue,[viii] so look for a multinutrient with good levels.

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[i] Obstet Gynecol. 2004;103(4):803–814.

[ii] Flaxman et al. Morning sickness: a mechanism for protecting mother and embryo. Q Rev iol. 200;75(2):113-148.

[iii] Li et al. Helicobacter pylori Infection Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Hyperemesis Gravidarum: A Meta-Analysis. Gastroenterology Research and Practice. 2015;2015:1-13.

[iv] Firouzbakht et al. Comparison of ginger with vitamin B6 in relieving nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Ayu. 2014;35(3):289-293.

[v]Koch KL. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002;186(5 Suppl Understanding):S198–203

[vi] Orloff et al. Pickles and ice cream! Food cravings in pregnancy: hypotheses, preliminary evidence, and directions for future research. Frontiers in Psychology. 2014;5:1076.

[vii] Anderson et al. Chromium supplementation of humans with hypoglycemia. Fed Proc 1984; 43:471.

[viii] Cheng et al. Follow-up survey of people in China with type 2 diabetes mellitus consuming supplemental chromium. The Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine, 1999; 12:55-60.

#pregnancy Posted in: Articles