Haemorrhoids are common during pregnancy. Haemorrhoids are protrusions of blood vessels at the anus. Haemorrhoids can be itchy and very painful. Pushing can make your complaints worse. Try to avoid constipation and hard stool. Most medication against haemorrhoids is okay to use during pregnancy. Do make sure to consult with your obstetrician.
Always let your obstetrician know what medication you are using. This also applies to medication that you can get without a prescription. It is important to be careful with medication during your pregnancy. Some substances can influence the development of your baby during the early stages of your pregnancy. That is why you should always let your doctor and your dentist know that you are pregnant. Also let the people at the pharmacy know. In case of pain, you can use paracetamol without risks. Check the package leaflet for the correct dose. If you need paracetamol for multiple days in a row, make sure to consult with your obstetrician. Only use other painkillers after consulting with your obstetrician.
Getting an aesthetic for a treatment at the dentist is no problem, but do let your dentist know that you are pregnant.
There is usually more vaginal discharge during pregnancy. This is normal. Make sure to contact us if the discharge has an abnormal smell or colour, or if you are experiencing an itch, pain or a burning sensation. In that case, you may have an infection. If necessary, you will receive medication for this.
Women who want to get pregnant, women who are pregnant or women who are breastfeeding, should not drink alcohol. Alcohol is bad for your unborn child.
Especially during the first 3 to 4 months of your pregnancy, you may feel nauseous and have to vomit often (in the morning). Not eating usually only makes this morning sickness worse. That is why you should start with a light breakfast. After that, try to have small, light meals. You will soon learn which foods your stomach can tolerate the best.
During your pregnancy, your intestines will work a little slower. As a result, you might go to the bathroom less often and have harder stool. Fibrous food can help, such as raw vegetables, fruit and wholegrain products. If you want, you can also have bran. Make sure to drink around 2 litres of fluids a day. Exercise is also important for your bowel movement.
If you get an contagious disease during your pregnancy, this could have consequences for the health of your unborn child. Have you had contact with someone who has a childhood illness with spots on their skin, such as chicken pox, rubella or fifth disease, or another contagious disease? Please contact your obstetrician or gynaecologist. The cytomegalovirus (CMV) can also be harmful for your unborn child. This virus is often in the spit and urine of small children. So good hygiene is very important. It reduces the chance that you will get infected with a contagious disease, like CMV. So always make sure to wash your hands (with soap) after wiping noses and changing diapers. It is also not a good idea to eat with the same cutlery or share food, or put your baby’s pacifier in your mouth.
Would you like to go on holiday? Please consult with your obstetrician. If you want to travel far, contact your doctor or the GGD at least 6-8 weeks before departure, for travel advice and possible vaccinations. Always make sure to mention that you are pregnant. From a medical point of view, airplane travel during the pregnancy is not dangerous for mother and child. Airlines usually do not allow entry to women who are longer than 32-34 weeks pregnant, because they do not want to risk childbirth occurring while flying.
During your pregnancy, your body will retain more moisture. Sometimes this will result in bloated feet and ankles. In case of heat and little movement, this can get worse. Make sure to get enough exercise, and elevate your legs a little while you are sitting or lying down.
Do you experience bleeding during your pregnancy? Contact your obstetrician or gynaecologist. Bleeding during pregnancy is common, especially during the first 3 months of pregnancy. There can be various causes, such as implantation of the fertilised egg in the uterus or a little wound on the cervix. Sometimes the blood loss is caused by a miscarriage.
Do you want to get pregnant or are you already pregnant? Then you have to quit smoking! This advice also applies to your partner. Smoking is dangerous for your (unborn) baby (as is breathing in your partner’s smoke). Smoking increases the chance of a miscarriage and medical complications for the baby. The baby may also be born too early and/or too light. Babies who are born too early or too light, have a higher risk of (serious) problems during and after birth. A too low birth weight also increases the chance of health issues later in life, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity.
That is why you must quit smoking when you want to get pregnant or are pregnant. If quitting is difficult, you can ask your obstetrician or doctor for help. After the birth, smoking near the baby increases the risk of crib death.
For more information, check www.rokeninfo.nl
or www.rijksoverheid.nl (key words ‘pregnant smoking’).
It is important to have a healthy and diverse diet while you are pregnant. Eating for two is not necessary. Do not eat and drink the following while you are pregnant:
Raw eggs and products with raw eggs.
Raw milk. Milk from the supermarket is pasteurised or sterilised.
Cheese made of raw milk. See if it says ‘pasteurised’ or ‘sterilised’ on the label.
Drinks containing caffeine (coffee or energy drinks). Drink max. 1 energy drink per day, and do not drink too much coffee.
Raw meat or products with raw meat.
Liver. Do not eat liver or products containing liver, such as liver pate or live cheese. Liver contains a lot of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can be harmful for your baby’s health.
For comprehensive advice, check www.voedingscentrum.nl/etenzwanger
For most people, the pregnancy is a period of big changes. Pregnancy comes with a lot of different, and sometimes mixed, emotions for you and your partner. These can be positive and negative emotions. If the negative emotions have the upper hand, it is important to talk about them, for example with your doctor or obstetrician. You can find information about stress and psychological problems during the pregnancy and afterwards on www.lkpz.nl.
During your pregnancy, you may experience pain in your back or in your pelvis. A good position main help soothe the pain. Is it bothering you a lot? Contact your obstetrician. Moving is good. A few tips:
• Bend your knees is you bend down or lift something.
• Make sure your lower back is properly supported while you are sitting.
• Are you struggling to get up from your bed? Try turning on your side first. Then push your upper body upwards sideways.
Vitamin pills are not necessary if you have a healthy and diverse diet. Do you still want to take vitamin pills? Then you should choose one of the multi vitamin pills that are especially for pregnant women. These pills contain an adjusted quantity of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can be harmful for the health of your baby. Also check if these pills already contain vitamin D.
Up till now there is no proof that it is harmful/not harmful, so we do not know if it is dangerous for your unborn child.
We do not know if and in what way the sauna affects your unborn child, so it is good to be careful. Increased temperatures may lead to congenital disorders, but this is not certain. If you go, make sure you do not get too hot and do not go too long, and cool down properly afterwards. To be sure, refrain from going during the first three months of your pregnancy.
Working conditions can cause risks for the pregnancy. For example, if you do work where you are exposed to: tremors (trucks, agricultural machines), ionising radiation (radiation from radioactive substances), chemical substances or infection risks. Health issues can also be the result of physically taxing work, such as frequent lifting, pulling, pushing or carrying. Are you dealing with working conditions like this? Then you should talk to your employer about adjusting your work activities.
There are various arrangements available for employees who are pregnant or who have just given birth. You can also consult with your company doctor (health and safety service) or ask the Inspectie SZW (www.inspectieszw.nl) for information.
Do you work (night) shifts? Then you can ask your employer to adjust your work and rest times while you are pregnant. A pregnant woman is entitled to extra breaks and not required to work at night or work overtime. These rules also apply to the first 6 months after you give birth. If it is not possible to do your work healthily and safely, your employer is required to offer you other work temporarily. For more information, check: www.rivm.nl/zwangerschap/werk (risks at work).
For the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, headaches are relatively common. If it continuously bothers you a lot, you should contact your doctor.
If you are more than 20 weeks pregnant and are experiencing one or more of the following signals: headache, seeing stars, sensation of having a strap around the upper abdomen or the head, pain in the upper abdomen or between the shoulder blades, vomiting or suddenly retaining fluid in the face, hands and/or feet, please contact us: +31 10-2341355 and if you cannot get through: +31 6-46272220.
Some women get varicose veins in their legs during pregnancy.
Sometimes they also occur on the labia. Make sure to exercise often and try to avoid long periods of standing and sitting. Are you sitting or lying down? Use a stool or a pillow to elevate your legs. Wearing fitted, elastic compression stockings will also help reduce the varicose veins. After childbirth, the varicose veins will fade quickly.
During your pregnancy, it is not wise to use a sunbed. The reason for this is the fact that your body produces more pigment-forming hormones during pregnancy, so that you may develop a so-called pregnancy mask in your face. This may take a long time to fade. So you should also beware of the sun, for example if you go on winter sports holiday.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease that could be harmful for your unborn child. Have you already had toxoplasmosis before? In that case you are immune. The illness is caused by a parasite. This parasite may be in the droppings of (especially young) cats. This means that this parasite may also be in the sandbox. Always wear gloves while cleaning the cat’s litter box or working in the garden. And wash your hands once you’re done. Also wash your hands and the hands of your children after playing in the sandbox.
In principle, everything is allowed, aside from scuba diving or going really high. With every other kind of sport, your body will let you know if you are going too far. For example, if your back or stomach starts to hurt. You have to be careful with horse-riding near the end of your pregnancy, because you have to avoid falling on your stomach. The same applies to skiing. If you are over 20 weeks pregnant, it is wise to avoid contact sports (such as football, hockey), because of the risk of hurting your stomach (elbow, hockey stick).
Everyone who works is entitled to pregnancy and maternity leave, 16 weeks in total. This means that you do not have to work for 16 weeks, and you will receive a benefit, mostly via your employer, that is equal to your salary. The start of the leave term depends on your due date.
From 4 June 2008, self-employed professionals are also entitled to a pregnancy and maternity benefit. This benefit is the so-called ZEZ arrangement (Self-employed and pregnant arrangement), and consists of at most the legal minimum wage. There are a few conditions that must be complied with.
For more information about pregnancy leave, please check the website of the ministry of Social Affairs and Employment: zwangerschapsverlof
Some women experience heartburn. Some kinds of food and drinks can make these complaints worse, such as coffee, orange juice, greasy food and carbon dioxide. If you are experiencing heartburn, you should avoid these. Does it continue to bother you? Consult with your obstetrician, most medication against heartburn can be taken during your pregnancy.
Via the following link, you can get more information about breech position and the external version of the baby. If your baby is in a breech position, once you are 36 weeks pregnant we will refer you to the gynaecologist, who will inform you about what comes next. To learn more, click: version