5 Embarrassing Pregnancy Symptoms—and How to Deal with Them
Just as sebaceous glands are put into overdrive by pregnancy hormones, so too are the mucous glands in your sinuses.
“Snoring in pregnancy is caused by gestational rhinitis,” says Ruerup. This congestion and stuffiness is most like cold symptoms, but you should not use over-the-counter cold medications to treat it. The cause is your pregnancy hormones, not a virus. Consult with your healthcare provider if the symptoms become unbearable. Otherwise, your snoring will have an instant cure when Baby arrives.
Although there are different kinds of incontinence, during pregnancy women most often experience stress incontinence. Stress incontinence happens when the bladder is under pressure and there’s a sudden change. That stress moment (for instance when you cough, sneeze, or stand up suddenly) might lead to a leak. While this may be embarrassing, it’s not uncommon.
Kegel exercises can help you strengthen the bladder muscles responsible for holding urine in. But Ruerup cautions that, “prevention of all leaks is unlikely due to the pressure of the uterus on the bladder, especially in the last trimester.”
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice Kegel exercises. While different healthcare providers offer various repetition recommendations, Ruerup suggests that you aim for 10 Kegel squeezes three times a day. Work up to holding each squeeze for 10 seconds. To perform a Kegel you need to understand which muscles you’re targeting. Find the correct sensation by stopping the flow of urine midstream the next time you’re on the toilet. The same muscle movement that you used to stop the stream is what you’re aiming to exercise with Kegels. (Note: you should not perform Kegels while going to the bathroom regularly. Urine may seep back into your bladder and lead to infections.)
Puls suggests you remind yourself to do your Kegels everyday by choosing something you already do as a trigger—for example, when you’re stopped at a red light, when the phone rings, or even after you brush your teeth. Conditioning your bladder muscles will not only help you avoid leaks during pregnancy, but may also strengthen those muscles and prevent incontinence as you get older.
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