The First Signs
The first and most obvious
sign that you may be pregnant is a missed period. This however may be caused by other
factors or it may simply be late.
Some women continue to get
their periods for a couple of months but they are lighter.
This can be a symptom in
women who normally get sore breasts before their period. By six weeks, all women will
experience an increase in the size of their breasts.
In the first six to twelve
weeks, most women experience nausea or vomiting. It can be uncomfortable at any time of
You may find that you need
to go to the toilet more often.
Some women may have a
strange taste in their mouth and may even notice a dislike for alcohol, coffee, cigarette
smoke and meat products.
The hormones may wreak
havoc on you at first and you may experience moodiness and stronger emotions than normal.
If you experience any anxiety that lasts longer than the first trimester - speak with your
doctor who may refer you to a counsellor for additional therapy.
Changes during the
You will experience many
physical changes during your pregnancy and many may come as a surprise to you. It is
always best to be prepared for the changes so you are better able to cope with them and
this may increase during
pregnancy. It is normal and does not usually require medical attention. If you notice it
changing in odor or it becomes irritating - speak with your doctor.
you will be experiencing an
increase in the hormone progesterone which can affect the bowel and make it slower.
this can become worse as
the pregnancy continues on. Try to avoid high heeled shoes. Do not lean back to counteract
the extra weight in your belly - this will put added pressure on your back.
the blood flow from your
legs and pelvis is blocked by pressure from the baby . If you are constipated, this can
make it worse.
may appear for the first
time. If you wear support stockings, they may not appear at all. Keep moving around as
this can help the circulation.
commonly called stretch
marks, these fine scars may also come on your buttocks, thighs and breasts. There are many
natural products on the market that may be able to prevent them from forming or becoming
too noticeable. Ask our pharmacist about them.
will occur throughout your
pregnancy. They may be tender and the nipples may grow and become darker in
may eventually become more painful as more blood flows to them. Eventually prolactin is
produced and this encourages the breast to make milk.
You may notice your breasts
leaking at around 5 to 6 months. After about five months your breasts should
not grow much bigger.
will increase and this can
be a problem for women who have always tried hard to maintain their weight at a slim
level. You will put on extra weight besides the baby as your body prepares for the
pregnancy and the birth.
What to eat during your pregnancy
You should be eating a
nutritious and varied diet in pregnancy as this is the best way of caring for yourself and
your baby. You should not eat ferociously throughout your pregnancy in an effort to
eat for two as this will do more harm than good and make it difficult for you
to give birth.
The following food groups
provide you with the vitamins, minerals and protein you will need for a healthy pregnancy
Vegetables and fruits.
Breads, cereals, pasta
and rice (wholegrain ).
Milk about 900 ml daily
or if you cannot tolerate milk or want to try something less fattening natural
yoghurt about 200g, unprocessed cheese 35g or cottage cheese 300g. Ask your doctor about a
supplement if you do not want to eat dairy products. This will give you your required Calcium.
Lean proteins like fish,
chicken, eggs, meat, liver, kidneys, nuts and pulses. Be aware that if you are only eating
nuts and pulses for protein you will not be getting the iron,
vitamin B12 or zinc
which is required.
Also ensure you are
eating adequate Folic acid - present in liver, kidneys, green leafy vegetables, broccoli,
nuts, brewers yeast, avocado and peas. Do not cook your vegetables until they are soft as
this can destroy folic acid.
What do you need to
avoid during pregnancy?
Alcohol - the
occasional wine or beer will do no harm, but do not drink excessively. Do not drink
Smoking - should
be avoided and do not let anybody smoke in your presence.
Caffeine - limit
your intake to one per day.
Soft cheeses -
- although continue to do gentle exercises.
What about sex?
Some people think that
having sex will hurt the baby. Normally sex is safe throughout the whole pregnancy.
Sometimes you may not feel like having sex due to the discomforts and tiredness. But this
usually does not last long.
Some women find that they
become more sexual during this time in their lives and feel more sexy. If however, you
have had complications with pregnancies in the past or are worried see your doctor about