There are many problems and issues that can be a problem during pregnancy. Some require medical help and treatment, but the more common issues are uncomfortable and frustrating. Here are five common pregnancy issues and what you can do about them.
#1 Bladder and bowel issues
As well as the weight of a growing baby, your body during pregnancy will be gripped by a surge of hormones. Both combine to cause problems relating to bladder-control and bowel issues.
For example, some women find they need to urinate more frequently, whilst other women find getting to the toilet on time is almost impossible. Constipation is also common amongst pregnant women.
There are solutions;
• Using high quality incontinence products for women can help manage accidental leaks of urine
• Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles that control the bladder and the bowel, helping you to ‘hold on’ to urine as you make your way to the bathroom
• Constipation is helped by eating more soluble fibre and increasing water intake; sip water through the day rather than drink a glass all in one go
#2 Morning Sickness
Severe morning sickness can result in hospital treatment, something we are all more aware of since Kate, Duchess of Cambridge suffered crippling morning sickness during both her pregnancies.
Although called ‘morning sickness’, the feeling of needing to be sick or actually being sick can last all day or occur at any time of day. You can feel very uncomfortable but the good news is that morning sickness does not place you baby in danger.
Caused by the surge in hormones in early pregnancy, finding what works for you can make those early few weeks a little more bearable;
• Eat smaller meals and more often – not eating can make nausea worse
• The same goes for drinking – sip drinks, rather than have a large drink in one go
• Limit fatty and spicy foods
• Some women find cooking intensifies morning sickness – try and prepare food when you don’t feel nauseous
• Eating a dry biscuit before you get out of bed in a morning can help
Being pregnant places a strain on muscles and ligaments, with some women finding that they back aches from early on in pregnancy right through to full term. This dull ache can make standing, walking, sitting and lying down uncomfortable and this lack of relief can quickly tire you.
• Avoiding lifting heavy thing but if it cannot be avoided, bend your knees and keep your back straight
• Move you whole body when you need to turn, rather than twisting at the back
• Wear flat shoes as this will help to distribute your weight evenly
• Sit with your back straight and well-supported
• Get plenty of rest, especially in late pregnancy
As women’s incontinence pads can help to manage bladder weakness, exercise can help to manage an aching back. Gentle exercise, such as swimming and gentle walks, can help to strengthen muscles and ligaments.
Some women find that they suffer from more frequent headaches during pregnancy. In most cases, it is caused by a surge in hormones which may explain why some women when not pregnant suffer headaches around their period.
Headaches can be worse in the first few weeks of pregnancy and steadily improve as the pregnancy progresses. Although uncomfortable for you, they are not affecting your baby.
If you develop headaches in the second half of your pregnancy which are at the front of your head, it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia, pregnancy induced high blood pressure. It is important you discuss headaches with your doctor or midwife.
#5 Vaginal Discharge
During pregnancy, your body undergoes a whole raft of changes. A common pregnancy issue is vaginal discharge and although unpleasant, it is normal.
It happens for a few reasons;
• The cervix, the neck of the womb and vaginal walls are softening ready for the birth and this causes discharge
• This discharge is also nature’s way of preventing infections from travelling up into the womb
• Towards the end of pregnancy, this discharge can increase and be confused with urine; if this is happening, women’s incontinence pads can be a useful means of managing it.
In late pregnancy, you may have a discharge known as a ‘show’. This is a thicker mucus and may contain blood. This is the plug of mucus that is in the cervix coming away, ready for labour and birth.
If you are concerned about any issues or problems, talk to your GP or midwife.
HARTMANN Direct have a range of women’s incontinence pads, ideal for use during pregnancy and after birth too.