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When will you start to feel pregnant? Early signs and symptoms

Women usually start to feel some changes around the fourth or fifth week of pregnancy. Even if you don’t feel any different to usual at this point, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong. Remember, everyone experiences pregnancy differently. Most commonly, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed…

How the trimesters of pregnancy are defined

The word ‘trimester’ actually means a period of three months. Pregnancy is roughly nine months, which then divides satisfyingly into three trimesters. The first trimester covers the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. During the first trimester, a baby develops from a small ball of cells (cute) to a…

Your first midwife appointment

Trying to work out who to get in touch with when you first find out you’re pregnant can be really confusing. So here are the basics. Initially, when you first find out you’re pregnant, you can call your GP or local hospital and they’ll help you organise your next steps. First up, it’s your…

There’s no one right way to do motherhood. So why are we only shown one type of mother?

*Our no-nonsense physiotherapist and podcast host shares the things she wishes she’d known before becoming a women’s health physio… and a mum.* **I feel like women are cheated **with the information we’re given to prepare for motherhood. Women need to be given the full picture, and yet far too…

What should you do? That’s the question your midwife can't answer

Nelson Mandela said that ‘education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world,’ and it’s so true. Motherhood comes with a lot of opinions, and I see women every day who are confused by all the different information that’s being thrown at them. Unfortunately, sometimes this can…

What motherhood has taught me about slowing things down

I didn’t expect motherhood to come with a side order of existential crisis. But here we are. When I was pregnant, a lot of people told me that my life was about to change. I thought it was a rather obvious statement, particularly as this was a change that I welcomed and was prepared for. However,…

When it comes to the maternal brain, less is more

*Our neuroscientist and counsellor talks to us about the positive effects of motherhood on the brain, and the science behind the baby brain memes.* 'We need to conceptualise mummy brain differently,' says Dr Jodi Pawluski. 'It’s not just about putting your keys in the fridge or forgetting the…

How your due date is calculated

Calculating due dates is no easy feat, and is a slightly controversial topic. But usually, due dates are calculated by finding the first day of your last period and adding 40 weeks to that. The major caveat with due dates is that it’s all based on a 28-day menstrual cycle. Various studies have…

Eating well during morning sickness

Feeling sick during pregnancy is, unfortunately, very common. Around eight out of 10 pregnant women feel sick, are sick or both during their pregnancy. Morning sickness is thought to be caused by rising levels of hCG (the pregnancy hormone) and can occur at any time of the day. We’ll repeat…

Introducing the 4 pregnancy hormones

The four most important pregnancy hormones are oestrogen, progesterone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and human placental lactogen (hPL). But let’s have a closer look at each of these guys individually, shall we? 1. Oestrogen is normally produced by the ovaries, but during pregnancy it’s…

4 reasons for early pregnancy bleeding

Bleeding or pain in early pregnancy is relatively common and does not always mean something is wrong, but it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible anyway. You can call your GP, midwife or Early Pregnancy Assessment Service for advice. They may suggest you go to hospital for some…

What happens at the 12 week scan?

Between 10 and 14 weeks, you’ll be offered your first ultrasound scan. During this scan, a sonographer will use an ultrasound scanner to check if the baby is developing as expected, see whether there is one baby or multiple babies and determine the due date more accurately. At 10 weeks of…

What is the triple test screening for?

The triple test is a blood test that you’ll be offered between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy to check whether the baby has any chromosomal abnormalities, including Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome and Patau's syndrome. The screening is called the triple test because it measures three different…

How the placenta develops

Your body is pretty clever. Not only does it grow a whole baby when you’re pregnant, but it also grows you a whole new organ: the magnificent placenta. At the very beginning of your pregnancy, your embryo gets its nutrients from a yolk sac. Around week ten, the outer layer of the amniotic sac…

The second trimester: what to expect

One third through pregnancy - woohoo! Hopefully, some of the earlier pregnancy symptoms, including that dreaded sickness, is starting to wear away and you’re gaining more energy again. But as the baby grows and the uterus moves upwards and outwards, new symptoms will make their appearance. Don’t…

What happens at the 20 week scan?

Between 18 and 21 weeks, you’ll be offered your 20 week scan. This screening looks out for a number of conditions which means your healthcare team can make better decisions about how to look after you and your baby going forward. The 20 week scan looks out for various medical conditions including…

When will you start showing?

Most women begin to get a bump near the beginning of their second trimester, around the 12 to 16 week mark. But many women start to show earlier or later than this - it’s just a rough guide. In particular, if you’ve had a baby before, you’ll probably start to show much earlier than you did in your…

When will you feel the baby move?

Most women feel their babies move for the first time between 16 and 24 weeks. You’ll probably start by feeling some flutters and then they’ll develop into more decisive kicks as the baby grows, which is when others are more likely to be able to feel kicks too. If you have an anterior placenta,…

Is it normal to feel constipated during pregnancy?

YES. Constipation isn’t just normal, it’s one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy… and one of the most frustrating. All of the hormones swirling around your body can cause you to feel blocked up and bloated. If you’re on iron tablets during your pregnancy, this can cause…

Your maternity leave, pay and rights

The practicalities of having a little person enter your life can feel a bit overwhelming. Particularly the impact that little person will have on your work. Knowing your rights when it comes to maternity leave and pay is such an important step to feeling like you’ve got this, mama, because guess…