10 common problems in pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life, but it’s also important to know the problems that can arise. Here, the team from Bupa shares 10 of the most common. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’ll help you know what’s “normal”, and how to relieve symptoms.

#1 Nausea

Thankfully, the dreaded “morning sickness” usually improves as pregnancy advances. There are thing that can help, too: make sure you get enough rest; eat and drink little and often; avoid overly sweet or sour drinks; and eat foods high in carbohydrates and low in fat (toast, plain biscuits). If you’re worried, speak to your midwife or GP.

#2 Leg cramps

Leg cramps are common in the second and third trimesters, and they can hinder a good night’s sleep. While the causes aren’t clear, it can help to stay physically active and hydrated. Some research suggests taking a magnesium or calcium supplement, or you could try stretching your calf muscles before bed, too.

#3 Backache

Around half of all women get backache during pregnancy. There are things you can do to help: take care of your posture; rest often; wear low-heeled shoes; make sure your mattress is supporting you properly. Massage therapy and exercising in water can also help. Speak to a doctor before taking any medicines.

#4 Constipation

Feeling constipated is another common complaint during pregnancy. Eating a diet that’s high in fibre, drinking enough fluids and doing regular, light exercise can help prevent and ease the issue. Stay hydrated by drinking eight to 10 cups of water each day, and increase your fibre intake.


#5 Piles

Piles (haemorrhoids) are swollen veins in and around your anus caused by an increase in pressure. They often appear during pregnancy and can be itchy and bleed. Being constipated can also cause piles, so read the section above for tips on how to help. If symptoms continue, speak to your doctor – they may suggest a cream to ease symptoms.

#6 Pelvic girdle pain

This affects around one in five pregnant women; it’s caused by the pelvic ligaments softening, and it can get worse as your baby gains weight. The pain usually goes within six months of giving birth. Try to rest more often, and tuck a pillow between your legs when you do. Avoid pulling, stretching or twisting on one side. If you have pain, tell your midwife or GP.

#7 Urinary incontinence

Kidneys produce more urine when your pregnant, and your growing baby puts more pressure on your bladder. Also, the pelvic floor muscles may be more relaxed. So, sudden uncontrolled leakage is common, especially when coughing or sneezing. This is nothing to worry about, and can be combatted by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles before, during and after pregnancy.

#8 Heartburn

When you’re pregnant, hormones cause the oesophagus muscles to relax; this can sometimes lead to heartburn. It usually goes after you give birth. Avoid foods and drinks that trigger the heartburn – these may include spicy things, chocolate or coffee. Eat smaller meals, and avoid lying down immediately after eating. Your GP may offer medicines such as antacids.

#9 Varicose veins

Varicose veins are common during pregnancy and may either begin at this time or get worse. Wearing compression stockings can help, though they won’t prevent varicose veins from happening. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time; and try resting with your feet raised.

#10 Bleeding gums

When you’re pregnant, gingivitis can get worse, making your gums more likely to bleed. The best thing you can do is continue to take good care of your teeth. Brush carefully, at least twice a day, and clean in between your teeth daily to help remove plaque.

This article was brought to you by Bupa Global.
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Disclaimer: This article was designed and produced by Bupa Global by searching internal and external data and information for information provision and reference purposes only. Any views or information mentioned in this article/webpage are based on general situations. Readers shouldn’t regard them as medical advice or recommendations. Before making any decisions about the theme of this article, you are recommended to seek independent advice from suitable professionals (doctors, nutritionists, etc.). It is clearly stated that Bupa Global will not bear any responsibilities for others’ usage or interpretation of the information listed in this article. When preparing and/or updating this article, Bupa Global endeavours to ensure that the content is accurate, complete and updated but will not bear any responsibilities nor make any warranty or guarantee for the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information or for any claims and/or losses caused thereby.

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