Managing the Side Effects of Pregnancy

Video Transcript

My name is Shelby Eischens. I am a family practice physician with OB at Avera Medical Group in Brookings. I deliver babies at Brookings Health System and I've been in Brookings for two years.

Morning Sickness

 Morning sickness is a very common phenomenon that happens especially in that first trimester of pregnancy, a lot of the hormones cause that nausea in pregnancy. Some of the best things to avoid the nausea in pregnancy is to eat a healthy diet, drink lots of water. If you are nauseous even before getting out of the bed, having some saltine crackers at your bedside and munching on those before you get out of bed and getting up and moving around certainly is beneficial. There are a few vitamins that can be beneficial and certainly, at the most extreme, there are medications that can be used to help with that morning sickness. Certainly, we try to avoid those prescription medications if we can but that is something that if it is very difficult for you should be discussed with your physician.


Heartburn and pregnancy is also a very common thing that happens. A lot of it has to do with the pressure of the baby pushing on the stomach and the limited room that your stomach has. Some things to help avoid that is to drink lots of water when you are eating and avoiding spicy food sometimes helps, sometimes eating a smaller but more frequent meals is helpful. Some additional tips to help decrease reflux in pregnancy is to avoid lying down immediately after you eat and there are some other prescription therapies that can be beneficial if it is very uncomfortable for you but certainly, that is something you'll have to discuss with your physician prior to starting.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are basically the pressure in your legs and it causes the expansion of those veins that are in your legs. Pregnancy does increase your risk just because of the weight of the pregnancy just puts more pressure on those veins. Some things to help avoid varicose veins are drinking plenty of water, getting some rest, putting your feet up above your heart a couple of times a day if you can and certainly, if they become painful or those therapies do not help, compression stockings can be beneficial as well.


With the hormone changes in pregnancy, constipation is also a very common side effect of pregnancy. Some things to help with constipation, again, there is pushing lots of fluids specifically water in the pregnancy, eliminating caffeinated products which can dehydrate you and eating fiber enriched foods, like the fresh fruits and vegetables which are the healthy portions of the diet that can help and there are a few other things that can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed but definitely, those are things that you should consult with your physician prior to starting.


Hemorrhoids are also common in pregnancy and some of that there also has to do with the constipation that happens in pregnancy. Straining with stooling can bring out those hemorrhoids even more. Some things to avoid that obviously, is to try to keep your stool soft with the fresh water and fiber enriched foods but if hemorrhoids do still become an issue, soaking in a warm tub can help with the swelling of the hemorrhoids and then there's also some topical applications that can be beneficial but for those things, you should definitely discuss that with your physician prior to starting.

Why Brookings Health System?

Brookings Health System is an excellent place to deliver your baby. We have lots of very helpful supportive staff. We have a small town feel which provides even more care, I believe, during the delivery process and after delivery.