Q. Why does the back ache so much?
- Nearly every woman experiences backache at some time in pregnancy. The body is making adjustments for the new entrant. A change in mobility of joints may contribute to the change in the posture and may cause discomfort in the lower back. This is particularly more in the latter part of pregnancy. Along with a huge stomach, the body is slightly off-balanced and results in strained back muscles and pain.
- Care must be taken in getting out of bed or getting up from sitting. Correct posture and sensible weight gain would go a long way in minimizing the pain. Continue exercising within guidelines during pregnancy. Get the habit of lying on the side while sleeping.
Q. Does the breast feel very tender during pregnancy? There are many changes in the breast during pregnancy. During the early weeks or common symptom of pregnancy is tingling or soreness of the breast. The tenderness will disappear after the 3rd or 4th month. It is very essential to wear a good bra to prevent sagging of the breast.
Q. Does one get constipated often? It is very common during pregnancy. Many women notice an increase in constipation accompanied by irregular bowel movements. This includes an increase in occurrence of hemorrhoids. Proper diet, plenty of liquids, certain foods such as bran, figs, prune, and dates have very high fiber content. Do not use laxatives unless advised by the doctor.
Q. Does one suffer from depression during pregnancy? It may be the normal mood swings of pregnancy. It is more pronounced in the first trimester and occurs in women who ordinarily suffer from emotional instability.
Though there is no cure for mood swings, avoiding sugar, chocolates and caffeine, getting a good balance of rest and exercise and wherever possible talking your feelings out can all help to keep your mood from swinging very far.
Q. Does one suffer from excessive salivation during pregnancy? Women during pregnancy are occasionally distressed by profuse salivation and it is more common in women, who experience morning sickness.
Brush your teeth frequently with a minty toothpaste or rinse with a minty mouthwash.
Q. Does one suffer fatigue, laziness and sleepiness during pregnancy? These symptoms tend to appear within the first month of pregnancy. Your pregnant body is working harder even when you are resting, than compared to a non-pregnant body, as it is manufacturing your baby's life support system, the placenta. It may also be due to severe nausea, vomiting and inability to eat.
- Don’t fight fatigue, it is legitimate
- Get adequate rest, put your feet up when you can, read and watch TV. These things are more important than trying to keep your house spick and span or serving dinners, trying to be a perfect wife and a perfect mother.
- Go to bed early and indulge in a good afternoon nap.
- Ensure that you are having a healthy well balanced nutritional diet. Sugar and caffeine may temporarily lift your blood sugar, but soon the level will plummet leaving you more fatigued than ever. Consumption of Glucose helps to a great extent.
- If fatigue is severe accompanied by fainting / breathlessness / palpitations, it is wise to report it to your doctor.
Q. Do women suffer from food aversion and craving during pregnancy?
Majority of pregnant women experience sudden gastronomic eccentricities, having a craving for some foods and aversion to other foods. Blame it again on the hormonal havoc of pregnancy.
Advise: If you have aversion for coffee, caffeine, chocolates, cakes, you should consider yourself lucky because they come in the way of your balanced diet. However, if you get a craving for them, seek an alternative that satisfies yours and your baby’s nutritional heads. Yes, occasionally you can give in to your craving and cheat! However if you get aversion to milk, dairy products, fish, broccoli, green vegetables, try and find compensating sources of these nutrients. The need for dairy products is because of its calcium content. Find out the alternate sources of calcium listed in week 17, so that your calcium requirements are fulfilled. Most cravings subside by third or fourth month of pregnancy, but if they last longer, it may be triggered by emotional needs.
Q. Does one suffer from frequent urination during pregnancy? Mostly it is due to pressure on the bladder by the growing uterus, which is still in the pelvis next to the bladder. It could be attributed to the increase volume of body fluids and improved efficiency of the kidneys, which helps rid the body more quickly of the waste products. The symptom subsides once the uterus rises into the abdominal cavity, around the 4th month.
- Leaning forward when you urinate may empty your bladder completely and reduce trips to the bathroom.
- If visits are frequent at night, limit your fluids after 9 pm however, don’t limit fluids otherwise.
- If urination is associated with burning and itching, it could be due to urinary infection consult your doctor.
Q. Does one suffer from headaches during pregnancy?
Headaches are a frequent complaint, early on in pregnancy. In vast majority of cases, no cause can be demonstrated, though most believe that they are the result of hormonal changes complemented by fatigue and emotional stress. Rule out all other medical causes of headache like sinusitis, eye strain or dental problem. In the later part of pregnancy, it would be due to pregnancy induced hypertension.
- Relax, get enough rest, seek peace and quiet.
- Avoid smoke filled unventilated rooms.
- Treatment should be according to the cause.
- If headache is accompanied by visual disturbances, fever, puffiness of hands and face, notify your doctor at once.
Q. Does one suffer from heart burns during pregnancy?
Discomfort from heart burns is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. It may begin early although it becomes more severe late in pregnancy It occurs due to two factors: a. Decreased gastrointestinal motility. b. Compression of the stomach by the uterus as it enlarges and moves into the abdomen.
For most women symptoms are not severe. You can minimize heart burns by
- Eating smaller and more frequent meals.
- Avoid spicy, fried, fatty foods, meat, chocolate, alcohol.
- Avoid very tight clothes, certain sleeping positions such as bending over or lying flat.
- Avoid sleeping immediately after a meal.
- With the Doctors advice one may take an antacid.
Q. Is itching common symptom during pregnancy?
Yes, it is a very common symptom during pregnancy. Nearly 20 % of all pregnant women suffer from itching, usually in the later weeks of pregnancy, but it can occur at any time. Treatment for itching consists of anti histamines with doctor's advice or cooling lotions containing menthol or camphor.
Q. Do the breast become big during pregnancy? Before pregnancy each breast weighs about 7 ounces i.e. 200 gms. During pregnancy the size and shape of the breast increases. By the end of pregnancy each breast weighs between 14 to 28 ounces i.e. 400 to 800 gms. The glands that make up the breast open up into ducts in the nipple. Each nipple contains nerve endings, muscles fibers, sebaceous glands, sweat glands and 20 milk ducts. The nipple is surrounded by the areola. Before pregnancy, the areola is usually pink. It turns brown or red brown and enlarges during pregnancy and lactation.
Q. What is morning sickness? Another early symptom of pregnancy is nausea with or without vomiting. This is often called morning sickness. The stem of the brain acts as the command centre for nausea and vomiting. This area gets stimulated by high levels of beta HCG (Hormone Chorionic Gonadotrophin - a pregnancy hormone) present in the blood, in the first trimester morning sickness whether it occurs either in the morning or later in the day. It begins around the 6th week of pregnancy and usually improves by the end of the first trimester. A woman whose command centre is very sensitive is likely to suffer severe symptoms. Besides this stress, fatigue also play their part in contributing to morning sickness.
There is no completely successful treatment for normal nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, although remedies are often tried to provide relief. They include the following: 1. Eat small amounts at frequent intervals. 2. Avoid eating foods with unpleasant odor. 3. Increase intake of liquids. 4. Eat a diet containing carbohydrates and protein as it combat nausea. 5. Eat before nausea strikes i.e. eat before going to bed and before stepping out of bed. 6. Get enough of sleep and rest.
Q. Are there nasal problems during pregnancy? Some women complain of stuffiness of their nose or frequent nose bleeds during pregnancy. High levels of estrogen and progesterone circulating in the body increases the blood flow to the mucous membrane in the nose. The congestion normally last till after delivery. Don't try nasal sprays or decongestant as most of them are ill advised during pregnancy. Consult the doctor.
Q. Does the skin color change during pregnancy? Changes in the skin may occur. In many women the midline skin of the abdomen becomes darker /pigmented. Occasionally irregular brown patches varying in size appear on the face and neck. All these disappear or get lighter after delivery. One can take care of their skin by drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding make up and creams. Washing your face 2 to 3 times a day with water, using a light moisturizer, eating a lot of green vegetables and fruits.
Q. How does one prevent stretch marks on the body? Stretch marks are seen often and in varying degrees during pregnancy. They may appear early in your pregnancy usually on your abdomen, breast, hips or buttocks. After pregnancy, they may fade to the same color as the rest of your skin, but they won't go away. Many doctors believe that there is nothing you can do to prevent stretch marks. Women have tried many kinds of lotions with ingredients varying from lanolin to aloe vera to mineral oil. It doesn't hurt to try lotions, but it probably won't make a difference.
Q. Does one urinate a lot during pregnancy? During pregnancy, the Kidneys work more efficiently and there is a very substantial increase in volume of body fluids, resulting in the body to get rid of waste more quickly. This problem will continue during pregnancy and one may get up frequently at night.
It is quite common to get urinary tract infection during pregnancy. Their symptoms are that it is painful urination, particularly at the end of urination, the feeling of urgency to urinate and frequent urination. One can avoid this infection by not hold the urine. Emptying the bladder as soon as one feels the need to. Drink plenty of fluids. If one thinks that one has the infection, it is necessary to talk to the Doctor. Antibiotics may be prescribed by the doctor. If left untreated, it can get worse and lead to complications.
Q. Does one get a vaginal discharge during pregnancy? Throughout pregnancy a thin, milky white discharge is normal, which will increase until term. Apart from offending your esthetic sensibilities, the discharge is not of much concern.
- Keep genital area clean and dry. In case of excessive discharge wearing sanitary pads is advised, but use of tampons is to be avoided. Rinse vaginal area thoroughly after a shower or bath. Avoid perfumes and bubble baths.
- Use of cotton panties is advisable. Avoid tight pants or jeans.
- If you develop a thick cheesy yellowish greenish discharge with a foul odor (trichomonas infection) or a thick curdy discharge (monilial infection) report it to the doctor.
- If infection is sexually transmitted, avoid intercourse until you and your spouse are infection free.
Q. Is it true that pregnant women develop Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins occurs to some degree in most pregnant women. There appears to be an inherited predisposition to varicose veins that can be made more severe by pregnancy, increased age and from pressure caused by standing for long period of time.
Varicose veins are a network of veins that are expanded to carry the increased blood supply through the body. They occur primarily in the legs. In most cases they get worse and worse noticeable and painful as pregnancy progresses. To prevent varicose veins, it is simple just take the pressure off the legs. One must avoid excessive gain, standing for long periods, straining during bowel movements and avoid wearing clothing that restrict circulation like very tight fitted clothes. One must elevate their legs to hip level while sitting. Exercising as per doctor’s advice and a dose of Vitamin C to keep the veins elastic and healthy.