What’s happening this week
- might want to book antenatal classes if you haven’t already
- could be kept awake at night by your active baby
- may notice your skin getting darker in places
- could find that you enjoy sex more than ever in these middle months.
- has developed a whitish coat of a substance called ‘vernix caseosa’ – it helps protect your baby’s skin during the long soak in the amniotic fluid
- is steadily gaining weight
- is developing eyebrows and lashes
- is swallowing, getting the digestive system working.
It can feel like you’re going to be pregnant forever! We offer you some tips to ease some common pregnancy discomforts.
Nosebleeds and blocked noses
Your nose may feel blocked, and even bleed if you blow it too energetically. Eat lots of foods containing vitamin C as this can help strengthen the blood vessels.You could also try dabbing some petroleum jelly around each nostril, to stop the skin drying out so easily.
Fainting and dizziness
If you feel light-headed, it’s because your body is working overtime. The hormones relax your body’s blood vessels, causing a drop in blood pressure, and this can make you feel faint. If you skip a meal, you may feel light-headed, too. Avoid standing up for long periods if you can, and eat regularly. Carry a small snack or some fruit in your bag to keep you going.
Vaginal discharge and thrush
A clear or white discharge is normal during pregnancy. If it becomes thicker or yellowish, tell your LMC as you may have thrush. This is an infection in your vagina, that can be caused by the changing balance of hormones which makes the conditions right for thrush to grow. You may feel sore and itchy, too.
To avoid thrush, wear cotton knickers which will keep the area cool and dry, and don’t use scented soaps or bubble baths. The infection can be treated with anti-fungal medicines but ask your pharmacist – some treatments aren’t suitable for use during pregnancy.
Sometimes called piles because they look like a little pile of grapes, haemorrhoids are varicose veins in your back passage. If you’ve noticed a lot of soreness or itchiness in the area, either irritating or painful, or even some bleeding, you might have piles.
To avoid piles, drink lots of fluids and take regular exercise. Apply an ice pack to relieve soreness, or your LMC may also prescribe a soothing cream. If there is bleeding, always check it out with your LMC.
You may need to buy a larger bra as your pregnancy progresses, and keep trading up the sizes as your breasts grow! Some stores offer bra-fitting services which can help you find the right bra for you. Getting good support will ease the aching.
If any of these discomforts cause you major problems, talk to your LMC.
Many women find mid-pregnancy a perfect time to get away. Going abroad in late pregnancy is risky; you could go into early labour. Most airlines will not carry you in your eighth or ninth month and some airlines ask for a doctor’s letter before this. Insurance policies may not cover pregnancy-related events in the later stages of pregnancy. Travel agents won’t ask if you’re pregnant when you book your seat, but you may be challenged at the check-in desk. If you have had complications such as spotting, diabetes, high blood pressure or a previous premature labour, ask your LMC if it’s safe to go. In general, check with your airline, your LMC and your insurance company before travelling.
Whether it’s a trip somewhere special or a few days with your mother. Make sure the travelling is manageable and break the journey up if you can.
Be extra careful about food hygiene if you are abroad. Avoid salads, ice creams and ice cubes in drinks in countries where you are not sure about the standard of cleanliness. And if you’re going somewhere warm, take care not to get too hot as it’s not good for you or the baby.
Don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun as well, as it’s more sensitive in pregnancy.
Pregnant women are slightly more at risk of deep vein thrombosis or DVT (sometimes called ‘economy class syndrome’) on long haul flights than non pregnant women. Talk with your LMC before you take a long flight. You can ask their advice about wearing special socks or tights to help with circulation, or taking medication. There are several ways you can help yourself:
- Make sure you drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- Wear loose comfortable clothes
- Get up and move around as often as you can
- Stretch your legs and make ankle circling movements every half an hour to improve circulation.
If you are travelling to North America or Europe, you probably won’t need any vaccinations, but if you’re travelling to Asia you need to consider your safety in regard to local diseases. Your LMC can advise you about which vaccinations are safe during pregnancy.
If you’re still growing when you’re pregnant, as teenagers are, then you need more calcium than before to make your own bones and teeth strong as well as your baby’s. So two glasses of milk a day is a good start for both of you. Skimmed or semi-skimmed has the same amount of calcium as ordinary milk – but fewer calories. If you don’t like drinking milk try including yoghurt or hard cheese which also contains calcium, in your daily diet.