Crying at the drop of a hat? Wondering why your favourite foods suddenly make you want to throw up? If you’re pregnant, chances are that you’re experiencing some of the usual bodily changes. Here's some pregnancy advice on what to expect...
There are several signs that you may be pregnant and yes — one of them is tender breasts. You could also be urinating more frequently, feeling nauseous, or even vomiting, as well as feeling tired (think staying-up-all-night fatigued). It’s important to remember that not everyone experiences these signs and that the most obvious indication you may be pregnant is a late or missed period.
Remember that not everyone experiences obvious pregnancy symptoms. You might also feel bloated, more emotional than usual and feel cramps, like period pains. Pregnancy tests are widely available in most supermarkets and pharmacies and are the best way to confirm any early suspicions. If taken a week or so after a missed period, they will offer you a reliable result. If the result is positive, you should then book an appointment with your gynaecologist or inquire about antenatal services at your local clinic.
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.
But don’t bother peeing on a stick until you’ve waited a good week after your first missed period. Which is to say: you’re not going to get an accurate reading until the HCG hormones that are present during pregnancy are high enough to be picked up in a urine or blood sample.
It seems obvious, but many women still find it a bit shocking that their periods are gone for nine whole months (thanks HCG!). 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.