Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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the problem: back pain
when and why it happens: As your pregnancy progresses, the baby’s weight and your shifting center of gravity can cause back pain, particularly in the second and third trimesters. Weakened abdominal muscles also can contribute to backaches. If the pain becomes severe, call your doctor.
remedies: Stretch frequently; do abdominal exercises (strong abs help support your spine; see moves on page 69); do not lift heavy objects; wear comfortable, low-heeled, supportive shoes; avoid standing for too long in one spot (if you do have to stay on your feet, rest one foot on a footstool or a shoebox); sleep on your side with a pillow placed between your knees; apply a heating pad or ice packs; and get massages.
the problem: leg cramps
when and why it happens: In the second and third trimesters. The exact cause is uncertain, but they may be due to fatigue, pressure from carrying extra weight, or an inadequate calcium intake.
remedies: Avoid pointing or curling your toes; stretch your legs frequently; get foot and calf massages before bed; sleep with your feet elevated and don’t place heavy blankets on them; get up and walk around or flex your toes upward at the first sign of a cramp; take calcium supplements (check with your doctor first). If cramps are frequent, wearing support hose can help.
the problem: heartburn
when and why it happens: Occurs throughout pregnancy but is most common in the third trimester. It’s caused by an increase in stomach acid and the pressure that your growing uterus puts on your abdominal organs.