Advice for new mums about body changes and periods.
If you're reading this, then you're probably expecting a little bundle of joy soon. Congratulations! Pregnancy is an exciting journey filled with lots of new experiences. One of the biggest changes you'll experience during this time is in your body. For example, you will typically have no period for the duration of your pregnancy.
From the moment you conceive, your body will start to change to accommodate your growing baby. Some changes will be more obvious than others, but all of them are completely normal in most cases.
We're going to take a closer look at what to expect and some of the body changes you might experience during pregnancy.
There are several signs that you may be pregnant and yes — one of them is tender breasts. During the early stages of pregnancy, hormonal changes can cause your breasts to become sore and tender to the touch. You may also notice that your breasts feel heavier or fuller, and your nipples may be more sensitive. But it’s important to remember that not everyone experiences these signs.
Wearing a supportive bra can help reduce the strain on your breasts and provide some relief. You can also try taking a warm bath or using a heating pad to soothe soreness. These methods should also help with postpartum care once you have given birth.
Bloating and cramps are both common symptoms during pregnancy. As your body changes to accommodate your growing baby, you may experience bloating and cramping in the early stages of pregnancy.
Bloating: During pregnancy, your body produces more progesterone, which can cause your digestive system to slow down. This can lead to bloating, gas, and constipation. Bloating can be uncomfortable, but it's usually not a cause for concern. To help reduce bloating, try eating smaller, more frequent meals, avoid foods that are high in fat or sugar, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Cramps: It's also common to experience cramping during early pregnancy. These cramps are often similar to menstrual cramps and can occur when the fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus. As your uterus grows, you may also experience cramping as your ligaments stretch to accommodate the growth. In most cases, cramping during early pregnancy is normal, but it's always a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider if you're experiencing severe pain, bleeding, or cramps that don't go away.
It might feel like it right now, but morning sickness should ease off after the first trimester, although there are women who experience it right up until birth. It’s also important to remember — and yes, it’s really annoying — that nausea is not limited to the morning (yes, we also think it’s poorly named). Chat to your doctor about managing your ‘morning sickness’ if it is becoming disruptive to your daily life or if you’re worried about becoming dehydrated.
It seems obvious, but many women still find it a bit shocking that their periods are gone for nine whole months. Some women do experience implantation bleeding, but not having this is by no means a sign that you’re not pregnant. It’s also good to know that some women do experience some light bleeding when they’re pregnant. It’s often around the time that their period would have been due, and while it’s surprisingly common, you should chat to your healthcare practitioner or clinic staff if you have any concerns. If by any chance you should start bleeding profusely or experience any pain, make an urgent appointment to see your doctor, to rule out miscarriage or complications.
As most of us know, the earliest sign is a missed period but this could also be down to stress or other factors. The easiest and quickest way to answer your question is to take a home pregnancy test, which can be taken from the first day of your missed period. They're usually pretty reliable but if you're unsure, contact your GP and get booked in.
In most cases it's totally safe to have sex when pregnant, though you may want to avoid putting too much pressure on your bump and breasts! If you have a high-risk pregnancy or have had any bleeding then it's worth consulting your midwife or doctor first, just to be on the safe side.
Unfortunately the answer is yes. As the bleeding is mostly the lining of the womb it's totally normal to have vaginal bleeding after a caesarean, just as you would for a vaginal birth.
We would advise against this straight after birth as your vagina needs time to heal and using internal protection could increase the risk of infection. You're best to wait for your 6 week check, where your midwife will inform you if you're okay to use tampons.