Heartburn, Hemorrhoids and Crazy Cravings


Rectal bleeding during pregnancy can be caused by internal or external hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins of the rectum, and can cause itching and pain as well as bleeding.

Constipation often causes or compounds both problems. If you do have bleeding from your rectum, make sure it is evaluated by a physician.

Tips on Preventing or Alleviating Hemorrhoids Symptoms During Pregnancy

  • Prevent constipation by eating plenty of fluids and getting lots of fiber in your diet
  • Decrease pressure by sleeping on your side, not standing or sitting for long periods and not straining when having a bowel movement
  • Warm sitz baths can help reduce discomfort
  • Laxatives, stool softeners, suppositories or medications should only be used if prescribed by a doctor
  • Even if you get hemorrhoids, they will probably disappear postpartum if you follow these preventative measures

Increased Heart Rate

Cardiac volume increases by approximately 40 to 50 percent from the beginning to the end of the pregnancy, causing an increased cardiac output.

An increased cardiac output may cause an increased pulse rate during pregnancy. The increase in blood volume is needed for extra blood flow to the uterus.

Excess Saliva

Early in pregnancy, it is common for women to experience overproduction of saliva. Though unpleasant, it's harmless and normally disappears after the first few months.

It is more common in those women that also experience morning sickness. To try and dry things up a bit, try brushing your teeth frequently with mint toothpaste, rinsing with a mint mouthwash or chewing sugarless gum.

Heartburn and Indigestion

Due to large amounts of the hormones progesterone and relaxin that are produced during pregnancy, the smooth muscle lining in your gastrointestinal tract will relax, allowing food to move more slowly through your system, resulting in bloating and indigestion.

Heartburn occurs partly due to relaxation of the ring that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows the harsh stomach acid to come up and irritate the sensitive espophageal lining, causing a burning sensation.

Tips on How to Avoid or Minimize Heartburn Symptoms

  • Avoid gaining too much weight as this puts excess pressure on the stomach contents
  • Don't smoke
  • Eat six small meals rather than three big ones and eat slowly
  • Stay upright for several hours after eating and try not to eat big meals prior to going to bed
  • Try to minimize fatty foods, processed meats, chocolate, coffee, alcohol or spicy foods
  • Don't wear clothing that is very constrictive around your abdomen or waist
  • Ask your practitioner to recommend an antacid. Always check with your practitioner before taking any medication or supplement, even if it is over-the-counter medication

Appetite Increase and Pregnancy Cravings

Due to your body's increased need for more nutrients and energy to sustain your growing baby, you may find that your appetite may be increased during this trimester.

You will probably find that your taste in food will change somewhat during pregnancy. This is mainly due to hormone changes. It is completely normal and will probably continue until your birth.

If you find yourself craving something that you know you'd probably be better off without, then seek a substitute that satisfies the craving but without filling you up on empty calories.

Some women fnd themselves dreaming of strange food combos. Craving popcorn with sauerkraut? How about chocolate olive cake or maybe burned matches? For a look at some bizarre pregnancy cravings diplayed with gourmet flair, check out Eating For Two, complete with recipes.

Occasionally giving in to less nutritious cravings is fine, as long as they don't include something risky. Most cravings disappear or weaken by the fourth month.

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Table of Contents
1. First Trimester
2. Dealing with Fatigue
3. Morning sickness tips
4. Not that heartburn again!
5. Unsightly varicose veins
6. Prevent varicose veins
7. What are you craving?
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