I'm four months pregnant and struggling with stress at work. What can I do?
Talk to your line manager about this. Be realistic about what your priorities are and learn to say no at work if you're being asked to do too much. Make sure you take regular breaks and cut down on household chores when you're at home.
Take time out from your anxieties to relax by practising deep breathing exercises, stretching or yoga. Reading a book, having a nap or going for a walk will all help to lower your stress levels. Also, stick to a healthy diet and try to avoid comfort eating.
Your partner may also be feeling anxious and worried about becoming a parent, so try talking together calmly about the issues you have. You can also see your doctor to discuss whether treatment would help.
Is my bump big enough?
During the third trimester your bump will begin to appear. For a while it will look like you have just put on weight, but in the late second trimester it will become rounder and strangers will begin to be able to tell that you are pregnant.
Your bump is measured by your midwife at appointments from 25 weeks (if it’s your first baby) to tell if your baby is growing at a normal rate. They measure from your pelvic bone to the top of your bump. The top of your womb is called the fundus and this measurement is called the fundal height. The measurement should be around the same as the number of weeks pregnant you are (give or take 2cm). So if you are 25 weeks, the measurement should be 23-27cm. it also depends on what is normal for you though. The overall pattern is more important than the isolated measurements and you may be given a personalised growth chart.
If your bump is measuring bigger or smaller than expected your midwife will refer you for a scan and review at the maternity unit.
All the things that made me feel pregnant have stopped and it's making me anxious
In the second trimester many of your pregnancy symptoms will often disappear or reduce. Your breasts may not feel so tender, nausea or sickness will often stop and the deep tiredness of the first trimester usually goes away, leaving you with more energy than you had before. For some people however, the symptoms of pregnancy, even if they are unpleasant are a reassuring reminder that you are pregnant, and the loss of physical pregnancy feelings brings some worries.
Try instead to enjoy this time, you are not too far away from the third trimester when you will get slower and your bump grows to a size that makes sleeping uncomfortable. Continue being active and eating well, spend time with loved ones, and above all, enjoy your sleep, as it will soon be in short supply
My pelvis has started hurting
Pelvic pain in pregnancy could be a sign of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD/PGP), which often starts in the middle of pregnancy. It can cause pain or discomfort that can range from manageable to serious. It is thought to be caused by the hormone relaxin, which loosens the joints in pregnancy to allow your womb to stretch for your growing baby. When you have SPD your joints loosen too much and your pelvis goes out of line.
I don't smoke but my partner does. Should I tell him not to smoke in the house?
Other people’s smoke is a health hazard for you and your baby, before and after the birth. Because of this, it’s important to be very firm about insisting that your partner doesn’t smoke in the house or anywhere around you.
Explain that women who breathe in secondhand smoke are at risk of having a low birth-weight baby. Secondhand smoke also puts your baby at greater risk of birth defects and stillbirth.
Keeping your home free from smoke is important after the birth, to protect your baby from chest infections, cot death, glue ear and asthma. Do everything you can to make sure your new baby is not exposed to smoke. If your partner is finding it hard to quit, suggest they use nicotine gum or patches instead when they’re at home.
Find out more about the risks of smoking in pregnancy.
Is it safe to use complementary remedies during pregnancy?
Not all alternative or complementary remedies are safe for you to take now you’re pregnant. There is less information about these types of treatment than there is about conventional medicine in terms of how safe they are and how they work in pregnancy.
If you do decide to go ahead, always go to a qualified practitioner who is registered with their relevant organisation, as they will be trained to advise you on what's best to use during your pregnancy. You can find a qualified practitioner in your area through the Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine (ICNM).