Once you become pregnant, you will experience a lot of changes and symptoms. Therefore, it is reasonable if there are a lot of questions associated with pregnancy. From the question about the first time of experiencing nausea and the baby’s heartbeat – to the question about weeks of your breast changes in preparing & providing milk for breastfeeding. Furthermore, did you know that sometimes pregnancy also can cause constipation?
Although there are a lot of articles on internet that discuss about these issues, but all of them have the same point that symptoms of pregnancy vary from women to women.
Nausea in pregnancy is usually also followed with vomiting. Both are often associated with a familiar term called ‘morning sickness’. Though sometimes these symptoms can make you feel very uncomfortable but they are very common in pregnant women.
The name of morning sickness itself actually doesn’t describe the symptom, because both nausea and vomiting can strike anytime. Even sometimes they can persist throughout the day. Nevertheless, some women report that morning is usually the worst time for nausea and vomiting.
Unfortunately, the exact causes of these problems are not known. But they are often closely associated with drastically increased pregnancy hormones. Some experts believe that the increased human chorionic gonadotrophin concentration may play a key role.
Overall, morning sickness is common problem in early weeks of pregnancy – it affects about 70 percent of pregnant women, according to an article published on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
Typically, it begins to occur between 4th and 7th week of early pregnancy. But you may feel it earlier – even there are also a few women experience it 1 week after conception.
Most pregnant women don’t need any medical intervention to treat their morning sickness problem. It usually goes away on its own in the end of first trimester or early weeks of second trimester. However if you experience severe nausea and vomiting, see a doctor promptly!
Severe nausea & vomiting can put you at high risk of hyperemesis which can be harmful for you and your fetus. If you have persistent and severe nausea /vomiting, you are more likely to lose control of maintaining nutrition, electrolyte balance, and adequate hydration – therefore you are also at increased risk of abnormal weight loss and this is bad for your pregnancy.
There are some home remedies and helpful tips to cope with morning sickness symptoms. For severe nausea and vomiting, doctor usually prescribes some appropriately medicines to ease these symptoms. Sometimes, doctor may also recommend some appropriately dietary interventions or even certain alternative therapies (like acupuncture) if necessary.
Constipation is often associated with the passage of hard stools, infrequent /difficult bowel movements, and abdominal discomfort /even pain. And did you know that constipation affects about 50 percent of all pregnant women, according to the American Pregnancy Association. So, there are also many women who don’t experience it during pregnancy.
Constipation can occur at some points during pregnancy, and this varies from woman to woman.
In other words, there is no exact answer of specific time of when this symptom occurs in pregnancy. Some women may have it for the first time in early weeks of first trimester, while others may just experience it in weeks of second & third trimester – or never at all!
A low-fiber diet, worry, and lack of physical activity are some common causes of constipation. But when it occurs in pregnancy, many experts believe that certain pregnancy hormone that relaxes the muscles of intestine to respond the expanding uterus during pregnancy is the major cause! The relaxed muscles of intestine will affect the way of your digestive system to work. Then foods that you eat are digested slower, and they also will be wasted slower than usual – as a result, you may experience constipation.
Taking iron tablets may also be another cause of constipation in pregnancy. If you are taking iron supplements, make sure you get a plenty of water a day! If your constipation persists, consult with your doctor – she/he may recommend different kind of iron supplement.
The following are some helpful tips to prevent and ease constipation during pregnancy:
- Keep hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids a day (about 10 – 12 cups of fluids a day)! Being hydrate will help you ease your constipation problem.
- Avoid low-fiber diet! It’s undeniable that fiber has a significant contribution to prevent and treat constipation. So, make sure you get plenty of fiber a day (about 25 – 30 grams of fiber per day). You can get your fiber from your dietary intake – fresh fruits, vegetables, bran, whole grain breads, and prunes are some best choices for good source of fiber.
- Do a moderate exercise! Being pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t need exercise! If you have lack of physical activity, you are greater chance of having constipation. Exercise also can help maintain your thirsty level so thus you are more likely to drink more water a day. There are many types of safely moderate exercise for pregnant women, such as swimming or even just walking in the morning. Ask your doctor for more advice about the best exercise you should choose!
- You may also consider taking certain over-the-counter medications for constipation. For this option, ask your doctor first to keep safe!
Choose good nutrition option instead of taking iron supplements to meet your iron need! If you need to take iron tablets, it’s much better to take smaller doses throughout the day rather than take it all at once – talk more with your doctor for more advice!
Another exciting moment of pregnancy is the first time of the baby’s heartbeat. It also signals that your baby is continuously growing as well as it should be.
Typically, the heartbeat should start at 6th or 7th week of pregnancy. And by this point, did you know that the risk of having miscarriage is much lower once you find a heartbeat of your baby. The first heartbeat of your baby can be detected through an ultrasound test.
But what does it mean if there is no a heartbeat after 6 week? This may signal that there is a miscarriage. However, sometimes a delay detection of heartbeat is caused by the miss calculation of the age of your pregnancy. Read also when does pregnancy start counting?!
For instance, if the day of your ovulation was not exactly 2 weeks after the first day of your last period, there is a chance that you are not really at 6 weeks pregnant! For this situation, your doctor may ask you to wait for about a week to take another ultrasound test.
Additionally, there is also opinion that the rate of baby heartbeats can be used to predict the gender! But a study found that there is no link between the fetal heart rate and the gender of baby. In fact, the baby heart rate during pregnancy fluctuates as she/he move & grow.
As well we know that breast changes are one of the most common signs of pregnancy. In general, these changes are prepared to provide breast milk for the first year of your newborn after birth. To get the best result for the growth of baby, a new mom should exclusively breastfeed her baby for about first 6 months of life – strongly recommended by AAP (The American Academy of Pediatrics)!
Throughout your pregnancy, your body is not only busy to create a human but also prepare itself to breastfeed a newborn after birth. In other words, the process of preparing breast milk for breastfeeding has been begun during pregnancy.