Pregnancy Related Challenges

by Dr. Keith Giaquinto

All of the changes a female body goes through during pregnancy are truly amazing. Changes like the uterus growing 500 times its size, from the size of a peach to that of a medium watermelon, to a 50 percent increase in blood volume and 20 percent more red blood cells being produced to growing a completely new organ, the placenta. All of it is quite the miracle, not to mention the end of pregnancy brings a precious new life.

With all of these body changes throughout the pregnancy, meeting the nutritional requirements are essential for the woman to support her body to have a pleasant pregnancy. Many people are aware of some of the difficulties that some women do go through with their pregnancy. Let’s discuss four common symptoms pregnant women can get: heartburn, morning sickness, edema and low back pain.

Heartburn is common for pregnant women. The symptoms of heartburn do not come from too much stomach acid as most people are misled to believe. It is physiologically impossible for the body to produce excess acid. The cause of heartburn is that the protective mucosal lining of the stomach has become compromised due to stress. Any time a person is under stress, the mucosal lining becomes thin, irritated and inflamed.

Nausea and morning sickness are considered normal during the first trimester of pregnancy. The cause of these symptoms is that the kidneys are unable to sufficiently cleanse the blood. The blood can become toxic due to a combination of the excessive hormones the female body is producing for the pregnancy itself, weak digestion and/or cheap, synthetic prenatal vitamins that her body cannot utilize. The kidneys filter and cleanse the blood, and when it can’t, this is when nausea appears.

Edema or fluid accumulation in tissue giving it a soft, spongy, bloated appearance is an early warning sign of protein deficiency. Protein helps the body to regulate water balance. Since edema is an early warning sign, routine blood test will not show low amounts of protein. Having enough protein in the blood holds the water in the blood. When the body becomes protein deficient, there is not sufficient protein in the blood to hold the water; therefore it has to accumulate in the tissue. Edema, especially in the hands and feet, can occur in the second or third trimester.

Low back pain occurs from the increase of relaxin hormone that helps to loosen the ligaments in the pelvis. This can create pelvic instability and be very uncomfortable and even painful for the woman during pregnancy. Chiropractic care is very safe and effective in supporting mom with low back pain.

These symptoms are not limited to pregnancy but can happen anytime. They just happen to be common during pregnancy because the nutritional demands required by the female body become amplified. Expectant moms can nutritionally support their bodies through pregnancy if these symptoms do tend to arise. Taking digestive enzymes, nutritional support for the kidneys and the mucosal lining of the stomach, whole food prenatal vitamins, getting adequate amounts of protein and regular chiropractic adjustments can support both mom and baby.

The biggest thing to remember is to take the guidance from the body because there is so much going on during pregnancy. The body knows what it needs.  Be sure to listen to it and have a professional team be there for support.