Common Symptoms of Pregnancy
Nausea/Vomiting – feeling nauseous during the first three months of pregnancy is very common. For some women, it can last longer, while others may not experience it at all. Try to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day in order to keep your stomach full at all times. Try bland foods like plain crackers, toast, dry breakfast cereal as well as carbonated drinks like ginger ale or 7-Up. Ginger is a natural treatment for nausea. Peppermint can also be used. Some over-the-counter medications are also safe. If the symptoms become severe or you are unable to keep fluids down for more than 12 hours, contact the office.
Discharge – an increase in vaginal white discharge is common in pregnancy. If the discharge is watery or has a foul odor, call for an appointment.
Spotting – light bleeding or spotting can be common, especially in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It may occur after intercourse, cervical exams, vaginal ultrasounds or strenuous activity or exercise. Please see “When to call the doctor” on page 11 for more details.
Constipation – is a common complaint which can be related to hormone changes, low fluid intake, increased iron or lack of fiber in your diet. Try to include whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables and plenty of water. If you develop hemorrhoids, try sitz baths three to four times per day for 10-15 minutes each time. If the pain persists, call for an appointment.
Cramping – experiencing some cramps and contractions are normal. When they occur, empty your bladder, drink 1-2 glasses of water and try to rest. If you are less than 36 weeks pregnant and having more than six contractions in an hour after trying these measures, contact the office.
Leg cramps – cramping in your legs or feet can also be common. Eating bananas, drinking more lowfat/nonfat milk and consuming more calcium-rich foods like dark green vegetables, nuts, grains and beans may help. To relieve the cramp, try to stretch your leg with your foot flexed toward your body. A warm, moist towel or heat pad wrapped on the muscle may also help.
Dizziness – you may feel lightheaded or dizzy at any time during your pregnancy. Try lying down on your left side and drink 1-2 glasses of water. If symptoms persist, call for an appointment. Maintaining a healthy diet to include protein sources as well as staying hydrated will help.
Swelling – because of the increased production of blood and body fluids, normal swelling, also called edema, can be experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles and feet. Elevate your feet, wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of fluids. Supportive stockings can also help. If the swelling comes on rapidly, or is accompanied by headache or visual changes, contact us immediately.
Heartburn – you may experience heartburn throughout the pregnancy, especially during the latter part of your pregnancy when your baby is larger. Try to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day and avoid laying down immediately after eating. Some over-the-counter medications are also safe for use.
Aches and pains – as your baby grows, backaches are common. You may also feel stretching and pulling pains in the abdomen or pelvic area. These are due to pressure from your baby’s head, weight increase and the normal loosening of joints. Practice good posture and try to rest with your feet elevated. Discuss maintaining normal physical activity and prenatal exercise.