There’s very little that can compete with the feeling of being pregnant. And while it’s easy to bask in that pregnancy glow, whilst envisaging being waited on hand and foot and planning a birth with water, whale music and no pain relief, strictly speaking, those images are somewhat removed from reality.
Sure, most pregnant women get to enjoy a pregnancy glow. Often between those constant trips to the bathroom, very few of us have time to sit around and do nothing and as the baby ultimately decides when it wants to arrive your perfect birthing plan is just a novel idea.
Of course, pregnancy has its ups and downs and we all want a safe delivery and a happy, healthy baby. However, there are many side effects that women experience before they welcome their baby into the world.
Are you familiar with these pregnancy side effects?
Varicose and spider veins
It’s normal for your body to swell throughout your pregnancy, but did you know your veins could swell up too? Varicose and spider veins are common during pregnancy, simply because of the additional pressure your vascular system is under, as it is ensuring your baby is getting a healthy blood supply, whilst your growing uterus can cause leakages and pressure in your veins, making them bulge and twist. Most vein problems disappear after pregnancy, however for those that don’t, you could consider treatment for spider veins.
The inaptly named “morning sickness” is often caused by a combination of raging hormones, enhanced smell and taste, fatigue and a sensitive stomach. Despite its name, it can occur at any time of day and can be triggered by a multitude of reasons. Most morning sickness recedes at around 14 weeks, however, some women continue with sickness well into their third trimester.
Extreme morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) can lead to dehydration and other complications, so seeking medical advice is vital.
More vaginal discharge
Milky, odourless discharge is a common side effect of pregnancy. It’s probably nothing new, as this kind of discharge is common whether you’re pregnant or not. Frustratingly, thanks to the increased blood flow around the vaginal area you’re going to see more of it throughout your pregnancy.
Bleeding gums is often a sign of poor oral health, tooth decay or gum disease. It’s also common in pregnancy. Swollen, inflamed and tender gums are often caused by hormones that make your gums more reactive to bacteria. Therefore, pregnant women should continue to see their dentist throughout their pregnancy.
We all suffer from dry skin sometimes, but when you’re pregnant you may find trouble with your skin is extreme. As your blossoming baby bump begins to expand and your breasts get bigger, your skin is going to stretch more than it has done before. Which, you’ve guessed it, makes your skin incredibly flaky and itchy. This also makes you more prone to eczema and other irritating skin conditions.
Thankfully, most of these symptoms will come and go throughout your pregnancy, but if you’re still suffering after the birth of your child, speak to your midwife.