Saturday, 9 November 2013

Pregnancy Discomforts

Pregnancy is an amazing time and you feel so lucky that you are growing a little person inside you.  It's definitely a magical time in your life - but there are also a number of discomforts that come with this miracle.

Nausea and sickness can start early on in your pregnancy, some women are even unlucky enough to have it last through their whole pregnancy.  I have been reasonably lucky throughout my pregnancy, I had morning sickness for the first 16 weeks and then it disappeared, I was only sick a handful of times during this time too.  Now I am further on I have days where I feel nauseous but again have only been sick a few times.  Heartburn can also make you feel sick, especially as your bump grows and moves up towards your ribs.  I don't know what I would do without Gaviscon, if I could drink it with a straw I would.   

Breast Tenderness again starts early in pregnancy, some women find their breasts are too tender to touch and find themselves in quite a lot of pain.  Again this has varied throughout my pregnancy with days where they have been very sore and heavy to others where I haven't noticed any pain. 

Constipation and hemorrhoids can come hand in hand, due to you straining as you are constipated you can develop hemorrhoids.  I have a shocking stomach anyway, being lactose intolerant my stomach is extra sensitive but I have been unlucky enough to experience both of these throughout my pregnancy in varying degrees.  I've managed this by eating prunes and drinking plenty of water.

Swollen ankles can occur later in pregnancy.  If you experience swelling in your hands, face, feet or anywhere else on your body contact your midwife, this can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.  I have been lucky and not experienced any swelling.  Many women also experience varicose veins - again I've been lucky and avoided these.  Keep your feet elevated when resting and try and keep mobile.

Difficulty sleeping and fatigue can occur throughout your pregnancy, this is something I have particularly struggled with.  People who say your sleepless nights start once the baby arrives lie, by the time bump arrives I will be used to nights of little sleep.  I struggle to get comfortable and have pillows propping up every part of me to try and make sleeping as comfortable as possible.  Definitely have a pillow underneath bump for support and between your legs to take pressure off.  I also have pillows propping me up in a more upright position and at my back to stop me rolling onto my back.  I'm surprised there's any room for Mr M in the bed!!

Backache, round ligament pain, hip pain and leg cramps are discomforts I know very well.  From about 16 weeks I had bad left hip pain accompanied by leg cramps in my left leg.  This has never really subsided and as bump has grown my hip pain has become worse and spread into my back.  I use heat packs when the pain is particularly bad and use an exercise ball.  I also do the cat/cow exercise where you arch your back.  Another thing I have found quite useful after recommendation from a midwife at antenatal class was Rebozo.  This is a sifting technique where your partner (or friend) uses a large piece of fabric around your bump and stand behind you holding the fabric tight moving it a little side to side.  Mr M wasn't too keen to start with as he thought he'd look daft and it does look like he's holding reins but the relief I feel is worth him looking a bit silly.  Rebozo can also be used during labour and has also been shown to help reposition baby.

Shortness of breath and faintness have also been present throughout my pregnancy.  I have had a generally low BP throughout and have felt dizzy & faint on occasion, I just take my time and don't rush standing up.  When I was at work my friend would shout across the office at me to stop rushing around!  Shortness of breath has come later in the pregnancy, as bump grows and my uterus grows with him everything has become squished, good posture helps.

Listing all the discomforts makes it sound like pregnancy is horrendous. Yes it can be difficult at times but I tell myself every day that it will all be worth it when bump arrives.  Personally I don't care what discomforts I have to go through as long as bump is fit and healthy these few months out of years of happiness with him are a drop in the ocean!