19 October, 2009

Pregnancy : Helpful Tips

Nausea and vomiting can be one of the first signs of pregnancy and usually begins around the 6th week of pregnancy. It can occur at any time of the day, and for most women it seems to stop around the 12th week of pregnancy.

Morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, but if you experience excessive vomiting and cannot keep your food down, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum can be harmful to you and your baby if severe and left untreated, due to the possible lack of nutrients and electrolyte imbalance. The most important thing is to inform your health care provider when these symptoms appear and discuss possible options for treatment.

Morning Sickness:
More than half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness. Morning sickness is the nauseated feeling you get during pregnancy. Morning sickness can be, but is not always, accompanied with vomiting. The nausea is often a result of the increased hormones in your body. Many health care providers think morning sickness is a good sign because it means the placenta is developing well.

Symptoms of pregnancy:
1. Tender, swollen breasts
Tender swollen breasts are another early symptom. While tender breasts presage an impending menstrual cycle, enlarged breasts are not. Sore and swollen breasts with a tingling sensation can be an early indicator of pregnancy. This may lead to an increase in your breast size and you may have to change your bra or cup size. (A tight-fitting bra can irritate the skin.)
2. Greater urinary frequency
As the uterus gets larger, it causes pressure on the bladder, and an increase in trips to the loo. As long as this isn’t accompanied with the sensation of urgency (inability to hold), it’s acceptable. (Urgency suggests the possibility of a urinary infection, which anyways also has a higher incidence rate during pregnancy.)
3. Fatigue
Fatigue also ranks high among early symptoms of pregnancy. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar. In high enough doses, progesterone can put you to sleep. At the same time, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and increased blood production may team up to sap your energy.
4. Slight bleeding or cramping
Sometimes a small amount of spotting or vaginal bleeding is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. Known as implantation bleeding, it happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus — about 10 to 14 days after fertilization. This type of bleeding is usually a bit earlier, spottier and lighter in color than a normal period and doesn't last as long.
Some women also experience abdominal cramping early in pregnancy. These cramps are similar to menstrual cramps.
5. Nausea with or without vomiting
Morning sickness, which can strike at any time of the day or night, is one of the classic symptoms of pregnancy. For some women, the queasiness begins as early as two weeks after conception.
Nausea seems to stem at least in part from rapidly rising levels of estrogen, which causes the stomach to empty more slowly. Pregnant women also have a heightened sense of smell, so various odors — such as foods cooking, perfume or cigarette smoke — may cause waves of nausea in early pregnancy.
6. Food aversions or cravings
When you're pregnant, you might find yourself turning up your nose at certain foods, such as coffee or fried foods. Food cravings are common, too. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, these food preferences can be chalked up to hormonal changes — especially in the first trimester, when hormonal changes are the most dramatic.
7. Headaches
Early in pregnancy, increased blood circulation caused by hormonal changes may trigger frequent, mild headaches.
8. Constipation
Pregnancy is a "go slow" state in the body. Progesterone relaxes all the smooth muscles in the body including the intestines. So you’re always a bit bloated and constipated as a result. A mild laxative on a regular basis is quite helpful. Isabgol husk, milk of Magnesia, cremaffin, and lactulose are safe. Eating a fi bre-rich diet helps. Headaches If you’re susceptible to migraine, you’ll have an increased severity and frequency of headaches. This is because of increased water retention in pregnancy. In late pregnancy, a headache could also be a symptom of severe pre-eclampsia.
9. Depression
You can get extreme mood swings – from a feeling of uselessness to very aggressive behaviour. Blame this on progesterone once again. Pregnancy "blues" as they’re called, are common in the first trimester and postpartum. Very severe illness may require a consultation with a psychiatrist and medication.
10. Faintness and dizziness
As your blood vessels dilate and your blood pressure drops, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy. Early in pregnancy, faintness also may be triggered by low blood sugar.
11. Raised basal body temperature
Your basal body temperature is your oral temperature when you first wake up in the morning. This temperature increases slightly soon after ovulation and remains at that level until your next period. If you've been charting your basal body temperature to determine when you ovulate, its continued elevation for more than two weeks may mean that you're pregnant.

Helpful Do's and Don'ts:
Do:
* Eat small meals often
* Drink fluids 1/2 hour before or after a meal, but not with meals
* Drink small amounts of fluids during the day to avoid dehydration
* Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
* Avoid foods and smells that increase nausea
* Get plenty of rest and nap during the day
* Avoid warm places (feeling hot adds to nausea)
* Sniff lemons or ginger, drink lemonade, or eat watermelon to relieve nausea
* Eat salty potato chips (they have been found to settle stomachs enough to eat a meal)
* Exercise

Don'ts:
* Do not cook or eat spicy food
* Do not skip meals
* Do not lie down after eating

Related Topics:
Pregnancy: Healthy Diet
Pregnancy: Safe Exercise
Pregnancy: Helpful Tips
Pregnancy: Hyperemesis gravidarum