Do not read further if you are easily put off by discussing bodily functions!
This page is going to share a lot of the less pleasant side effects of pregnancy.
The things most people don’t like to talk about!
But the things that happen to A LOT of women, so we SHOULD be able to talk about them! But only if you want to of course!
I experienced several less desirable symptoms of pregnancy, and came up with some DIY hacks, so I wanted a safe place to share.
I hope you find this helpful!
TMI: Pregnancy Woes, Tips & Tricks
Gas and constipation. Going into pregnancy with a robust gut can definitely help this situation, but as someone who did just that, I can tell you that you can’t outrun progesterone. Progesterone, the hormone necessary for sustaining implantation and pregnancy, has the unfortunate side effect of slowing/stopping peristalsis (the constant muscle contractions of the intestinal tract that keeps things moving downwards). This means food sits (constipation) and ferments (gas). I was shocked at how quickly this happened to me! I found the following things helpful:
- taking digestive enzymes with every meal
- early on when it was the worst, I also took HCl supplements about 5-10 minutes before meals
- lower fat meals – fat takes the longest to digest, so I found it made my digestion worse. Normally I can eat tons of fat, but I had to limit to ¼ avocado, a splash of coconut milk instead of ½ cup, and sadly, 1 piece of bacon
Discharge. Discharge often increases due to increased blood flow to the vaginal area. If this is the cause, you’re out of luck. Using pantyliners, changing your underwear once or twice throughout the day, or getting cloth liners (like lunapads) can be helpful to manage your comfort level. However, if the discharge is due to yeast (which can also happen due to pregnancy hormones, or a pre-existing vaginal flora imbalance, made worst by pregnancy hormones), see below for yeast infection treatments.
Discharge leading to chafing. Excess moisture due to discharge can lead to chafing. Tips:
- Try to stay dry y changing underwear or liners throughout the day.
- Keep a small bottle/container/bag of arrowroot flour in your bathroom or purse. Apply a slight dusting to irritated area. (NOTE: this is instead of baby powder, and works well on a baby’s bum too!)
- Allow for lots of air flow if possible. Choose flowy pants/skirts; go underwearless when possible, even if it’s just at night; limit tight clothing; avoid underwear made from synthetic or non-breathable materials
Yeast Infections. Pregnancy increases the risk of yeast infections. Great, like we didn’t have enough going on down there already. You definitely want to address a yeast overgrowth, because you don’t want a baby to get a mouthful on its way out and inoculate their gut with yeast. However, you want to be careful how you do it. Traditional treatments can wipe out good bacteria too, which creates the ideal opportunity for yeast to grow back – resulting in recurrent yeast infections. If you do choose to go the pharmacy route, know that oral treatments are contraindicated during pregnancy, so only use the suppository type – and always check with your doctor. Also make sure you reinoculate your vaginal tract appropriately afterwards to prevent a recurrent infection! Here are some tips for doing that, and for alternatives to the standard recommendations:
- Consume lots of probiotic rich foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, organic/grassfed yogurt (or coconut yogurt if you don’t tolerate dairy) and any other fermented veggies (beets, pickles etc.)
- Consume a quality probiotic supplement. My favourite brands are Designs for Health and Genestra
- Use a suppository probiotic. Genestra makes a vaginal suppository called HMF Candigen. I recommend inserting before bed, so gravity doesn’t work against you. It’s a good idea to wear a pantyliner or lunapad, because sometimes it can get a little messy overnight!
- Insert a garlic clove. Attach a small piece of thread to the garlic clove with a sewing needle. Poke a few holes in the garlic clove. Insert before bed, allowing the thread to remain outside your body. Remove it in the morning.
- Take a warm bath with 2 cups of apple cider vinegar added to it
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your bath
- Topical application of coconut oil
- Topical application of 1 drop tea tree oil, diluted in a carrier oil (coconut, olive)
NOTE: I am going to be updating this page as I experience new things, or as I learn of them from other mamas! If you have any tips and tricks, please add in the comments below, or email me and I’ll add them to this page!