Common Pregnancy Problems

sleeping pregnant woman

Many minor problems can develop during pregnancy, most of these are innocent. Some of the more common issues are discussed below. If you are not sure, please ask.

Back pain – almost universal in pregnancy, tends to be worse closer to your due date. Try hot packs or wheat bags, massage, resting reclined or lying, warm shower or bath. If this is not effective physiotherapists will usually be able to provide relief or pain reliving medication (Panadol / Panadeine) may be used.

Reflux – may present with burning in your throat or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Avoid eating soon before bed, avoid spicy or rich foods. Try sleeping on 2-3 pillows and consider antacids like Mylanta, Quick-Eze or Gaviscon. Prescribed medications may be required if severe.

Fetal Movements – movements will often be felt from 18 weeks although subtle, but should be felt from 24 weeks. Babies will usually produce some movement every hour. If you believe the frequency of movement of your baby has reduced, please let us know.

Nausea & Vomiting – extremely common in the first trimester but settles in most cases by 14 weeks. Eat small regular snacks, sips of fluid, sugary ice blocks. If more vomiting try Hydralyte or Gatorade. Medication including Maxolon or Ondansetron is often effective.

Colds and Flu – most people will get a cold within a 9 month period, so very common in pregnancy. Try Panadol for the fever and pains, cough lollies like Strepsils and Difflam for a sore throat, drinking fluids, nasal sprays - Otrivin for a blocked nose. There is no cure for the common cold so rest may be all that is helpful.

Food Safety – food standards in Australia are excellent and severe food borne infections like Listeria are thankfully very rare. Avoid soft cheeses like brie, camembert and fetta. Avoid raw meats, be careful with cured meats like mettwurst and salami. Anything properly cooked will have the germs destroyed.

Stretch Marks – will occur if the amount of Collagen fibres in the skin is high and the Elastin fibres are low. You are born with this. Creams and lotions will not stop stretch marks. Moisturisers may however make you feel better and stop itching.

Air Travel During Pregnancy – as a guideline, avoid international travel after 32 weeks and domestic after 34 weeks unless absolutely necessary. Consider compression stockings to minimize the risk of blood clots / DVT. Check if travel insurance covers you for pregnancy overseas.

Sex During Pregnancy – providing your pregnancy is uncomplicated, sex is OK. Some positions may not be comfortable. If you have a short cervix or low placenta, avoiding sex is usually recommended.

Spray Tans, Hair Dye & Manicures – all completely safe in pregnancy

Exercise – if you were previously exercising, it is OK to maintain your fitness. As you get more pregnant, you will not have the same exercise tolerance. Listen to your body, if it hurts slow down. Avoid high impact activity. Swimming Yoga and Pilates are all excellent.