Pregnancy
10 weeks and 6 days pregnant

This close-up of a fetus’s umbilical cord shows the two spiralling arteries that carry deoxygenated blood from the baby to the placenta. The placenta also contains a vein that carries oxygenated blood from the placenta to the developing baby.

Has sex been the last thing on your mind, or have you noticed an increase in your libido? It seems all women are different.

Being expectant parents can bring you emotionally closer as a couple, but not necessarily physically. While some women find that their libido increases during pregnancy, often much to their partner’s surprise, the majority find that their sex drive diminishes in the early weeks.

In the first trimester many women are affected by fatigue and nausea, and so the last thing they want to do is have sex. If this is the case then make sure you explain how you feel to your partner, so that he doesn’t feel rejected. Try to find other ways to stay physically connected with each other: perhaps you can still enjoy some aspects of foreplay, if not penetrative sex. If not, at least try to be affectionate to each other.

It may be your partner who’s anxious about having sex. Many men worry about harming the baby through penetrative sex, although there is no chance of this happening.

Remember, if you do want to have sex, then unless a doctor tells you otherwise, it’s safe to do so while you are pregnant.

Is it safe to drink herbal teas?

Herbal teas do not contain caffeine, but limit choices to those that you know are safe, such as fruit, ginger, cinnamon, and camomile teas. Avoid raspberry leaf tea and esoteric herbs such as vervain which in high doses are uterine stimulants; they are best limited to the final weeks and during labour. Some teas may contain herbs not studied in pregnancy. Black and green teas contain caffeine, unless the packaging states otherwise.

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Spider veins (or spider naevi) are tiny red blood vessels that branch outwards, just under the skin. They are caused by an increase in the level of oestrogen during pregnancy. They usually appear on the face, upper chest, neck, arms, and legs. Often disappearing soon after birth, spider veins are not a cause for concern and can usually be covered with make-up. You can discourage spider veins by:

  • Upping your intake of vitamin C, which helps to strengthen your veins and capillaries.

  • Avoiding crossing your legs, which can exacerbate the problem.

  • Taking regular exercise as it keeps your circulation moving.

  • Avoiding standing or sitting for long periods, and elevating your feet when you do sit down.

  • Avoiding spicy food, as some women have found that this helps to reduce spider veins.

If you suddenly notice the appearance of lots of broken veins on your skin, consider consulting your doctor or midwife.

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