-Increase in size, nodularity and sensitivity. Production
of colotsrum occurs in late pregnancy. Breasts weigh each 1/2 pound by
It's weight increses from 2 oz to 2 lb at term and
volume of its cavity increases from 10 mL (2 tsp) to 2-10 L at term
Total blood plasma volume increases by 50%
Lungs-Expansion and flaring of lower ribs due to increased
capacity of lung volume. Oxygen consumption increases by 14%, half going to
developing fetus, and rest consumed by growing uterus, breast tissue, and
increased respiratory abd cardiac demands.
-increases in size due to increased worload and
cardiac output. Heart moves upward and laterally from non-pregnant position
-Growing uterus displaces the bladder forward and
upward. Bladder volume decreases as compression of uterus increases
Shortness of Breath
Your growing uterus puts pressure on some of your
internal ogans. As a result your lungs do not have as much room to expand.
Here are some measures that may help:
- Sleep in your left side. Avoid lying
on your back
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing -
nothing that feels tight around your waist or chest.
- Report any severe or recurring
shortness of breath to your health care provider.
During pregnancy you jave more blood and other fluids in your body. In
addition, your growning uterus puts pressure on some large blood vessels. As
a result some swelling is common, particularly in your hands and feet. Here
are a few preventative measures:
- Rest on your left side several times
during the day.
- Elevate your feet and legs slightly
when lying down or sitting
- Eat a well balanced diet and drink
plent of water
- Avoid clothing that fits tightly on
the legs, thihgs , hips and groin
- Report any severe swelling that is
not relieved by resting and elevating your feet.
As your baby grows, your bladder has less room to expand.
Even a small amount of urine inyour bladder may give you an urge to "go".
many women also find that a cough, sneeze or laugh can cause a small amount
of urine to leak out. Here are some suggestions that may help:
- Plan frequent trips to the bathroom.
Do not wait until the urge is too intense.
Kegel excercises to
strengthen your bladder and urethra.
- Contact your health care provider if
you experience intense urgency, burning, pain or bleeding with urination.
With pressure from a growing uterus, it is not unusual to
have some stomach contents pushed upward into the esophagus. This causes a
burning sensation. In addition, digestion can be slower in pregnancy. Food
stays in the stomach longer, incresing the chances of heartburn. Here are
- Try eating more frequent, smaller
- Do not eat right before going to bed
- Talk with your health care provider
before taking any over-the-counter heartburn medications
Hemorrhoids and Constipation
The hormones and physical changes of pregnancy slow
digestion, making constipation common. Iron supplements can also worsen
constipation. During pregnancy you can develop hemorrhoids, swollen veins in
the rectum. Some ways to prevent or minimize these problems:
- Eat a nutritious, high fiber diet
rich in vegetables and fruits
- Drink plenty of water
- Use walking and other excercise to
stimulate bowel function and reduce constipation
- Consult your health care provider
before using over-the-counter laxaives or enemas. Also report any intense
rectal pain or bleeding
Fatigue and Insomnia
Fatigue is common in pregnancy. Often fatigue incerases
as your baby gets bigger and you have more weight to carry around. Insomnia
is especially common in the last trimester when finding a comfortable
sleeping position can be challenging. Some suggestions to make sleeping
- Take a warm shower or bath before
- Use pillows to support your legs,
abdomen and arms
- Avoid caffeinated beverages. Try
drinking warm milk or non-caffeinated tea before bedtime.
- Avoid excercising immediately before
bedtime. Excercise earlier in the day.