The Winchester Wellness team believe there is comfort in knowing you’re not alone when things are changing or not quite right. For this reason, we are opening up the conversation around some of the less talked about (but common) symptoms of pregnancy. If this helps reassure another woman going through her own pregnancy journey or a mans understanding of what his partner is going through then this will have served a purpose. Moreover, Lucy will be sharing some tips she’s tried, people she’s seen and information she’s trusted in the hope that this will further aid expectant parents to find what they need.
Illness in pregnancy
Having spoken with many pregnant patients through my career I was able to stay calm through more common feelings, such as nausea & vomiting (70-80% of women), dizziness (>50%), smell sensitivity (66%), shortness of breath (50% before week 19), tiredness and twinges in the pelvis. What I didn’t realise was your immune system takes a hit. This really threw me; a chest infection in the first month. Gluten contamination, which led to a stomach bug in the second month. And a viral cough from weeks 15-19!
To ease the coughing, particularly at night, I found steam inhalation to be most helpful. I used a little Vick’s or Olbas Oil in the hot water and had a towel over my head to keep the steam in. Manuka honey, glycerine cough syrup, Hall’s Soother cough sweets and sleeping propped up were also recommended and tried. I actually found I had to sleep sitting upright and if I slipped down even slightly I would start coughing again, but it’s all about finding what works for you as this was not ideal for spinal health!
The most worrying time was the stomach bug; when I called 111 and explained my symptoms, they advised to go to A&E. Only, when you have diarrhoea and vomiting, often at the same time, the last thing you want to do is go out, let alone spend hours in A&E. Instead, I was lucky enough to see Dr Hillier from The Walcote Practice, Winchester. He came out within an hour on a weekend. He took a full history, completed a thorough examination, including listening to the baby’s heartbeat with his Doppler machine. This was the first time hearing baby’s heartbeat and Dr Hillier was so reassuring. He suggested symptoms would last another 2-3 days before clearing up, which was spot on!
I can’t thank Dr Hillier enough for his excellent care and putting my mind at ease during a stressful time. The Walcote Practice has a wide range of the highest quality GP and medical services. You can check them out at https://thewalcotepractice.co.uk.
It’s safe to say the 1st trimester was a physical, mental and emotional roller coaster and I can’t thank my partner, family and close friends enough for their love and care. It is so important to surround yourself with your most supportive tribe at this time and do not be afraid to ask for help. Thankfully, the nausea and sickness started to ease off around week 16 for me, so I was able to start getting back into a more varied, enjoyable eating pattern and finally start moving more again.
Every pregnancy differs and it can be difficult to ‘give advice’ for this momentous occasion. Some women feel fine, if not fantastic, throughout the process whilst others can be seriously ill for the duration. Most of us experience anything in between these two extremes. For answers, reassurance and information I can recommend these websites:
Write down your experiences and worries so you remember to tell/ask your midwife everything. I think it can be quite easy for us to hold back or even just forget (baby brain!!) but they need to know all that’s going on. Lastly, listen to your body – I’ve never felt so in tune with my body. I didn’t like the fact that I was eating terribly and barely moving for 3 months but I knew that was what I had to do, so go with the flow and try not to dwell on the negatives!