Skip to content

Natural Relief for the Common Discomforts of Pregnancy (Part 3)

Natural Relief for the Common Discomforts of Pregnancy (Part 3)

If you missed the earlier parts of this topic of discussion, the previous 2 parts of this column can be found in my column archive online at The discussion continues this month with a few of the most common complaints I hear at my office from women who are pregnant.

I want to remind everyone that much of the information I will share here comes from the booklet by Carl Jones of the same title. It is published as part of the Keats Good Health Guide, The Women’s Self-Care Library.

​Fatigue is common during the first trimester and the third. Each timeframe has its own reasons for the development of the condition. In the first trimester the condition is the result of hormonal changes, altered metabolism and the physical and emotional changes you experience during pregnancy. Third trimester fatigue usually results from the physical stress of the increasing weight of the baby as well the physical and emotional changes that take place before giving birth. Pregnant women require more sleep than those who are not pregnant.

• Try to get a full night sleep every night.
• Rest for half an hour once or twice during the day as you feel the need. If this is inconvenient, a few minutes here and there will help. This helps to prepare you for what I tell all new moms, “when the baby sleeps, you sleep”.

• Be sure to eat a well balanced, high protein diet to avoid anemia.
• Have your health care provider check your blood iron level.

​Particularly in the third trimester, flatulence can be common in pregnancy. You may also feel bloated and overfilled. As with the condition of constipation, the enlarging uterus causing pressure on the intestinal tract is the most common cause.

• Avoid junk foods and carbonated drinks.
• Avoid gas producing foods such as beans, corn, cabbage, broccoli, fried foods and dairy products.

• Establish regular daily bowel movements.
• Exercise – Daily walking may help minor GI problems such as this.
• Natural Remedies – fennel, peppermint or ginger tea; homeopathic remedies labeled for flatulence, acidophilus supplement, herbal bulk colon cleansers or probably the best; digestive enzymes.

Finger Tingling and Numbness (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
​From mildly annoying to severe and quite painful, this condition is caused by pressure on the median nerve which passes through the front of the wrist in a tight space known as the carpal tunnel. The median nerve carries both sensory and motor signals to the hand and when compressed can cause mild tingling or in severe cases, a loss of motor skills and grip strength. During pregnancy, the most common cause is edema combined with a B-6 deficiency. The extra blood volume and resulting extracellular fluid is more likely to collect and put pressure on the nerve. Another cause is the posture of the shoulders in the pulled back position, a typical late pregnancy posture. As your chiropractor will say, the mechanics of the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand can be affected as well and contribute to nerve pressure and edema.

• Maintain good wrist posture while typing or using your fingers for prolonged periods. That means to maintain a neutral wrist angle, avoid extension or putting the wrist in a backwards bending position.
• Observe good posture especially while standing paying particular attention to the shoulders.
• At the first sign of tingling while typing take a break and perform specific stretches as prescribed by your chiropractor.

• See your chiropractor regularly during your pregnancy.
• Supplement with vitamin B-6.
• Identify aggravating activities and minimize them.
• Exercise – Shoulder rotations, specific hand and wrist stretching and strengthening.

​Headaches can be common any time during pregnancy. They have a variety of causes from emotional tension to sinus congestion, both also common during pregnancy. Headaches can also be related to the stresses on the structure of your body as you adapt to the pregnancy posture. Chocolate, hard cheese and red wine are common headache triggers.
​Warning: A severe continuous headache may be an indication of preeclampsia (a pregnancy disease characterized by high blood pressure, severe continuous headache and excessive swelling). If a headache persists or becomes severe, consult your healthcare provider.

• Get adequate rest and plenty of fresh air each day.
• Avoid long periods without eating to maintain blood sugar levels and avoid sweets.
• Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine.

• See your chiropractor regularly throughout your pregnancy.
• Relax in a quiet place with a cold compress.
• Exercise – head and neck rolling, gentle stretching
• Natural Remedies – homeopathic remedies labeled for headaches, white willow bark tincture or relaxation exercises.

​This aggravating discomfort is a burning sensation in the lower chest or upper abdomen. It results when stomach acids are regurgitated into the esophagus. The lining of the esophagus is not protected against the acidic contents of the stomach. Several reasons account for the increased incidence of heartburn during pregnancy. Firstly, there is less physical room for the gastrointestinal organs. Also the hormone progesterone relaxes the smooth muscle of the cardiac sphincter (the valve at the top of the stomach) and makes it easier for the contents to come back up. The hormone progesterone also slows gastric motility and delays the stomach emptying.

• Observe good posture to make more room for digestion.
• Eat small frequent meals, keeping the stomach from getting too full.
• Avoid rich, greasy or highly spiced foods.
• Avoid coffee.
• Do not lie down after eating.

• See your chiropractor to ensure good nerve conduction to the stomach and the cardiac valve. They may also perform organ manipulation to reduce tension on the stomach and valves.
• Natural Remedies – Drink chamomile, fennel or peppermint tea after meals. Acidophilus supplements may be helpful. Slippery elm throat lozenges may ease severe heartburn.

Next month I will cover how to cope with hemorrhoids, leg cramps and the two biggies – morning sickness and sciatica!

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.