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Pregnancy

Pregnancy-related complaints: 2nd trimester

For many women, the second trimester of pregnancy is the “easiest” as this is when their energy levels are highest. Pregnancy-related complaints lessen during this phase, but mums-to-be will still face some trying problems.

Dry, tight and itchy skin

Some expectant mothers suffer from dry and itchy skin as their skin starts to stretch. The skin changes generally during pregnancy and dark patches may appear on the face. It’s therefore best to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible and use sun blocker.

Tips for relief: Apply moisturiser regularly and use moisturising bath oils.

Varicose veins

Due to the pregnancy hormone progesterone, weight gain and increased blood circulation during pregnancy, pregnant women are susceptible to varicose veins in the legs and labia.

Tips for relief: Avoid long periods of standing and don’t sit with your legs crossed. Exercising, wearing support stockings and putting your feet up during the day can help prevent varicose veins.

Leg cramps

Many expectant mums suffer from cramps, which can be an indication of magnesium deficiency. Make sure you eat healthily and drink mineral water rich in magnesium. Magnesium supplements can also help prevent muscle cramps.

Tips for relief: If you suffer cramps in the night: massage your leg, stand up and walk a few steps.

Constipation

Many women suffer from poor digestion during pregnancy. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, which slows digestion. The uterus also puts pressure on your bowels.

Tips for relief: Drink plenty of water and exercise daily. Fibre-rich food such as muesli or wholegrain bread can also help ease constipation.

Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

Shortness of breath is typical during pregnancy, because the uterus increasingly presses on the diaphragm, meaning that there is less space for the lungs.

Tips for relief: Take things more easily during the day and avoid excessive physical exertion. Sitting up straight can also help you breathe more easily.