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Blocked ears

Women may get partial deafness (as if they have cotton wool in their ears), and “popping” (due to changing pressure as in an aircraft). This is due to congestion of the tissues lining the Eustachian tubes, which run between the back of the throat and the inner ears.

Block one nostril with your finger, and blow gently through the other nostril, repeat with the other nostril. Do not stick cotton buds into the ear canal.

Eye sight changes

Some women find that they become either short or long sighted during pregnancy, this is because extra fluids in the body cause the eye ball to change shape. The tear ducts secrete less fluid and the eyes are drier. These changes may make hard contact lenses uncomfortable and result in tired eyes or headaches after watching he television, reading or working at a computer, but should return to normal within a few months. Headache and visual disturbances, for example blurring, dizziness, floaters or spots may indicate high blood pressure in late pregnancy.

Get your eyes tested to see whether a pair of glasses might be necessary for a while. If you wear hard contact lenses, you may need to switch to soft lenses or glasses. Speak to your caregiver if you have any unusual symptoms.


Feelings of light headedness often occur during early or mid pregnancy, because of low blood pressure. Later on it may be caused by the pressure of the uterus on the vessels carrying blood back to the heart. Other impossible causes include anemia and low blood sugar levels.

Avoid standing for long periods and avoid taking hot baths. Tell your caregiver should you suffer form recurring dizziness.

Changes to fingernails & toenails

Some women find that their nails grow more quickly, where others find that their nails become softer, develop grooves and break or split easily.

Keep your nails short, wear gloves to wash up and moisturise your nails at least once a day. If you notice any discoloration, you may have an infection and this should be treated by your caregiver.

Raised temperature and increased sweating

Many pregnant women find that they are constantly warm, particularly in heir hands and feet and permanently have a shinny face. This is caused by the increase in your basal metabolic rate by amount 20% during pregnancy. This increases the amount of body heat that you generate. Some of this heat is dissipated through the skin by means of increased blood flow, which makes that hands and feet warmer.

Wear loose clothing made from natural materials. In winter wear layers, so that you can peel them off as necessary. If your underarms are working overtime, have wipes and an anti perspirant handy at all times.

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