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Pregnancy Awareness Month (Part II)

With the support of “Healthy Child Healthy Word.” P.A.M. are getting the word out about healthy pregnancy. Today’s blog will focus on what P.A.M. has found to be the Five Things Pregnant Woman Complain About.

Number One: Excess Weight Gain
Pregnancy plays quite the number on the pregnant woman’s body. During pregnancy a woman’s body goes into storage mode. So that pint of ice cream you could eat pre-pregnancy and burn off with a good cardio, isn’t going to happen during pregnancy. The recommended weight gain for a pregnant women with a healthy BMI is 25-35 pounds. There are many ways to avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy and they’re basically the same principles one would employ to avoid gain weight in general. First, a healthy diet is key. You can’t reach for the doritos and twinkies every day and then wonder why you’re gaining too much weight. A balanced diet of chemical free meats, eggs, dairy, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains will almost guarantee healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Of course you can’t pig out on healthy food either because exceeding your daily calorie intake will result in excessive weight gain. No surprise there! Remember pregnant women only need 300 extra calories per day in the 2nd and 3rd trimester that’s about 2100 calories per day. When it comes to eating sweets portion control is important. Try to only indulge in sweet treats a couple times a week. The second key to avoiding excessive weight gain is with regular exercise. I really like Suzanne Bowen’s Long and Lean Prenatal Workout which incorporates light cardio, muscle toning, and stretching. A good workout will help balance hormones in the body and aid proper absorption of nutrients. Exercise is also good for the baby’s development too!

Number Two: Constipation
The best way to avoid constipation is with a healthy diet and lots of water. Wonderful whole foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables contain insoluble fiber which helps clean out the digestive track and keeps you regular. It’s especially important in the third trimester when digestion is affected by relaxin. Exercise also helps prevent constipation!

Number Three: Backache
Backache is nearly unavoidable in the third trimester, but there are several things you can do to minimize back pain. First, exercise! Focus on a prenatal workout that strengthens all the major muscle groups. Second, don’t wear high heels! No matter how cute they look with your baby bump, they put undue stress on your already stressed back. Third, see a chiropractor who is versed in the needs of pregnant woman! It’s amazing what a little “adjustment” can do for your aching back. The Webster Technique is known for helping the baby get into the proper position for birth and when the baby is in the proper position there is less pressure on the mommy’s back.

Number Four: Leg Cramps
Leg cramps are another one of those things that tend to occur later in pregnancy. Amazingly eating healthy, exercising regularly, and drinking plenty of water is the best way to diminish these early morning leg cramps.

Number Five: Nausea
A lot of women experience nausea in their first trimester. The severity varies from woman to woman. Regardless, nausea is never a pleasant experience. The best we can do is to eat a healthy well balanced diet, exercise when ever possible, and stay hydrated. Protein has been known to ease nausea as well as ginger tea. While nausea is never fun, it indicates that pregnancy hormones are at good levels and thus the baby is growing well.