24-hour pregnancy survival guide
7am – Wake up to nausea
Yawn! Waking up, you fumble for the alarm, prise off the covers and… run to the loo to be sick. “Morning sickness affects around 90% of pregnant women,” says midwife Denise Tiran, director of expectancy.co.uk and author of Have a Happy Pregnancy. “It’s mainly due to hormones, but can be made worse by stress and fatigue. Ginger can offer relief, but avoid ginger biscuits as they contain too little ginger and too much sugar to be effective.”
“When I was 7 weeks pregnant with Savannah, I discovered Sea-Band acupressure wristbands, normally used for travel sickness. Within 10 minutes of wearing them, the nausea eased. I wore them all day every day, only taking them off in the shower. They made pregnancy bearable.”
Sophie Mitchell, from south London, mum to Phoenix, 3, and Savannah, 11 months
8am – Bunged up
Just as you finish being poorly, now it’s time to sit on the loo and find you’re bunged up inside. “The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes and slows down movement inside your intestines,” says Denise. “Eat lots of fruit and vegetables – high-fibre veg like celery and watercress are good – and keep up your fluid intake. Avoid too much tea as the tannin can slow down gut movement. If you’re eating bran, double your water intake or it will cause more blockage.”
But that’s not all, straining from being bunged up can give you piles. Signs include a sore bottom and bleeding. Always speak to your midwife about any bleeding down below and indeed elsewhere, like your gums. You might find they bleed when you clean your teeth – hormonal changes cause gums to swell and inflame. Keep flossing and brushing to keep gum disease at bay. And remember, you’re entitled to free NHS dental treatment when you’re pregnant.
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9am – Rat race pressure
The world doesn’t stop just because you’re pregnant, and that includes work. Unless you’re already on maternity leave you’ll still be facing the daily commute. An increase in the ovarian hormone relaxin is stretching your ligaments and muscles, making you more prone to ankle strains, so avoid high heels advises Joanna Cram of the British Osteopathic Association. “Good running shoes are more comfortable,” she advises.
Then you make it into work just in time for a much-needed loo break. “Pressure from your growing uterus might make you feel you constantly need to urinate,” says Denise. “Don’t cut fluid intake though, or you may be more prone to urinary infections.”
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11am – Mid-morning slump
“Your body’s working hard at nurturing this pregnancy, so it’s no surprise you feel exhausted just a few hours into the day – it’s your body’s way of telling you to rest,” says Jacqueline Harvey, pregnancy wellness expert at www.crystalclearhealth.co.uk. “Go for a lie down if you’re at home.” If you’re at the office, take five minutes away from your computer screen and find a quiet place to have a break.
Don’t get up too quickly, though – you’ll end up feeling faint. “Changes in your circulation during pregnancy mean your blood pressure fluctuates, so get up slowly from sitting and
lying down,” says Denise.
1pm – Lunch + indigestion
A little – or a lot – of what you fancy helps boost your mood and energy levels, but you may be irritated by indigestion and heartburn afterwards. “During pregnancy progesterone relaxes the valve at the entrance to your stomach, causing a small amount of acid to surge upwards into your oesophagus,” explains Denise. “Avoid rich, spicy fried foods and eat small frequent meals to avoid pressure on the valve from an overfull stomach.”