For nine months a woman's body is no longer her own, hormonal changes, mood swings, and weird cravings are only some of the changes that take place. Our pregnancy chatline is a support community where users share their pregnancy journey. Take a look at the questions most frequently asked, and how other moms-to-be have dealt with them.
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Q: Is it normal to not have many symptoms during first part of pregnancy?
I am 6 weeks pregnant. I sometimes suffer from severe tiredness and dizziness, but that is also a normal side effect I have after taking Utrogestan-progesterone (I take 2 in the evenings and 2 in the mornings). No morning sickness or aversions to food at all. My nipples however, are sensitive and slightly bigger - not only the areola but the nipples themselves. I sometimes crave orange juice? Is it normal to not have many symptoms during first part of pregnancy?
A: Every woman is different and you will hear many different stories of when everyone first felt pregnant and what symptoms they have. Some ladies don't experience any nausea throughout their whole pregnancy, some from very early on. Most women will tell you that you "suffer" from almost all the symptoms at least once in the first trimester simply as your body is going thru a massive change. Just take it one day at a time. Have salticrax or ginger biscuits for the nausea.
Q: I have bad morning sickness and can't keep anything down, I worry about all sorts of sicknesses my child will develop. Am I just being paranoid?
I'm 11 weeks along and tired of everything, physically tired and tired of the fact that I can't keep anything down, I can't even drink water, either I drink one glass a day or none at all, meaning I can't take my vitamins, which stresses me more because I then worry about all sorts of sicknesses my child will develop due to my not taking my meds and not eating well.
I know it's still early to feel anything but I feel as if I've lost my baby due to all this sickness, even though I haven't felt any pains. Hubby assures me that if I'm still getting sick it means the baby is ok, but I find myself crying over this. Can my baby still grow naturally and healthy during this period that I can't eat or drink anything? Will he/she not have any deformity due to all this? I pray every day for a healthy baby as I know right now it's not in my power to do so. This is the time I should be happy, but I find myself worrying all the time and crying, I feel depressed.
A: I lost 5 kilos the first 4 months due to being SO sick, and I was even admitted in hospital and placed on a drip on New Year's Eve. I'm now 24 weeks and the sickness stopped at 18 weeks. Trust me girl, that baby is getting everything he/she needs. Don't ask me how, but they do.
The most important thing is that you find something that you can manage eating even if its dry crackers. I was able to eat some fruits and dry bread, but that was it. Remember that due to the entire hormone change and the fact that you cannot eat enough to gain strength; you will feel depressed and down. I remember everyone telling me it will get better and just wanting to smack the living crap out of them, because you don't have the energy to wait...you want to feel better NOW! It passes and one of these days you won't be able to stop eating, although I know you can't even imagine that now. I must be honest - everyone told me the sicker you are, the more healthy the baby is and less the chance of a miscarriage. Take one day at a time and before you know it, the sickness will be over.
Q: Can my girlfriend fall pregnant if we had sex the day right after her period ended and the condom broke before ejaculation at 4PM and the night before at 10:00/11:00pm I masturbated?
A: A woman is most fertile for the first 2 weeks after her period. The fact that you masturbated the night before makes no difference at all as fresh sperm is ejaculated whether you have sex or merely masturbate. The broken condom can definitely be a cause for concern.Is she on the contraception pill? If not, and if you are not ready to have a child then she must take the morning after pill within 72 hours of having sex as semen lasts this long within a woman before conception with the egg.
Q: What are the chances of me falling pregnant with ovarian cyst? Is there any cure for this?
A:I had ovarian cysts at twice before I fell pregnant, the first had to be surgically removed, and the second was removed using Yasmin birth control pills. All in all it took me 2 years to fall pregnant after taking the Yasmin for 2 months to get rid of the cyst and the cyst never came back afterward.
Q: When should I tell my boss that I'm pregnant?
I'm a bit stressed, I'm only 8weeks pregnant and I'm not sure when is the right time to tell my boss I'm expecting. Do I wait till I start to show? What if they ask me before I tell them? My manager only has one child and I know she has negative feelings about having more than one child. Every time we talk about kids she always has something negative to say and I hate that, but I keep to myself. So I know she will freak out and preach to me when I tell her I am pregnant. Before I fell pregnant, if I felt under the weather she would say: ''I hope you're not pregnant'', with an unpleasant look on her face. Now I'm stressed as to what to do when the time comes.
I know it's none of her business what I do with my life, but she's my manager and I don't want to cause unnecessary bad vibes between me and her.
A: In terms of labour law, you don't have to tell your employer you are pregnant until 4 weeks before you intend going on maternity leave. They are of course gong to notice well before then, but you can claim you are just putting on weight.However, from a relationship perspective, the sooner you tell them the better. It is a tough one though, as some people make your life a misery while you are pregnant and treat you like you are slacking off when your work output and performance levels are the same as before. As many people don't tell anyone they are pregnant until 3 months, you can wait till then if you wanted to and use superstition as your reason for not telling earlier - though as so many people wait till 3 months, most people don't find anything strange in that. If something does go wrong with the pregnancy before then, your boss will know about it anyway.
Q: I eat stones and soil every day, is this bad for me?
I'm 22 weeks pregnant and I'm eating stones and soil every day, I can't help myself, am I in trouble? Is there someone out there who's experiencing the same thing?
A: It is called Pica, and it is linked to a deficiency. Either iron or it could be Vit B as well. Speak to your doctor.
Q: Afraid of not being a good mother, is this normal?
I'm 22 weeks now and all my life I so desperately wanted a baby. I've been adopted and probably felt like I never belong and having a baby meant having my ''own'' family. Any case, now that I am pregnant, I cannot help to not feel excited. All I am feeling is scared: scared that I won't cope (I suffer from depression), scared that I won't be a good mom, scared of this hectic change that baby will bring, scared that my marriage won't survive. I know most of you will say these are normal fears, but seriously: when will I start feeling excited? I even have these horrible thoughts that I hope my baby doesn't look like me, I wasn't very pretty in school and don't want him to feel rejected.
A: I went through the same thing, although my pregnancy only lasted till 11 weeks, but for me the minute I found out I was pregnant I was super scared and worried about whether I would be a good mother and be able to handle the lifestyle change. Then as I carried on, you realise that there and especially here in this forum are hundreds and thousands of ladies who are going through the same feelings.
Even the mothers who have 4 or so children would be nervous and scared for the next one. I believe it's our maternal instinct kicking in super early and making us want the best for our baby, but what you need to realise is that you ARE the best. You have cared and looked after him/her for 22 weeks already and that's something to be proud of.I can understand that due to your past experience you may feel more uneasy than most women, but I'm sure you have a supportive husband and friends that won't leave your side. Talk to them as much as possible. Remember your body is going through a hectic change, emotionally, physically and chemically.
Q: I have no interest in sex, what's happening to me?
Since I found out I'm pregnant, I seem to have lost interest in sex and in hubby, we've only done in 2 or 3 times in 2weeks, I don't even want to kiss him as his saliva makes me want to puke, I even hate my own. The situation has gotten even worse since my all day sicknesses started, I can't even bring myself to call him at work, I just want to be on my own, what's happening to me?
A: It is completely normal due to the tremendous hormonal changes. However there no need to stress about it. Just handle it well. I understand how you feel and I'm sure your hubby is trying too, but just know that there are other ways in which you can show him you do love him. Spending quality time together is not always about the sex. Just take it easy and have faith in him, remember he is your HUSBAND after all. If the tables were turned, you would support him wouldn't you? Give him a chance to do the same without deciding for him. Hope that helps.
Q: Are ante-natal classes necessary?
I am 24 weeks pregnant with my first baby and would like to find out if the ante-natal classes are needed? Has anyone started them already?
A:I'm 34 weeks, my husband and I went for ante-natal classes and I must say that they're very educational especially for first time parents as it prepares you mentally for birth and birthing options available, how to massage your baby once born etc. Do shop around and check the course outlines and see if it covers pregnancy, birth and when baby is born.
Q: When is the best time to conceive?
When is the best time for conception? Could you please explain to me the 14 and 28 day cycle, I don't really understand. Does this occur after your period or in between periods?
A:I did a lot of research on this since we wanted our pregnancy to be perfectly planned. My cycle is a perfect 28 days. Day one of your period is day one of the 28days. If you count 28 days from the first day of you period, you'll know the date of your next period. If you count 14 days from the first day of your period, then you are ovulating which is the best days to conceive. You only have about 48 hours to conceive. That is when the egg is released and it is available for 48 hours before it moves on to be shed at your next period. I'll explain my situation: my period started on 1 January 2010. The 14th and 15th of January I was ovulating and got pregnant. If I did not get pregnant then I would have had my next period on 28 January 2010. Then my next ovulation would have been 14 days later which would have been 10 and 11 February. Hope this helps.
Q: How long after intercourse does implantation occur?
How long after intercourse does implantation occur. Do you feel it? Do you have period like pains when pregnant?
A:Implantation - 10 days after ovulation, and sensation differs for everyone.
Q: Pregnant and bleeding, is this dangerous?
I am 14 weeks pregnant and my pregnancy wasn't giving me problems until last week. When I went to the loo and I saw a little blood. Today it happened again. I do not have any discomfort, but this is worrying me now since it's happened for the second time. I am not putting on panty-liners, but my underwear is still clean. Please help.
A: Generally light spotting without cramps is fine and normally occurs in pregnancy - especially in early pregnancy. But as "normal" as it may be, I suggest that you call your gynae and just run it by him/her. You do not want to ignore anything that may turn out to be more serious.
Q: Trying to conceive could I be pregnant?
I just did a home pregnancy test. One line is dark red the other one is light pink, what does that mean? Could I be pregnant? I didn't get my periods, yesterday I had dark brown discharge and this morning, what could it be?
A: Believe me a line is a line no matter how faint! When I tested I really thought I was imagining that second line that is how light mine was. If you are not sure why don't you go for a blood test? You will get the results the same day. The brown discharge was probably implantation bleeding, completely normal and usually happens around 4 - 6 weeks.
Q: How do I calculate how far along I am?
I found out I was pregnant in December after I had my last period in November. I need to know how to calculate how many weeks I am now. The GP couldn't tell me straight and I haven't seen the gynae. What is the formula for calculating how many weeks you are, is it the LMP or the conception date?
A: From the first day of your last period...then count the weeks.
Q: After how many weeks is the tummy going to start showing?
A: Itdepends on your individual body, they say if you already have a child you show much faster, but most woman show at 4 to 5 months and you can actually start to see the difference. Some woman show at two months, it all depends on your body.
Q: Could it be an infection?
I' m 34 weeks pregnant and my hubby and I are still having sex. After sex I experience burning and itching, is there anything wrong with me, could it be an infection?
A: It's probably an infection, call your gynae to confirm, if it is, it can easily be cured even by your GP. If you have a discharge accompanied with the burning/itchiness it is definitely an infection, rather phone your gynae and play it safe.
Q: Why am I gaining so much weight?
Why am I gaining so much weight? I'm 9wks pregnant, this is my second pregnancy, my first born is 6 years old - I never picked up so much weight with the first pregnancy, and I only started showing at about 7 months. Now I've picked up 5kg in such a short time. I haven't changed my diet, and what's worse is I really don't like food that much. Is there something wrong with me?
A: With your second, you tend to pick up weight quickly. When I was pregnant with my son, I only picked up 8kg throughout. With my daughter I picked up weight rapidly, even though I was sick most of the time. I picked up about 15kg with her. I think every pregnancy is different, but the second time around most people say they gain more weight.
Q: At how many weeks do you know the gender of your baby?
I am just sitting and wondering, at how many weeks did you find out if you are having a boy or a girl? I am going to gynae tomorrow and will be 18w5d, and so hope we can find out the baby's gender. I tried to have a look at the last appointment at 14/15 weeks, but the doctor could not see. I really don't want to wait another 4 weeks if he can't see tomorrow. I am too excited!
A:I think it is about 16 weeks. It all depends, it also depends if your LO (little one) will let you see. Sometimes they lie in such a way that you cannot see.
Q: Pain in lower abdomen what can it be?
I am 17 weeks pregnant and I have a mild pain on the left hand side of my lower abdomen. Is it normal? It feels more painful if I rub on it, like there's a lump or something. I am so worried I was once diagnosed with ovarian cysts - could this be causing the pain?
A:Often the pain is caused by your ligaments stretching and straining as you get bigger, and the pain usually subsides after a while. Unless your pain gets excruciating and you have bleeding, I think put it down to regular pregnancy aches as you grow. Maybe have a warm bath to help the muscles relax, and call your doctor if you are really worried.
Q: When do you start feeling the baby move?
When will I start to feel my baby move? I' m already 19 weeks. I saw the baby move a lot with my last sonar, but have not felt anything.
A:They say with your first baby, you should start feeling the movements at about 20 weeks - I did, but I know someone who only felt it after 24weeks - all depends on how much fluid there is, and where the placenta is lying - so don' t worry - you will feel it soon enough. It is the most wonderful experience, so I hope it happens for you real soon!
Q: How accurate are scans to see the gender of a baby?
My gynae said at my 17 week ultrasound that we're expecting a girl. He's 95% sure. I've heard so many stories about incorrect gender predictions that I am wondering if I should wait till the next scan before starting to buy pink, or should I go ahead?
A:Yes, this has happened in the past but most of the time they are correct. It does help to hear it twice before you believe it. So at your next scan ask him to make sure. At 14w the doc said we are having a boy, I still don't believe him! I am going for my 20 week scan and then if he says again it's a boy I will believe him.
Say what? What is she thinking?
What will the doctor say if I tell them am trying for a baby am 15. My boyfriend and I have thought this through we've been together 1 year and 6 months and he works enough to provide, we both really want this.
A: Baby's are precious bundles of joy and require a lot of patience, love and take a lot of responsibility. I'm sure the prospects of having one are lovely, and I like to think that every lady would like to have that experience one day in their lives, but think a little further than how you are feeling now.
Will you be able to provide for the baby alone? Clothing, nappies, food, a stable loving home, education, take care of him / her when they are ill? In today's world a woman cannot rely on a man, the baby will always be her responsibility and her life, so please don't base any decisions on what your boyfriend may be promising you now. If you look back on some of these posts you will see how men have left their pregnant wives after being married for numerous years. It's heartbreaking.
Many people out there are struggling on a daily basis to get a job, to feed their families and to provide a decent life for them. Please, please think about this carefully, not only about your desires to be a mom, but about the little one you may bring into the world. You cannot rely on anyone else but yourself to make this work. Is there anything else in life you want to d like explore, travel, and perhaps get married before having a child?
It's a lifelong commitment and to be honest I really don't think you are ready for it. Secondly, as you are 15 you are still under your parents care and the minute you fall pregnant your boyfriend will be held liable for statutory rape. This could ruin your life before it has even started. If you are so determined, then rather wait till you are 18 and legal.
(Health24, updated April 2011)
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