Common Pregnancy Problems

Pregnancy can be quite a strain on your body and there are inevitably some ‘complaints’ or discomforts that come with the joy of creating and growing a whole new person. Here is the list of most common pregnancy problems:

Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

Due to sudden changes in hormones during pregnancy, many expecting mothers (more than 50% of patients) experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Nausea and vomiting can be one of the first signs of pregnancy, and usually begins around the 6th week of pregnancy. It can occur at anytime of the day, and for most women it seems to stop at the 12th week of pregnancy. Morning sickness can be, but is not always, accompanied with vomiting. The nausea is a result of the increased hormones in your body.

Morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, but if you experience excessive vomiting and cannot manage to keep your food down, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum, a common complication during pregnancy. Hyperemesis gravidarum can be harmful to you and your baby if severe and left untreated, due to the possible lack of nutrients and electrolyte imbalances.


  • Eat small meals often
  • Drink fluids 1/2 hour before or after a meal, but not with meals
  • Drink small amounts of fluids during the day to avoid dehydration
  • Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
  • Eat whatever you feel like eating, whenever you feel you can
  • Ask someone else to cook for you and open the windows or turn on fans if the odor bothers you
  • Get plenty of rest and nap during the day
  • Avoid warm places (feeling hot adds to nausea)
  • Sniff lemons or ginger, drink lemonade, or eat watermelon to relieve nausea
  • Eat salty potato chips (they have been found to settle stomachs enough to eat a meal)
  • Exercise


  • Do not lie down after eating
  • Do not skip meals
  • Do not let this condition go untreated
  • Do not cook or eat spicy food

Remember if the above is not working or you want more information call your doctor ASAP.

Please see this youtube link about common pregnancy problems (morning sickness)

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (Severe Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy):

Its a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and sometimes electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are treated with dietary measures, rest and antacids. More severe cases often require a stay in the hospital so that the mother can receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line. DO NOT take any medications to solve this problem without consulting your doctor first. Check out this link about Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hemorrhoids and Constipation During Pregnancy

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins at the end of the large intestine (anus). They often stick out from the anus (external hemorrhoids). They can also be located on the inside of the lower intestine (internal hemorrhoids). Bleeding, itching, and pain are common hemorrhoid symptoms. Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy because the enlarged uterus places extra pressure on the large vein (inferior vena cava) that drains the veins of the large intestine. Constipation, a common problem during pregnancy, causes less frequent and more strained bowel movements. The bowels commonly move more slowly during pregnancy, and iron in prenatal vitamins also can cause constipation.

To prevent or ease constipation and hemorrhoids:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet (lots of whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains).
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Don’t strain (push hard) during a bowel movement.
  1. Increase the amount of exercise you get every day. If you were not exercising before pregnancy, ask your doctor if its safe to do so.
  2. To treat the itching or pain of hemorrhoids: Keep the anus clean by wiping carefully after each bowel movement. Gently wipe from the front to the back. Baby wipes or hemorrhoid pads are usually more gentle than toilet paper. If you use toilet paper, use only soft, undyed, unscented toilet paper.
  3. Take warm soaks in a tub or a sitz bath. Warm water can help shrink or soothe hemorrhoids. Add baking soda to the water to relieve itching.
  4. Apply ice pack compresses.
  5. Avoid sitting for long periods, especially on hard chairs.
  6. Keep your health professional informed of any problems you are having with constipation or hemorrhoids. He or she may recommend:
  7. An over-the-counter or prescription medicine to apply to hemorrhoids to relieve the itching.
  8. A stool softener to prevent straining (Docusate stool softeners are safe during pregnancy)

Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain during pregnancy is a common complaint, and its no wonder. You are gaining weight, your center of gravity changes and your hormones are relaxing the ligaments in your pelvis. Often, however, you can prevent or ease back pain during pregnancy. Consider these tips:

1) Good posture
Stand up straight and tall.
Hold your chest high.
Keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
Don’t lock your knees.

2) Get the right gear
Wear low heeled-not flat- shoes with good arch support.
Consider wearing a maternity support belt

3) Lift properly
When lifting objects, don’t lift heavy weights, squat down and lift with your legs. Don't bend at the waist or lift with your back. Ask for help if it is a heavy object.

4) Try heat or cold massages
Use heating pads or cold packs to alleviate back pain. Rubbing your back could help as well. This is when your partner comes in handy.

5) Always include physical activity in your daily routine
Regular activity can keep your back strong and might actually relieve back pain during pregnancy

6) Always know when to consult your doctor
If pain does not go away, consider other causes of back pain and notify your doctor as soon as possible.

Pink Women’s Center is a board certified OBGYN group located in Katy and west Houston Texas. We care for normal and high risk pregnancy, gynecologic and menopausal problems, including abnormal vaginal bleeding, abnormal pap smear, stress incontinence, osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, endometriosis and much more. We are a certified menopause OBGYN group, the only one in Houston Texas. Let us help you have a healthy pregnancy.

Common Pregnancy Problems by Joel Rivera MD

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