During pregnancy, a lot changes in your body. This can be accompanied by a number of pregnancy complaints.
A number of complaints are completely normal and can do no harm for you and your child. However, some complaints are abnormal or take extreme forms and this can sometimes entail risks. If there are other complaints than those discussed, or if you are in doubt about your complaint, it is always wise to contact the midwife.
In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy you will not see much in your belly while a lot is already happening in your body. These changes can cause pregnancy symptoms and are often caused by the hormones released during pregnancy. The following complaints mainly occur in the first three months, but this does not have to be the case for everyone.
Nausea and vomiting
If you suffer from nausea, it is usually in the morning. This is due to the hormone HCG. If you keep little or nothing in a day and lose weight, it is wise to report this to the midwife. It is very important that you continue to drink enough.
Now that a child is growing in the belly, this costs the body extra energy, which makes you tired faster. It is then important to take a rest. Sometimes severe fatigue can also be caused by anemia (iron deficiency) and poor eating habits, so it is good to inform the midwife about this.
Mood swings are most common in the first three months of pregnancy. These changes can be caused by hormonal fluctuations, but some pregnant women experience this more strongly than others. If the negative predominates, it is important to discuss this with the midwife.
Breast bloating is usually the first sign of pregnancy and usually disappears after the first three months. The nipples and areola can turn dark brown due to the extra pigmentation that occurs during pregnancy.
Abdominal pain and frequent urination
The uterus and the unborn child are growing, even though it is not yet visible from the outside. Some pregnant women will experience a bit of abdominal pain because of that growth, which resembles muscle pain. Because of the growth and the hormones you will have to urinate more often. This is partly due to the pressure on the bladder. If the abdominal pain becomes more severe or if you have pain when urinating, it is important to call the midwife.
You may have more vaginal discharge throughout your pregnancy. This in itself is not a problem. However, the altered secretion is a good breeding ground for bacteria or fungi, such as candida. You can recognize an infection by an irritated vagina, changing smell of the discharge, itching and pain. If you have these complaints, it is important that you contact your midwife or doctor. You can reduce the chance of an infection by not washing the vagina with soap and wearing cotton underwear.
Vaginal bleeding can have various causes. Blood loss occurs especially in the first three months of pregnancy. It is possible that a little blood loss is released due to the implantation of the fetus in the uterus or through a wound on the cervix. Sometimes the blood loss is caused by a miscarriage. In case of vaginal bleeding, it is best to contact the obstetrician.
Varicose veins and hemorrhoids
The hormone progesterone makes the walls of the blood vessels more flexible and because you retain fluid, the pressure on the vessels increases, which can cause varicose veins. These are blue tortuous veins just under the skin. You can prevent this by moving sufficiently and raising your legs when resting. Varicose veins can also develop at the level of the anus, this is called hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are smooth, convex thickenings at the end of the anus, it can itch and hurt. These can be caused by straining during hard stools. To prevent this, it is important that you consume fiber-rich food and drink enough.
Your digestion changes under the influence of hormones. The food you consume is digested more slowly, which can cause heartburn and constipation (hard stools). If these complaints do not take extreme forms, such as long-term constipation and a lot of heartburn, it can do no harm. If this does bother you or if you are worried, you can contact the midwife. Some pregnant women suffer from excessive saliva production. This can't hurt if you drink enough.
From 13 weeks, the fruit begins to take on a human shape. The embryo has developed into a fetus and the baby will grow considerably in the coming months. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, most pregnant women begin to feel their baby. Slowly, people in the area will see that the pregnant woman is pregnant. Due to the growth of the baby in the womb and the pregnancy hormones, pregnancy complaints can also arise during this period.
The hormones influence the functioning of the stomach. As a result, some pregnant women suffer from heartburn. This can be enhanced by a number of foods such as coffee, orange juice, fatty foods and carbon dioxide. If avoiding these foods does not provide relief, it is wise to discuss this with the midwife. She can recommend medication if necessary.
The muscles of the uterus may contract occasionally as the uterus grows. This is also known as 'hard bellies'. Hard bellies are not contractions and do not announce the start of labour. It doesn't hurt to have a hard stomach once in a while, but if the hard stomachs occur more often and regularly, it is important that you contact your midwife. Sometimes sharp pain occurs in the groin during sudden movements in this trimester as well. If you lie down, this pain will subside. This is called ligament pain. It is caused by the stretching of the ligaments attached to the uterus. It can help to pay close attention to your posture and not make unexpected movements.
Your posture changes as the uterus grows. Hormones make all joints in the body more mobile. This can cause pain in the back or pelvis. To reduce the complaints, it is good to pay attention to the posture, if necessary a physiotherapist can help with this.
Due to the pressure of the uterus on the bladder, you may suffer from urine leakage, especially when laughing, sneezing or coughing. We recommend pelvic floor physiotherapy to prevent these complaints from getting worse. It is also common in this trimester that you get a bladder infection. You can recognize this because you have to urinate very frequently, have a painful lower abdomen and sometimes have a burning sensation or a little blood loss when urinating. It is then advisable to have your urine checked by your doctor.
You are more sensitive to bleeding gums because your gums have better blood flow due to the pregnancy hormones and have also become softer. Good oral hygiene is important. In addition, it is wise to visit the dentist at least once during your pregnancy. If your gums are inflamed, report this to the midwife.
In case of bright red bleeding from the vagina, it is always important to call the midwife.
If you are more than 20 weeks pregnant and suffer from one or more of the following signs, it is important that you call the midwife: headache, seeing stars, vomiting, feeling of a tight band around the head or upper abdomen, pain in the upper abdomen or between shoulder blades and suddenly a lot of fluid retention in the face, hands or feet. This may indicate a pregnancy complication where blood pressure rises and requires additional checkups.
If you are more than 26 weeks pregnant, you should feel your baby move regularly every day. If these are fewer movements than you are used to, it is advisable to contact the midwife.
From 28 weeks, the pregnant belly starts to grow and becomes bigger and bigger. Your unborn baby is now completely finished and only needs to grow. Due to the growth and the approaching end of the pregnancy, a number of complaints can arise.
At the end of the pregnancy, you may experience nausea as the uterus presses against the stomach. Eating small meals spread over the day can reduce this feeling. If it persists, it is advisable to inform the midwife.
Under the influence of the hormones, itching can develop that cannot be explained. Usually it can't hurt, but this should be reported to the midwife so that she can follow up.
At the end of the pregnancy you can increasingly suffer from hard bellies. The abdomen then feels hard like an inflated ball, this can feel unpleasant. Hard bellies can't hurt, but if you have these hard bellies regularly in a day, it is wise to take it easy. When the hard bellies become more painful and come more regularly, this is reason to call your midwife.
Because the abdomen starts to become quite large, you can suffer from pain in your back. It is important that you do not stand with a hollow back and pay close attention to your posture when lifting and bending. In addition, rest can provide relief. When the back pain comes and goes in a regular pattern, it is wise to call the midwife.
amniotic fluid loss
Fluid loss from the vagina can also occur because the membranes rupture prematurely, causing amniotic fluid to leak from the vagina. Around the unborn child in the abdomen is a balloon with amniotic fluid that protects the child against external influences. When this balloon breaks, you notice this because you lose amniotic fluid. This can vary from a few drops to a big wave. Amniotic fluid smells different from urine, a bit sweet. Usually the amniotic fluid is clear and colorless. Sometimes it has a yellow, green or brown color. It is important that you contact the midwife if you think your waters have broken and if possible you can try to collect some amniotic fluid.
Pelvic pain is caused by the softening of the attachments between the bones in the pelvis and by the weight of your unborn baby. This gives low back pain, pain around the pubic bone, in the thighs, buttocks and groin. It can help to avoid twisting movements and overload. In addition, it may help to wear a pelvic support band or see a physical therapist.
Because the abdomen becomes so large, the lungs have less space and at the end of the pregnancy you use more oxygen. This can make you more prone to hyperventilation and dizziness, especially during exercise. This is not dangerous but it is advisable to take it easy for a while.
Towards the end you will retain more moisture, especially in the feet and ankles. Your body has more blood volume and at the end of pregnancy the blood circulation is somewhat slower. Tips; drink enough water (without bubbles!), move your legs, pillow under your legs when you rest or sleep, a massage of your legs.
At the end of pregnancy, blood pressure usually rises slightly because the blood volume has increased. As a result, you can suffer from palpitations. This is both normal. However, if you suffer from headaches, see stars, vomit, feeling of a tight band around your head or upper abdomen, pain in the upper abdomen or between shoulder blades, sudden fluid retention in your face, hands or feet, it is important that you call the midwife.
The breasts are getting ready for delivery. This can make your breasts more sensitive in early pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, the breasts will increase in size and at the end of the pregnancy you may already experience some fluid loss from the nipples. This is completely normal.