Palpitations • One’s blood volume increases by about 40-50% during pregnancy. • The maternal network of blood vessels is greatly extended to supply baby with nutrients, oxygen and a waste disposal system. • The mom-to-be’s heart must work much harder to pump the extra blood she has around the extended blood vessel network. • An expectant woman carries around 12kg or more extra weight by the end of pregnancy and so the circulatory and respiratory systems are more taxed. • Palpitations, the feeling of one’s heart beating harder and faster, and shortness of breath, are quite common from now on in pregnancy. • If palpitations soon cease and you in no other way feel unwell, there is in all likelihood no reason for concern. • Palpitations might occur even when resting in pregnancy but should settle quite soon. • Walk briskly regularly to keep fit and improve stamina. • If you are a very anxious person, you will be more prone to palpitations and breathing exercises will improve matters. • If you feel unwell and palpitations or shortness of breath stay for quite some time when you are not exerting yourself at all or if you feel as if you have a fever, see your doctor. Pelvic aching • When lower pelvic aching seems unbearable, cup your hands around the lower part of your ‘bump’ and ‘lift’ it up a little as this will instantly soothe the pressure you feel. • Go down on all fours, with your arms bent at the elbows, so that your buttocks are higher than your head, to relieve lower pelvic pain, as baby then puts less pressure on the nerves in the groin. • Walking and other forms of exercise like swimming and dancing are excellent for overall strength and posture, but be guided by your body’s messages and rather do little bits frequently than overdo it in one session. • Cross your hands in the small of your back and press up against a wall to provide relief from lower backache. • Try and correct posture by pulling in tummy muscles and buttocks, keeping shoulders back and down and slightly tilting the chin upwards. • If low pelvic pain and backache are accompanied by ligament pain elsewhere in the abdominal area, wear a Carriwell maternity support band at night.
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