Common Health Problems in Pregnancy
Throughout all three trimesters of pregnancy your body goes through some significant changes. Sometimes these changes can cause worry or discomfort. Below we will list some of the common health concerns many pregnant ladies face.
Changes in Your Skin
You may find that hormones will cause changes in your skin during pregnancy. This isn’t solely relating to your face though. You may find your nipples become darker and larger whilst the you may develop pimples or acne on your face. Additionally, moles and birthmarks may also darken.
Some ladies develop a dark line down the middle of their stomach as their bump grows. Your skin is also a lot more sensitive when pregnant so please take care with sun exposure, ensuring you use sunscreen. These changes will settle once the baby has been born however, your nipples may stay a little darker than they were pre-pregnancy.
Constipation And/Or Piles
This may be due to hormonal changes which cause your digestive tract to slow down. As your digestive system slows this can also cause constipation as a result. Constipation can also increase abdominal bloating.
Piles, also known as haemorrhoids, are pustules containing swollen/enlarged blood vessels inside or around your bottom (rectum and anus).
Piles may occur in anyone, not just in pregnancy. However when pregnant, the volume of blood circulating around your body increases, at the same time high hormone levels relax the walls of the blood vessels.
Symptoms can include:
Itching, soreness and swelling of the anus
Pain when passing a stool
A lump hanging outside the anus
Blood after passing a stool (always tell your GP)
Another cause of piles is constipation. You can help remedy this by eating foods rich in fibre such as fruit and vegetables, wholemeal bread and beans/lentils. Additionally, stay hydrated. Drink plenty water as the water will be drawn to the bowel making the stool easier to pass. Keep moving – light exercise is also a good way to avoid constipation, prolonged periods of inactivity can cause the digestive system to slow down.
A lot of the common health problems in pregnancy are completely normal however if you feel there is something worrying you or not normal to your pregnancy please speak to your GP, Midwife of local early pregnancy unit.
Indigestion and Heartburn
Indigestion and Heartburn and common in pregnancy, primarily caused by the baby pressing against your stomach as they grow and also hormonal changes.
The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the chest however other symptoms of indigestion and heartburn are:
Burping or belching, feeling overly full, heavy or bloated Bringing up food, feeling or being sick.
Ways to try and avoid this is do not over indulge, it may be tempting to finish that last bite of your meal but commonly on indigestion and heartburn are caused by over indulgence. Eating smaller meals more often may also keep it at bay. Try and aim to eat earlier in the evening too and not within three hours of going to bed.
Cutting down on caffeine and foods that are spicy, fatty or rich can also ease symptoms. If you are finding this does not help please do speak to your GP.
Due to increased blood supply to the skin and hormonal changes, many women feel warmer than usual in pregnancy and are likely to sweat more.
Wearing loose clothing made with natural fibres can help as they are more porous and absorbent. Try keeping your room cool, sleep with the window open if possible or use an electric fan.