Everyone says you should enjoy pregnancy because it is only for a short period of time. At the end of it all being well you get an amazing beautiful healthy baby. People rarely tell you that sometimes it is not plain sailing and you will end up with additional conditions during the length of your pregnancy. They can last for a few months post baby as well. The five most common health conditions during pregnancy actually include morning sickness, anaemia, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, back pain and also antenatal depression.
I was lucky that I did not actually have all of these common conditions. However, I think that it is very rare that you actually do suffer from all of them. Actually suffered from both anaemia and back pain however, this could have been due to having a back to back baby. I am going to share more about all of the common conditions.
Morning sickness is super common with 7 out of 10 women experiencing it. Either as nausea or sickness. It tends to start around week 9 of pregnancy of course this can be before or even after. No two pregnancy’s are the same for sure. The good thing if you can call it that should you get morning sickness before 12 weeks you can have treatment for it. In some cases you can become several dehydrated and this can cause a trip to the hospital. Of course, there is different types of morning sickness with the worse been hyperemesis gravidarum. This form usually requires hospital treatment and impacts your day to day life. It has become more widely known as it is something Kate Middleton struggled with throughout her pregnancies. Morning sick I do not think I suffered with of course, I may have done and just thought it was a hangover. If you do not know I did not find out I was pregnant until 26 weeks. I must have been one of the lucky 3 out of 10 women.
Tips for helping coping with morning sickness
Drink tea and nibble on a plain biscuit in bed. Who wouldn’t want to be able to have biscuits and tea in bed every morning. I think this is something which I would love despite the fact of not been a huge fan of tea.
Snacking is key try basic things such a brown bread toast and sandwiches. I remember I always had to have small meals constantly because this helped me feel better. Apparently this is so that your stomach is never completely empty.
Try and sip small amounts of water throughout the day this then stops you becoming dehydrated. This is something which I try and do now even though I am not pregnant.
Avoid too much pressure on your stomach, wear clothes which could be more lose. If you are feeling sick you do not want something pushing down on your stomach. I know this can be harder when you have an evergrowing stomach. I just used to purchase things a couple of sizes to big to prevent this.
Of course, you can try and eat ginger biscuits as it is known to have anti-nausea properties. However, if you do have HG. This may not be enough to to stop you being sick however, it may help a little bit.
For sure this is something which I battled through out my pregnancy. I only found out that I had this condition due to a routine blood test. One of the main signs is actually tiredness however, I had just started a new job and was towards the end of my third year at university. Of course, I was tired I did not think it was because I had a baby inside growing me too. You can also feel like you are dizzy, faint and see spots in your eyes. This is something which occurred to me because I was severe anaemic.If you have aneamia their is a risk that your baby will be born premature. This does not mean they will because you have it Jess was 5 days late. There is some treatment which can do without having to take tablets like I had to.
To try and prevent anaemia you can eat more red meat, green and leafy vegetables and drink fresh orange. Vitamin C does help the absorbing iron. This is something I struggled with due to having a very limited budget when I was at university. I ate a lot more chicken than I did red meat this could be one of the reasons why I did develop anaemia. If I should become pregnant again in the future I think I would change my diet in order to avoid the tablets. Also try and decrease the amount of tea and coffee you consume I know it is hard because caffeine slows down the absorbing of Iron. I seem to think that I was limited to a couple of coffee’s a day this was very hard because I had usually around.
I joked that I was iron man because of the fact that at one stage I was on 3 200mg tablets a day. It took me around 6 months to have my iron levels back to normal. This was after two blood transfusions which were done after birth.
This is one which I know a couple of bloggers have had during their pregnancy’s. Gestational diabetes will mean that 1 in 5 women have to take medication. You are more at risk of gestational diabetes if you are overweight. This is occurs because your body can not produce enough insulin for your own baby. There is a risk that you will have to have your baby born early. This can occur if your baby is getting to much sugar it crosses the placenta and this can cause them to grow abnormally large.
During your pregnancy you do get a number of tests for gestational diabetes. This is done by testing for glucose in your urine. I used to find it hard to pee in a tube in order for the midwife to be able to check for glucose. If it is found that you do have glucose in your urine it does mean that you may need more tests. This can include fasting blood sugar and glucose tolerance test. You’ll have more frequent hospital antenatal checks and will be referred to a diabetes specialist. These are checks I did not have to have because glucose was never found in my urine.
Your baby may be born early in order for them not to be born to large. It is recommend that you still exercise.Of course, you may not be able to do as much as you could before you was pregnant. Try avoid sugary treats and also fizzy drinks during pregnancy. This is because it can increase the risk of gestational diabetes. If you have had gestational diabetes your risk of developing diabetes later in life is increased even if your blood sugar tests return to normal after the birth. So as you can imagine this is one condition you want to try and avoid occurring.
This occurs when a pregnant woman has both high blood pressure and a high level of protein in her urine. This actually affects 10% of first time pregnancies. 1-2% of them will be severe cases of pre-eclampsia. This is a condition which actually is not usually occurring until the second half your pregnancy. It is usually around week 20 that this can first be spotted. At your antenatal checks your midwife will measure your blood pressure and check your urine and ask about symptoms of swelling.
You are more at risk of developing pre-eclampsia if your a first time mum, have history of it in your family, are overweight or over the age of 40. I have known several people be at risk of this who have not gone on to fully develop pre-eclampsia. The symptoms which you need to look out for for pre-eclampsia are swelling in the hands and feet, blurred vision, pain in the upper abdomen and also vomiting. You can have excessive weight gain due to fluid retention. If you have any of these symptoms you should see a medical professional ASAP. This could have some serious consequences if you are not checked ASAP.
Pre-eclampsia can only be cured by delivering the baby so you will be closely monitored until delivery is possible. You will need to give birth in hospital. If pre-eclampsia is severe you will be admitted to hospital where immediate delivery may be required, even if the baby is born prematurely. You will be given a follow up appointment after the delivery. I know babies who have been born at a healthy weight as a result of pre-eclampsia . Try and keep healthy by eating as good diet as you can during the pregnancy. Try and cut down smoking if this is something which you do. As well as exercise this is something which I was doing a lot during pregnancy.
Back Pain in Pregnancy.
For sure this is something which I had this could have been due to having a back to back baby. However, there could be other reasons for example a women gains 10-12.5kg while pregnant. This is usually around the stomach area which means that the centre of gravity is tilted forward. I think I actually put on 11kg while I was pregnant and I still have a few of those KG to lose now nearly 4 years on.
The ligaments in your back also relax more while pregnant which can cause the pain to actually increase. As they are not as tight allowing them to carry the extra weight easily. There is no cure to the back pain sadly I remember having to have support on it. I remember having cold coke cans on my back during labour to try and reduce some of the pain which I was having. You can actually swim which helps reduce the amount of pain that you are in. It is recommended that you go at least once a week while pregnant. I know I could not have done this because I do not even think I had the energy for this.
Depression is something which affects 12% of women during pregnancy. This is something which the majority of women are scared to speak about because of the fear of been judged. Two thirds of these women go on to develop postnatal depression which is something which is spoken about a lot more. There any many reasons why a women may suffer from antenatal depression it could be because she is getting used to the used to the change in life. After all there has been a huge change and her body is constantly changing. There is the pressure to be happy and to enjoy the pregnancy. The women may also be struggling with a number of the common health conditions as well. It is important to speak to your GP or your midwife if you are feeling low.
Of course, because I did not have such a long time to get my head around all of the changes. I wish I had spoken out how I was feeling. I was going to have Jess adopted if you didn’t know. There was a number of feelings going through me at this stage. I felt very scared because I was about to go through birth who wouldn’t be and not have a baby at the end of it. She would have been adopted by a lovely family they already had foster parents waiting. I felt guilty because of the situation I was in. Ashamed when people would ask me about it because after all I couldn’t bond with my bump she was not mine to bond with. I wish I had spoken out about how I was feeling I would if I was in this situation again.
Have you suffered with any of these common health pregnancy conditions?
This post is in collaboration with Emma’s Diary