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YOUR PREGNANCY - 0-12 WEEKS

Your baby grows very quickly in the first three months of your pregnancy creating noticeable physical effects, some not so welcome as others. These tips may help you deal with the uncomfortable side-effects of early pregnancy.

Tender, enlarged breasts

This occurs because hormones are preparing your breasts for breastfeeding.

• Wear a good supporting bra - day and night.
• Put a cold flannel on them if they feel hot.
• Gently massage them yourself.
• Try cutting out caffeine.

Constipation

Pregnancy hormones soften your muscles and ligaments, which can make the muscles of your bowel sluggish.

• Eat a lot of fibre, fruit and vegetables.
• Drink plenty of water or fruit juice.

Bleeding gums

The combination of the pregnancy hormones softening your tissues and the extra blood can make your gums soft and spongy.
• Brush teeth gently with a soft brush, especially along the gum-line.
• Use dental floss.
• Avoid sugary foods and drinks.

Stuffy nose, runny nose or nosebleeds

Hormones and the extra blood can also affect the lining of your nose.
• Do not blow your nose too hard.
• For a stuffy nose, try steam inhalation. Consult your doctor before taking any decongestants.
• If you do get a nosebleed, pinch the sides of your nose gently and lean forward slightly.

Dizziness

During pregnancy, your blood pressure may be low. If you stand for a long time, or get up too quickly, the blood supply to your brain may be temporarily reduced, making you dizzy.
• Avoid standing for long periods of time.
• Get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position.
Dizziness can also be caused by your blood sugar levels getting too low, so try to eat small snacks on a regular basis. If you feel faint, sit down and put your head between your knees, loosen any tight clothing and breathe deeply.

Thrush

This is a thick, itchy white vaginal discharge caused by a change in the acid-alkali balance in the vagina.
• Use an antifungal cream or pessary. If you buy this over the counter, tell the pharmacist you're pregnant.
• Eat less sugar and more live yogurt.
• Wear cotton knickers and don't wear tights.

Headaches

The extra blood you have may cause an increase in pressure in the blood vessels in your head.
• Massage your scalp with your fingers.
• Cut out caffeine and drink more water.
• Make time to relax.
• Take a paracetamol.

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