It’s natural to feel some aches, pains and other symptoms during pregnancy. After all, your body is busy making another person! There's no need to suffer in silence, though - here are some tricks to help soothe many of the usual complaints.
It's very common to feel tired during the first weeks of pregnancy, and you might also have mood swings caused by your changing hormone levels.
You'll be glad to know that this usually subsides after the first 12 weeks or so. Instead of pushing yourself, try to rest as much as possible. Put your feet up and read a magazine or enjoy a nice, long soak in the tub.
You might want to reach for a sweet treat to give you a boost when you're tired, but you're better off sticking to healthy foods that release their energy slowly. Eating smaller quantities throughout the day can also help avoid post-meal tiredness and keep your energy level.
Staying hydrated is crucial to staying awake, so keep your water intake up. A good rule of thumb is to try to drink 8-12 glasses of water a day.
It's not fun, but it is common: lots of mums get constipation during pregnancy. To help avoid or relieve it, make sure you get plenty of fibre in your diet by eating fresh and dried fruits, raw and cooked vegetables, and wholegrain bread, rice, pasta and pulses. Water is important too, so try to keep a glass nearby to sip throughout the day.
Probiotics and prebiotics are another great way to support healthy digestion. You'll find probiotics in yogurt-based foods and prebiotics in wholegrains, bananas, asparagus, artichokes, garlic, onions, tomatoes and chicory. (There are many prebiotic and probiotic supplements available, too, but it’s best to check with your GP before taking any of these during pregnancy.)
If you notice some light bleeding, or 'spotting', during the first trimester of pregnancy, don't panic – this isn't uncommon, and it won't harm your baby. To be on the safe side, though, you should always consult your doctor if you're worried - particularly if you're also getting period-type pains.
Some women feel really nauseous during pregnancy, and others don’t experience any sickness at all. If you're feeling queasy, you can try fennel tea, ginger tablets, dry biscuits or crackers to help relieve the symptoms, or you can ask your doctor, midwife or pharmacist about trying an acupressure wristband.
Eating little and often can also help. Try nibbling on these snacks:
- Dry crackers
- A few dried apricots
- Ginger biscuits
- Dry toast
- Organic sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Crunchy vegetables with a hummous dip
If you notice some bleeding when you brush, don't worry - changing hormone levels in pregnancy make this quite common. Booking regular dental check-ups during your pregnancy will help make sure nothing's wrong – and the good news is that they're free during your pregnancy and for a year after the birth!