Common gripes of pregnancy

Congratulations you’re expecting a little miracle, you are either very very excited or super nervous (or perhaps somewhere in the middle).

Most books you will read will tell you how wonderful pregnancy is and how much you will bloom with ‘radiance’ whilst growing a tiny human instead your uterus. The books hint at some unpleasantries like ‘morning sickness’ but bad news doesn’t sell books. I’m not saying pregnancy is dire but there are a lot of gripes.

Below are some common issues you might have based many pregnant women experiences. I have tried to add some humour to lightened the subject so hopefully this will bring a smile to your face whilst you read.

Indigestion

It might feel like no matter what you eat or drink you’re suffering from ingestion.

Solution: The good news is Gaviscon and Rennie are safe to take during pregnancy as I’ve already mentioned. Again similar advice to trapped wind. Try to eat little but often. The further along in pregnancy the less food you find yourself able to eat at any one sitting.

Burping like a middle aged man

Yep, it’s very common to experience ‘wind’ and a lot of it during pregnancy. Whether your Donald Trumping in bed with your hubby or burping like a bloke after eating a dirty donor kebab and chips. You will inevitability succumb to wind at some point during your pregnancy. Trapped wind and bloating is caused by the hormone Progesterone. This hormone helps to regulate other hormones keeping baby safe. The side effects are it also slows down your digestive system to allow for better extraction of nutrients to your unborn child.

Solution: try to avoid / limit windy foods like beans. Eat slowly and have little bit often meals rather than big ones. Also Gaviscon and Rennie are safe to take in pregnancy.

Constipation Vs Diarrhoea

Not a great movie title but once again a fabulous issue pregnant ladies suffer. One minute you’re desperate for any relief to go to the toilet even it’s it’s just some rabbit pellets in the toilet bowl but then in the next heartbeat it’s like lava pouring out uncontrollably. It’s so very glamorous that every stomach twitch you’re left thinking is that the baby / wind or do I need to run-wobble to the toilet.

Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of products available to take. You must avoid senna products at all costs during pregnancy which rules out a lot of constipation tablets. Try keeping a well balanced diet with high fibre and avoid foods that give you an upset stomach.

Grapes and not the edible type

If your one of the unfortunate women to suffer from ‘grapes’ ahem hemorrhoids. You can appreciate just how chuffing uncomfortable these can be. Best thing is to speak with your midwife as they can hopefully prescribe you some cream. Probably best to wear soft panties and perhaps made of cotton to help minimise discomfort.

Try not to strain too much when you are on the loo especially if you are constipated. This is how the majority of cases are caused. Straining also puts pressure on the heart and it has been known for people (mostly men) to die whilst straining for a poo. (what an awful image)

The revenge of the eye bags

There is no escape from those dark bags under your eyes (ok there’s makeup!). Early pregnancy you literally sleep for England and wake from 22 hours feeling like the world owes you a favour for lack of sleep. Then pow late second trimester / third trimester proper tiredness arrives. You tend to be shattered during the day for the near constant trips to the toilet that you’ve even contemplated making camp in the bathroom. Yes, I’ve wondered whether turning the bath into a bed would be a good thing or even investing in adult nappies ha-ha. Oh you laugh at the latter but I did find nappies for pregnant women on eBay of all places 🙈

Solution: well apart from using a bit of concealer the best cure is to try and sleep as much as you possibly can. Whether you can get 20 mins at your desk at work or a catnap as soon as you get home.

Remember though towards later pregnancy despite tiredness been common it can also be a sigh of low iron levels. Your midwife will schedule to undertake blood tests to determine your levels around week 28.

Pain pain go away

You might be a lucky woman and not have any pain until the day you deliver. However, for the majority of us mere mortals every day our pregnancy progresses another issue arises. Back ache, leg ache, shoulder ache. Itchy feet, swollen ankles, sore eyes.

Shoulder pain is often associated with trapped wind so try Gaviscon or Rennie so see if that helps. Sometimes (but not always) in late pregnancy shoulder ache can be a sign of early labour.

If you have horrendous back pain you can always self-refer to see a physiotherapist on the NHS. Just pop into your doctors and ask to complete a self-referral form. If it’s really really bad and paracetamol does absolutely nothing depending on which trimester you are in you can sometimes be prescribed Codeine. This is all based on speaking with your GP first.

Leg twitching and cramps

You’ve finally got comfortable in bed after the millionth trip to the toilet. Baby has stopped kicking enough to let you close your eye then pow your leg starts twitching. This is involuntary and can be somewhat painful. (Oh joy another painful thing to endure).

Sometimes this is caused by the way baby is simply laid and other times mineral / vitamin deficiencies. Remember, you’re little miracle is taking practically every nutrient you’ve consumed so you’re left with the bare minimal.

Solution: continue to eat a well balanced diet. Try drinking tonic water before bed this sometimes helps. Cramps can also be helped by adding a little more salt into your diet (don’t pour the entire contents onto some chips that’s not healthy). Avoid sitting with crossed legs during the day. You could also try having a pillow between your knees at night to see if that helps.

Oops I wet myself again

Cannot really see Britney singing this mind but yet another common dilemma. Whether you’ve just literally been for a wee and stood up you might dribble a little or sneeze and wish to god you were wearing a panty liner or some big ass tenner lady knickers. Many people will tell you to do your kegel exercises etc – yeah cheers I already know that but when you have a bowling ball resting on your bladder and you sneeze there is bugger all that kegel exercise is going to achieve at that very moment.

Solution: always wear a panty liner (tenner lady). You can continue your kegel exercises and then again more so after birth. From speaking to some mothers the majority of us get our bladder function back but a tiny amount of us still have issues. Not to panic though that’s why tenner ladies were invented. Don’t let it ruin your life.

Is that a gorilla?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought what the? Yep pregnancy can make hair grow faster. Sounds fabulous for your head but no where else. You might start to see the odd black hair on your chin, a dark line of hair growing on your tummy from your pubic region and then your legs which you only shaved this morning seem to resemble your man’s stubbly beard than smooth skin. It’s like going through puberty all over again.

Solution: if only there was a solution to slow or stop hair growth. Unfortunately, shaving, waxing, epilators are the only method of choice unless you want to go au-naturel of course. There is very little evidence to state whether laser or similar is safe in pregnancy.

Insane sex drive

You might suddenly develop a crazy high sex drive during the first trimester. Sounds great to some but it can be an absolute arse! Your poor partner might back off a tad because they can’t keep up with your ‘come on we’ve only done it 6 times today let’s go again’ attitude.

Then there’s the opposite. You might want sex but it’s becoming uncomfortable. You have your partner enter you only for your lovely unborn child to kick you in the groin (fanny daggers). Honestly until this happens you will have no idea what I’m talking about but let’s just say ouch!

Solution: get it on when you want but if your feeling really frisky and your partners a little out off you may have to do a bit of self love. As pregnancy advances you may have to experiment a little with your sex positions as the good old fashioned missionary position may be a tad too uncomfortable. I’m no sexpert but most pregnancy women swear by the doggy position with a pillow underneath bump for support or alternatively spoons.

Superhuman sense of smell.

Eeeww B.O. No not you personally but your sense of smell goes through the roof to the point were you’re convinced it’s you when in fact it’s the bloke at the other end of the train carriage.

You develop an almost inhuman sense of smell during pregnancy. In the early days this can contribute to your morning sickness. I actually felt sick at the smell of chocolate (my once favourite food). You will also smell things your partner can’t – like the dog which was bathed only this morning still stinks or your convinced someone is stood next to you smoking when their actually over 300 yards away at the other end of the carpark.

Solution: sorry there isn’t one unless you want to walk around with a respirator. Good news it does wear off after pregnancy. For some it’s days / weeks unfortunately for most it can be a couple of months. Some women even find they still love smelling certain things they didn’t before pregnancy like freshly cut grass or painted sheds.

Sick as a dog

Literally sickness or nausea is so very common in early pregnancy.

Then there’s the fact your immune system is next to non-existent. You may feel like you’ve caught every cough and cold going round and your right.

Skin like a teenager

So you had wonderful blemish feee skin and now you’re pregnant. Your skin may become itchy, sore, flaky, covered in blemishes etc.

Solution: invest in a good skin creme for your face. E45 does wonders too for itchy and flaky skin. Alternatively, why not use your baby’s products like Johnsons baby oil after you’ve had a bath followed by Johnsons baby lotion. It’s not just for baby’s it’s great for sensitive skin – I should know I’ve been using it for years.

Headaches and then some

You are more likely to suffer from headaches or migraines

Solution: You can take paracetamol during pregnancy but if you’re looking for a non-medicinal item try one of the following;

  • 4head stick
  • Cool patches
  • Upping you’re intake of water

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. If you have an issue that isn’t listed please share your pregnancy gripes below in the comments.

Katherine xo

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Is it safe to fly while pregnant

If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy you should be able to fly up to 35 weeks. Most airlines will only accept pregnant flyers 28 weeks and over if they have a letter from their GP to show they are safe to travel.

You should be aware of the heightened complications of travelling whilst pregnant:

Before you travel

Before you travel you should double check you are OK to fly via your GP or midwife. You should also check your airline and insurance will permit travel.

Take a look at our Fitness to fly. Download today and take to your GP’s surgery to stamp.

Blood Clots (thrombosis)

Any long-distance traveler (typically journeys 5 hours or greater) are at an increased risk of blood clots. Pregnant women are no exception to this however, there is no firm evidence to suggest pregnancy courses higher risk.

Wearing correctly-fitted compression socks can held reduce your risk as well as getting up and walking around the cabin.

Most pregnant women tend to avoid travel in the first trimester due to exhaustion and nausea. If you feel well then there is nothing stopping you from travelling. I did, I actually flew a couple of during my first and second trimester without any issues.

Multiple pregnancy

If you are pregnant with twins or multiple’s you can only travel up to the first 32 weeks of pregnancy. You will need to complete your return journey before the end of your 32nd week. Again, airlines may request notification before you travel.

Long-haul Vs Short-haul flights

Airlines don’t hold differentiate between short-haul and long-haul flights. Some women just tend to avoid the long-haul flights due to exhaustion.

Tips for travelling on a plane

  • Wear compression stockings
  • Wear the seat-belt under your bump rather than above it
  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Pack snacks in your hand luggage
  • Get up as often as you are able to walk around and stretch out your legs
  • Consider reserving an aisle seat in advance (it will help with the toilet breaks and stretching)

Insurance

There is no special pregnancy insurance as most insurance policies cover pregnancy. You may need to read the fine print before purchasing though as there are sometimes clauses with exemptions to IVF pregnancies. Although the NHS classifies all pregnancies the same once IVF is successful.

Airport Scanners

The scanners used at airports use low-frequency electromagnetic field and are considered safe for everybody. There are pregnant women who work airside (the part after security) who use these scanners on a daily basis. If in doubt you can always ask.

Viruses and vaccinations

You should double check with the NHS website regarding vaccinations whilst pregnant. There is some general advice that vaccinations that are safe during pregnancy however, it is always advisable to double check before booking any travel.

Traveling with a newborn

Mother’s who have recently delivered their baby won’t be permitted to travel in the first 48 hours following an uncomplicated birth. If you have had a caesarean or if other surgery was needed than there is a minimum of 10 days with some airlines. It is also advisable to check with the medical staff prior to travelling.

Newborns are to be at least 8 days old before being allowed to travel on a plane. However, check with your airline prior.

If you are going away I wish you a safe and pleasant trip.

Katherine XO

My maternity wardrobe

Hello everyone, I’ve had a butt load of comments about how nice (and girly) my maternity clothes are so I thought I’d share with you a selection of items I purchased (and wear regularly). As I am pretty camera shy so stock images will have to do 🙂

When I was first looking at the maternity clothes back in Spring 2017, I was appalled at the options available. It was mainly trousers and tops that just make you look frumpy and figure less. Obviously, I had to purchase a couple of these ‘staple’ items for days when you just want to stop on the sofa with a film and cuppa of tea. For the staples I got one pair of jeggings from matalan and a couple of pairs of black leggings and vest top.

So below is a list of key items that will hopefully provide you some inspiration to move away from the ‘essential’ black trousers and shirt combo for work.

DressesMost of the time I’m swanning around in a maternity dress. Makes it feel like the olden days when all women really wore were dresses. Before pregnancy I rarely wore dresses – despite having a wardrobe full of gorgeous 1950 style frocks. During i pregnancy I have since found my girly roots and now a dress is my absolute favourite go to item – so much so I bought a few. These are the brands I purchased:

Next maternity:

Purchased in the clearance sale during April (£18) and was great for my holiday. I don’t often wear this maxi out and about in Britain mainly just round the house but it’s great for any day time occasion. To be honest add a nice necklace and bracelet combo and it’s good for an evening out with the other half.

4-piece maternity essential kit (£32) with black dress, vest top, skirt and leggings. The leggings and vest are fabulous fit. Well to be honest they all are however, they attract dog hair like it’s going out of fashion. I tend to wear these around the house when I can’t be bothered or having a ‘fat’ day.

Rochelle Humes Maternity

I absolutely love this grey dress (£35) it’s great for both work and during the weekend. At first I was sceptical because it’s clingy but it’s clingy in the right places and shows off your bump nicely. I’ve had my money’s worth out the dress because I started wearing it about 12 weeks (that in between stage where pants fit but don’t).

Well you’ve got to have a LBD in the wardrobe. This off the shoulder dress (£35) is great for evenings or parties. Does feel a little bare on the shoulders and the straps can dig in a little. It’s a good length and floaty so you don’t over heat. Team up with a pair of nude heels for instant glam.

Shirt dress in navy blue (£27). Quite long on my 5ft6 frame and definitely not for early pregnancy. Sleeves can feel a bit tight but good for casual and even work. Only downside it creases so easy! It’s not the most flattering of designs but as your bump gets bigger and fills out the extra material it does start to feel better. When wearing for work it’s great with a pair of black pumps and oversized bag.

Nice white crochet dress (£45). You do need a good white or nude bra underneath as can look a little bare. Good length (mid thigh) nice and floaty and very girly great for an event when teamed up with either wedges or nude heels. I actually wore this to an event at Buckingham Palace and worked really well with a statement fascinator and a pearl necklace.

One of my absolute favourite Rochelle Humes tea dresses (£45). I wear this for work on most days alternating between this and my grey one. It can feel a tad short when sitting down but it’s lovely and floaty and very girly. I tend to team up with a pair of black or neutral pumps and an oversize bag. When wearing in slightly breezy weather best to have a lace jacket or similar just to stop it blowing and you do the Marilyn Monroe scene.

Pink lacy top great for work or an evening. Best teamed up with a pair of black trousers but equally good with jeggings/jeans. Only downside is after a couple of washes the material starts to fray.

Nursing bras

The best bra I purchased is by Emma Jane Maternity available from kiddicare.com £12-£16.00 each black or white. I bought a couple of bras from Next but they dug in after a few hours leaving marks on my breasts. The Emma Jane ones feel nice and soft you purchase by band size not band and cup like some bras. Great feature is you can purchase non padded or padded options.

Underwear

To be honest I purchased some maternity knickers and hated them! I have stuck to my trusty Debenhams basic knickers. Nothing glamours about them but they still fit lovely under my growing bump. I found the over bump knickers very uncomfortable and made my stomach hurt after a couple of hours so I binned them. Also stay away from eBay if something looks a bargain it usually is.

Swimwear

I purchased an all in one swimsuit and a tankini set from Matalan. After comparing the types against various stores I settled on Matalan. I was not disappointed.

The all in one (£16) has enough room to accommodate a growing belly but doesn’t look too baggy in the first couple of months. I purchased when I was 18 weeks as I went on holiday at 19 weeks and it looked fab. Just a shame it can’t give you a peer bottom like the model has (ha-ha)

The tankini (£14 in total) was also a godsend. I love two piece swimsuits and was reluctant because some swimwear items advertised as tankini’s were actually one pieces. This wasn’t, it is a great length and has bands on both sides to make looser as your belly grows. This is easier to get in and out of against the one piece. The top gave good breast support although I haven’t grown as big as some women might.

I hope some of this inspires you to dress up a little more during pregnancy and not hide behind jeans and vests the entire 9 months.

Katherine xo

*prices correct March-June 2017

Is there a connection between early labour and the flu vaccination?

In this article, I will discuss the topic of the flu vaccination. As winter draws ever closer many pregnant ladies will be offered the flu vaccination free on the NHS. It is of course your personal decision whether you wish to have this or not along with any other immunisations.

This article lets draw upon the facts available to allow you make an informed decision about whether to have the vaccination or not.

Risks of having flu whilst pregnant

Flu can affect anyone, any age and any level of health. Pregnant women and their unborn children are at an increased risk of complications from having flu. Whilst pregnant your immune system is much lower – you have probably already figured that out by the constant runny nose. This is so that you body doesn’t reject your unborn child.

Flu is a highly infectious disease which occurs annually and most commonly during winter season (hence its nickname seasonal flu). The symptoms of flu come on very quickly whereas a cold is more gradual (i.e. sore throat and runny nose). Flu is caused by the influenza viruses (colds are caused by bacteria) that affects the respiratory system (your windpipe and lungs), because flu is a virus anti-biotics will not work.

Most common symptoms of flu:

  • Fever (high temperatures)
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains in your joints and muscles
  • Lethargic (more tired than normal)

As you can see most of these symptoms are also typical pregnancy symptoms. Healthy individuals who contract the flu virus usually recover within a week or so but for a small percentage of the population flu can lead to hospitalisation, disability or even death.

Benefits of the flu vaccine:

  • Reduced risk of miscarriage, pre-term birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Reduced chance of passing the flu to your unborn child
  • Reduced risk of complication such as pneumonia
  • Helps to provide immune system protection to your baby in the first few months after birth.

The flu vaccine

Vaccines are designed to help the immune system to recognise and fight certain types of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.

The vaccine itself can be inactivated or live attenuated depending on the recommendations provided to the manufacturer from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Types of vaccinations:

  • Inactivated – inactive virus present. The virus particles, bacteria or other pathogens have been grown and then killed with heat or chemicals. Examples include, Hepatitis A, polio, diphtheria and tetanus. These vaccines are safer as it is a lower risk of the pathogen mutating back into its disease. Since the bacteria is dead it is not an accurate copy of the live version therefore it often requires multiple booster shots to help train the body’s immune system to defend itself.
  • Live attenuated – live small dosage of the virus present. There is a small amount of live pathogen which has been altered to become harmless or less viral. The purpose is to the immune system learn to recognize the antigens to be able to fight it should contact be made in the future. Examples of live vaccinations includes the MMR, smallpox and yellow fever. Advantages: These types of vaccinations can offer lifelong protection when the full programme has been completed. These vaccinations cannot be given to persons with an already weakened immune system (chemotherapy, HIV) as the risk of the pathogen become stronger and been more harmful increases.Pregnant women are advised to have the inactivated vaccination.

The flu vaccination is classed as an inactivated vaccine. Therefore when you have the vaccination you do not get a live version of the virus. So it is a myth that getting the vaccination gives you flu.

Risk of preterm labour?
There are some concerns that the flu vaccination causes preterm labour / birth however, studies in Canada have discovered that the flu vaccination can actually reduce the risk. “women who are vaccinated are 25% less likely to have a premature birth and 27% less likely to have low-birth weight baby.” (Oxford Vaccine Group, 2014).

Possible side effects

Like with all immunisations there a rare possibility of developing an allergic reaction. If you had one in the past after the flu vaccine it is recommended not to have it this year.

The most common types of side effects are a sore arm for a couple of days and sometimes (not always) feeling a little achy and muscle fatigue.

Bottom line

Personally, I am going to get this because I had a nasty chest infection at the beginning of pregnancy and dread to think what I’d be like with the flu. I have also had the flu in the past and when it says a week to recover its more like 3-4 and only if you have proper bed rest for a week. When people tell you their dying of flu and say this whilst seated at their desk at work you know it’s probably just a bad cold. The flu proper knocks you off your feet. When I had it I was cold and hot at the same time so I dressed for feeling cold (hot water bottle as well) hoping to sweat it out. You have literally no energy and simple tasks like opening to door to the postman is such a chore. You really don’t have much energy to even get up for the toilet even though you know you need to go!

Either way it is up to you whether you opt to get this vaccination but whatever you decision you should always maintain a high level of personal hygiene and throughly wash your hands before and after preparing meals.

Katherine xo

Useful Guides:

NHS Public Health England – The flu vaccination winter 2017/18

Sources:

http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/flu-vaccination-pregnancy

I’m happy to be pregnant but why do I feel miserable?

pregnanyI’m sat here feeling like the worse mum-to-be in the entire world. I have waited so many years for the little miracle now growing inside my belly. Up until now I have also had the pleasure of a rather easy pregnancy – no morning sickness just tiredness.

So why is it that with 3 months to go I am simply not as enthusiastic as my hubby, family and friends? At first I started questioning and blaming myself because of my depression but from speaking to lots of other mums-to-be who don’t suffer depression it would appear this is more common than talked about. I can now see some of you now screaming yes, that’s me that’s how I feel. Believe it or not 27% of pregnant mamma’s feel this way (The Bump).

For me I think it all started at week 16, I was partially excited to see bubs on the screen again in the coming weeks but something in the back of my mind was just saying urgh why can’t it be over already.

Work colleagues and family members asking how far along you are questioning whether it’s twins or not. Yes, thank-you I get it I’ve put weight on but for heavens sake I’m growing a little human inside leave me alone!

It’s been 10 weeks since I started to feel this way and it hasn’t eased up. People still question me even though my dearest husband reminds me on a daily basis that I only look pregnant from the front and that I look great regardless. I still feel like it’s unreal. Some days I even question whether I am actually pregnant until I get kicked in the bladder or see a tiny lump under my skin.

I really want to feel that ‘joy’ that ‘glow’ you read about in magazines and baby books but personally I now think this is all utter BS. They clearly only write that rubbish to lure people into a false sense of hope that pregnancy is all floaty and a bed of shimmering gold roses. Ha! what is so glamorous about daily backache, peeing every 20 mins, being unable to get comfy in bed despite the mountains of pillows and the gas. Oh Lordy, the symptoms that no one speaks of 🙈 unbearable trapped wind, constipation and you’ve guessed it liquid brown and burping. Honestly, I feel more cave man than beautiful pregnant lady.

If you feel like me please share your stories in the comments below I would love to hear from you.

 

Katherine xo

Does my beagle know I’m pregnant?

This is a question I have asked myself many many times over the last 6 months. My adoring 4-year old Beagle has always followed me around the house like the toddler I never had. He has been my furbaby since bringing him home at the age of 8 weeks old. I remember that cute puppy look and puppy smell, oh the memories.

Now I am pregnant I’m filled with constant worries including will my dog actually accept the new baby and does he know I’m pregnant.

The truth is dogs have a very good sense of smell and whilst pregnant your personal odour has slightly altered. Whether dogs actual know this is because you are pregnant is still up for debate. I have read up that some dogs may become either very clingy or start to ignore you (a bit like a toddler). The one piece of advice I was passed from my mother-in-law was to introduce your dog to your bump to instigate some sort of bond. So, I have spent many hours cuddled on the sofa with my beagle using my bump as his personal pillow. Now I’m 6 months pregnant he has been getting the odd kick but hasn’t actually reacted to it so probably just thinks it’s my grumbling tummy. This leads me to think that my beagle is aware of something but hasn’t the brain capacity to work out what that something actually is.

Why am I convinced, well he likes to put himself between me and my husband a lot as if to say leave my mammy alone. This might seem like protective behaviour to try and keep me safe or he’s just a jealous dog. We have also been having a good old clear out of unnecessary rubbish so he’s probably picked up on that.

We are treating him like he’s our first born and have planned to give him a new toy every month for the first few months so he doesn’t feel left out. It wouldn’t surprise my husband if I went onto eBay and purchased a doggy jumper that says ‘I’m gunna be a big brother’ 😂 (as I’m writing this I have the app open on my phone).

Either way our beagle hasn’t really changed towards us even with my growing belly. He’s still daft as a brush, clingy and loving. We love him and I suppose that’s all that matters so only time will tell if he will be baby’s protector or run away hiding with every piercing scream.

Katherine xo

IVF: the two week wait (2WW)

You have just had your embryo transfer, taken a home pregnancy test and told which day to do the test now what?

Well the first day or two you are likely just recovering from the procedure. You may feel tired, bloated and have some abdominal discomfort similar to period pain. You may also suffer from mild to severe Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).

You can use a hot water bottle to help with the pain but remember not too hot and not directly in contact with the skin.

You can take baths but not too hot. Sometimes it is recommended to resist the use of bubble bath during the next two weeks. Some research suggests that bubble bath can irritate your already delicate vagina and cause thrush or another form of infection.

Common questions:

I’m so bloated / Am I pregnant already?

It is normal to feel the size of a house and look about 5 months pregnant during the two week wait. You can thank good old progesterone for that.

You can drink herbal teas like peppermint to help combat the bloat. It is recommended to up your intake of water as this can help flush out any trapped fluids / constipation.

I’ve got terrible pain / discomfort in one or both my ovaries.

You’ve been through a lot the last few days and weeks. The stimulation medication will have left your ovaries slightly larger than normal (think tennis balls). This can cause discomfort and or pain on one or both ovaries. This symptom shouldn’t be ignored entirely as it could be mild OHSS. Sometimes (but it is rare) OHSS can be severe and lead to serious illness or death. Mild OHSS should resolve itself within 7-10 days (or by your next period if you are not pregnant)

If you are experiencing severe pain and any of the following seek medical attention:

  • rapid weight gain 15 – 20kg (33-44 pounds) within about 5-10 days
  • severe abdominal pain
  • severe or persistent nausea and vomiting
  • blood clots in one or both legs
  • decrease in urination
  • shortness of breath
  • tight or enlarged abdomen.

You can self-help with mild OHSS by increasing your fluid intake preferably with electrolytes. Rest as much as possible and increase your daily protein (at least an extra 60grams).

I have sore boobs / itching nipples

Once again our friend progesterone and the HCG trigger show injection are to blame. This may feel like a very very early sign of pregnancy which is driving you mad. Whatever you do refrain from doing you home pregnancy test. You could get a false positive due to the trigger shot days before.

I feel so sick is this normal

Remember you’ve been through a lot the last couple of days / weeks. You are likely to feel nauseated from the hormones you are still using. That combined with nervous excited can leave a nauseous butterfly sensation in your stomach. Try to eat little but often and plain foods if easier like toast. Also it is worth noting that early pregnancy can cause a decrease on your immune system making you susceptical to germs, coughs and colds.

It’s been a week and I feel like I’m about to have my period

Early pregnancy and your period have a lot in common with each other. Try not to focus too much on the cramping sensations just yet. It could be implantation which usually occurs about day 9. Implantation can cause bleeding (but not everyone gets this). It is usually brown in colour. Some ladies have a little spot of blood in their pants and others a little bit more. Bleeding can last a couple of hours to a day or so. If the flow has increased and / or you are starting to fill a pad every couple of hours unfortunately it is likely your period has arrived. Still wait until test day just to confirm.

Try not to focus on the implantation bleeding if you haven’t had any and your on day 10-12. Not everyone gets this.

I feel pregnant already should I do my test early?

You should only do your test on the day that the clinic told you. This is because they have worked out approximately 14 days after transfer is when the artificial trigger shot of HCG should be out of your system. If you have fallen pregnant your ovaries will take over the production of HCG and this is what is picked up on a urine home pregnancy test.

Can I go on holiday during my two week wait?

Yes, why not. You may feel a tad uncomfortable first couple of days after the transfer. Whether you want to go abroad for a week or just have a long weekend away with your significant other anywhere where the two of you can focus on one another is nice.

Can I have sex during two week wait?

Yes, however if it is uncomfortable hold off for a bit until you feel ready.

Is it true I should only use the first pee of the day for my test?

Yes and no. If you are pregnant the test will say so regardless of when you pee on the stick. It is true that the concentration of the pregnancy hormone HCG is slightly higher in your first urine of the day.

Help the line is really pale does this mean it’s negative?

No. Some tests are much more sensitive than others. If you can see the additional line regardless or dark or pale you are likely to be pregnant.

Some ladies rush out and get brands such as clear blue with digital indicator. These tests are the same as the cheaper versions but actually say pregnant or not pregnant.

My test was positive now what?

Congratulations you are pregnant. Now you need to ring the clinic. You will be asked to pop in. You will be given your maternity file notes and additional progesterone if required. You will likely be booked a viability scan for around week 7.

My test was negative

Unfortunately for some this can happen. You will still need to phone your clinic and let them know the outcome. You will still need to take your progesterone until advised when to stop.

I feel alone and ignored by my clinic

Now that you are in the two week wait you are left in natures hands. You have likely had daily contact with your clinic over the last few weeks and now feel abandoned. It is true that you don’t really speak to the clinic but the nurses are available to answer any queries you may have.

There are several support groups on social media available from Facebook to instagram. You may enjoy the silence and peace or you may wish to speak to ladies in a similar situation.

Katherine xo