Mother to be Lisa Leclezio talks about the aches and pains she went through during her pregnancy and which methods she used to ease the pains.
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Anne Ebeling: Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. But no one ever said it was easy. Lisa Leclezio should know. She's just a few days shy of her due date. Lisa Leclezio: It sort of crescendos, you know, as you get closer to giving birth. It's not that one symptom or another is so horrible. It's the culmination of all the symptoms. It's the fact that you're feeling 8 or 10 or 12 things all at once. Anne Ebeling: Women with child often endure a variety of uncomfortable symptoms says Ob/Gyn Dr. Suzanne Lajoie, starting with morning sickness. Dr. Suzanne LaJoie: Women usually experience that between 6 and 12 weeks of pregnancy, and not all women feel it in the morning. Sometimes, it's kind of like an all day, low level, noxious feeling, and a lot of times, there's no vomiting involved at all. Some women don't get it at all. Some women just have it in the morning. Lisa Leclezio: I guess on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst imaginable, I would probably call mine a 7. So, it was pretty strong. I'd be walking down the street with my husband and I'd have to, like, jump into a doorway if you know what I mean. It wasn't pretty. Anne Ebeling: To help keep bouts of morning sickness at bay, avoid strong odors. Snack throughout the day to keep your belly from getting too hungry or too full. Try eating dry or salty food. Exercise, get lots of rest, and avoid mixing drinks and solid food. Dr. Lajoie says to eat first thing in the morning, but then wait about half an hour before having anything to drink to keep morning sickness from rearing it's ugly head. Another common symptom is swelling. Lisa Leclezio: I started waking up with very, very painful wrists. My fingers start looking like -- started looking like sausages. I can't get my wedding band off. I managed to get my engagement ring off in like the 5th month. But this? Forget it. They might have to cut it off of me by the time I give birth. Anne Ebeling: To lessen swelling, drink lots of water. Steer clear of salty food. And if the swelling is in your feet, try to keep them elevated. Swelling in her hands caused Lisa to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which should go away after she gives birth. Lisa Leclezio: For the carpal tunnel, I found these gloves at the drug store called Smart Gloves, and it sort of like a wrist brace if you will. So I wear that a few hours during the day. I also found it was helpful to ice my wrists a little bit. The ankle, which has been even worse than the wrists, I did put on an ankle brace. Anne Ebeling: Supporting a pregnant belly is a lot of work. No wonder so many expectant mothers complain of back pain. Dr. Lajoie says there are a few things that may help. First, wear reasonable shoes. Exercise to strengthen your back muscles. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees. And if all else fails, see a licensed chiropractor or massage therapist. Lisa Leclezio: For me, it was a combination of massage, like hot baths, hot compresses, acupuncture, and chiropractic. That seemed to help a little bit. Anne Ebeling: Another big complaint - heartburn. Keep your cool by not eating right before bed. Avoid foods you know will set it off, and treat heartburn with over-the-counter antacids like Tums or Zantac. Lisa Leclezio: If I have acid reflux out the wazoo, oh yeah, oh Mylanta. Mylanta, three shots of Mylanta before you go to bed at night. I figure so many pregnant women live on Tums. Mine lives on Mylanta. I she's not a Mylanta addict when she comes out. Anne Ebeling: But Lisa says her real secret weapon is her sense of humor. Lisa Leclezio: A good, health dose of perspective and just taking a step back and be like, you know, I feel awful. This hurts, that hurts. But just laughing it, like really having a great sense of humor about it, I think really helps a lot. Just realizing at the end of the day that --oh, she just kicked --that should be the worst thing that happens. Anne Ebeling: Call your doctor if you experience severe pain that won't go away, me
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