on with it
- getting on with it
How will your
about emotional changes?
What healthcare will
How do you know if
something is wrong?
healthy during pregnancy
ready at home
to the hospital
happens during labour and birth?
will your body change?
Over the nine months of your pregnancy you’ll
experience many physical changes – some are not much fun!
This section describes what you can expect and where to go for advice.
Weight gain is normal and necessary during pregnancy although it can be worrying for many women.
As a rough estimate, you should gain between 11 and 15 kg during pregnancy. How much is appropriate for you depends on your body size and nutritional needs.
trimester (conception up to 12 weeks) is a time when your body
will change a lot, though you will not have much of a “bump” until the second
trimester. Each person will experience these changes in different ways and at different
times, but here is what you might experience:
nausea (feeling sick): You will probably feel extremely tired and emotional.
Unless you are really lucky you may also experience nausea and occasional vomiting.
This is often
called 'morning sickness' although it can happen at any time of the day.
You may have strong food cravings and/or food dislikes. Suddenly food you have always loved makes you feel sick and you can have cravings for things you've never enjoyed in the past or
you may crave bizarre combinations.
Breast changes: Another change you may notice in the first trimester is increased breast fullness and sensitivity.
This is due to the increasing levels of oestrogen and progesterone (hormones)
which stimulate the milk producing glands in the breasts. The areola (the pigmented area around the nipple) may also enlarge and darken.
Some women also notice small bumps
on the areola. These bumps are normal; they are actually glands that help lubricate the areola and nipple during breastfeeding.
trimester (from 13th week to 27th week) is usually an easier time for most pregnant women.
You may, however, experience
some of the following:
Mild aches and pains: for example, backache
dark line on your belly, more freckles
In the beginning of this trimester, you will be able to feel your uterus extending above the pubic bone.
By 20 weeks you will probably have felt your baby move for the first time.
This is an exciting time but it is also important information to remember and to tell your doctor or midwife to help determine the age of the foetus as accurately as possible.
trimester begins at the 28th week of pregnancy and lasts until birth. This is usually a time
when you may experience some discomfort as your baby grows and takes up
more and more space!
You may experience:
see a physiotherapist or continence nurse for an individual assessment and exercise plan
Increased vaginal discharge:
bleeding should be reported
Occasional shortness of breath
Your doctor or midwife will be able to offer suggestions for how to cope with these changes.
If you are concerned about these or any other effects, contact your doctor or midwife.
It is particularly important to report any
bleeding (see Warning signs).
You may find it better not to lie
flat on your back after twenty weeks, as the weight of
the uterus can compress a major blood vessel which restricts
blood flow to both you and your baby and can make you feel faint.
Use pillows to make
yourself comfortable while lying on your side.
Your Pregnancy Care Provider
Yarra Valley Community Health Service
1300 130 381
Ranges Community Health Service
(internet connection required)
Illustration from The Puberty Book
by Wendy Darvill & Kelsey Powell,
published by Hodder Headline Australia.
Reproduced with permission.