During pregnancy your body changes a lot. 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.
Later in the pregnancy, you may have other kinds of discomfort:
- stretch marks (line-shaped scars) on your belly;
- painful/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.
Nausea mainly occurs during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
- Have a light breakfast;
- Eat several small portions of food during the day;
- Drink enough water during the day;
- Go to a doctor if you have to vomit more than 3 times a day.
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 especially at the beginning of the pregnancy.
- Rest a lot;
- Go to a doctor 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 the bowel are more relaxed and work more slowly during pregnancy. This may cause constipation.
- Drink a lot of water;
- Drink fresh orange juice;
- Eat whole-wheat bread;
- Stay active.
Changes in your hormones during pregnancy increase blood flow to the gums. Your gums can become more sensitive, irritated and swollen.
- Brush your teeth 3 times a day;
- Go to a dentist if the infection does not go away.
Stretch marks are pink or brownish lines in the skin of the tummy, breasts or hips. They are caused by the stretching of your skin. The stretch marks fade after pregnancy, but remain slightly visible.
Put a hydrating cream or oil on your belly to care for your skin.
Painful/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 the increased pressure of the uterus on the veins and the increased amount of blood in the body.
Raise your legs up high when sitting down.
Back pain is mainly 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 look 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.