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, constipation, or the baby’s heartbeat – to the question about weeks of your breast changes in preparing & providing milk for breastfeeding.
There are a lot of articles on internet discussing about these issues. But one thing to remember that signs and symptoms of pregnancy can vary from woman to woman.
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, they are very common in pregnant women.
The name of morning sickness itself actually doesn’t describe the symptoms, because both nausea and vomiting can strike anytime. Even sometimes they persist throughout the day. Nevertheless, some women report that morning is usually the worst time for the flare-up.
Unfortunately, the exact cause is not known. But they may have to do with an increase in pregnancy hormones. Some experts believe that the increased human chorionic gonadotrophin concentration may play a role.
Overall, morning sickness is a 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.
Most pregnant women don’t need any medical intervention to treat their morning sickness. It usually goes away on its own in the end of the first trimester or early weeks of the 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 – all are bad for your pregnancy.
There are some home remedies and helpful tips to cope with. For severe nausea and vomiting, doctor usually prescribes some medicines to ease the symptoms. Dietary interventions or even certain alternative therapies (like acupuncture) are also probably necessary depending on your situation.
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. The good news, there are also many women (the other 50 percent) who don’t experience this 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 start to have it in weeks of second & third trimester – or never at all!
A low-fiber diet, anxious feeling, and lack of physical activity are some common culprits to blame. In case with pregnancy, many experts believe that certain pregnancy hormones have a role to trigger relaxed muscles of intestine. As a result, you’re likely to have constipation.
Iron tablets may also be another cause. If you are taking iron supplements, make sure you get a plenty of water a day! If your constipation persists, consult with your doctor for a ‘switching option’.
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 maintains 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 a simple walking in the morning. Ask your doctor for more advice about the best exercise you can do!
- 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 – or follows as well as your doctor suggests!
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 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.
The good news, sometimes a delay detection of heartbeat is caused by the miss calculation of the age of your pregnancy. See more 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 have been a few outspoken concern that the rate of baby heartbeats may signal specific gender! But this is not scientifically confirmed yet. In fact, the baby heart rate during pregnancy can fluctuate 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 the baby for at least 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. When does it start?