I have always found pregnancy amazing and beautiful. Your body goes through many changes and endures so much but sometimes not all of these changes are pleasant and can leave you feeling uncomfortable, worried and tired. Most of these changes are very common and not dangerous. I will discuss a few common aliments and what you can do to feel better.
There are many positives to having a private midwife and having someone who you know and trust to give you advice when you need is just one of them.
Sickness and nausea
In the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy it is thought hormonal changes are the cause of sickness. As your pregnancy progresses this should improve but for some women nausea and sickness continues after 20 weeks.
What to do to improve nausea/sickness:
· Try to eat something dry like toast or biscuits first thing in the morning.
· Eat little and often
· Sips of water rather than large amounts.
· Try different teas like ginger, lemon balm or peppermint tea.
· Stem ginger or peppermint sweets
· Try to stick to bland food with less spice/smells.
· Acupressure and wrist bands.
· Last resort antiemetics from your doctor.
If you are unable to keep any food or fluids down for 24 hours, have tummy pain, vomit blood or pass very dark urine please contact your midwife/doctor.
Ligaments naturally stretch during pregnancy becoming softer to prepare for labour. Here are some things you can do to protect your back and ease back pain.
· Remember to try and sit with your back straight
· Make sure your mattress is not too soft
· Exercise is great to keep muscles supple. Try yoga and swimming
· Have a massage
· You may need to see a physiotherapist if pain gets worse.
Although bleeding in pregnancy can be fairly common we know it can be worrying. There are many causes of bleeding. In early pregnancy spotting (bleeding) may occur as the embryo is implanting itself into the wall of the womb. Hormones that control the mensural cycle may also cause breakthrough bleeding.
Other causes of bleeding include:
· Cervical polyps (small harmless growth on cervix)
· Vaginal infections
· Placental problems- low lying placenta, placenta accreta, vasa pravia
· Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
In most cases pregnancy will continue as normal but if you have any bleeding contact your midwife, doctor or the hospital for advice.
Vaginal discharge is normal and increases during pregnancy due to increases blood flow to the vagina and higher levels of oestrogen. Normal discharge is clear or white and does not smell Unpleasant.
Contact your midwife/doctor if you have any of the following:
· Soreness around the vulva/vagina
· Pain during sex
· Yellow,green or grey coloured discharge
· Unpleasant smell
· Clumpy texture
These can be signs of vaginal infection, thrush is the most common, but seek advice before taking over the counter remedies.
About 4:10 pregnant women get constipated at some point. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscle which can slow the passing of food thought your digestive tract. Iron and pregnancy supplements containing iron can also contribute to constipation. Here are some tips to help:
· Go when you feel the urge, (usually after eating) do not hold.
· Do not strain.
· Try a low stool which mimics squatting position.
· A healthy diet of fibre, plenty of fruit and veg.
· Plenty of water at least 1.5 litres a day but ideally up to 3 litres. Prune juice can act as a natural laxative.
· Try other forms of iron supplements other than tablets
· Ask midwife/doctor about fibre supplement or stool softener such as lactulose.