GLUM MUMS I Pregnancy woes

15:19

So, during my first pregnancy, I suffered terribly with nausea and exhaustion. I could hardly get myself out of bed at 9am to drag myself to my laptop (I was signed off by my doctor to work from home),  and then had to have a lunchtime sleep too! By the weekend I was so tired I had to sleep all weekend. I became a hermit- no need for maternity wear-except pyjamas. The baby was a girl.

This time round was completely different, so much easier, much less nausea and able to carry on nearly as normal- until now!! 

I'm 30 weeks pregnant (with a boy) and during the last few weeks I have started to suffer with the usual -'pregnancy woes'.


Exhaustion
One of the hardest things to deal with is exhaustion,  especially when working and looking after a 21 month old. I seem to be getting more tired by the day and since my 21 month old daughter isnow going to bed later- I am ready to hit the hay as soon as she does of an evening. Last night I was shattered but couldn't sleep due to a terrible pain in my lower back (see note below on Sacroiliac joints), and because I needed to pee every 2 minutes with bubs kicking me in the bladder. 

Sacroiliac Joint Pain
During my last pregnancy I suddenly developed a complete weakness in my legs around 6 months, as well as a shooting pain down my legs, and could hardly walk. A trip to the osteopath (www.london-osteopath.com) confirmed that I had inflammation of the sacroiliac joints. This is very common during pregnancy and is often combined with pelvic girdle pain. The hormone Relaxin is the culprit. Released by your pregnant body to help your hips widen for the impending birth, it also means that hip joints which are usually locked can twist out of place easily causing pain. The osteo managed to help me walk again within weeks through manipulation and exercises, so I would definitely recommend them. The hospital physio also suggested an elastic support belt for the belly. I found that this JoJoMamanBebe Support vest did the job instead, and is much more comfy/attractive: www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk/sp+maternity-support-vests-in-maternity-products-and-underwear+a9641.

I have had twinges of the pains this time, but luckily am still mobile. Perhapsdue to now only working part-time and thus not sitting at a desk for a full day, as well as being more active looking after my 21 month old and rushing all over the place with her!?

Nose Bleeds
Last week I had a 30 minute nose bleed which was pouring out and just wouldn't stop. Since then, if I even sniff I feel like it's about to start again. During my last pregnancy I suffered with nose bleeds badly. According to www.babycentre.co.uk the increase in pregnancy hormones progesterone and oestrogen dilates blood vessels while an increased blood supply puts pressure on the delicate veins in your nose. The moist linings (mucous membranes) inside your nose can also swell and dry out. This is often worse in winter, when colds are prevalent, and it tends to be warm and dry indoors because of central heating. I tried tipping my head back but it went down my throat and made me want to throw up.
Here is the NHS advice for stopping the bleeding (basically pinch it!):
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/nosebleed-pregnant.aspx#close

Plantar Fascitis
A few weeks ago I randomly awoke with an awful pain in my right heel which hurt really badly when I walked. After some googling I believe I have plantar fascitis which involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is common in overweight people (that's me right now) and thus pregnant people due to the weight on the heel. Wearing flats actually makes this worse apparently, the suggestion is to wear shoes with slight incline. I have therefore been wearing wedge boots and it seems to have eased off. 'Shoe Therapy' from www.seraphine.com also make ballet flats specially designed for pregnancy, with a slight incline and other support, see here: www.seraphine.com/ballerina-bow-black.html


Cold Sores
Unfortunately I suffer from cold sores, probably the result of some teenage snog way back when grr. What a pain! Every time I get run down they pop up. I have one right now on my lip! Not very attractive! Cold sores are common and generally caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. I have decided not to use Zovirax this time which is my usual effective preventative method. The NHS advises using only if the doctor thinks it's really necessary during pregnancy.
Bruised ribs
Again the relaxin hormone making the ribs softer, but also bubs kicking me in them. Ouch!

Bleeding Gums
I suffered from bleeding gums quite badly last time, although not quite as much this time, only when I floss. According to the NHS website: 'Bleeding gums are caused by a build-up of plaque (bacteria) on the teeth. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding. This is also called pregnancy gingivitis. Dental care is free during pregnancy and until one year after your due date. To get free dental care, you need to apply for a maternity exemption certificate (MatEx). Ask your doctor, nurse or midwife for form FW8. You complete parts 1 and 2 of the form and your doctor, midwife or nurse signs it to confirm that the information you've given is correct.'

Constipation
Again I suffered more from constipation last time, possibly due to the fact that I am now vegan and probably eat more fruit, veg and fibre. However, I still get it on occasions, possibly due to taking iron in my Pregnacare supplement. During pregnancy, the muscle contractions that normally move food through your intestines slow down because of higher levels of the hormone progesterone, as well as the extra iron in your prenatal vitamin supplements. Don't take your own laxatives, go to the doctor to make sure thye are safe. Last time she gave me Lactulose, a sugary syrup. However, this time I am trying prune juice and a healthy diet.

Haemorrhoids
I have had a few instances of piles, also known as haemorrhoids, which are enlarged and swollen veins in or around the lower rectum and anus. Charming. When you're pregnant, piles can occur because hormones make your veins relax. The telltale sign is bleeding. I haven't tried any of the usual prescribed treatments yet though such as Anusol.

Nausea
Caused by the high hormone levels during pregnancy, nausea and morning sickness are more common at the start of the pregnancy. For some reason I seem to have been getting  this a bit again at 6 months, but I think it may be exhaustion related. People will suggest all sorts of remedies but I found that not too much water at once, and eating regular bananas helped me! The usual suggestions such as ginger or peppermint were no good for me.

Heartburn/Indigestion
This is really bothering me at the moment. According to the NHS website: 'Heartburn is a strong, burning pain in the chest that is caused by stomach acid passing from your stomach into your oesophagus (the tube that leads from your mouth to your stomach). When you're pregnant, you are more likely to have indigestion due to: hormonal changes that your body is going through, your growing womb (uterus) pressing on your stomachand the relaxing of the lower oesophageal sphincter (ring of muscle) that acts like a gate between your stomach and your oesophagus, allowing stomach acid to leak back up.' Last time I used to drink a glass of milk for it, but now being vegan, I have turned to the Gaviscon (get it free on prescription). I also find that drinking lots of water at once makes it worse, or bending/laying down soon after eating.


Thrush
I have a constant battle with thrush (candida) during pregnancy, getting it everywhere including bouts in my mouth, lush! Apparently the pregnancy hormones can disturb the natural balance, causing yeast overgrowth. Not keen to use the Nystatin prescribed to me by the doc afetr reading up on it and the risks, I have stuck to Corsodyl mouthwash for the mouth (get it free on prescription) and Canesten cream down below. You can also try cuting down the amount of yeast you eat in your diet, although it is not advised to carry out the full hardcore Candida diet during pregnancy.

Cystitis- Urine Infection
Another thing that seems to re-occur during my pregnancies is water infections, despite drinking tons of water. I have managed to avoid antibiotics by drinking loads of water and cranberry juice.

Never mind though, only 10 weeks more of all this and it will all miraculously disappear and be replaced by sleeples nights, breastfeeding issues and a beautiful wonderful amazing gift- my son.

CB

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