Pregnancy problems? There’s more where that came from. But it’s all worth it!
WORDS RACHEL LIM
Here are some common pregnancy issues that could cause you some discomfort the 40 weeks.
Nausea and Vomiting
Why does it happen? Dr Lim Min Yu, consultant, Women’s Centre, NUH assures that vomiting in pregnancy is very common.
He observes that although many women begin to feel better towards the end of the first trimester,
some will continue to have symptoms up until the birth of their baby.
What to do about it? There are medicines safe for consumption during pregnancy to control nausea and vomiting. “These drugs are available as oral forms, suppositories or injections. If you are feeling very nauseated, the oral form may not be as suitable as a suppository. The preparations for injection may be given intramuscularly or intravenously. Intravenous drugs usually mean that admission is necessary due to severe dehydration,” says Dr Lim.
He also advocates plenty of rest to safeguard both the physical and mental well-being of the expectant mum. “Try to get rest when you can. If you push yourself too hard, this will increase the chances of symptoms relapsing. Don’t feel guilty about needing help, be it for work, childcare, or other domestic chores.”
Practically, Dr Lim recommends the following to manage nausea:
Why does it happen? Nose swelling could be due to increased oestrogen levels which increase blood flow to the mucous membranes and plumps up your nose as a result.
What to do about it? While you won’t be feeling too pretty looking like Rudolph the red nose reindeer, take heart that your swollen nose is temporary. Most mothers report that their expanding nose returns to its normal shape and size within 40 days after delivery.
Why does it happen? The pregnancy hormone Relaxin loosens the ligaments in your feet, causing the foot bones to spread.
What to do about it? Instead of trying to fit into your original shoes and feeling like Cinderella’s step-sisters, go shoe shopping. Consider orthotic shoes and inserts which can make your feet feel better and reduce leg pain.
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Why does it happen? It is a rude shock to get nasty leg cramps in the middle of a meeting with your bosses or clients. It is even more embarrassing if it leaves you paralysed for a few minutes and yelping in pain.
According to Dr Pamela Tan, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, TLC Gynaecology Practice, Thomson Medical Centre, the exact cause of leg cramps is unknown but various theories have been suggested such as fatigue, slow blood return associated with the pressure of the baby on the major vessels, compression of blood vessels in the legs or possibly diet shortages in calcium and magnesium.
What to do about it? Dr Tan outlines the following steps to manage leg cramps:
Why does it happen? Just when you’re about to flaunt your baby bump in a bikini, you might notice a dark vertical line between your belly button and pubic area. That’s your linea nigra.
It was actually always there but pregnancy hormones
darkened it around week 23 of pregnancy.
What to do about it? After the baby is born, the line should gradually fade on its own. In the meantime, remember your sunblock as too much sun intensifies skin discolouration during pregnancy.
Typically, there are no concerns about you and your baby when it comes to these embarrassing problems during pregnancy. They might, however, inevitably cause you some awkwardness. Just laugh it off and your baby probably wouldn’t mind if you made him the convenient scapegoat!
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