When you become pregnant, you may have mild to moderate symptoms, including changes in your body, emotions, vomiting or constipation.
During pregnancy, there are a lot of changes in your body. You experience the following changes:
- You do not have your menstrual period.
- You gain weight.
You may also have one or more of the following kinds of discomfort. This is normal. If you have any questions, contact your midwife or healthcare provider.
- Constipation (not being able to pooh).
- Swollen and painful breasts.
- Need to go to the toilet frequently.
- Bleeding gums.
Later in the pregnancy, you may have other kinds of discomfort:
- Stretch marks (line-shaped scars) on your belly.
- Painful and/or swollen legs and feet.
- Back pain.
Your emotions and moods can change very quickly. For instance: you may feel happy one moment and then sad or anxious the other.
Nausea mainly occurs during the first three months of pregnancy. You can do the following to reduce your nausea:
- Have a light breakfast.
- Eat several small portions of food during the day.
- Drink enough water during the day.
- Contact your healthcare provider if you vomit or pee very little.
It can also help to:
- Eat something light before you get out of bed and when you go to bed.
- Drink some milk or ginger tea.
Tiredness occurs mainly at the beginning of the pregnancy.
- Try to rest a lot.
- Go to a midwife or healthcare provider to check if you have enough iron in your blood.
At the end of the pregnancy, you may experience emotional stress and lack of sleep. This can be caused by the baby’s movement, muscle cramps and frequent urination, which also cause tiredness.
The muscles in your bowels are more relaxed and work more slowly during pregnancy. This may cause constipation.
- Drink a lot of water (1.5 to 2 litres a day).
- Drink fresh fruit juice.
- Eat a lot of fibres (e.g. wholemeal bread).
- Stay active (take exercise for at least 30 minutes every day).
Changes in your hormones during pregnancy increase blood flow to the gums. Your gums can become more sensitive, irritated and swollen and start to bleed.
- Brush your teeth two times a day.
- Use toothpicks every day.
- Go to a dentist if your gums continue to bleed.
Stretch marks are pink or brownish lines in the skin of the belly, breasts or hips. The stretching of your skin causes them. The stretchmarks fade after pregnancy but remain slightly visible.
You can put a hydrating cream or oil on your belly to care for your skin.
Painful and/or swollen legs and feet
Most pregnant women suffer from swollen legs and feet, mainly towards the end of the pregnancy. Swollen legs and feet are caused by increased pressure of the uterus on veins and increased volume of blood in the body.
Raise your legs high when sitting down and drink enough liquids.
Back pain is caused by the increased weight of the uterus and changes in hormones.
- Sit straight.
- Bend your knees when lifting heavy objects.
- Do not wear high heels.
- Take light exercise, for example walking, swimming or cycling.
After delivery, your body looks different from how it was before your pregnancy. For example, your weight and the shape of your belly and breasts may be different than before.