- Keep circulation moving with regular exercise.
- Don’t sit for prolonged periods and don’t cross your legs.
- Don’t stand for long, either. While standing, lift your heels, flex your ankles and work your calf muscles so they can help pump blood back to your heart.
- Stop wearing tight clothing, as well as thigh-high and knee-high stockings.
- Put on maternity support stockings before getting out of bed in the morning.
- Raise the foot of your bed 3–4 inches.
- Lie on your side (preferably the left) and elevate your legs whenever possible.
10. Chronic sinus congestion
As hormonal changes dry out your mucous membranes, your sinuses may protest by staging what seems like one long, stuffy cold. The best nonmedical help comes from added moisture:
- Use saline nose spray or drops.
- Use a humidifier, especially at night.
- Lean over a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head. Or run the shower for a few minutes and inhale the steam.
11. Skin problems
Your skin’s response to pregnancy depends on a number of different factors, chief among them heredity and hormones. To minimize discomfort (and perhaps severity):
- If you’ve developed dark patches on your face, use sunblock to prevent more.
- Try benzoyl peroxide lotion for acne.
- Lotions and oils probably won’t prevent stretch marks, but they can combat itching and other discomfort.
- To avoid abdominal itching, wear non-irritating, natural-fiber clothing; switch to a dye- and perfume-free laundry detergent; and soak in an oatmeal bath (available at drugstores).