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21122448 the Pregnancy Book 3

21122448 the Pregnancy Book 3

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Published by leenapov

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Published by: leenapov on Apr 19, 2010
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During pregnancy you’re likely tofeel warmer than normal. This isdue to hormonal changes and to anincrease in blood supply to the skin. You’re also likely to sweat more. Ithelps if you:
wear loose clothing made of natural fibres, as these are moreabsorbent and ‘breathe’ morethan synthetic fibres;
keep your room cool – consider using an electric fan;
wash frequently to stay fresh.
Some pregnant women find they geta lot of headaches. A brisk walk maybe all you need, as well as a littlemore regular rest and relaxation.Although it is wise to avoid drugs inpregnancy, an occasional paracetamoltablet is generally considered safe.If you often have bad headaches,tell your doctor or midwife so thatthey can advise you. Severeheadaches may be a sign of highblood pressure (see page 84).
This is partly caused by hormonalchanges and later the growing wombpressing on the stomach. If yousuffer from indigestion:
try eating smaller meals moreoften;
sit up straight when you areeating as this takes the pressureoff your stomach;
avoid particular foods whichcause trouble, for example friedor highly spiced ones, but makesure you are still eating well(see pages 8-12 for informationon healthy eating).Heartburn is more than justindigestion. It is a strong, burningpain in the chest. It is caused by thevalve between your stomach and thetube leading to your stomachrelaxing in pregnancy, so thatstomach acid passes into the tube.It is often brought on by lying flat.To avoid heartburn you could:
sleep well propped up – tryraising the head of your bed withbricks or have plenty of pillows;
try drinking a glass of milk – haveone by your bed in case you wakewith heartburn in the night;
avoiding eating or drinking for afew hours before you go to bed;
ask your doctor or midwife for advice;
don’t take antacid tablets or mixture before checking that theyare safe in pregnancy.
Mild itching is common in pregnancybecause of the increased bloodsupply to the skin. In late pregnancythe skin of the abdomen is stretchedand this may also cause itchiness.Wearing loose clothing may help.Itching can, however, be a sign of a more serious problem called obstetriccholestasis (see page 84). If itchingbecomes severe, or you develop jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin), see your doctor.Itching which is associated with a rashmay also need treatment if it is severe.
Nausea is very common in the earlyweeks of pregnancy. Some womenfeel sick, some are sick. Some feelsick in the mornings, some at other times, some all day long.The reasons are not fullyunderstood, but hormonal changesin the first three months are probablyone cause. Nausea usually disappearsaround the 12th to 14th week.Nausea can be one of the mosttrying problems in early pregnancy.It comes at a time when you may befeeling tired and emotional, andwhen many people around you maynot realise you are pregnant andexpect you to be your normal self.
If you feel sick first thing in themorning, give yourself time toget up slowly. If possible, eatsomething like dry toast or a plainbiscuit before you get up. Your partner could bring you somesweet tea.
Get plenty of rest and sleepwhenever you can. Feeling tiredcan make the sickness worse.
Eat small amounts often rather than several large meals, but don’tstop eating.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Ask those close to you for extrasupport.
Distract yourself as much as youcan. Often the nausea gets worsethe more you think about it.
Avoid the foods and smells thatmake you feel worse. It helps if someone else can cook but, if not, go for bland, non-greasyfoods such as baked potatoes,pasta and milk puddings, whichare simple to prepare.
Remedies containing ginger may be helpful.
Wear comfortable clothes. Tightwaistbands can make you feelworse.If you are being sick all the time andcannot keep anything down theninform your doctor or midwife.Some pregnant women experiencesevere nausea and vomiting. Thiscondition is known as hyperemesisgravidarum. (See page 149 for support group.)
Nose bleeds are quite common inpregnancy because of hormonalchanges. The nose bleeds are usuallyshort but can be quite heavy. To helpthe bleeding stop, press the sides of  your nose together between your thumb and forefinger just below thebony part of your nose for tenminutes. Repeat for a further tenminutes if this is unsuccessful. Aslong as you don’t lose a lot of blood,there is nothing to worry about.Blow your nose gently and try toavoid explosive sneezes. You mayalso find that your nose gets moreblocked up than usual.
Needing to pass water often is anearly sign of pregnancy. Sometimes itcontinues right through pregnancy.In later pregnancy it’s the result of the baby’s head pressing on thebladder.If you find that you’re having toget up in the night, you could trycutting out drinks in the lateevening but make sure you keepdrinking plenty during the day.Later in pregnancy, some womenfind it helps to rock backwards andforwards while they are on the toilet.This lessens the pressure of thewomb on the bladder so that you
81can empty it properly. Then youwon’t need to pass water again quiteso soon.If you have any pain while passingwater, or pass any blood, you mayhave a urine infection which willneed treatment. Drink plenty of water to dilute your urine andreduce irritation. You should contact your GP within 24 hours.Sometimes pregnant women areunable to prevent a sudden spurt of urine or a small leak when theycough, sneeze or laugh, or whenmoving suddenly or just getting upfrom a sitting position. This may betemporary because the pelvic floor muscles relax slightly to prepare for the baby’s delivery.The growing baby will increasepressure on the bladder. If you findthis a problem, you can improve thesituation by doing exercises to toneup your pelvic floor muscles (seepage 16). Ask a midwife or obstetricphysiotherapist (see pages 62 and 63)for advice.
Piles, also known as haemorrhoids,are swollen veins around the backpassage which may itch, ache or feelsore. You can usually feel thelumpiness of the piles around theback passage. Piles may also bleed alittle and they can make going to thetoilet uncomfortable or even painful.They occur in pregnancy becausethe veins relax under the influenceof pregnancy hormones. Piles usuallygo shortly after delivery. If you suffer from piles you should:
eat plenty of food that is high infibre, like wholemeal bread, fruitand vegetables, and you shoulddrink plenty of water – this willprevent constipation, which canmake piles worse;
avoid standing for long periods;
take regular exercise to improve your circulation;
sleep with the foot of the bedslightly raised on books or bricks;
use an ice pack to easediscomfort, holding this gentlyagainst the piles, or use a clothwrung out in iced water;
if the piles stick out, push themgently back inside using alubricating jelly;
ask your doctor, midwife or pharmacist if they can suggest asuitable ointment;
consider giving birth in a positionwhere the pressure on your backpassage is reduced – kneeling, for example.
Hormonal changes taking place inpregnancy will make your nipplesand the area around them go darker. Your skin colour may also darken alittle, either in patches or all over.Birthmarks, moles and freckles mayalso darken. Some women develop adark line running down the middleof their stomachs. These changeswill gradually fade after the baby hasbeen born, although your nipplesmay remain a little darker.If you sunbathe while you arepregnant, you may find you tanmore easily. Protect your skin witha good, high-factor sunscreen.Don’t stay in the sun for very long.Hair growth is also likely toincrease in pregnancy. Your hair mayalso be greasier. After the baby isborn it may seem as if you’re losing alot of hair. In fact, you’re simplylosing the increase that occurredduring pregnancy.
If you sometimes can’t helpwetting or soiling yourself,you can get help.Incontinence is a verycommon problem. It canaffect anyone, sometimesduring and after pregnancy.In many cases it is curable,so if you’ve got a problemtalk to your doctor,midwife or health visitor,or ring the confidential Continence Foundationon 020 7831 9831(9.30a.m.–1p.m. Mon–Fri).

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