Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What are common complaints during pregnancy and what can I do about them?
In alphabetical order.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What are common complaints during pregnancy and what can I do about them?
In alphabetical order.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

In carpal tunnel syndrome, a nerve is pinched off in the tunnel of the wrist. This tunnel is formed by the bones of the wrist and the membrane that holds the bones together. During pregnancy, most women retain more fluid. Fluid retention in the wrist causes symptoms of nerve tightness; pain and tingling in the fingers, numbness in the fingertips and loss of strength in the hand. Sometimes the symptoms can be reduced by wearing a splint (skate glove) at night on the wrist.

Cramps

A regularly occurring complaint during pregnancy is muscle cramps in the calf or foot. The exact cause of this is not entirely known. The metabolism, magnesium deficiency and the removal of waste products from the muscles may play a role. It helps to pull the toes well in the direction of the body while the leg remains straight. If you experience this often, it may help to use Magnesium / Calcium oral solution or tablets, which are available at the drugstore.

Cystitis

During pregnancy you are more likely to get a bladder infection. A changed position of the bladder and sagging of the urethra can easily leave some urine in the bladder. This is a good breeding ground for bacteria. Bladder infection during pregnancy is therefore a common ailment, but fortunately treatable with antibiotics. During pregnancy, the symptoms of cystitis are often not as clear compared to a an infection of the bladder when you’re not pregnant. Complaints that may indicate a bladder infection are a constant nagging sensation in the lower abdomen, empty urge and / or having a hard belly. If you doubt whether you have a bladder infection, it is wise to have the urine checked by your doctor. An untreated bladder infection can cause annoying complications.

Dizziness

Many pregnant women, especially up to the 24th week of pregnancy, suffer from dizziness and sometimes even fainting. This is often due to the fact that blood pressure can suddenly drop during this part of the pregnancy. Getting up quickly from a lying position or standing for a long time in a warm room can lead to such a fall in blood pressure. Salt ensures that the blood pressure is raised slightly for a short time. If you are familiar with dizziness or low blood pressure, it is wise to ensure that you always have something salty with you, such as licorice. When you get dizzy, a licorice can make you feel better right away. In addition, it is good to drink enough and to sit on time if you are not feeling well. Dizziness won’t hurt you or your child.

Emotions

For most women, pregnancy is a period full of changing emotions. It is normal for both joy and doubt or fear to be felt. If the negative emotions dominate, it is important that you discuss this. You can always come to us to talk about this.

Fatigue

Hormonal changes cause fatigue symptoms. Most women suffer the most during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and the last weeks before childbirth. The growth and development of the child costs the body a lot of energy. It is best to listen to your body and take more rest if possible. If you suffer from extreme fatigue, we will  measure the amount of  iron in your blood. This is a preventative measure when you already pay attention to your diet and consume more iron-rich food. If the iron in your blood is too low, we will prescribe medication.

Flu

It can happen that you get the flu during pregnancy. This won’t hurt you or the baby. Make sure you keep drinking well and take a lot of rest. If you have a fever try to suppress it. For this you can take acetaminophen. This ensures that your temperature drops slightly. Contact us when the fever is persistant.

Fluid retention

Fluid retention is common when carrying a baby, especially during the last weeks of pregnancy. This can cause you to swell up in different areas of the body including the feet, ankle and sometimes hands. The fingers may tingle a little (see Carpal tunnel syndrome). You retain more fluid during less movement and warmth. It is important to drink at least 1.5 liter each day. The more you drink, the more your body removes (please note: it’s never good to drink too much). Certain vegetables decrease you fluid levels, like selery, fennel and leek. It helps to keep your legs higher than your hips while sitting and try to switch between standing and sitting. Without additional complaints such as headache, nausea or pain in the upper abdomen, fluid retention can do no harm. It is important to contact us in case you do have complaints. In that case, will need to check your blood pressure.

Gastric acid

The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes the muscle between the esophagus and stomach. In addition, the angle between the stomach and esophagus is less sharp, making it easier for the stomach acid to enter the esophagus. At the end of pregnancy, the pressure of the uterus against the stomach can also cause heartburn. This can be a problem especially in the evening after dinner and at night when you are in bed. Advice that can help with heartburn are:

  • Eat small portions during the day instead of three big meals
  • Avoid eating spicy and greasy food
  • Don’t drink carbonated drinks (but sometimes helps to reduce gastric acid)
  • Milk, vanilla custard or a mint can reduce stomach acid
  • Try to sit upright for more space in the abdominal cavity.
  • Probeer rechtop te zitten zodat er meer ruimte in de buikholte komt

Still suffer from heartburn after following our advice? Go to the drugstore, they have a big variety of products that can be used during pregnancy. 

Headache
Heart palpitations

During pregnancy your body produces one to two liters of extra blood. This is necessary to provide the uterus and the baby with sufficient blood. A faster heart rate can result  in occasional heart palpitations. These feel like your heart is fluttering or beating extremely fast. This can’t hurt. Make sure you sit down for a while, often the feeling disappears within a few minutes. For long-term complaints, or often recurring complaints, it is wise to consult your doctor.

Incontinence

Hormone changes during pregnancy will weaken the muscles of the pelvic which can cause incontinence. This is necessary to create enough space during childbirth. However, this can sometimes cause some unwanted loss of urine. It is good to start training the pelvic floor muscles again after your pregnancy. We will give youd documentation with exercises during your postpartum period. (also a link here ?!). In most cases, the muscles will strengthen and will not be bothered by incontinence after giving birth. In some cases, slight incontinence may persist after delivery. In that case it is wise to contact a pelvic therapist. She can give exercises to train specific muscle groups and thus get the bladder under better control. If you continue to lose some fluid during pregnancy, it is good to contact us. We can then check whether there is no amniotic fluid loss.

Insomnia

Sleeping problems may arise during pregnancy. Sleeping without waking up several times can be difficult. You have to get out of bed more often to go to the toilet and the child can sometimes be very active at night. It is also difficult to find a good posture or you lie awake for no reason. If you lie awake because there is a lot going on in your head, write it down. That way you can sometimes get rid of your “worries”. Take a warm shower before going to bed and drink a cup of warm milk. Relaxation or breathing exercises that you have learned during a pregnancy course can also help. Try to make up for the missed hours during the day and make sure that you lie down for a while during the afternoon, this is particularly good to do during your maternity leave.

Itching

Different types of itching may develop during pregnancy. Often the skin of your tummy (abdomen) and chest is stretched and this may feel itchyTry not to scratch and keep the skin greasy with cream or use menthol gel or powder to reduce itching. Sometimes itching can also be present on the entire body, or specifically on the palms and soles of the feet. This may be a symptom of a liver condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). As a result, certain bile substances end up in the blood, which causes itching. ICP needs medical attention, which can be demonstrated by blood tests. If you have itching complaints, it is always good to report this to us. We can determine whether it is necessary to conduct further research.

Maternity mask

More pigment cells are produced by increasing the production of hormones. This makes pregnant women colour faster and freckles and pigmentation spots darken. This does not always disappear after pregnancy. Therefore, avoid direct sunlight on the skin and in particular protect your face with a hat and / or parasol. Use sunscreen with a high protection factor. Using the sunbed can also increase the development of a maternity mask.

Nausea

About 70% of all pregnant women suffer from nausea in the first three months of pregnancy. Vomiting, especially in the morning, is also a problem for many pregnant women. The cause of this is not entirely clear, but hormones play a major role in this. In most cases, the symptoms also decrease between the 12th and 16th week of pregnancy, when the hormone fluctuations decrease somewhat. Advice that can help with nausea are:

  • Eat something before you get up. For example a rusk or cracker
  • Eat small portions during the day instead of three large meals
  • Don’t eat spicy food and not too fat
  • Ginger can reduce nausea. You can bey ginger tablets at the pharmacy or prepare fresh ginger tea.
  • Probeer voldoende te drinken

If you suffer from extreme nausea and you have to vomit a number of times a day, always contact us. Even if you get complaints of nausea and vomiting after the 24th week of pregnancy, it is important to contact us.

Nosebleed / Bleeding gums

During pregnancy, a nose bleed or gum bleed can occur earlier because the small capillaries are more propelled by the large blood volume. This cannot always be prevented. With frequent bleeding of the gums, it may be wise to consult a dental hygienist.

Obstipatie

Tijdens de zwangerschap werken je darmen over het algemeen wat trager dan daarbuiten onder invloed van hormonen. Hierdoor kun je klachten krijgen van obstipatie (verstopping). Probeer minimaal 1,5 liter per dag te drinken en vezelrijk te eten. Een glas lauw water en 2 kiwi’s op de lege maag doet wonderen. Ook gedroogde pruimen en gebroken lijnzaad (door de yoghurt) zijn goed voor de stoelgang. Daarnaast is het belangrijk om voldoende te bewegen.

Pelvic- and/or backpain

The pregnancy hormone progesterone causes the cartilage and joints in the pelvis to soften. These joints need to become supple in order to allow for enough space for the birth of your baby. The two halves of the pelvis are connected by the pubic bone (symphysis) and the lowest part of the spine (sacrum). When the joints become too soft, the parts of the pelvis can begin to shift. This causes extra strain to the muscles as they have to work harder to maintain balance and posture. This can cause pain around the pubic bone and/or lower back which can radiate to the hips, buttocks and thighs. We sometimes advise you to make an appointment with a pelvic therapist (a physiotherapist specialised in pelvic complaints). We can provide you with contact details for these therapists.

Restless legs

Restless legs during pregnancy is a common ailment. This feeling is often present at night. You can feel tingling, tickling or a painful feeling. In some cases it may help to use Magnesium / Calcium drink, which are available at the drugstore.

Snoring

The mucous membranes have become swollen due to the increased blood flow. This makes snoring more common. Lie on your side or use a nasal spray with physiological salt, which reduces the swelling of the mucous membranes. This is available at the pharmacy.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks are caused by stretching the skin. Small scars can occur due to the stretch. These are often visible on the breasts, abdomen or hips. In the beginning the stripes have a red-blue color, but after a while they become less visible. However, they will never disappear completely. Unfortunately, stretch marks cannot be prevented. It can be nice to use body lotion / belly balm to moisturise the skin.

Uterus ligament pain

The uterus is attached to the pelvis with a kind of muscle. Due to the growth of the uterus or the descent of the baby into the pelvis, these tires become stressed. This can cause a stabbing or nagging pain towards the groin, which sometimes radiates to the lower back. In case of tire pain, take a warm shower or place a hot water bottle on your stomach. The tires relax due to the heat, which can reduce the symptoms. Some women benefit from wearing a cummerbund.

Vaginal discharge (white flood)

During pregnancy all organs have increased blood flow, including the sexual organs. Because of this, more fluid can be discharged from the glands in the vagina. Wear cotton underwear and don’t use too many panty liners. When the discharge is neither colorless or white, or when you have an itch, you may have been infected by a fungus (i.e. Candida albicans). This is easy to treat, also during pregnancy. In case you have one or more of the above mentioned complaints you are advised to contact your general practitioner. 

 

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