10 Embarrassing pregnancy questions answered
Pregnancy can cause all sorts of bizarre - and sometimes embarrassing - changes to happen to your body. We've sought out the answers to the 10 most common questions pregnant women ask, but remember - if something doesn't feel right or you're not sure what to do, visit your doctor. Keep in mind: there's virtually nothing that your doctor hasn't seen or heard before, so you've got nothing to be embarrassed about!
What is a mucus plug and what does it look like?
As the name suggests, a mucus plug is a collection of mucus that 'seals' the opening of your cervix during pregnancy, to prevent bacteria from reaching your baby. It usually falls out during the last two weeks of pregnancy.
What is a normal amount of vaginal discharge?
Due to increased hormones and blood flow, discharge usually increases during pregnancy, but there's no 'normal' amount. It should be odourless or very mild smelling, and thin and milky. If your discharge is green or yellow, very heavy, accompanied by redness or itching, blood-tinged, or has a strong odour, see your doctor – you might have a bacterial or yeast infection.
Why am I always constipated?
Around half of all pregnant women complain of constipation. It's another fun side effect of hormonal changes, which cause the muscles in your intestines to relax and slow down intestinal movement. For relief, drink more water and eating foods that are rich in fibre.
Why do I fart so much?
Excessive flatulence during pregnancy is very common! It's brought about by the same slowing digestive processes that cause constipation, which allows gas to build up in the intestines. Try to include more fibre in your diet to help ease flatulence and the bloating.
I have new hair growing in strange places – will it go away?
Pregnant women often experience increased hair growth on their face, back, neck, breasts, stomach and other areas. Thankfully, it's a temporary side effect of elevated hormones in your system: once you give birth, your unwanted excess hair should disappear.
Is it normal to leak urine?
In a word, yes! As your growing uterus presses against your bladder, it's common to leak a little urine – especially when you cough, sneeze or laugh –or it could be an issue with your pelvic floor. Practicing Kegel exercises can help to control urine leakage.
Will I poo during labour?
During labour the baby's head puts pressure on your rectum, so you'll feel as though you need to poo, even if you don't! There's always a chance that some might come out, and if it happens, it doesn't matter – it's a positive sign that birth isn't far away, and the midwives have seen it all before!
What do I do if my waters break in public?
Don't stress about it. It's not like the movies – when your waters break, they don't usually stream out in a gush that saturates the floor. More commonly, it starts as a trickle, and some women even find that their waters don't break until they're in labour.
Is it okay to have sex when I'm heavily pregnant?
Absolutely! You may have to try new positions that don't place pressure on your lower abdomen, but it's completely safe. Sex is a great way to bring on the birth: sperm contains prostaglandins, which can help trigger the onset of labour.
I'm terrified of giving birth! What can I do?
It's completely common to fear the birthing process, and you have two options: ignore your fears and go in blind, or find out exactly what's involved. If you read plenty of books, research online and talk to your girlfriends, you'll be able to work what worries you most, and you can then address it. You'll also understand what the doctors and nurses are saying, so you'll be able to ask informed questions.
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