Sister Lilian’s “Pregnancy and Birth Companion sheds” light on a few pregnancy topics:

* Stretch marks: These are caused by stretching of the collagen bundles below the surface of the skin and are partially hereditary. Use the tissue salt remedy Calc Fluor and massage almond or grapeseed oil into the skin.

* Perspiration: You have a little inferno growing inside you, you are carrying more weight and your blood volume increases by half, increasing perspiration.

* Blocked nose: This is due to extra fluid in your system from increased blood volume. Swollen mucous membranes give a sensation of a blocked nose.

* Dizzy spells: Low blood pressure can cause dizziness, especially when you change position from lying to standing. This may be associated with anaemia and low blood sugar. Snack on fruit through the day and take care when changing your position. Check with your doctor if it persists.

* Hair colouring. Hair academics say it is safe to have colouring, perming and straightening done with professional products at a salon. Always mention to your stylist that you are pregnant in case she has been given information about a product that should not be used during pregnancy. Try to avoid chemical treatments in the first trimester.

* Weight gain: The average gain is 2kg to 3kg in the first 20 weeks and another 10kg to 15kg in the second half. If you were overweight to start with, you might not gain as much. Report any unexplained swelling of the hands, face and feet to your doctor or midwife.