Can pregnancy symptoms be prevented?

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

Being in good physical/ mental condition before the pregnancy and having a great diet/ preconceptual nutritional status may help with some of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy like nausea and vomiting but for the most part most pregnancy symptoms have a cause. Understanding the many hormonal/ emotional and physical changes a pregnant woman experiences helps symptom control by learning common comfort measures that can be taken.

For example round ligament or broad ligament pain is very common during pregnancy. Wearing proper fitting arch supporting shoes, a good supportive bra, and using good body mechanics can go a long way in preventing some of the common back pains and ligament pains.

Another common symptom is cramping. Many pregnant women forget they are not only replacing the fluid they use during the day but must make fresh water (amniotic fluid) around the baby every day. Often pregnant women underestimate the amount of fluid they need a day and have cramping that is caused by dehydration. Assuring adequate fluid intake daily can help prevent this common complaint.

Some communities offer early pregnancy classes to discuss the changes a woman goes thru during her pregnancy. Most pregnancy books also cover the common discomforts of pregnancy and common relieve measures and discuss when the symptoms are more severe and medical attention should be sought.

I am partial to YOU HAVING A BABY by the YOUdocs, but then again I am their YOUnurse and entitled to have favorites.

No! The symptoms of pregnancy such as fatigue, nausea, frequent urination, back ache and others are the result of the elevated levels of circulating hormones and the physiologic changes of pregnancy. While these symptoms can not be prevented, there are a number of strategies that may be effective in minimizing these symptoms and coping with the associated discomforts.
There is some evidence to support the idea that taking vitamin supplements before conception, and during the early weeks of pregnancy, may help prevent some of the symptoms of pregnancy, especially the nausea and vomiting often known as "morning sickness." Beginning to take prenatal vitamins if you are trying to get pregnant, or as soon as you find out you are pregnant, may be a way to avoid these symptoms. In addition, the folic acid found in most multivitamins, including prenatal vitamins, may help prevent certain birth defects. A healthy diet and moderate exercise can help prevent nausea as well as other common symptoms, like heartburn, constipation, and hemorrhoids.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.