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What happens to your body and period during pregnancy?

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 pregnancy symptoms... 

1. Your boobs could hurt.

There are several signs that you may be pregnant and yes — one of them is sore and tender breasts. You could also be urinating more frequently, feeling nauseous (thanks, morning sickness), 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.

2. You need to confirm your pregnancy

Pregnancy tests are widely available in most supermarkets and pharmacies. 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. Remember, that not everyone experiences obvious pregnancy symptoms. You might also feel bloated, more emotional than usual, and feel cramps similar to period pains.

3. No, your morning sickness won’t last forever

It might feel like it right now, but morning sickness should ease off after the first trimester, although there are women who experience morning sickness for the duration of their pregnancies, 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.

4. If you’ve had unprotected sex, you could be pregnant.

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.

5. You may bleed in the beginning of your pregnancy

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 any is by no means a sign that you’re not pregnant. Experiencing menstruation during pregnancy? 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.

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Frequently Asked Question: Maternity

Am I pregnant?

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.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

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.

Will I still have post-partum bleeding if I have a c-section?

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.

Can I use a tampon after 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.

My period seems heavier since my baby has been born?

It can take a while for your menstrual cycle to get back into a routine and even then you may find that your cycle and flow are different. If you feel you need to change your tampon every 2 hours or less, then it would be wise to switch up absorbencies on these heavier days...and don't worry this is quite normal and nothing you need be alarmed by.

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