Your Changing Body
Your body will slowly change over the nine months as your baby grows and develops. Somethings you will notice in the early stage of pregnancy, other things may not happen until after a few months.
Your breasts may get bigger in size and may be quite sensitive to touch. As the pregnancy progresses you may need a bigger bra with more support. Most of the larger stores selling underwear, or mother and baby shops, will have sales assistants who are trained to help you get the right sized bra during pregnancy. Make the most of you new shape!
Your 'bump' may not be very noticible in the first few months, so people may not even be aware you are pregnant. It may just seem to you as if you are putting on a little weight around your tummy as it will feel quite soft for the first few weeks.
As your waistline expands you may need a wardrobe change! This is the good part as you now have an excuse to go "shopping for you". You don't have to spend a lot of money. The shops are full with styles that can be worn while pregnant at the moment. The "empire line" which starts from under the bust is everywhere. Tunic tops over pants are in too, so you can still be very much in fashion and be pregnant! Some of your own clothes will fit you for a while, such as leggings, loose T-shirts and hoodies. Avoid clothes that have a tight waistband or belt or clothes that feel tight and uncomfortable. In the shoe department, keep your everyday shoes relatively low as you do not want to be toppling from a height in 4 inch stilettos while pregnant!
The average weight gain during pregnancy is between 25-28lbs (11.5-12.5kgs) most of which takes place in the second half of the pregnancy. How much you gain will depend on what weight you are to begin with, how much you eat and how much exercise you take. Your doctor, midwife or dietitian will advise you on what is best if you are concerned that you are putting on too much or too little.
Do not diet at any point in the pregnancy, you and your baby need food. However, try to eat healthily and get some gentle exercise every day. You will lose the extra weight over time after the baby is born.
Hair changes in pregnancy are unpredictable. Pregancy can do strange things to your hair! Curls may straighten out and straight hair may become curly. Some girls may develop gloriously thick hair while others may develop dull lifeless hair. Hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones! If you can afford it, or someone wants to treat you, get yourself a good cut and style that can be managed easily.
It is important to care for your teeth during pregnancy. Make an appointment to see the dentist soon after you find out you are pregnant. Remember to tell the dentist you are pregnant as you should avoid unnecessary x-rays.
For some people, pregnancy can improve the skin and it can look healthier and fresher as your pregnancy progresses. Some girls especially those with darker skin tones may notice a change in skin colour during pregnancy. Moles and birthmarks may also darken. Occasionally brown patches (Chloasma- often called the mask of pregnancy) appears on the face and neck. This is caused by the pregnancy hormones. This can be made worse by the sun so wear sun block. Black women may develop patches of white. All these changes usually go back to normal after the birth.
Stretch marks may be a problem for some girls. At first, they may show up as reddish or purplish lines and have a different texture from the surrounding skin. After the preganancy, over time, stretch marks usually turn lighter and thinner and are not as noticeable. Unfortunately they never really completely disappear. There are lots of creams and other skin products that claim to prevent or get rid of stretch marks but there is no guarantee that they will work. During and after pregnancy, massage with natural almond oil or a good moisturiser to keep the skin in good condition especially after a bath or shower. After your pregnancy, if you are heading to the beach or want to get in to your short summer tops , fake tans can help cover up stretch marks. Normal tanning from the sun does not cover stretch marks as the marks do not colour.
Tiredness. There is a huge amount of activity and change going on inside your body during the early stages of pregnancy. You may feel more tired than usual, due to the extra energy demands on your body from your growing baby. Don't try to beat the tiredness, try to pace yourself and ensure you get a full night's sleep. You might find yourelf falling asleep in the evening, when before you would be out and about. You may have to change your social life a bit, your friends could come to your place sometimes rather than going to a club or pub. Take a break during the day to stretch out on a couch or put your feet up on a chair or stool. A pregnancy massage, if you can get one, is a great way to relax.
Morning Sickness. You may feel a little sick especially in the morning time for a while after you get up, or even at other times during the day. This is due to the increased amount of pregnancy hormones in your body. Some people are sicker than others, but it usually eases by about the 3 month stage.
Coping with Morning Sickness.
- Get up slowly in the morning. Sit on the side of the bed for a few minutes before standing up
- You may find it helpful to eat a few crackers or another light snack before you get out of bed.
- Eat five or six small meals each day.
- Try not to let your stomach get completely empty.
- Eat the foods that smell and taste good to you.
- Eat plain foods that aren’t too spicy or salty, they are easier to digest.
- Avoid fatty foods or foods that are hard to digest.
- Drink fluids often during the day
- Get plenty of fresh air.
Inform your GP immediately if during pregnancy……..
- Your nausea and vomiting becomes severe.
- You almost always vomit shortly after eating or drinking anything.
- You begin to lose weight.
- Your pee is dark in colour or you don’t pee every 4-6 hours.
- Your heart races or pounds.
- You vomit blood.
Sometimes severe nausea and vomiting can be a symptom of a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive vomiting in pregnancy). If your vomiting is severe, your doctor will do some blood and urine to check for medical conditions. Moderate or severe morning sickness may require hospital treatment.