From the first day of knowing you are with child to nausea and labor pains, women are, without a shadow of a doubt, the strongest individuals. If you are a first-time mom navigating this new phase of your life, know that the fear and discomfort that you are experiencing are normal. Here, we will help you get through the three most common changes you will experience along the way.
Morning sickness is probably one of the most common pregnancy symptoms that all women share. It is characterized by extreme nausea and vomiting that mostly happens just after you wake up. However, morning sickness can also occur at any time of the day. In fact, some women experience this throughout the day and even at night. Severe morning sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and this often requires in-patient treatment at a hospital.
Many things can cause morning sickness, but some of the most common causes are changes in your metabolism, fluctuations in your blood pressure, and high hormonal levels.
If you are experiencing this for the first time, you might be wondering if the vomiting will hurt the baby. The answer is no. The retching and vomiting may cause abdominal strain, but the physical act of vomiting won’t damage the baby. Though some medicines help relieve morning sickness, many soon-to-be moms choose to do things naturally. Some things that you can do are:
- Eat Ginger
- Drink Peppermint Tea
- Eat a few dry crackers before you get up from your bed in the morning
- Avoid smells and food that might trigger your nausea
- Drink plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration
- Choose to eat high-protein and high-carbohydrate foods
- Try acupuncture and acupressure
- Sip on a slice of lemon
- Take Vitamin B6 supplement
Indigestion or also known as acid reflux or heartburn, is common among pregnant women. It usually begins in the second month or first trimester and may last throughout pregnancy.
Generally speaking, indigestion is caused by the baby’s weight pressing against your stomach. However, it can also be caused by the large amounts of hormones that your body is producing. During pregnancy, the increased level of hormones causes muscle tissues in your body to relax, including the gastrointestinal tract.
Because of that, the food tends to move slowly, causing all kinds of indigestion like gassy feeling, heartburn, and feeling bloated. Other symptoms of indigestion include:
- Bringing up food
- Belching or burping
- feeling full and heavy
- burning sensation in the chest area
Though there are over-the-counter medications that can relieve indigestion, you have to be extra careful because you are pregnant. Some things that you can do to feel better are:
- Chew on a sugarless gum – saliva production can help neutralize the excess acid in your stomach
- Eat almonds – eat almonds after each meal because this type of nuts can neutralize the juice in your stomach. Eating almonds can also prevent heartburn
- Eat papaya – rich in Vitamin C and A, papaya is a good fruit that can relieve symptoms of indigestion
- Avoid spicy foods as well as citrus, garlic, onions, soda, and caffeine
- Don’t smoke and avoid alcohol
Dark Spots and Stretch Marks
As weeks and months go by on your pregnancy, you will see dark blemishes on different parts of your body. You will also notice some changes in the color of your nipples, breast, and inner thighs.
The dark brown patches you see on your nose, forehead, and cheeks are called melasma, while the brownish line that runs from your belly button to the pubic hair is called linea negra.
Another physical change that you will encounter is stretch marks. Stretch marks are caused by the increase of hormones that soften your skin fiber. As your baby grows, your skin stretches along with it.
You would see stretch marks on your belly, legs, buttocks, thighs, and breasts by your third trimester. Stretch marks are hard to prevent, and it is common in 8 out of 10 pregnant women.
The changes on your skin are completely normal and will eventually fade after you deliver your baby. It will help to use lotions and moisturizers to ease the itching. If the blemishes and stretch marks are still causing you discomfort, you can visit a dermatologist and ask for advice on how you can feel better.
A woman’s body is an amazing vessel. It is capable of going through many changes, especially during pregnancy. This whole journey can be a unique mixture of fear and excitement, but ultimately, it will bring you unfathomable happiness knowing that you are nurturing a brand-new life inside your own body.