Changes during pregnancy
You may see and feel changes to your body during pregnancy - many of these are normal, but if you have any worries or questions please ask your midwife.
Many women experience different degrees of 'morning' sickness, especially during the first part of their pregnancy. Despite the name, the sickness may occur at any time of the day or night. Many women find it manageable to continue, with some changes to their lifestyle - for example many find that eating a lighter diet, but with more frequent and regular meals can help them feel more normal.
However some women experience a more severe form of morning sickness, called hyperemesis gravidarum which can lead them to become dehydrated and malnourished due to their difficulties in keeping fluids and food down. If you are struggling, please contact your midwife for advice. Some women may need to be admitted to hospital for support with drugs to manage the vomiting, or fluid support but this will be explained to you if it is necessary. You may find if you have suffered before, you are more likely to have difficulties in following pregnancies too.
For more information about morning sickness, please click here.
Changes to your body shape
Women often find that they are changing shape in many areas, not just around their middle, whilst they are pregnant. It is common for your breasts to get bigger, your hips may change shape and even your feet may go up a size!
These changes are usually just your body preparing for birth or coping with having more weight to carry round with them, and many will return to normal once you have given birth. If you are worried about any changes, talk to your midwife.
Changes in your pelvis
Some women will develop pain in their pelvis at later stages of pregnancy. This may happen during walking or when getting in and out of bed or a car. This is known as pelvic girdle pain. If you are finding getting around increasingly painful, please ask your midwife for advice. You can access physiotherapy to help maintain the correct muscles to minimise the impact of this condition and you may also be prescribed painkillers or advised around ways of moving.
You can find more information here to minimise any problems.
Some women will have significant pain and may require crutches or pelvic belts to help them move around, or in very severe cases you may be advised to have much more rest than usual. Again, your midwife or obstetrician will be able to offer advice.
Please make sure you advise you midwifery team if you are having problems as they will help you prepare to give birth in the most comfortable position for you, and potentially avoid any longer term impact.
Other more unusual changes
You may find there are other things you think are different when you are pregnant. You may be more susceptible to different infections, have problems related to stretched muscles such as sciatica, your skin pigment may darken in some places or all over and there may be other niggles that you don't know if they're related to your pregnancy or not. If you have any concerns, contact your midwife.