asian woman resting her head on her hands and clutching her throat

By Dr Tan Shu Qi, Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital
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Week 6 is around the time when you start to experience some physical changes, some of which might make you uncomfortable. But fret not; here are some tips to manage the most common pregnancy symptoms:

1. Feeling Faint

feeling faint

Your blood pressure is lower during pregnancy. That is why, if you stand for too long at the bus stop or on board the MRT, the flow of blood to your brain may be temporarily reduced, leading to giddiness.

What to do? Avoid standing for too long and get up slowly when sitting or lying down. Also, an empty stomach may make matters worse, so try not to go hungry.

Related: What Happens In The Second Trimester

2. Heartburn

heartburn

Don't worry, that feeling is not your heart calling out for help. The burning sensation in your chest is caused by the slowing down of your gastrointestinal tract and the relaxation of the muscles at the opening of the stomach. This causes acidic gastric juices to flow back up, causing "heartburn".

What to do? Avoid heavy meals, especially before bedtime. If you're already experiencing heartburn, prop yourself up against pillows for temporary relief.

Related: 4 Ways To Get Comfortable While Sleeping

3. Constipation

constipation

As the baby grows in the womb, it's common for food to move through the intestine much slower than before. This causes constipation, and it's common in pregnancy. There's nothing to be embarrassed about!

What to do? Consume lots of fibrous foods, fruit and vegetables, and make sure you drink lots of fluids.

Related: Safe Medication During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

4. Bloatedness

bloatedness

Abdominal bloating is a common symptom in pregnancy as your stomach empties more slowly during pregnancy.

What to do? Avoid tight clothes and eat small frequent meals to alleviate any discomfort. Restrict the consumption of foods that can create gas — like cabbage and beans.

Related: Nutrition During Pregnancy — Eating Right For Two

5. Breast Tenderness

breast tenderness

Your breasts will start feeling sore and tender as early as a few days after you conceive. This is due to an increase in the hormones that will be circulating through the body. Your breasts will continue to grow throughout your pregnancy as your body prepares for breastfeeding.

What to do? Get a proper-fitting bra to provide the right support, and wear a cotton bra at night if your breasts hurt while you sleep.

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Sources:

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore