Exercise for swollen feet and ankles
You might have belly so swollen that you possibly can’t even see your own feet, but down there is quite likely you’ll also have swollen feet and ankles. During pregnancy the body often retains more water than normal, and this water will collect at the lower parts of the body such as your feet and ankles, making you feel uncomfortable. To reduce the swelling try rotating your feet eight time in a circular motion and then do the same in the other direction. At the end of each set of rotations, bend your feet up and down from the ankle. Other tips include avoiding standing for long periods and cutting out wearing footwear with a strap.
Pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises can help counteract the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles which often occurs during pregnancy and childbirth. Side effects of these weakened muscles is the possibility of incontinence and reduced enjoyment of sex. Instruction on the right exercises to do will usually be provided to you by your midwife or GP, but a straightforward exercise to do is the ‘squeeze, lift and hold’ movement in which you squeeze and hold the muscles of your front and back passages for around eight seconds and then release them. Doing these exercises regularly will help keep your pelvic floor muscles in good shape during and after pregnancy.
Dealing with acne
Pregnancy can work wonders to the skin of some women, but for the majority pregnancy can usher in a return to breakouts of acne, almost as if the clock has rewound back to your early teen years. The chief culprit is the hormone androgen which surges during pregnancy, and this results in the production of excess sebum which can clog your pores and cause spots and acne.
There’s no real way to prevent the problem, but there are ways to minimise the impact. Always take your makeup off thoroughly and wash your face with a mild soap or cleanser. Avoid makeup and moisturiser products that are oil-based, using water-based products instead. Remember, if you experience acne during pregnancy, it will clear up when your hormones return to normal levels after the birth, if not sooner.
Dealing with dry skin and itchiness
Other skin issue that could be affected by pregnancy include eczema or psoriasis. In some instances, pregnancy can completely clear it up, but for other it can make the conditions much worse. A simple way of relieving the dry skin and itchiness can be found by applying a pregnancy-safe moisturiser and symptoms can also be lessened by hydrating well with water. If your symptoms worsen to the extent where you get blisters then consult a doctor to ensure that there is no risk to you and baby.
Avoiding excessive weight gain
Weight gain is inevitable during pregnancy, but excessive weight gain can be be harmful both to you and your unborn child. The idea that you’re eating for two doesn’t mean that you have to overindulge at every mealtime and inbetween. Yes, you need to eat more nutritious food to get everything you both need, but this doesn’t have to be in giant-sized portions. Weight gain during pregnancy will vary from woman to woman, but as a rough guide the average woman should put on 2-4 lbs in the first three weeks of pregnancy, and 1lb (approx. 0.5kg) each subsequent month.
That baby inside you puts a growing strain on the body which only increases the need for good posture. Despite feeling increasingly tired during pregnancy you need to try and resist the urge to slump or slouch and instead should hold you body up to minimise the strain on the body, particularly on the lower back. As a good guide, try and have your ears over your shoulders and keep your shoulders over your hips in order to maintain good posture.
Relaxation is vital
Make time for relaxation and try to avoid stress while pregnant as it can be harmful to you and you baby. Don’t be one of those women who refuses to accept help and won’t divert from their usual workload - being pregnant is an opportunity to make use of friends, family, and colleagues and get help so that you can find time for relaxation and the things that make you happy. Try and avoid people who unnecessarily stress you out and surround yourself with people who will happily take the strain for you when you need them to.