This is my second pregnancy, and I am the type of person that prefers basic wholistic remedies for basic bodily issues rather than running for the medicine cabinet. When pregnant I am doubly so inclined to try to understand the biology behind the discomfort to relieve pain and discomfort. These are the small, little adjustments I found that really helped me through this pregnancy. These are just little fixes for discomfort that I do in addition to my regular doctor's appointments.
For fatigue/brain fog: First make sure you are well hydrated, you are eating enough electrolytes, and you are not overdoing it. Magnesium and D3 are my go tos, as long as I have been getting enough iron. Iron deficiency will make you feel like you are not getting enough air. This could also be a cause of foggy brain. Sometimes I take a Centrum Women's miltivitamin/multimineral when I cannot figure out what I am deficient in, but I cannot seem to wake up. For me, the broad spectrum of the multivitamin usually works. Sometimes, it just takes a low level in an essential nutrient to really throw off your energy when pregnant.
Basic Edema/swelling in hands and feet: Make sure you are eating 4,700 mg of potassium in your diet every day (really is not that hard if you are making healthy food choices). Salt replaces potassium so lower salt, increase potassium, and your body will readjust and route the water where it needs to go.
High blood pressure: you will feel hot, dizzy, and exhausted all at once. First, check your feet. Are they swollen? Is your left foot swelling more than your right? In my case, the strain of uterine pressure on my arteries, slowed my circulation in my legs pooling my fluids, and making my blood pressure raise to pump blood past my uterus, up and down both swollen feet, to get past my uterus again, and return the blood to my heart. Left hand may also be bigger than the right hand due to backed up circulation prior to the uterine pressure. My solution was a good pair of firm, knee high compression socks. It took the strain out of moving blood up and around my feet, decreased pressure in my feet by decreasing pooled fluids, dropped my blood pressure, and cut the circulation issues down to one source: my expanding uterus. Now I just have to adjust the baby or lay on my left side if she gets in a bad position, my hand starts to swell, or I feel light headed.
Tips for other sources of raised blood pressure: Eat less salt, intentionally decrease and avoid stress, get enough sleep, and sleep only on your sides. Stess is the fastest way to cause complications and discomfort. Try to deligate and manage difficult tasks in less stressful ways. When necessary, cut the activity out all together. Lack of sleep often leads to raised blood pressure and increases use of dieretics meaning you could cause blood pressure issues as well as trouble with swelling. So how you sleep becomes as important as how long you sleep. If you haven't noticed, sleeping on your back will decrease your quality of sleep in two ways. First, the baby could lay right on a major artery and cut blood supply back to your heart. This hurts a lot and will force you to wake up. Second, you will have a higher chance of snoring and sleep apnea stealing your deep sleep and causing you to waste precious hours in a shallow, less restful state. Sleep is of upmost importance when creating a new little human. Get the highest quality and quantity that you can manage. Lack of quality sleep will often raise blood pressure and exasperate other symptoms.
These little adjustments worked wonders for me. I hope they can help some body else.
I have three more weeks, and I am going strong!