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Say no to painkillers: Natural ways to soothe 4 common pregnancy problems
There are many natural ways by which you can soothe common pregnancy pains such as headache, back pain, muscles cramps. Read on to know which are the safe ones.
Ladies, all of you who have been popping any form of paracetamol, thinking that it is safe to use during pregnancy, we have some alarming piece of news for you.
A new study now suggests that having paracetamol during pregnancy has been linked to fertility problems in girls later on in life.
What the study says
For the study, that was conducted on animals, researchers studied the effects of paracetamol and indomethacin, a drug that is similar to aspirin, on pregnant rats. Rats have strikingly similar reproductive systems to humans.
At the end of the study, the rats that were given paracetamol gave birth to girls with lesser eggs than those rats who didn't. The researchers also observed that they had smaller ovaries and gave birth to fewer babies. Similarly, the infant male rats created fewer cells that help in the production of sperms.
Co-author of the study professor Richard Anderson from the University of Edinburgh said, "These studies involved the use of painkillers over a relatively long period. We now need to explore whether a shorter dose would have a similar effect."
Professor Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society, however had some cautionary advise for pregnant women as he spoke to The Independent. "It is sensible for pregnant women to minimise use of paracetamol and other painkillers and seek medical advice if they experience problems with significant pain in pregnancy."
Swapping painkillers with natural solutions
While it's easy to pop a painkiller to ease a headache and other kinds of moderate pain, doctors advice that pregnant mothers should stay away from painkillers as far as possible, especially the ones that are available over-the-counter.
There are many natural ways by which you can soothe common pregnancy pains such as headache, back pain, muscles cramps.
- If you suffer from headaches, it is important to understand your triggers first. For example, if a particular fragrance is giving you a headache, stop using it.
- Similarly, dehydration can also lead to a headache sometimes, which is why it is important for a mother to constantly sip on water or any other replenishing fluid such as coconut water or fresh juices. So, the next time you have a headache, have a glass of water and see if it helps.
- You can also sip on some chamomile tea to relieve a headache as chamomile is known for pain-relieving properties, especially migraines. However, if you haven't used chamomile tea before, consult a doctor before having it.
- Ginger tea is a tried and tested remedy for nausea worldwide. This is because gingerols, compounds found in ginger, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Crush an inch of ginger and add it to a cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes and have it twice a day to ease nausea.
- Sugar-free peppermint sweets or chewing gums are other popular remedies that work.
- Muscle cramps are really common in pregnancy, especially the third trimester. The best way to alleviate them is by incorporating light to moderate exercise in your daily routine such as walking, yoga and swimming.
- Besides, also ensure that you have a healthy, balanced diet throughout your pregnancy in order to prevent any deficiency which could also be the reason for your muscle cramps. Have more of nuts, fresh leafy green vegetables, beans, oranges, seeds, milk and milk products.
- Check with your doctor if you need a multivitamin that could help.
- Most of the times back pain, especially the one that affects your lower back, stems from an incorrect posture. Of course, the extra weight that you carry also makes things worse for you.
- The best way to deal with it would be by improving your posture and ensuring that you do not stand for a long time.
- At work, check that the position of your computer screen and chair. See that they are at a comfortable position and are not straining your back. Stand up and take a walk at regular intervals to avoid putting all the load on your back.
- Use plenty of pillows for support when you sleep to make sure that your back is not under pressure. You can choose from the different pregnancy pillows (u-shaped pillows, maternity pillows and body pillows) that are available in the market.
- Lastly, don't overexercise. Listen to your body and know when it is the right time to stop.
Advisory: While all the above methods are safe, if you're uncomfortable or if your pain doesn't seem to go away consult your gynaecologist. It is also advisable to consult a doctor before using any kind of natural remedy, especially during pregnancy.