From the annoying, to the painful, to the downright odd, pregnancy symptoms come in all shapes and sizes, and affect every woman differently. Tracking your pregnancy symptoms can help you notice which other behaviors may be contributing to your symptoms by searching for patterns, and will let you know whether a certain symptom is safe and totally expected, or a bit out of the ordinary, and warrants further investigation.
Managing your symptoms
Pregnancy symptoms don’t just appear for out of the blue – whether due to your growing baby, your behavior, or simply hormones on the loose, every pregnancy symptom has a cause. Tracking your symptoms along with the following data points (among others) can help clue you in on if your behaviors may have any link to your symptoms, whether as a cause, treatment, or prevention:
- Sleep: Too much, or too little sleep can very much increase the likelihood of certain symptoms appearing, like swollen ankles for excess, and fatigue for not enough. Staying within a recommended range of sleep will help your body better recover from the stress of a long day, and allow it to more effectively deal with symptoms like headaches, general soreness, and nausea.
- Activity: Pregnant women who don’t get enough exercise may run the risk of abundant swelling and stretch marks, among other symptoms. Those who exercise too much may notice themselves overly fatigued or sore, a feeling that is compounded by the expected soreness of pregnancy in general. Staying within your recommended range of activity will help you manage symptoms like constipation, heartburn, and varicose veins.
- Nutrition: The food and water you consume can seriously foster, prevent, or treat the appearance of certain pregnancy symptoms. Moms-to-be who eat fresh, healthy foods are far less likely to develop indigestion or stretch marks than those who rely mainly on processed sustenance. Drinking plenty of water is also super-important, as it can help treat most every symptom (even bloating!). The different critical nutrients like folic acid (known as folate in its natural form), iron, Vitamin D and calcium may also dictate the appearance and withdrawal of certain symptoms, so track as much as you can!
Most pregnancy symptoms are totally normal, but a few may indicate something wrong. Symptoms can change from week-to-week, month-to-month, and trimester-to-trimester, so it’s imperative that you know which are expected, and which may be signs of trouble.
Tracking your symptoms can help clue you in on when a symptom (vaginal bleeding or a fever or a prolonged, insatiable thirst for instance) might be among those that you should never ignore, and deserve an immediate call to your healthcare provider.
Your symptoms and Baby
Your physical symptoms won’t usually directly affect Baby, but they can be a good indicator of the health of your pregnancy (and therefore Baby). For instance, although heartburn does not impact them, the cause of heartburn (poor nutrition) could certainly factor negatively into their health.
Tracking with Ovia
Tracking your physical symptoms with Ovia can help you learn a lot about your body, and give you the resources available to proactively fight against your symptoms. Simply enter your symptoms on a daily basis, and Ovia will monitor them for you.
- Nutrition during pregnancy: why you should track it
- Activity during pregnancy: why you should track it
- B Sternfeld, CP Quesenberry Jr, B Eskenazi, LA Newman. “Exercise during pregnancy and pregnancy outcome.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 27(5):634-40. Web. May-95.
- Robledo-Colonia AF, Sandoval-Restrepo N, Mosquera-Valderrama YF, Escobar-Hurtado C, Ramirez-Velez R. “Aerobic exercise training during pregnancy reduces depressive symptoms in nulliparous women: a randomised trial.” Journal of Physiotherapy. 58(1):9-15. Web. 2012.
- “Pregnancy & Sleep.” National Sleep Foundation. National Sleep Foundation, n.d. Web.