Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Maybe you planned it; maybe it’s a surprise. Either way the tell-tale signs are there. Your period is missing in action, your favourite food leaves you green, and getting out of bed is really, really hard (even though you’ve spent the last three days sleeping).
What’s next? Your body hasn’t changed this much since puberty and you’re wondering why nobody warned you. Your friends happily discuss the ins and outs of mood swings, boob size and morning sickness but sex, weight gain and wind are left for stand-up comedians. So, lean in and we’ll do our best to fill you in.
Will sex hurt the baby?
No. Unless your doctor or midwife advises otherwise feel free to have as much (or as little) sex as you like. The amniotic sac and the muscles in your pelvis protect your baby.
Further, your partner’s penis can’t enter your uterus because when you’re pregnant your cervix (the entrance to your uterus) fills up with mucus. This mucus plug is like the front door of your house – it stops anything getting in or out, and (under normal circumstances) it’s locked shut until your bub is cooked.
In case you’re wondering it’s the same deal for the ultrasound probe if you need an internal inspection. The probe goes into your vagina and doesn’t enter your uterus.
Sex, sex, sex, and more sex
You’re thinking about sex when you’re grocery shopping, when you’re working, during lunch and dinner, in fact, all the time. Don’t worry it’s normal for your libido to change during pregnancy, and throughout pregnancy. For some women hormonal increases, larger boobs and heightened sensitivity (caused by increased blood flow), leave them craving sex. For others fatigue, morning sickness, discomfort from a growing belly, and anxiety about parenthood make sex as appealing as cleaning the oven.
Why am I leaking?
Your bladder gets the short straw when you’re pregnant. The space it occupies is getting smaller and smaller due to your growing baby, and your hormones are relaxing the muscles it uses. Some bladders give up and start leaking. If this happens to you, pelvic floor exercises might help.
If the leakage isn’t urine, it might be vaginal discharge. An increase in vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy. But, if this discharge changes or increases, or if you’re concerned seek medical advice.
Constipation during pregnancy is a fairly common problem. There are many reasons for it, including changes in diet and exercise, the weight of the baby on the bowels and, just like the bladder, hormonal changes relaxing the muscles it uses.
If you’re suffering from constipation, make sure you’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet (with plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables), drinking plenty of water and getting some exercise.
OMG, why do I have so much wind?
Once again, hormones are the culprit. The hormone progesterone relaxes your muscles, which is great for childbirth but plays havoc with your digestive tract. If you feel like you could fuel a moon landing don’t worry, things will settle down after the birth.
What on earth are haemorrhoids?
An uncomfortable nuisance, haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels (or varicose veins) in your bum. In pregnancy, these are caused by straining from constipation, pressure from your growing belly and increased blood flow. If you think you might have haemorrhoids see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.
How much weight is respectable?
Most women gain between ten and 20 kilograms throughout their pregnancy. This weight gain is due to many things, including the baby, the amniotic fluid, the placenta, increased fat storage, extra blood circulating through the body, and water retention.
If you’re eating a healthy diet and exercising moderately, you’re probably doing okay.
My girls are enormous!
Feel like a Playboy Bunny? Most women’s boobs grow during pregnancy, in anticipation of breastfeeding. When you’re finished breastfeeding, or if you don’t breastfeed, your boobs will shrink. Some women will return to their pre-pregnancy bra size, some will remain a little larger and some will shrink a little smaller.
Estimates are that more than three-quarters of mums-to-be get stretch marks. These stretch marks occur because your body is growing faster than your skin can replenish itself. You can’t prevent stretch marks, but they usually fade with time.
Why am I snoring?
You’ve never snored before, but now you’re pregnant your partner has moved to the spare room claiming you’re making the house shake. Snoring is thought to affect 30% – 50% of all expectant mums. The reasons include weight gain, the baby putting pressure on your diaphragm and increased blood flow swelling the nasal passages. It can’t be avoided, so stretch out and make the most of the extra room in the bed.
If you’re concerned about any of your symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention – we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice: http://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/
SAHM takes no responsibility for any illness, injury or death caused by misuse of this information. All information provided is correct at time of publication.