Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 23

23

your joints to soften, making you more prone
to having pain in your back, hips and knees."
Acetaminophen is safe to take during
pregnancy, but sometimes the best remedy
for body aches isn't found at the pharmacy.
"There are some back exercises that can be
done to help strengthen your back muscles,
and it's OK to apply heat," Scialli says. "The
best thing you can do is to get off the high
heels if you're still wearing them; they shift
your center of gravity even more forward,
causing you to compensate with your back."
Shortness of breath. With a baby snuggling up under your rib cage, is it any wonder
you can't catch your breath? There's not much
you can do about it except to rest when you
need to. If you're still short of breath after
lying down, however, call your doctor.

"So can getting your legs up and lying on your
left side and shifting your uterus off the blood
vessel that brings blood back to your heart."

Third Trimester

As your due date nears, your bump is now a
bump, and you may long for the day you can
walk without waddling. Here is what's making
you uncomfortable in the third trimester.

PHOTO BY STOCKSY

Body aches. You expected your back to
hurt once your belly grew. But your hips,
knees and other joints? What's that about?
"The third trimester tends to be the hardest physically," says Sharon Ryan, a doctor of
nursing practice, certified nurse midwife and
director of midwifery practice, education and
global outreach for the American College of
Nurse-Midwives. "Pregnancy hormones cause

Pregnancy
hormones
cause your
joints to soften,
making you
much more
prone to
having pain in
your back, hips
and knees.
-Sharon Ryan,
American College of
Nurse-Midwives

Heartburn. This symptom has a few
causes. The first has to do with hormones;
they relax the esophageal valve and let stomach acid back up into the throat. Second,
digestion slows during pregnancy, keeping
food in the stomach longer to provide more
nutrients for the baby. Adding to this issue is
that your growing uterus is putting pressure
on your abdomen, pushing stomach contents upward.
"Chewing your food really well can help with
heartburn because it reduces your stomach's
need for digestive acids," Ruhl says. If that
doesn't work, try over-the-counter antacids,
reclining (but not lying flat) after a meal and
staying away from spicy and fatty foods.
Trouble sleeping. Insomnia affects about
8 in 10 women during pregnancy, according
to the American Pregnancy Association. A
variety of reasons are to blame, including
discomfort, back pain, heartburn, anxiety and
having to get up frequently to urinate.
To get better zzz's: Taper off liquids two
hours before bedtime; keep your room cool,
dark and quiet; don't allow smartphones and
tablets in the bedroom at night; use a white
noise machine; and avoid eating too close to
bedtime. If you've tried these without success,
talk to your provider, who may prescribe
medication to help you sleep. After all, you
need all the rest you can get. *
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2/18/20 9:40 AM



Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC

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