Pregnancy Tips

How To Hold On To Your Breakfast!

It’s just a little ironic. At the very time you’re supposed to be eating for two, morning sickness makes it difficult to hold down enough food for even one. But what’s a “growing” girl to do when antinausea drugs like Dramamine are off-limits?

One time-tested remedy for morning sickness is ginger, says herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, author of Herbal Healing for Women. Known for its stomach-soothing properties, ginger tea is a tasty, soothing remedy for mild nausea. To prepare, use 2 teaspoons grated ginger root or powdered ginger per cup of boiling water, and steep for 10 minutes. Add a little honey and lemon for extra flavor.

If your morning sickness is severe, you’ll get better results with the ginger capsules sold in health food stores, which deliver a more concentrated form of the herb. Follow the instructions on the label.

And if the thought of putting anything in your stomach has you sprinting toward the bathroom with your hand over your mouth? While you’re in there, you could try this home hydrotherapy treatment: Dip a towel in comfortably hot water and wring it out, then place it over your midriff from your armpits to your hips, suggests Tori Hudson, ND, a naturopathic physician specializing in women’s health in Portland, OR. Leave the towel in place for 20 minutes while holding a hot water bottle to your abdomen. Try this treatment about half an hour before each meal.

Get a Leg Up On Swelling

You try to maintain your normal routine, but by the end of the day you feel like you’ve just climbed Mont Blanc with a stocky Swiss child clinging to each of your legs. To relieve sore, swollen feet and legs, try the alternating foot bath, suggests Tori Hudson, ND, a naturopathic physician specializing in women’s health in Portland, OR. Fill 2 buckets with enough water to cover your legs up to the knees, one with comfortably hot water and one with cold. Soak your feet in the hot water for about 3 minutes, then plunge them into the cold water for 30 seconds. Repeat this cycle 3 to 6 times every day. “The heat brings blood to the area, and the cold sends it away,” says Dr. Hudson. “This is why you should always finish with cold water. The last thing you want is for blood to pool in the feet and legs.”

Relief at Your Fingertips

When you’re 13, outgrowing a training bra is cause for celebration. But, when you’re pregnant, swelling breasts are a pain in the bust.

The right kind of mammary massage is a great way to relieve the soreness, says New York massage therapist Elaine Stillerman, LNT. First, rub a little lotion or massage oil between your hands to warm it, then make large circles around the outside of each breast for several minutes, avoiding the nipples. Next, massage your breasts separately for a few minutes each, using the fingertips of one hand to make small circles around the outside of the breast: Place both hands flat on each side of the areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple). Slowly slide your hands away from the areola to the edge of the breast. Turn your hands slightly to cover a different portion of the breast. Repeat for one to two minutes, then massage the other breast.

Put a Stop to Stretch Marks

As your tummy expands, your skin is stretching like a bad leisure suit. You’re determined to regain your waistline once the baby is born, but you’re wondering if your skin can ever shrink back down to size — and what it will look like when it does. You may not be able to prevent stretch marks entirely, but by taking care of your skin you can keep them to a minimum, says Victoria Edwards, an aromatherapist in Fair Oaks, CA. She swears by this fragrant, nourishing blend of essential oils, which are sold at many health food stores: Add 20 drops of mandarin orange and 5 drops of jasmine essential oils to 4 ounces of unscented lotion or massage oil. “I tell women to start using it in their fourth month, or as soon as their skin begins to stretch,” says Edwards. Apply after every bath or shower while your skin is still damp, to your breasts, belly and anywhere else your skin has stretched.

Pregnancy By the Numbers

Of course, your pregnancy is special. But if it weren’t — if it were just an “average” pregnancy — it would be: 266 days long. On the 267th day, you’d give birth to a 7 1/2 lb. baby, in 13 hours (or 8 1/2 hours, if you’d done it before.). You’d lose 10 pounds in the process.

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