In the second trimester, the pregnant woman may develop supine hypotension if she lays on her back. This occurs because the fetus and uterus are growing and apply pressure on the vena cava when the woman lies in the supine position.
To prevent supine hypotension, the pregnant woman should lie on her side in order to remove pressure from the vena cava.
The pregnant woman will experience increased food cravings during pregnancy. The exact cause of food cravings is unknown and may differ between cultural backgrounds. The woman should satisfy these cravings unless they are counterintuitive to nutritional recommendations.
The pregnant woman may experience heartburn or pyrosis. This occurs due to increased levels of progesterone. Progesterone decreases movement and digestion throughout the GI tract. In addition, with the growing uterus the stomach can be displaced upward delaying gastric emptying.
The pregnant woman may experience constipation due to GI motility slowing from increased progesterone levels and the uterus compressing the GI tract.
Moderate exercise can aid in increasing GI motility.
Varicose veins are a common discomfort of pregnancy. This occurs due to the smooth muscle tissue relaxing due to the increased hormone release that causes veins to dilate.
The best way to prevent varicose veins is to wear supportive hose and avoid sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time. In addition, moderate exercise can aid in preventing varicose veins.
The increased levels of hormones in the pregnant woman’s body causes the joints to relax, which decreases stability of the lower back and and pelvis. This produces a painful or achy feeling in the back and pelvis.
Pelvic tilt exercises help stretch the pelvis and back to decrease achiness. In addition, the pregnant woman should be counseled to wear low heeled shoes and maintain good posture in order to decrease backache.
It is important for the pregnant woman to maintain a well balanced diet while satisfying cravings. The pregnant woman should avoid fatty/gas forming foods and should increase fluid intake to decrease constipation issues.
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