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Pregnancy is the time between conception and childbirth in which your baby grows and matures for forty weeks (approximately nine months) inside the womb.
Most of the problems that can occur during a pregnancy are the result of hormonal changes within the body, nutritional deficiencies, or the shift of weight distribution caused by sudden weight gain. This entry addresses some of the most common pregnancy-related problems.
For a healthy pregnancy and birth it is necessary to consult and work with a qualified health care professional, be a physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, or midwife.
- Backache – is common with pregnancy, often as a direct result of poor posture. The increase in body weight, the muscle relaxing effects of the hormone progesterone, and the shift in the centre of gravity contribute to the problem.
- Bleeding Gums – During pregnancy, increasing estrogen levels cause the gums to swell and become somewhat softer than normal, and the circulation of blood to them increase. This makes the gums more prone to bleeding and infection.
- Constipation – Hormonal changes during pregnancy have a relaxing effect on eh muscles including those of the digestive tract. The increasing levels of presterone in your system makes the bowels less efficient. The normal rhythmic contractions of the intestines slow down, dietary changes can alleviate constipation which is not only uncomfortable but can and painful.
- Dizziness – During pregnancy, especially during the second trimester, blood pressure often drops as the expanding uterus presses on major blood vessels. This can cause dizziness. If you are experiencing dizziness be mindful of changing positions quickly.
- Edema (swelling) of the hands and feet – The rise of estrogen in the body during pregnancy increases the tendency to retain fluids. This can cause some swelling of the hands and feet and is considered normal.
- Gas (Flatulence) – Gas, like other digestive upsets, is a common complaint during pregnancy. Even foods that cause no difficulties at other times may begin to cause trouble.
- Groin Spasm, Stitch or Pressure – When the round ligaments connecting the corners of the uterus to the pubic area kink and go into spasm, it feels like a “stich” on the right side. In later months of pregnancy, lower groin pressure may develop.
- Heartburn – Heartburn occurs more often than normal during pregnancy. This is because of the expanded size of the uterus promotes the re-entry of stomach fluids into the esophagus.
- Haemorrhoids – Haemorrhoids are common during pregnancy. A number of factors contribute to the development of haemorrhoids, including constipation and the pressure exerted by the uterus as the fetes gains weight and size.
- Insomnia – is very common during the last weeks of pregnancy when finding a comfortable sleeping position is difficult. Deficiencies of the B vitamins also can cause insomnia. The emotional changes that accompany pregnancy often contribute to sleep difficulties as well.
- Leg Cramps – Leg cramps are the result of nutritional deficiencies and/or electrolyte imbalances, in addition to the strain placed ion the legs by the extra weight.
- Mood Changes – are common during pregnancy. They are thought to be caused by mood changes and deficiencies of the B vitamins, as well as the stress of physical discomforts and psychological issues that arise as a result of bodily changes and the awareness of impending motherhood.
- Morning Sickness – Approximately 50 per cent of all pregnant women experience some degree of nausea and vomiting between the sixth and the twelfth week of pregnancy. This is normal. Although it is commonly called morning sickness, it can occur at any time of the day.
- Nosebleeds and Nasal Congestion – During pregnancy, increased blood volumes often causes some of the tiny capillaries in the nasal passage to rupture, causing a nosebleed. Inner nasal passages normally swell as well. A lack of vitamin C and the bioflavonoids may be a contributing factor. These conditions disappear with the birth of the baby.
- Sciatica – The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It arises from the sacral plexus, in the lower back, threads downward through the pelvis through an opening called the greater sciatic foramen, and runs through the hip joint down the back of the thigh. Irritation of this nerve is common during pregnancy and usually disappears with the birth of the baby.
- Skin Problems – Common skin problems during pregnancy include pimples, acne, red marks, and mask of pregnancy (dark blotches on the skin of the face). These skin changes usually disappear with the birth of the baby.
- Stretch Marks – Stretch marks are wavy stripes appearing on the abdomen, buttocks, breasts and thighs. The start out reddish in colour and gradually turn white. They are caused by rapid weight gains that typically is associated with pregnancy and appear when the skin becomes overstretched and fibres in the deep layers tear. Once they appear, they are permanent but do become less noticeable over time.
- Sweating – While pregnant your body makes sure that its temperature is perfect for your baby’s development. In addition if our size increases, the amount of effort it takes to walk, climb stairs and do everyday tasks also increases. As a result you may find yourself sweating more than you did before.
- Urination, Frequent – Frequent urination is a natural by-product of early and late months of pregnancy. I tis primarily the result of changes in kidney function and pressure of the expanding uterus. Many women find it most common during the night.
- Varicose Veins – Varicose veins are enlarged veins close to the surface of the skin. In many cases disappear after the baby’s birth.
Have your own story, tips or advice on pregnancy. Get in touch – we are looking for contributors.