Yes, a pregnant woman can be beautiful and radiant and being pregnant can be one of the best times of your life. On the flipside, though, pregnancy ain’t always pretty! You probably know the most common and clichéd symptoms of pregnancy – morning sickness, stretchmarks, varicose veins, aching back and enlarged breasts. However, unfortunately there is more to pregnancy that just a few of these staple symptoms that have been played out on movies and televisions for ages. Below are some of the other things you can expect when you’re expecting and how to handle these often uncomfortable and embarrassing pregnancy complaints – and sorry, we don’t mean to turn you off, but…..
- Rash: As your body piles on the pounds a rash can develop in certain areas where the skin is constantly rubbing (or chafing) such as between your legs and under your breasts. In addition to a rash, you may also notice that your hands, feet and legs are also peeling or extremely dry. Wear cotton loose clothing and soothe the skin with calamine lotion or fragrance-free moisturisers.
- Piles (haemmorhoids): this has got to be one of the worst pregnancy symptoms that many people will not discuss, especially not in every day conversation, which is why you may be confused as to what is happening down there. Piles are swollen veins around the anus and occur due to pressure from the baby’s head. You may experience itchiness, soreness and even bleeding during a bowel movement. There are special creams you can buy from the chemist to reduce symptoms, and it’s best to avoid sitting for long periods of time.
- Heartburn: Woooooooohhhh, my chest is on fire……. Yep, you can blame it on pregnancy. Reduce the risk of heartburn by avoiding large and spicy meals. Try warm milk at night and ask your doctor about various heartburn relief medications, some of which are safe during the second trimester of pregnancy. You can try drinking peppermint tea also.
- Breathlessness: with extra pressure on the diaphragm you may be left being unable to breathe freely which can leave you feeling quite panicked and out of control. Try to rest often and use an extra pillow for support when you sleep.
- Bleeding Gums: what does pregnancy have to do with your mouth? Apparently the two are connected and you may experience softer injury prone gums throughout your pregnancy. You may notice your gums even bleed when you brush your teeth. Even so, continue to brush your teeth and floss regularly and, if the pain doesn’t go away, see your dentist for more tips.
- Vaginal Discharge: you may not experience blood loss during the nine months of pregnancy but you probably will experience vaginal discharge. The discharge is generally clear or white and caused by the hormonal change to your body. Some women find it helpful to wear a sanitary pad, especially in the final trimester when the discharge is at its heaviest. If the discharge becomes smelly, or changes colour to what it normally is, or is blood-stained, then see your doctor immediately.
- Vulva Varicose Veins: in addition to varicose veins on your legs and rectal area you may also experience pressure down below. Vulva varicose veins can cause a bulging on your labia as well as anywhere else down there, making it uncomfortable to walk. To reduce the swelling, get off your feet and reach for a heating pad.
- Leaking Urine: with the increased pressure from the baby and weakened pelvic muscles it is quite common to leak urine, especially if you run, sneeze, cough or laugh. To avoid any embarrassing moments, urinate often, wear sanitary pads and practice your pelvic floor muscles.
Keep in mind that not all women will experience all (or any) of these symptoms. It all depends on your body and your pregnancy. However, being prepared for anything and everything is the best way to keep ahead of these pregnancy complaints and find the lighter side is some of these embarrassing symptoms.
If you would like to know more information, or if you have any symptoms you are concerned about, we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice – http://www.stayathomemum.net.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/ and also talk to your midwife or doctor.
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information.