As you go through your pregnancy, you may experience a range of different symptoms at different stages. We have complied a list of common symptoms in each trimester and some helpful tips on how to manage them. Many of our colleagues at LloydsPharmacy have experienced the journey of pregnancy themselves, so we know that sudden changes to your body can be slightly unnerving. Our teams are here to help you throughout your journey, at every stage.
- Morning sickness
Many women suffer from morning sickness or nausea during the first trimester. Although known as morning sickness it can happen at any time throughout the day. We recommend eating small meals or snacking on plain foods such as crackers to help ease the feeling. Some women have also had success from using travel sickness bands. Speak with your doctor if it gets bad and they can advise on medication to help ease the sickness.
- Extreme tiredness
Hormonal changes as a result of pregnancy can cause you to feel extremely tired and experience mood swings. It’s important during pregnancy to rest when you can and listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, try to get some rest.
- Heightened sense of smell
You may find your sense of smell is heightened, and foods or smells that normally wouldn’t bother you now do. This is not unusual, and it could be any smells that bother you. The best thing to do is avoid the smells if possible.
- Food cravings and aversions
You may find that you are craving certain foods. You may also find that food you previously ate no longer appeals to you, and in some cases may make you sick or nauseous. Some people have cravings for non-food items. If this happens talk with your doctor.
- Changes in your breasts
You will notice changes in your breasts, which is your body’s way of preparing you for breastfeeding. They may be sensitive, increase in size, the veins may become more visible and your nipples may turn a darker colour.
- Frequent urination
Hormonal changes can cause an increase in urination. It’s important to continue keeping yourself hydrated, even if the multiple trips to the bathroom can be annoying.
As a result of the increased blood flow in your body and the hormonal changes, you may find you get dizzy. It’s important during pregnancy to rest when you can and listen to your body. If you are feeling dizzy, try to get some rest. Speak with your doctor if it continues.
- Vaginal discharge
You may notice small changes in your normal vaginal discharge. This could include the colour, thickness or simple the amount of discharge.
The good news is that in most cases the unpleasant symptoms you suffer in the first trimester will stop in the second trimester. You should have more energy, have less bouts of sickness and even start to feel your happy moving. There may be some new symptoms that start to show:
- Back Pain
As your baby grows, your body has to adapt to make room for them. Your ligaments with stretch and soften in preparation for the birth. This can lead to back and pelvic pain or discomfort. You can ease the pain by listening to your body and taking it easy. Make sure your posture is correct when sitting or standing and avoid lifting any heavy objects.
Unfortunately, constipation is quite a common symptom during pregnancy, especially the bigger your baby grows and the more room they take up. Taking iron supplements can also increase the likelihood of constipation. To help relieve this ensure you remain hydrated and speak with your local LloydsPharmacy pharmacist or doctor, who can help advise on appropriate mediation and iron supplements that don’t cause constipation.
- Swollen legs and ankles
Pregnancy can create more fluid in your body and slow the circulation of your blood. This can result in swollen legs and ankles. To help reduce swelling do gentle exercise, such as walking, refrain from crossing your legs and avoid wearing tight clothing. It’s also important to stay hydrated and, of course, rest when your body needs it.
- Bleeding gums
Pregnancy hormones can also cause an increase in plaque which can lead to bleeding gums. Take extra care of your teeth and ensure to floss every day.
- Braxton Hicks
Braxton hicks are your bodies way of preparing for labour. They occur when the uterus contracts and relaxes. You will notice your stomach hardening and slight cramps. They differ to actual labour in that they are infrequent and irregular, don’t increase in intensity and don’t last long. There is nothing to worry about when you experience these, this is just your body getting ready for your baby to arrive.
- Stretch marks
As your body grows, you may notice stretch marks appearing. They may be noticeable around your thighs, stomach or breasts. Stretch marks may be itchy or uncomfortable. Oils, such as bio oil, and moisturisers may help to relive the discomfort and soothe the skin. Most of the stretch marks will go away once the baby is born but if they remain you can speak with a dermatologist or the LloydsPharmacy skin experts on how to improve their appearance.
- Heartburn and indigestion
During pregnancy you may notice an increase in heartburn or indigestion, which is a result of the baby growing and putting pressure on stomach. You can help ease the symptoms by eating small meals, avoiding fried and spicy food and sleeping with your pillows propped up. If heartburn or indigestion remain speak with your local LloydsPharmacy pharmacist or doctor, who can help advise on appropriate mediation to ease the symptoms.
- Varicose veins
Varicose veins are veins that have become swollen. Although harmless, they can become uncomfortable, swollen and itchy. To help reduce swelling do gentle exercise, such as walking, refrain from crossing your legs, sit with your feet up. Visit your local LloydsPharmacy and ask about compression stockings which can also help.
As your due date grows closer it’s normal to become anxious about what is to come. In your final trimester your body can become tired and uncomfortable, which doesn’t help to ease anxiety. Try to remember that this is a natural process, your body is doing exactly what it’s meant to do. It may also help to get yourself prepared – organise your hospital bag and get the nursery finished. This should help relieve some of the anxiety you are feeling.
Again, it’s important to listen to your body and remember to rest. Our team at your local LloydsPharmacy are here to offer support and advice throughout your exciting journey, whatever the issue or worry may be.