Nausea and vomiting
Nausea is probably pregnancy’s most common side effect but it can be experienced in many different ways. Women can suffer from it for a short period or many weeks. The trick is to eat less, but more often! Have a cookie or a piece of fruit before getting up. Drink a lot and ban fatty foods from your diet.
Hormones are once again to blame here! During pregnancy, breasts are getting ready for lactation and become very sensitive. Itching and tingling are also common side effects. Remember that although these feelings can be irritating, they are only temporary!
Frequent need to pee
Your frequent need to pee is explained by the fact that your baby is taking up more space in your belly and pressing on your bladder. Sometimes, a slight incontinence (when you cough, sneeze or laugh, for example) can also occur. The ligament tissues and the sphincter muscles are more supple.
The first trimester is often the one where mothers only want one thing….to sleep! As a matter of fact, progesterone is responsible for knocking you out in the afternoon and making you want to nap all the time. In the second trimester everything goes back to normal and your energy level goes back up. However, during the last trimester, the baby’s weight and all the physical changes bring back fatigue.
Allow yourself a few breaks and split your days to be more efficient. Get plenty of sleep and listen to your body’s signals. Make sure your fatigue isn’t due to anaemia. Talk to your doctor if you are in doubt.
Heartburn is often the result of a slow digestion or a compression of the abdomen due to the baby’s growth. Gastric juices stagnate in the digestive system because it is lazier during pregnancy or flow back into the oesophagus and irritate it.
To avoid heartburn, eliminate fat and spicy foods from your diet, don’t lay down right after a meal and eat foods that activate the elimination of gastric juices (milk, bread and eggs, for example).
Varicose veins, oedema, and heavy legs
Varicose veins usually appear during the last trimester. Oedema is the result of water and salt retention. It is not dangerous unless related to arterial problems. To avoid this problem, refrain from standing up for long periods of time and wearing socks that cut off your circulation, and try to elevate your legs slightly when you sleep. Your legs may feel heavy during your pregnancy. Don’t panic, it's normal. It's essentially due to the stagnation or slowing down of blood and increased blood pressure in the veins of the legs, as well as the loss of tone of the vein wall.
Stretch marks appear when the belly starts to round up, at about fourth month. They are the result of the skin’s rapid stretching. As a matter of fact, stretch marks are actually little rips underneath the skin. On the surface, you see fine and long streaks that give your skin a rippled look. Having stretch marks mainly depends on the skin’s quality and its collagen and elastin levels.
There are no miracle solutions to stretch marks! They will fade after the delivery but will unfortunately never disappear completely.
A lack of magnesium in the body is responsible for these spontaneous and painful calf cramps that usually happen during the night, making future mothers tense with pain. A good food high in magnesium? A simple banana! Make sure to drink lots of water as well!
Hot flashes and perspiration
During pregnancy, sweat glands are very active and it's a good thing since their role is to eliminate your body’s toxins. However, thisalso brings on hot flashes and intense perspiration.
Due to an increase in hormones, some women (mostly brunettes) can see dark spots appear on their skin. We call this temporary skin problem a "pregnancy mask", or also chloasma or melasma. These spots are mainly found on the forehead, temples, cheeks, upper lip and cheek bones and are highly associated to sun exposure. So better be careful!
Dizziness, light-headedness, and fainting
Due to low blood sugar or a hypoglycaemia problem, some pregnant women feel dizzy, lightheaded and may even faint. The pressure put on blood vessels and the increased blood pressure may also be responsible for these side effects. Make sure to get up slowly and avoid changing positions too quickly. Don’t lay flat on your back.
Headaches are due to changes in blood pressure and blood flow. When you add fatigue to the mix, headaches become that much more intense, so it’s important to rest.