Some mothers sail through pregnancy, look wonderful and that that they have never felt so well in their life.  The huge increase in hormonal activity often makes the skin softer and hair shiny and luxurious.  There are usually few aches and pains until the seventh month, when you may suffer from backache, sometimes affecting the sciatic nerve.  Some women also experience pains in the thighs as the pelvic area copes not only with the weight of a baby, but also the placenta.

Many women, though, suffer minor discomforts, including morning sickness, particularly common in the early weeks of pregnancy, faintness, and constipation which can cause piles and heartburn. all of which can be treated by reflexology.   There are a few more serious complications that can occur, such as pre-eclampsia but thankfully these are rare.

Morning sickness.

Despite its name, morning sickness can happen at any time of the day and the main cause is low blood sugar.  It usually stops after the first three months.  The best cure is to eat little and often.  If you feel sick first thing in the morning have some dry toast or a plain biscuit and a glass of warm water to settle your stomach before you get up.  Many women find that high-carbohydrate foods help as does taking ginger, peppermint, herbal teas or ginger biscuits.

Because of the difficulties encountered in the past with drugs such as thalidomide which was prescribed for morning sickness in pregnancy doctors are not happy about prescribing any medication for this common condition.  Occasionally the sickness in early pregnancy can become so acute that the mother an become dehydrated and has to go into hospital, but this is rare.

Heartburn/gastric reflux.

The usual symptom of this is a burning feeling in your chest and you may find you bring up some stomach acid into your mouth.  One of the causes is your expanding uterus pressing up into the abdominal areas, but it is also due to the hormones released during pregnancy that relax the valve at the entrance to your stomach.  This prevents it from completely closing, allowing stomach acid to escape.

Eat little and often and try not to eat late in the evening when the heartburn is likely to get worse, it may help to sleep slightly propped up, using pillows for support.    Antacids may be recommended as they are reasonably safe during pregnancy, but antacids can affect the body’s ability to absorb the iron content in your blood, and should also be used as a last resort, because iron is so essential for mother and baby.  Try drinking as glass of hot water for troublesome heartburn.  If you need to pick something up from the floor, bend at your knees and squat down.  This will stop you compressing your stomach which likes above the waist on the left side of your body.