Pre-emptive care for newly pregnant women
If you’ve recently found out that you’re pregnant, both your health and your baby’s health are probably at the forefront of your mind. There are several things that you can do to pre-empt some of the health issues or conditions that may affect you during your pregnancy, namely morning sickness, varicose veins, and pre-eclampsia.
One of the first pregnancy symptoms that will probably appear for you is morning sickness. This is a common ailment in pregnancy, with over 75% of women experiencing it in the first trimester. There are several care measures you can take once morning sickness has already occurred, but there are also steps you can take to try to prevent it from appearing (or appearing severely) in the first place. If you already have morning sickness, try eating carbohydrate-rich foods like crackers, bread, and potatoes, avoid large meals, and drink beverages like water with lemon juice, or ginger ale.
To pre-empt some of the symptoms, studies have shown that taking vitamin B6 can help. You can take B6 before you have any nausea appear, or you can take it once you already have morning sickness. Other studies have shown that pre-emptively taking antiemetics (anti-nausea medications) can prevent symptoms from occurring at all.
The next issue that may arise in your pregnancy is varicose veins. This typically appears later on in your pregnancy as you retain more fluid and your weight increases with the growth of the baby.
Varicose veins are extremely common (around 30% of the population will experience them at some point during their lives). You can take steps to prevent varicose veins from occurring, by ensuring you get regular exercise and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing. You can also use compression stockings to improve circulation in your legs and prevent the varicose veins from forming.
If you already have varicose veins, there are treatments available, such as minor surgery on the veins, and natural remedies such as garlic tablets, and omega-3 fatty acids. There is also some evidence that red wine and aspirin can help, but talk to your care provider for your pregnancy before you try these methods, as alcohol consumption in pregnancy is not recommended by most doctors.
Finally, there is some research that pre-emptive care can be taken for one of the most common but serious complications of pregnancy, preeclampsia. There are several steps that you can take before you even become pregnant, or early on in your pregnancy. Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for preeclampsia, as well as hypertension, and diabetes. If you can take steps to manage and alleviate those conditions early on in your pregnancy or before conceiving, your likelihood of getting preeclampsia is reduced.
For obesity, your pregnancy care provider will be able to assist you in either losing weight throughout your pregnancy, or if weight loss is not suitable they will have recommendations for how you can avoid gaining weight. Hypertension and diabetes can be managed by a combination of diet, medication, and increased screening throughout the pregnancy for increased protein in the urine as well as high blood pressure.
Ensure you let your care provider know if you have either of these conditions when you become aware of your pregnancy, so that they can take steps to prevent preeclampsia from forming, or keep an extra close eye on your condition in case preeclampsia does appear.
There are many discomforts and ailments that come along with pregnancy, but you don’t need to suffer through them. Take pre-emptive action to avoid morning sickness, varicose veins, and preeclampsia, to ensure that you feel healthy and happy throughout your pregnancy.