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Dr Steph Klupacs - Osteopath

For someone who thought they knew a lot about pregnancy, gee was I in for a shock when I saw those 2 lines pop up on a pregnancy test!

I looked at my husband and said “Right. What do we do now?” and all he could say was “Don’t you know all this stuff?”

I have spent a fair majority of my osteo career pursuing my interest in women’s health and paediatric health. I treat a lot of women during their pregnancy, and talk to them about all the twists and turns to expect from an osteopath’s perspective – and I love it! My pregnant patients often have a lot of questions about what’s happening to them and their baby, and I pride myself on being able to answer a lot of them. Except now, I was the one with all the questions!

I thought I might share some of the things I frantically googled in my first trimester. Even with a good background knowledge of pregnancy, there was some stuff that I just didn’t see coming.

Things that happened that I didn’t expect
Cramping. Lots of cramping!

This was one I didn’t expect at all. These were not my usual period cramps, though. They started after about a week or so, right down low in my abdomen. They were only about a 2/10 pain, instead of my normal 7/10 period cramps. I had no idea what they were and didn’t know if it was normal or not.

Good news – completely normal! These cramps are the beginning of your uterus starting to stretch out to accommodate your growing baby. Even though at 4 weeks gestation, your baby is only the size of a poppyseed, it’s size increases A LOT over the coming weeks.
Best thing to do to relieve these cramps is to use a warm (not hot) heat pack for short spurts of time – less than 20 mins at a time is fine. Also I found moving around and walking to be helpful. Maybe it was just the distraction of it, but it seemed to work!

Dizziness

I was in Hobart on holidays with some friends when I started to suspect I might be pregnant. We were walking around the Salamanca Markets when all of a sudden, I felt like my whole head started to spin and I felt as light as a feather. I had to sit down with my head between my knees for a few minutes before my head stopped whizzing around me – not nice! This is not something that I experience regularly, so I was fairly sure something was up by this point.

More good news – completely normal! Dizziness, light headedness and headaches are a common sign of early pregnancy. This is due to the increase in blood volume and surge in hormones your body is producing in response to your pregnancy.
I found to stop and rest was the best cure for this. My other top tips would be drinking plenty of water and eating something to keep your energy up. I found when I was tired or hungry, the light headedness was a lot worse.

Loss of appetite

Now just about EVERYONE has heard of morning sickness in pregnancy. We’ve all seen the movies with women heaving their guts up at 6am every day. This is what I expected for my pregnancy, except I certainly didn’t get it. The thought of eating food just didn’t interest me. I did have waves of nausea and I definitely knew I wasn’t up to eating my normal favourite foods. But did I vomit? Nope!

Who knew – loss of appetite is a symptom of early pregnancy! This is still proving to be a struggle for me at 15 weeks pregnant. The only thing I can offer is sympathy and encouragement! Eat what you want, when you feel like it. Remember that your baby is a parasite – it will take all the good stuff from you and leave you with nothing! So even if you can only stomach an apple and a Salada for the day, your baby has gotten all the nutrients it needs from you. Rest up, and wait for that appetite to return.

I know I’m having more good days than bad days now, and I’m told that it should ease up at 16 weeks.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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