Pregnancy is a roller-coaster experience for every woman. And because no two pregnancies are alike even for the same individual, it may be tough for you to gauge what is and isn’t normal, causing you to worry about the littlest of things. Want to know what you should and shouldn’t be worried about? Here are 7 issues pregnant women usually experience, what they mean, and when they could be a cause for concern.
1. Vaginal Pressure
Even before the need to pee every hour begins, you may feel a strange pressure in your vaginal area. This is likely to feel like a mild cramp – similar to the cramps you have before your period. Such vaginal pressure early on during pregnancy is the result of your expanding uterus trying to accommodate a growing baby. Mild cramping that goes away in a few hours is no cause for worry.
However, if the cramping is accompanied by spotting and bleeding, or if you feel dizzy and listless, meet your doctor immediately to rule out the possibility of a miscarriage.1
id="2-swollen-feet">2. Swollen Feet
As your baby grows in your uterus, more blood is supplied to the uterine region and the lower half of your body. Pumping blood back from the legs to the heart is a job best done by gravity. But, because of the bottleneck now present in the pelvic area, fluid retention and consequently swollen legs are a common occurrence, especially if you are in your third trimester.2
However, if swollen feet during pregnancy are accompanied by high blood pressure, blurred vision, and the inability to tolerate bright light, you are at risk for preeclampsia – a potentially life-threatening condition.3
3. Excessive Vaginal Discharge
Many women tend to have increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy. As the cervix and vaginal walls become softer to prepare for childbirth, the excess discharge keeps infections at bay. Just before you are due, you are likely to have thick mucus with some blood streaks in your discharge. This is called a “show,” and it means the cervix is loosening up and preparing for delivery. There is no set period for this, but once you have a “show,” you are likely to have the baby within a week or so.4
However, if the discharge smells funny, causes itching, and makes you feel sore down there, check with your doctor to rule out an infection.
Does it feel like a persistent backache has taken over your life during pregnancy? Unfortunately, this backache is likely to get worse as your pregnancy advances because your ligaments start relaxing to allow an easy birth. Due to this, there is more pressure on your muscles to carry your weight and that of your baby.
The good news is that you can ease your backache to an extent with a few simple stretches and adequate precautions. Consider joining a prenatal yoga class or Lamaze classes to help you stretch. Do not lift heavy weights on your back or slouch in your seat.5
5. Feeling Hot And Sweaty
6. Morning Sickness
The onset of pregnancy is often marked by nausea, vomiting, and food aversions, collectively known as morning sickness. This symptom is quite common and usually continues through the first trimester. If you experience it, try not to panic – it is harmless to you and your baby. Instead, rest as much as you can, stay hydrated, and replenish the nutrients lost due to vomiting. If it seems like a long road ahead, take heart in knowing that this too shall pass in about twelve weeks.
Any woman who has had piles during pregnancy will tell you that it is absolutely the worst. There is truth to this because hemorrhoids (swollen veins in your rectum and anus), or piles, are not just about a difficulty in passing stools. They’re also about constantly full bowels, bleeding, and a lot of pain. And all of this tends to occur because your growing uterus is pushing the other organs out of its way.
The good news about all these afflictions is that they begin to ease up after childbirth. So, if you’re experiencing any of them, know that they’re usually not a cause for concern unless absolutely severe.
|↑1||Bansen, Sarah S., and Helen A. Stevens. “Women’s experiences of miscarriage in early pregnancy.” Journal of nurse-midwifery 37, no. 2 (1992): 84-90.|
|↑2||Alvarez, R., I. A. Stokes, D. E. Asprinio, S. Trevino, and T. Braun. “Dimensional changes of the feet in pregnancy.” J Bone Joint Surg Am 70, no. 2 (1988): 271-4.|
|↑4||Vaginal discharge in pregnancy. NHS Choices.|
|↑5||Backache in pregnancy. NHS Choices.|
|↑6||Common health problems in pregnancy. NHS Choices.|
|↑7||Nausea and morning sickness. NHS Choices.|
|↑8||Piles in pregnancy. NHS Choices.|