Discomforts of Pregnancy

The majority of pregnancies are medically uneventful—only a small percentage of women experience medical complications, and those can usually be dealt with successfully. Most women experience minor discomforts associated with pregnancy, which can be vexing, nevertheless.

One of the most common problems is the nausea and vomiting referred to as morning sickness—which actually can occur at any time but often strikes immediately after awakening in the morning. Morning sickness typically begins in the first month of pregnancy and continues through the fourth or fifth month. Eating a few crackers before getting out of bed in the morning can help. Eating frequent light meals and sweet foods, avoiding spicy and high-fat foods, and drinking plenty of fluids may also ease the problem.

Severe morning sickness that does not respond to dietary and lifestyle measures may be treated with doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride (Diclegis), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2013. (This drug, sold under the name Bendectin, was removed from the market in 1983 because it was thought to be unsafe.) Studies now show that this medication is safe and effective and does not pose an increased risk of harm to the unborn baby. Side effects include drowsiness and excessive sleepiness.

Other problems associated with pregnancy can include backache, constipation, heartburn, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. You can treat most of these complaints yourself, but you should discuss the problems and any treatments or remedies with your health care provider—including any over-the-counter medications, which can be dangerous to unborn babies and pregnant women. (Also, always check warning labels of any products you use.) These problems generally resolve soon after the baby is born.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 22 Jun 2010

Last Modified: 17 Feb 2015