Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

As the baby grows, your body will go through many changes. You may have nausea and vomiting during earlypregnancy. Your breasts will get larger and can make you uncomfortable. Stretch marks may show up on your skin. You may have back and leg aches from the weight of the growing baby. You may have have mood changes going from joy to mild depression. These changes are normal but talk to your doctor if you are depressed all the time.

Morning Sickness:
Experts are unsure of the reason for morning sickness. Changes in your hormones and blood sugar may cause it. Stress and nerves can make the problem worse. You may have nausea and vomiting any time during the day. Eating small, frequent meals and avoiding greasy or spicy foods should help. Try eating a few soda crackers or a piece of dry toast before getting out of the bed in the morning.
Talk to your doctor if the nausea and vomiting lasts past the first 3 months of pregnancy of if you are losing weights. Do not take medicine for nausea and vomiting without checking with your doctor.

Tiredness:
You may need more sleep to feel your best. Taking a few 10 to 15 minute rest breaks during the day may help you feel better. Try to stay well-rested. This will help you deal with the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy.

Back pain:
You are likely to have back pain as your baby grows.When you need to bend down, try squatting instead. When squatting remember to use your leg muscles instead of your back muscles. Also try to maintain good posture by standing straight at all times. Wearing shoes with good support is also very important.

Sore Breasts:
Your breasts will get larger, heavier and possible sore. A good supporting bra may help you feel better, especially if sometimes even worn 24 hours a day. You also may find clear or milk-like liquid coming from your nipples. This is perfectly normal. Your nipples may also be sore. If this happens, wash them with water only. You may want to try applying lanolin to help the soreness.

Heartburn:
This is a common complaint during pregnancy. As the baby grows, acid from your stomach is pushed up into your esophagus or food tube, causing a burning sensation. Eating small, frequent meals rather than 3 large meals can help. Avoid eating greasy or spicy foods or lying down after eating. Ask you doctor before taking antacids.

Vaginal Discharge:
You may have thicker and heavier vaginal discharge, which could have an odor. Most of the time this is not a vaginal infection but it could be. Check with your doctor of the discharge is accompanied by burning or itching.

Frequent Urination:
You will urinate more often as the growing uterus presses on the bladder. You can also pass urine when you cough, sneeze or move.

Urinary Infections:
Infections in the urinary tract are more common during pregnancy. Call your doctor right away if you have burning or pain during urination.

Moodiness:
Your moods may quickly change from joy to sadness or mild depression. These changes are caused by variation in your body’s hormones. Talk to your doctor or someone close to you if you feel very sad or have feelings that could harm you.

Skin:
You may have red marks, called stretch marks on your skin. There is nothing that you can do to avoid gettingthem. They often fade after pregnancy. The skin on your face may darken. You can prevent this by using a sunscreen or staying out of the sun. You also may notice that the skin around your nipples and below your belly button is darker. After you have your baby, your skin will likely return to normal.

Bleeding Gums:
Brushing and flossing during pregnancy will keep your gums and teeth healthy. If you see your dentist during pregnancy be sure to tell him that you are pregnant.

Constipation:
Pregnancy can make your bowel movements hard to pass. To help this problem, drink plenty of liquids and eat foods high in fiber, like bran cereal, raisins, fruits and vegetables. Daily exercise may also help you.

Hemorrhoids:
These are enlarged veins in the rectal area which cause pain and itching. They occur when the growing uterus puts pressure on rectal veins. Eating fiber-filled foods, drinking liquids and exercising will help keep the bowel movements soft and help prevent this problem.

Leg Cramps:
As the baby grows and puts pressure on your lower body, your legs may not get enough blood. Leg cramps can develop when you are tired or not getting enough calcium in your diet. To ease the cramps, try to rest often with your legs higher than your heart. Drink milk and eat yogurt and cheeses. Talk to your doctor about your diet and taking daily calcium supplements.

Varicose Veins:
These are swollen veins in your lower body, often the legs, where blood moves slowly. You are more likely to get varicose veins if other members of your family have them. The growing baby and long periods of standing can both put pressure on these veins. If you have varicose veins in your legs, you should rest often with legs raised higher than your heart. If you have varicose veins in the genital area, rest often with a small pillow under your bottom. Varicose veins should improve or disappear after the delivery.

Edema:
Your fingers, feet and ankles may swell later in pregnancy. Lying down 2 to 3 times a day and raising your legs above your heart for about 10 to 15 minutes will reduce the swelling. Your legs will also feel better. Lie on your left side while sleeping. In this position the blood flow is better from your legs back to your heart and this helps prevent swelling. Cooking without salt can help reduce swelling. Even though you are retaining water, continue to drink plenty of liquids. Do not use diuretic supplements.

Round Ligament Pain:
On each side of your uterus are bands of tissue called ligaments. These hold the uterus in place. As the uterus grows, these ligaments are pulled and may cause abdominal pain. This is normal and you should not be concerned. Lying pm your sore side may help the pain.

Toxoplasmosis:
This is an infection pregnant women can get from eating raw meat or being around cat litter. It can cause birth defects and other pregnancy problems. Wash your hands after touching raw meat and make sure it is well-cooked. Let someone else clean your cat’s litter box. Do not garden in soil that cats use as a bathroom.