Common questions

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by Professor Colin Espie

Why have I started getting heartburn?

Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is often a temporary symptom during pregnancy. Progesterone can relax the muscle which usually keeps food in the stomach, so that acidic foods rise back up towards the throat.

Why do I get leg cramps?

Spasms or cramps causing shooting pains up and down the legs are common in the second half of pregnancy. The causes are not entirely clear, but may include an imbalance of magnesium or calcium, which are natural salts circulating in the blood.

Why do I need the toilet so often?

In the first trimester, you both produce more urine and the enlarged uterus presses on the bladder, increasing your need 'to go'. In the second trimester things typically ease, but return with a vengeance in the third trimester with more sodium production and the bigger bump. To find out more about the physiological changes in pregnancy, see The Science of Sleeping in Pregnancy.

Is it normal to have more bizarre dreams in pregnancy?

Pregnancy is often associated with unusually vivid or bizarre dreams. This is probably because more frequent waking makes it more likely that you will remember your dreams, but it may also be that you have more anxiety than usual.

Next: The science of sleeping in pregnancy

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