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Family Planning & ParentingWomen's Health

The weird, wacky and wonderful world of pregnancy – 6 changes to expect when you fall pregnant

Pregnancy causes major changes to your body – some you might be prepared for, and others that are completely unexpected. Here are six of the most common (and strange) symptoms to look out for when pregnant.

1 Shortness of breath

Your organs actually move around to accommodate a growing baby. That means pressure on your diaphragm, which is the band of muscle under your lungs that controls your breathing. If you can’t quite catch your breath, take it as a sign to slow down and put your feet up!

2 Bizarre dreams

High levels of hormones, intense emotion, and lack of solid sleep means that many expectant mums have vivid, memorable dreams. It’s hardly surprising – you’ve got a lot on your mind! Talk about your dreams with a trusted person if they’re bothering you, but remember that dreams are your brain’s way of processing this exciting new stage.

3 Need to urinate

Your bladder gets hit with a two-punch combo, with increased blood volume putting extra burden on the kidneys as well as downward pressure from a growing baby drastically reducing the storage space. Get ready to map out the public bathrooms whenever you leave the house.

4 Increased sense of smell

While perhaps not the most impressive of super powers, your sense of smell is likely to become noticeably improved! This sensory experience will allow you to smell a fast food restaurant before you see it, but might also be a leading contributor to the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. You could try using a fresh-smelling scent such as citrus or mint, and then wait it out – most women are back to normal in the second trimester.

5 Clumsiness

Many women feel clumsy during pregnancy, and it’s not just the sudden change in size and shape. A pregnant body produces hormones that loosen ligaments and joints, which combines with the added bulk in front to confuse your sense of balance and coordination. Protect yourself with sensible shoes and extra mindfulness when moving around.

6 Cravings

Many expectant mothers crave foods (or food combinations) that they won’t touch once the baby comes. Some women even crave non-food substances, such as clay or charcoal – a condition called pica, which should be discussed with your GP. As long as your diet is healthy and well-balanced, it won’t hurt to indulge in the odd pickle-and-ice-cream sandwich, and it becomes a fun story to tell!

If you are concerned about any of your symptoms, remember to discuss them with your GP – you can click here to make an appointment »

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