Morning sickness, mood swings, a developing baby bump; all these can be terrifying regardless if it’s your first, second, or third child. But this new journey you’re about to begin is, without a doubt, a priceless experience. So breath easy and prepare for the changes you’re about to face.
Morning sickness is an experience that almost every pregnant woman can share. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you know that feeling nauseous while pregnant can also happen at any time of the day? Some women even experience severe nausea even in the evening.
In general, nausea starts as early as your sixth week of pregnancy and may last until your 16th week. It is usually accompanied by vomiting and feeling extremely light-headed. But you can alleviate the feeling with these few tips:
- Stay hydrated — aim at drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. You can drink other types of fluids as long as they don’t contain caffeine.
- Avoid nausea triggers — Stay away from foods and smells that can trigger your nausea.
- Eat snacks — A full stomach can cause you to vomit, so try to eat little snacks during the day and between meals.
- Drink ginger tea — Ginger is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease morning sickness.
But morning sickness is not altogether bad. According to a study by the National Institute of Health (NHIS), women who experience morning sickness have low chances of miscarriage.
Darkening of Skin
Dark spots on your skin during pregnancy are normal. This condition is called chloasma or melasma and can appear on certain areas of your body like your cheekbones, forehead, neck, and arms. You will also notice dark spots on the inside of your thighs and skin on your private part.
Hormonal changes are the common cause of melasma because expectant mothers produce a high amount of melanin that makes the skin darker. This change in your body will eventually disappear after your delivery. But if you are conscious of your appearance, you can use a whitening soap safe for pregnant women.
There are many over-the-counter lightening skin products, but don’t forget to consult with your doctor first. You can also try applying some items in your pantry like:
- Tomato Pulp
- Coconut Oil
- Argan Oil
Swollen and Tender Chest Area
A swollen chest area is one of the early warning signs that you are pregnant. It normally starts in your fourth or sixth week and may last throughout pregnancy. The chest area usually becomes tender and swollen mainly because of the increase of hormones called progesterone and estrogen.
The size will increase by one to two cup size and may become significantly large before giving birth. Having this is also normally itchy, especially in the areas around the areola or tip. If you can, refrain from scratching your skin to avoid stretch marks.
During the third trimester, the tips will start to leak a watery, yellow substance called colostrum. Don’t worry because this is your body’s way of preparing itself for breastfeeding.
Pregnancy causes your uterus to expand, which puts pressure on the urethra, bladder, and pelvic muscles. It results in the feeling of having to urinate more frequently than normal. Expectant mothers start experiencing frequent urination during the fourth week or first trimester of pregnancy. The time you have to go to the washroom also increases as you approach delivery.
This change in your body is normal, but you still need to pay attention to your urine since pregnant women are prone to Urinary Tract infections or UTI. If you feel pain while urinating or notice that the color of your urine is dark yellow, it’s time to call your doctor for an appointment.
Around 50% of pregnant women experience leg cramps. It is caused by your increasing weight and can be more prevalent during the evening. Your growing baby also puts pressure on the blood vessels and veins that are connected to your legs.
Muscle spasms usually begin in the first trimester and can last until your ninth month. There is still no medical way to prevent leg cramps completely, but there are some things that you can do to lessen the pain.
- Watch your weight — you indeed need to eat for two, but there is an ideal weight unique to every woman during pregnancy. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to make some adjustments to your diet and weight.
- Avoid exhausting activities — Your weight will increase along with the growing baby inside your belly. You will start feeling easily tired as you progress towards delivery, so avoid walking or standing for long periods.
- Prompt your legs on a pillow — put at least two pillows underneath your legs before sleeping. This elevated position improves blood circulation and can lessen muscle spasms at night.
Pregnancy, with all its ups and downs, is altogether a priceless experience. The idea of bringing another life to this world is amazing beyond comparison despite the whole roller coaster ride. So to all expectant moms, may you have strength and happiness as you embark on this journey called motherhood.