8 embarrassing things to watch out for

Beyond morning sickness, there’s pee, farts, reflux, hair fall, itches…


Mums-to-be around the world sighed in sympathy to read that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was once again a martyr to severe morning sickness while she was expecting Princess Charlotte. Of course, pregnancy-induced nausea isn’t the only thing you’ll experience when you’ve got a bun in the oven.

          “During pregnancy, the body experiences a lot of changes,” says Gail Johnson, spokesperson for the Royal College of Midwives in the UK. And because hormones affect women in different ways, you could be in for some surprises.

Baby hiccups

What’s going on? From about week 20 of your pregnancy, you might notice a funny feeling in your tummy — like it’s twitching. “Don’t panic!” says Dr Chiara Hunt, GP and co-founder of UK’s thebumpclass.com, which offers antenatal courses. “It’s your baby trying out his diaphragm and practising how to breathe, often leading to hiccups.”

What you can do Nothing  — just enjoy it! At least he’s not spitting up milk on your favourite jumper yet.

Weak bladder

What’s going on? Your blood volume not only increases by up to 50 per cent when you’re preggers, your urine output rises, too. “Partly because there’s more liquid in your system and partly because you’re excreting the baby’s urine, as well as your own,” explains obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Roger Marwood, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians. Add that to the sensation of the baby pressing on your bladder, and it’s no surprise you want to pee more.

What you can do Do regular pelvic-floor exercises. And just go to the loo more often.

Oh joy, as if morning sickness and peeing up a storm aren’t bad enough, now I have heartburn to deal with, too!

Extreme gassiness

What’s going on? Your muscles and ligaments relax to make room for your baby, but this affects all your muscles, including the ones in your, ahem, bowels. Which means that your digestive system becomes sluggish. But the longer food is inside you, the gassier you get!

What you can do “Drink lots of water and eat a high-fibre diet, which will move food through your system faster and reduce gas,” Dr Hunt advises.

Acid reflux

What’s going on? This is yet another pregnancy experience caused by the same hormones that relax your muscles. “The muscles that keep food inside your stomach don’t work as efficiently, so what you’ve eaten can travel back into your throat, causing acid reflux,” says Dr Marwood.

What you can do Instead of three big meals a day, eat six small ones. If it gets worse, ask your doctor to prescribe antacids.

Photo: iStock

There’s four more embarassments to come…