Discovering a new pregnancy can bring about feelings of happiness and joy, but there is also a bit of fear associated with growing a baby in your womb. Mothers-to-be who need to learn about the changes in their body during pregnancy so that they are more prepared for the next 40 weeks.
Nausea and Vomiting
Morning sickness is one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy. Hormones are in high production mode and changes to her sense of smell and food taste can leave mom feeling more sick than glowing. This symptom often lasts only a few short weeks and can be tackled by eating small meals, snacking on crackers and drinking plenty of water. Mints and hard candy may also help curb that nauseous feeling.
- Morning sickness does not always happen in the morning.
- If vomiting is severe, contact your physician.
- Dehydration from vomiting can lead to other health concerns.
Constipation / Diarrhea
Those same pregnancy hormones that lax the muscles and ligaments needed during the birthing process will also play games with the intestinal organs. Mom may find she is either running to the bathroom every hour with diarrhea or unable to make a bowel movement pass no matter how hard she tries. Drinking lots of water and eating fiber rich foods can help keep bowel movements normal and moving.
- Never push when trying to pass a bowel movement.
- Pushing can lead to hemorrhoids.
Body Aches and Pains
There will be plenty of aches and pains associated with pregnancy, but the legs and back are often the body parts hit the hardest. Increased fluid retention can lead to swelling in the lower half of the body, which may be painful and irritating. Back pain is associated with increase weight on the front of the body and improper stature or posture. Belly bands can help lift the weight of mom’s growing tummy and disperse that weight throughout the mid section. Leg pain can be alleviated with warm baths and by elevating feet at least 15 minutes every hour.
- Some over the counter pain relievers are safe during pregnancy.
- Alternative therapies like massage and acupuncture are safe for pregnant women.
Other Body Changes
The mother-to-be can also expect her areolas to grow darker, a darkened line to appear from her navel to the pubic bone and her feet to grow larger. Physical changes during pregnancy are commonly associated with hormonal changes. The body typically returns to normal a few months after baby is born.
As with any symptoms in general, call your doctor if you are concerned about something. Only your doctor can examine you to make sure your symptoms are OK.