Pregnancy Basics (cont.)

Dizziness

Many pregnant women complain of dizziness and lightheadedness throughout their pregnancies. Fainting is rare but does happen even in some healthy pregnant women. There are many reasons for these symptoms. The growth of more blood vessels in early pregnancy, the pressure of the expanding uterus on blood vessels, and the body's increased need for food all can make a pregnant woman feel lightheaded and dizzy.

What might help:

  • Stand up slowly.
  • Avoid standing for too long.
  • Don't skip meals.
  • Lie on your left side.
  • Wear loose clothing.

Call the doctor if you feel faint and have vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain.

Fatigue, sleep problems

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During your pregnancy, you might feel tired even after you've had a lot of sleep. Many women find they're exhausted in the first trimester. Don't worry, this is normal! This is your body's way of telling you that you need more rest. In the second trimester, tiredness is usually replaced with a feeling of well being and energy. But in the third trimester, exhaustion often sets in again. As you get larger, sleeping may become more difficult. The baby's movements, bathroom runs, and an increase in the body's metabolism might interrupt or disturb your sleep. Leg cramping can also interfere with a good night's sleep.

What might help:

  • Lie on your left side.
  • Use pillows for support such as behind your back, tucked between your knees, and under your tummy.
  • Practice good sleep habits such as going to bed and getting up at the same time each day and using your bed only for sleep and sex.
  • Go to bed a little earlier.
  • Nap if you are not able to get enough sleep at night.
  • Drink needed fluids earlier in the day so you can drink less in the hours before bed.

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Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with pregnancy body changes.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Morning Sickness Question: Please describe your experience with morning sickness during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Constipation Question: Discuss the diet or exercise changes you made to relieve constipation during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Sleep Issues Question: What changes did you make in your sleeping environment or routine while you were pregnant?
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Skin Question: Did you get stretch marks or other changes in your skin while pregnant? Please share your experience, including treatments.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Numb Hands Question: If you developed carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy, how did you relieve the symptoms? Do you still have it?
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Incontinence Question: Did you have urinary problems while pregnant? What did you do to relieve the symptoms? Do you still have issues?