Food Cravings And Aversions
The underlying cause of food cravings and aversions is still unclear. Different people seek out and avoid different foods.
Regardless, it is important to take in the right amounts of nutrients and calories.
Signs You Should Take A Pregnancy Test: Early Signs Of Pregnancy
Different people have different reactions to the idea that they might be pregnant. Whatever your feelings are, you can prepare for the future by learning about the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
If you want to find out if youre pregnant for sure, youll need to get a testing kit. You can buy a pregnancy test at most drugstores and pharmacies or order one online.
Many of the early signs of pregnancy are very similar to those youd experience around the time of your period. None of these early signs of pregnancy can determine that youre pregnant for sure, so consider them symptoms to look out for, rather than a reliable test. Youll need to take a pregnancy test if you want to confirm that youve conceived.
Here are 10 common signs of early pregnancy:
Talk With Your Doctor
Ironically, many of the supplements and medications that do a pregnant body good can exacerbate constipation. So check with your practitioner about alternatives or adjustments in dosages until the situation improves.
Also ask your practitioner about taking a magnesium supplement to help fight constipation. Taking it at night may relax achy muscles and help you sleep better, too.
And let your provider know if at-home measures arent getting things moving. He or she may recommend over-the-counter meds like docusate or polyethylene glycol.
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Smell Sensitivity And Food Aversions During Early Pregnancy
Smell sensitivity is a symptom of early pregnancy thats mostly self-reported. Theres little scientific evidence about smell sensitivity during the first trimester. However, it might be important, since smell sensitivity may trigger nausea and vomiting. It may also cause strong distaste for certain foods.
You may experience either a heightened or lessened sense of smell during pregnancy, according to 2017 research. This is especially common during the first and third trimesters. Heightened smell is more common than lessened smell. Some smells that never bothered you before may become less pleasing or even trigger nausea.
The good news is that your sense of smell usually returns to normal after delivery, or within 6 to 12 weeks postpartum.
The Microbiome Gut Bacteria And Pregnancy
Your body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy, and this can affect the ecosystem of bacteria in your gut. These trillions of microbial cells do important jobs for overall health, like producing vitamins and short-chain fatty acids that keep your gut happy.
Its important to nourish the good microbes in your colon so they can continue to support your digestion and keep everything running smoothly, because bacteria can also influence gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
The key to a happy gut microbiome is whole foods because fruit, veg, whole grains, nuts, and seeds contain special molecules called prebiotics that good bacteria feed on. They even help protect you from nasty bugs that can cause gastroenteritis during pregnancy.
With an Atlas Microbiome Test, you will discover which bacteria you have, which you lack and how to cultivate the ones you need. Based on these results, we’ll calculate your risk score for five inflammatory diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s.
When you purchase an Atlas Microbiome Test, you will also receive a 1-1 consultation with one of our expert nutritionists. Drawing on their wealth of experience, they can help you encourage diversity, cultivate beneficial bacteria and harness the power of a healthy microbiome.
TIP See how your gut bacteria adapt to each trimester of your pregnancy with the Atlas Microbiome Test.
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Treating Diarrhea And Preventing Dehydration
To treat diarrhea, your healthcare provider may recommend a safe over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication. Your provider may also recommend other steps, such as getting intravenous fluids to help replenish any fluid loss.
If you have diarrhea, itâs important to drink plenty of fluids and to call your provider right away if you notice these signs of dehydration:
Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
Losing Your Bowels During Delivery
When you tell friends and family that youre expecting, some will see this as an invitation to share their own pregnancy story the good, the bad, and the ugly.
And when it comes to actually having the baby, you may feel it doesnt get any uglier than losing your bowels during delivery. In fact, this might be your greatest fear.
But the truth is that pooping during delivery is common, and its nothing to be ashamed or worried about.
The muscles you use to bring life into the world are the same muscles you use during a bowel movement. So yes, it can happen. Just know that you wouldnt be the first mother to poop during delivery, and you wont be the last.
If it makes you feel any better, the hospital prepares for this possibility. A nurse will swiftly clean it up as if it never happened.
But if youre still concerned about this, you can try and relieve yourself before youre ready to push. Ask your nurse or doctor if its safe to take a suppository. These often trigger a bowel movement within minutes.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Becoming Constipated During Pregnancy
You can reduce your risk of becoming constipated by doing the same things you would do to manage constipation. Pay attention to how much fiber youre eating and fluids youre drinking. Schedule exercise that feels doable for you. Walking, swimming, yoga, pilates and light aerobics are all good options to keep your bowel active.
Diarrhea In Early Pregnancy
Early on in your pregnancy, your body starts going through lots of changes, and these can affect your bowel movements, leading to either hard or loose stools. For example, as levels of the hormone progesterone increase, this can cause your digestive system to slow down, often leading to constipation.
Changes to your diet and nutrition as part of your pregnancy may result in changes in your bowels, too. For instance, if youâre eating more fiber now or taking prenatal vitamins, these changes can affect the frequency and consistency of your bowel movements.
For some people, consuming more fiber-rich foods â such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains â can help with constipation, but for others such a sudden change in diet can cause gas, cramping, and even diarrhea.
Drinking more water can help with constipation, and can help replenish the fluids lost by having diarrhea. Talk to your healthcare provider if youâre having trouble with any digestive issues such as bloating or diarrhea in early pregnancy.
If youâre in the early stages of pregnancy and wondering when your little one is due, use our Due Date Calculator to get an estimate.
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Pregnancy Glow And Acne During Early Pregnancy
Many people may begin saying you have the pregnancy glow. The combination of increased blood volume and higher hormone levels pushes more blood through your vessels. This causes the bodys oil glands to work overtime.
The increased activity of your bodys oil glands gives your skin a flushed, glossy appearance. On the other hand, you may also develop acne.
in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that taking a home pregnancy test at this point will give a more accurate result.
Home pregnancy tests are inexpensive and widely available without a prescription in pharmacies and other stores.
You can take a test earlier than this if you want, but you run the risk of getting a false negative result. This means the test may say youre not pregnant, but in fact you are.
If you take a home pregnancy test too early, there may not be enough hCG in your urine yet for the test to detect it. Home pregnancy tests work by testing the amount of hCG in your urine. This is a hormone thats only present in the blood and urine of pregnant people.
Also, every persons body chemistry is a bit different. One person may get a positive result as early as a day after their period, while another persons positive results may not show up for another week. So, early test results may not be the most accurate.
Unlike at-home urine tests, blood tests are usually done in a clinical setting. Contact your doctor if you want this type of test.
How Do I Know I Am Pregnant
If you’re experiencing early signs of pregnancy then the next thing to do is a home pregnancy test to confirm it. These are are available from chemists and supermarkets and are very sensitive. They test for the presence of a hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotrophin in your urine. Beta-hCG is produced by your body when an egg attaches and fixes itself into the wall of your womb .
Different makes of pregnancy tests vary in how sensitive they are. The more sensitive ones can become positive only a few days after conception. However, a negative test does not mean that you are not pregnant it may just mean that the levels of this hormone are not high enough to be detected by the test.
As pregnancy tests vary in how you use them, it is important to read the instructions carefully before you do the test.
If your first pregnancy test is negative but you think you may be pregnant then you should repeat the pregnancy test one week later. If you have a positive pregnancy test, this does not need to be repeated by a doctor or a midwife.
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When Can I Expect Constipation To End While I’m Pregnant
For some women, constipation lasts throughout pregnancy as progesterone levels peak. However, if you change up your eating and exercise habits, things usually begin moving more smoothly. And you can take steps to combat constipation at any point during your pregnancy.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Spotting And Missed Period
Although this has always been the most obvious sign of pregnancy, many women now find out they are pregnant before they miss their first period.
Many women may have a small amount of bleeding at the time of their missed period. This is sometimes called an ‘implantation bleed’. It happens when the fertilised egg attaches and fixes itself in the wall of your womb . It is harmless.
However, if you have any spotting or heavy bleeding when you are pregnant then you should let your doctor or midwife know. In some cases further tests are necessary. This is because bleeding can sometimes be a sign of a miscarriage.
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First Trimester Changes In Your Body
Pregnancy is different for every woman. Some women glow with good health during those first 3 months others feel absolutely miserable. Here are some of the changes you might notice, what they mean, and which signs warrant a call to your doctor.
Bleeding. About 25% of pregnant women have slight bleeding during their first trimester. Early in the pregnancy, light spotting may be a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in your uterus. But if you have severe bleeding, cramping, or sharp pain in your belly, call the doctor. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy .
Breast tenderness.Sore breasts are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. They’re triggered by hormonal changes, which are getting your milk ducts ready to feed your baby. Your breasts will probably be sore throughout the first trimester. Going up a bra size and wearing a support bra can make you feel more comfortable. You probably wonât go back to your regular bra size until after your baby is finished nursing.
Constipation. During pregnancy, high levels of the hormone progesterone slow down the muscle contractions that normally move food through your system. Add to that the extra iron you’re getting from your prenatal vitamin, and the result is uncomfortable constipation and gas that can keep you feeling bloated throughout your pregnancy. Eat more fiber and drink extra fluids to keep things moving more smoothly. Physical activity can also help.
Reflux Can Be Painful
Other hormonal changes can lead you to develop another common symptom, reflux.
Levels of the hormone progesterone, for instance, steadily rise over the course of a pregnancy. This can lead to the oesophageal sphincter muscle which is at the lower end of your food pipe, before it meets the stomach to become more lax.
The loosening of this muscle makes it easier for stomach acid to move back up into the food pipe. This can cause a painful burning sensation in the upper part of your abdomen or just behind the breastbone.
Later in the pregnancy, your growing uterus and baby can start to really push up on your stomach.
This can also lead to reflux as direct pressure on the stomach forces stomach acid back into the food pipe.
Read more:Explainer: what is gastric reflux?
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Implantation Bleeding Or Spotting
If you’re pregnant, the lastthing you’d expect to see is any spotting or vaginal bleeding. But if you notice light spotting around the time your period is due, it could be implantation bleeding. This might be caused by the fertilized egg settling into the lining of your uterus.
Note: About 1 in 4 women experience spotting or light bleeding during the first trimester. It’s often nothing, but sometimes it’s a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. If your bleeding is severe or accompanied by pain or lightheadedness, or if you’re at all concerned, call your doctor or midwife.
When To Call The Doctor
If youve tried everything and youre still struggling or its been a few days since youve actually been able to poop, Greves says its probably time to check in with your doctor or midwife. Its not taboo to talk about poop . And, trust us, once baby comes, itll become a regular part of your vernacular. Consider this practice.
Constipation in pregnancy is par for the courseits one of the many not-so-enjoyable consequences of those surging hormones. So if youre having a hard time, remember that this too shall pass . Unfortunately, theres no guaranteed way to get immediate constipation relief during pregnancy, but incorporating some healthy habits into your routine can help get things going again. Of course, dont hesitate to reach out to your OB or midwife if you think theres a problem.
About the experts:
Michael Cackovic, MD, is an ob-gyn and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He received his medical degree from MCP Hahnemann University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Christine Greves, MD, is a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, Florida. She received her medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine where she also completed her residency.
, CNM, RN is a certified nurse-midwife at the Mayo Clinic.
Plus, more from The Bump:
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Why Am I Constipated
An increase in the progesterone hormone during pregnancy causes the relaxation of your bodys muscles. That includes your intestines. And slower moving intestines means slower digestion. This can lead to constipation.
Constipation is common during pregnancy. Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation and other bowel issues at some point, according to a study published in .
From over-the-counter pills to natural cures, there are a whole host of remedies available for relieving constipation.
But when pregnancys involved, the number of solutions shrinks.
These five remedies are pregnancy-safe.
A diet high in fiber helps prevention constipation. It also supplies pregnant women with vitamins and antioxidants.
Pregnant women should try to consume 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber each day to stay regular and healthy.
Try cutting up some raspberries, apples, bananas, figs, and strawberries for a refreshing fruit salad. Or roast some sweet corn, Brussels sprouts, and carrots for a delightful side dish.
Its important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. That might mean doubling your water intake.
Pregnant women should drink at least eight 12-ounce glasses of water a day. This will help keep your bowels soft and moving smoothly through your digestive tract.
Check with your doctor about what exercises are safe for you and your baby.
Feeling Gassy No Youre Not Imaging It
The Finnish study also found excess farting is extremely common a few days after birth. It affected 81% of women but this number dropped to 30% one month after birth.
Bloating is another common symptom found a few days after birth affecting 59% of women, and this decreases to 14% of women one month afterwards.
So why is this happening? We can look to your gut microbiome for clues. This is the unique universe of micro-organisms , and their genes, that live in your gut.
During and after pregnancy, there are profound changes to the gut microbiome. These may cause an increase in gas production or lead to constipation.
So the good news from the Finnish study is that normal bowel function is restored quickly after childbirth for most women, but might be a touch longer for women after a caesarean.
If youre concerned about gut symptoms during or after pregnancy, seek advice from a health-care professional, who can discuss treatment and referral options.
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