During pregnancy, your body changes inside and out. Your hormone levels change, a baby grows inside you and your body adapts. These physical changes can sometimes cause minor harmless discomforts which usually disappear after a while.
On this page we give a brief overview of these possible changes and some tips. Some of the changes can impact your work.
Please note that each body responds differently to a pregnancy and not everything listed on this page may apply to you.
Did you know that:
You shouldn't use a sunbed when pregnant?
You have more vaginal discharge in pregnancy?
- You may feel nauseous as a result of the hormonal changes.
- This (usually) improves after three months of pregnancy.
- Nausea can strike in the morning and, in some women, can last all day.
- Your sense of smell changes in pregnancy. Some odours can get more acute and unpleasant smells can provoke nausea.
- Eat a rusk, toast, slice of bread or a pot of yogurt before you get up.
- It is important to eat regular meals. Eat at least three times a day: breakfast, lunch and supper.
- Eat a healthy snack in between.
- Have a light breakfast.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid highly seasoned and greasy meals.
- Avoid unpleasant smells.
- Eat a light meal before bedtime.
- Adapt your sex techniques if you experience nausea while working.
Important: Consult a doctor or a midwife if you vomit more than three times a day.
Fatigue during pregnancy may differ according to the stage of your pregnancy:
- As a result of changes in your hormone levels, you may feel very tired in the beginning of your pregnancy.
- Usually, your energy returns in the second trimester.
- Fatigue often returns towards the end of pregnancy. Your growing belly makes sleeping more difficult and increases your urge to urinate.
- Take enough rest.
- Try to work at fixed times, stick to a daily routine.
- Try to work only during the day.
- If you work at night, try to sleep enough during the day.
- Try to relax before going to bed: watch a film, read a book, exercise or take a bath.
- Try to set your worries aside before going to bed.
- Block out noise and light from your bedroom.
- Make sure your bedroom is well-ventilated and at a comfortable temperature. A room that is too hot or too cold has a negative impact on your sleep.
- A full or empty stomach can also disrupt your sleep. A light meal before bedtime can help you sleep better.
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea or Cola) and energy drinks (e.g. Red Bull, Nalu).
Skin pigmentation increases in pregnancy.
This can cause:
- red cheeks.
- a darkening of the skin around your nipples and vagina.
- a 'pregnancy (dark) line' between pubic bone and navel.
- if you stay in the sun for too long, you may get dark spots on your face. BE AWARE that these patches will never disappear.
- Avoid sunbathing and using a sunbed.
- Use a high-factor sunscreen.
Blood flow and hormone levels
- Increased sweating.
- Oilier or drier skin.
- Your nails becoming brittle and chipping more easily.
TIP: Avoid using too much soap. It is not good for your skin and certainly not for your vagina.
- The increased blood flow in your mouth during pregnancy may cause your gums to bleed more quickly.
- Oral infections can spread easily to the rest of the body through the bloodstream.
- Good oral hygiene is therefore essential.
- Have a check-up at the dentist during your pregnancy, particularly if you have any complaints.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush.
- Do not use a mouthwash (e.g. Listerine). These products are aggressive and damage the oral mucosa, resulting in small wounds that can cause bacteria to enter your bloodstream.
Always use a condom when giving oral sex to avoid germs getting into your body through your mouth. Don't brush your teeth immediately before or after a blow job. This can cause abrasions that allow bacteria to enter your body.
- During pregnancy, the mammary glands of your breasts develop and make your breasts grow bigger and become more sensitive. Some women experience sore, tender breasts in early pregnancy.
- This discomfort usually disappears during the second trimester.
- If you have breast implants, ask the advice of your doctor/gynaecologist about milk production, breastfeeding and tender breasts.
- Due to increased blood flow to the vagina, the skin around the vagina can become darker.
- You could have increased white vaginal discharge.
- Due to the hormonal changes, there is a greater risk of contracting a yeast infection.
- Good vaginal hygiene is essential.
- Wash your body with water instead of soap.
- Do not wear panty-liners too often. They may cause irritation and itching.
- Wear cotton underwear after work.
- Consult your doctor if the colour and smell of your vaginal discharge changes,