Common Complaints of Normal Pregnancy

Minor problems commonly experienced during pregnancy

  • Age, genetics, and lifestyle are not significant factors

Most of the common complaints that occur during pregnancy are not serious and are a result of the normal changes in the body that take place as the pregnancy progresses. Some problems are caused by changes in the levels of sex hormones in the mother, others by the weight and pressure of the developing fetus on the organs around the uterus. Although many pregnant women experience some or all of these complaints, others have only a few problems, and some feel even healthier than usual.

What are the symptoms?

Some symptoms that occur in pregnancy are due to the hormonal changes taking place in the body. They often develop early and may include:

The weight and pressure of the growing fetus and its surrounding fluid may also cause symptoms. These usually develop later in pregnancy and may include:

You may also feel very tired, feel faint on occasion, and have headaches.

It is normal to have several different symptoms during pregnancy and often to have more than one problem at a time. If you are worried about a specific symptom, you should obtain medical advice. You should also speak to your doctor or midwife if you are having problems with severe vomiting and cannot keep any food or fluids down (see Hyperemesis). If you find it painful to pass urine or your urine appears cloudy, you should consult your doctor or midwife to make sure that you do not have a urinary tract infection, such as cystitis.

What can I do?

There is little that you can do to relieve some of the symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as breast tenderness. However, some other complaints may be eased by various self-help measures (see Coping with pregnancy). For example, you may be able to relieve morning sickness by eating before you get out of bed. Eating frequent, small snacks throughout the day rather than a few larger meals and sleeping propped up by several pillows may help to reduce nausea and heart-burn. If heartburn is severe, you may be prescribed antacid drugs.

You should check with your doctor or midwife before you taking any over-the-counter drugs or complementary remedies because there are several common medications that can harm a developing baby and should not be taken at any time during pregnancy.

Self-Help: Coping with Pregnancy

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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