Chapter 6: Common body changes in pregnancy
• Use acupressure to relieve nausea. Find the spot
3 fingers above the wrist between the 2 tendons on
the inside of the woman’s arm. Press on this spot,
moving your finger in small circles. Press firmly but
not hard enough to hurt. If acupressure is going to
help, the woman should start to feel better within 5 minutes.
• Drink a cup of ginger, mint, or cinnamon tea
2 or 3 times a day, before meals. To make mint or
cinnamon tea, put a teaspoon of mint leaves or a stick of
cinnamon in a cup of boiled water. Let the tea sit for a few
minutes before drinking it. To make ginger tea, boil
crushed or sliced ginger root in water for at least 15
A pregnant woman may suddenly dislike a food that she usually likes. It is OK
not to eat that food, and she will probably begin to like it again after the birth. She
should be careful that the rest of her diet contains a lot of nutritious food.
A food craving is a strong desire to eat a certain food, or even something that is
not food at all, like dirt, chalk, or clay.
If a woman gets a craving for
nutritious foods (like beans, eggs,
fruits, and vegetables), it is OK for her
to eat as much as she wants. But if she
wants a lot of “junk food” (like candy,
soda, or packaged snacks) she should
eat nutritious food first.
I just want
to eat clay.
A woman who craves things that are
not food, like dirt or clay, should not
eat them. They may poison her and her
baby. They may also give her parasites,
like worms, that can make her sick.
Encourage her to eat iron-rich foods
(see page 36) and calcium-rich foods
(see page 38) instead.
You may need more calcium
and iron. Try eating green
vegetables, nuts, seeds, or
beans instead. Dirt and clay
can give you parasites and
make you sick.
Burning or pain in the stomach or between the breasts
A burning feeling or pain in the stomach or between the breasts is called
indigestion or heartburn. Heartburn happens because the growing baby crowds
the mother’s stomach and pushes it higher than usual. The acids in the mother’s
stomach that help digest food are pushed up into her chest, where they cause a
burning feeling. This is not dangerous and usually goes away after the birth.
A Book for Midwives (2010)