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You’re growing a baby and glowing with new mummy-ness. But on the inside, you’re feeling the aches and pains, not to mention the crazy pressure down below. Ah yes, pregnancy comes with plenty of uncomfortable ailments that may leave you reaching for the heating pad and searching on Dr Google to find out if everything is okay.

In most cases, the unusual symptoms that come with pregnancy are nothing to worry about. But there are a few pregnancy ailments that do require a conversation with your doctor or midwife. Below is a run-down on what’s normal, what’s not and which symptoms to bring up at your next prenatal check.

Common Pregnancy Symptoms

First Trimester

  • Morning sickness and nausea
  • Tender, swollen breasts
  • Minor cramping
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Food aversions and cravings
  • A metallic taste in your mouth
  • Dry skin

Second Trimester

  • Varicose veins
  • Bleeding gums
  • Back and abdomen pain
  • Stretch marks
  • Darkening of the skin around your nipples
  • A line on the skin running from belly button to pubic hairline
  • Patches of darker skin, usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip.
  • Numb or tingling hands, called carpal tunnel syndrome

Third Trimester

  • Pressure in the groin
  • Frequent urination
  • Excess discharge
  • Excess sweat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Minor incontinence problems
  • Tender, leaking breasts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Contractions

Throughout Pregnancy

  • Mood swings
  • Tiredness
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation

How to Manage These Pregnancy Ailments

For fatigue, make sure you get plenty of extra rest. Naps are now your friend.

Combat against nausea, headaches and constipation with lots of water, frequent snacks and a healthy diet.

Keep your body and mind active, ease varicose veins and help reduce pelvic pain with mild exercise, such as walking or swimming.

Also try a heating pad for aches, pain and varicose vein pain.

For dry skin and stretch marks, try a moisturiser and creams such as Bio-Oil.

When to Call a Doctor

Painful cramping and bleeding – This may indicate miscarriage or preterm labour.

Frequent urination plus excessive thirst – This could be a sign of gestational diabetes.

Itching on the abdomen, palms, and soles of the feet accompanied by loss of appetite, vomiting and jaundice – This may be a sign of cholestasis.

Sudden or extreme swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face – This could be a sign of preeclampsia.

Fluid leakage – This may indicate that your waters have broken and that you are at risk for pre-term labour.

Painful urination – This could suggest a urinary tract infection.

Fever of 39°C or more – This may be a sign that your body is fighting an infection.

Additional symptoms that require medical attention include severe headaches, accompanied by fainting, dizziness or blurred vision, persistent pelvic pain or persistent vomiting several times a day.



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