Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Now what? Our maternity experts are here to help you through your 39 week pregnancy journey. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about pregnancy, with everything from old wives tales to something your friend read on a random website. At HealthONE, we want to give you helpful maternity information from a trusted source.
Here are some frequently asked questions women like you have about pregnancy, childbirth and everything in between.
Check back regularly for updates to our FAQ section.
Why does every smell churn my stomach?
A pregnant woman’s sense of smell is significantly increased during pregnancy due to hormonal changes in the body associated with morning sickness, such as the production of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Some experts have theorized the heightened sense of smell is a defense mechanism to alert mothers of potentially harmful foods while pregnant.
Just try to avoid these smells or foods as best as you can during your pregnancy. Your nose will thank you!
Why do I crave certain foods when I am pregnant?
No one knows exactly what causes those sometimes-irresistible pregnancy cravings, but most experts agree it is caused by significant hormonal changes. High hormone levels can change your sense of taste and smell, leading to specific food cravings. Some dietitians and physicians also think cravings are your body trying to tell you specific nutrients it may be missing, though nothing has been scientifically proven.
Some women even develop an eating order called pica, a condition where a pregnant woman craves non-food items. If you are experiencing this type of craving, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that pica affects almost 30 percent of expecting mothers.
The best way to combat cravings is to give in to them in moderation, and avoid the extremely unhealthy ones by finding something else to occupy your mind. If you have any questions about how to deal with your pregnancy cravings or if you start experiencing any symptoms related to pica, talk to your physician.
How long does morning sickness last (because I’m already sick of it!)?
Thankfully, most women only experience the effects of morning sickness from weeks six to 16 of their pregnancy. If you are feeling nauseated or sick during the entire day, don’t worry. This is completely normal. For many pregnant women, morning sickness is typically more of an all-day sickness, though the worst symptoms typically occur in the morning.
Hang in there!
Is it just me, or are my feet growing?
No, it’s not just your imagination. On average, a woman’s foot will grow one whole shoe size during pregnancy.
How much should I be eating while I’m pregnant?
Your baby always receives nutrients from the food you eat before you do. This is why a healthy, balanced diet is important for you and your baby during pregnancy. While you are eating for two, it’s important to remember you only need to eat an extra 300 calories a day. Eating the prescribed amount of calories while pregnant can help you shed stubborn baby weight after your delivery.
Another crazy fact: your baby can taste the food you eat while inside the womb, and can taste different foods when you are breast-feeding.
Can I exercise during pregnancy?
Yes, yes and yes! Studies suggest expecting mothers who get regular exercise during pregnancy can get through labor more easily and lose weight faster after childbirth than women who don’t. You should exercise, but don’t overdo it. We advise aerobic exercise like prenatal yoga classes, walking or swimming four times a week for ideal results.
This may sound intimidating, but take baby steps!
How much weight am I going to put on during my pregnancy?
Most women will gain somewhere around 25-35 pounds during pregnancy, depending on their height and pre-pregnancy weight.