Headaches. Leg cramps. Ask any pregnant woman, aches and pains come with the territory when you're expecting. So, which pain-relieving medications are safe? How about no medication at all! According to Robert J. Seiler, DO, the best remedy for relieving common aches and pains during pregnancy may come in a very simple and easy-to-take form: Water.
Seiler, who is also a board-certified OB/GYN, discussed finding pain relief through increased water intake during the American Osteopathic Association's recent annual meeting in San Diego.
"Drinking more water is the answer to everything in pregnancy," he reports. "It might mean an extra trip to the bathroom but it will help." Help with what, specifically? "Increased water intake can be helpful for things like charley horses and preterm contractions. In other words, staying well-hydrated helps prevent muscle cramps of all kinds," Seiler shares with BabyZone.
And for some types of headaches, H20 may also provide relief. "Dehydration can cause headaches. Think of how you feel when you have the flu. So, increasing water intake would only be helpful for a headache in that way."
And it really is water that helps. "Other fluids, like Gatorade and similar drinks, would also have the same effect as water," Seiler finds."However, physicians are reluctant to recommend large amounts of these drinks over water because they contain other ingredients—like sugar and artificial dyes—that aren't good to consume in large quantities while pregnant."
Before replacing pill bottles with water bottles, however, a woman should speak with her doctor to determine the best treatment plan for pain during pregnancy. For example, in addition to staying well-hydrated, women can alleviate leg cramps by eating bananas and consuming more calcium either by drinking milk or taking calcium-rich antacids, Seiler recommends.
Still, just not much of a water drinker? To spice up your sip, add lemon wedges or a few sprigs of mint to a jug of water and refrigerate before serving.
Now that's a glass of refreshing relief!