Symptom 1: Back, Sciatica, and Round Ligament Pains
Back pain started in the first trimester for me, and it has not left me alone permanently, but I have managed the symptoms relatively well. The weight of my belly (where I gained pretty much every pound) hangs as I sleep on my left side (the "preferred" sleeping position during pregnancy), so the weight causes back pain and discomfort as I try to sleep. As for the round ligament, which accompanies the sciatica, it hurts in the front of my pelvis, mainly just the right side (the side she likes to hang out on, haha). It hurt so badly in the second trimester that I had a few days during which I couldn't walk.
What Has Helped:
- The chiropractor stretches out the round ligament, and it feels glorious. It's like he makes more space in there for the two of us to breathe better. He also gave me several exercises for combating sciatica pain. I do the stretches before sleeping and before getting out of bed in the morning. These three in this video should help you.
- The acupuncturist, in conjunction with the chiropractor, has provided me with some relief. (He's done a much better job with the sinus situation, which I'll talk about in a moment.)
- The massage therapist who works through my OBGYN office is wonderful. Massage therapists who are trained to treat pregnant women deserve a special seat in Heaven.
- The pregnancy wedge ($12.99 at Babies R US) that my husband bought has really helped with the belly weight as I try to sleep on my left.
- The Snoogle ($59.99 at Babies R Us--a pretty standard price wherever you go) has helped, too, but I think a regular old body pillow like my massage therapist uses would probably be comparable or even better.
Before any future pregnancies, I plan to make sure I have spent months in yoga, pilates, and strength training so that hopefully my core/muscles are strong enough to fight the pain more effectively.
Symptom 2: Sinus Congestion & Bloody Noses
I had sinus surgery last April, and thank goodness I did because not having a six-month-long sinus infection continue into pregnancy probably did me a whole lot of favors. However, from almost day one of pregnancy, I have had what they deem pregnancy rhinitis, and it is my least favorite symptom. I have to blow my nose after everything I eat (weird, I know) because I have become a snot factory. Apparently, your blood vessels in your nose can swell during pregnancy and create a whole lot of fun congestion.
What Has Helped:
- The acupuncturist actually helps with the headaches associated with this one. He also kept my spring allergies at bay.
- The Neti Pot ($10.49 at Target, comes with the saline packets). I have to use it at least once a day. In the third trimester, I might have to use it twice. I switched from using the Neti Pot to the squirt bottle because I think it's more effective and probably better for people who are completely weirded out by the Neti Pot process. If you have never used a Neti Pot, please keep two things in mind (aside from the fact that it's really not as bad as you think it is): do NOT forget to use the saline solution or your nose will BUUUUURN like the dickens and use distilled water (I just buy the jugs at Target).
- Humidifier ($45.99 at Target). I keep this thing on my nightstand and use it every night. If I go two nights without using it, the bloody noses come back with ferocity. Using it at night also helps me to blow my nose productively in the morning.
- Drinking hot tea (decaffeinated)
Symptom 3: Nausea
I thought this symptom was only for the first trimester. HAHA. It came back in the third but not as bad. Really, my nausea in the third trimester is mainly because of acid reflux, which I already had, so I'm relatively used to dealing with that symptom. Tums, tums, tums. Water, water, water.
What Has/Has Not Helped:
- Sea bands did NOT help me, but a lot of women swear by them.
- Ginger did NOT help me; in fact, they made me feel queasier. Most women swear by them.
- Hot water with lemon did NOT help, but it did help with my sinuses, haha.
- The only thing that helped? Preggie drops (get them on Amazon for the best deal). I think it must have been the B6 that did the trick.
- Now I get nauseated and pound a lot of water and take a few Tums. Usually, that combination helps.
- I switched to taking my mulivitamins (Raw Code Prenatals--took them for two years before pregnancy because the ginger in them settles my stomach) at night because my nausea was actually worse in the afternoon/night. In fact, I felt the best in the morning. (It is now the opposite, haha.)
I will be straight with you. Pregnancy has been pretty tough for my body, and the third trimester has been more difficult than the first. However, our little lady has been healthy at every check up, and that is all I need to hear for every single symptom to be worth it. Plus, I had a lot of surgeries and health problems before pregnancy, and none of those ended with a sweet baby girl in my arms. If you are feeling kind of crummy, I hope you find relief soon! :)