Problems and concerns during pregnancy
Pregnancy may not always be carefree and can sometimes involve risks and concerns. Pregnancy is a natural state for a female, but it also poses a challenge to the body. Risks associated with pregnancy are carefully screened at the maternity clinics. It is important that a family expecting a baby receives reliable information on these risks, how to prevent the symptoms, and how to treat the illnesses.
Changes during pregnancy
The first change when you become pregnant is that you will no longer have your periods. At the same time, many women will also start feeling tenderness in their breasts. The most common breast changes during pregnancy include tenderness, increase in size, and occasional light lactation. During early pregnancy, a woman may experience lower abdomen pain resembling menstrual pain, and even light spotting. Also vomiting and nausea are very common symptoms.
During early pregnancy, many expectant mothers feel tired. Sometimes women may feel fatigued, due for example to the considerable hormonal changes that their bodies are going through. You should keep an eye on how you feel and rest as necessary.
Rapid mood swings occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is caused by the hormonal changes and the fact that expecting and delivering a new baby is a life-altering experience. Mood swings can be confusing, because they often come on quickly and cannot always be anticipated. Both the pregnant woman and her partner can find them bewildering. During these moments, the support of loved ones plays an important role. If your mood remains low or depressed for an extended period, you should talk about it during a maternity clinic appointment. Every expectant woman will fill in an EPDS questionnaire (pdf) assessing her mood and identifying signs of depression at the maternity and child health clinic during mid-pregnancy. Based on the questionnaire, any support required during pregnancy can be discussed.
During mid-pregnancy, most women feel energetic and well. The alternating feelings of joy and uncertainty of early pregnancy are left behind, and the pregnancy is becoming more concrete to the woman’s partner. First the mother will begin to feel the baby’s movements, and later also the father or partner will be able to sense them through the abdominal wall. During mid-pregnancy, you can begin imagining what the baby growing inside you will look like and reminisce about your own childhood. You will start thinking about the kind of parent you want to be to your baby.
Contractions resemble menstrual pain but they can also be completely pain-free, and instead you may feel your abdomen go tight and your breathing may be momentarily harder. During early pregnancy, contractions are most likely to occur when your period was supposed to start. During mid- and late pregnancy, your uterus is preparing for the labour, but these contractions are often harmless. If, however, the contractions are strong or are stress-related, it is recommended that you avoid straining yourself.