Here’s What They Won’t Tell You About Being Pregnant
Here’s What They Won’t Tell You About Being Pregnant
Getting pregnant is certainly cause for a celebration. It’s not always as easy as they say to become pregnant, and for some women, it can be almost impossible. Your body is about to start a wonderful journey that will enable your unborn baby to develop and grow inside you. As this only takes nine months, your body will go through remarkable changes with every week being different. And your unborn child will go from just a couple of cells to a foetus until he becomes the baby we all recognise at birth.
But none of this is easy. Even if you thought getting pregnant was the hard part, the real work is only just beginning. We all know that our tummies get bigger as the pregnancy progresses. And we all know that babies kick from inside us. And most of us are aware that giving birth is pretty painful. But pregnancy is so much more than that. It can be a magical time because you are growing a life made up of all of you and all of your partner. Sadly, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll enjoy the next nine months.
We’re all pretty familiar with the concept of morning sickness. It usually starts a few weeks into the pregnancy within the first three months. It is supposed to fade after just two or three weeks. But some women can feel nauseous for most of their pregnancy. And if you do vomit regularly, you are in grave danger of becoming dehydrated. Worse still, the stomach acid you bring up will decay the enamel of your teeth.
It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the beginning. Some women eat a ginger biscuit as soon as they wake up to help settle their stomach. Others try breathing techniques and gentle exercise. Always see a doctor if you can’t continue your regular day to day activities, or if you feel weak from morning sickness.
So why does the sickness happen? There are many ideas and theories. Not all of them are down to the temperament of the Mom-to-be! Before the sickness occurs, your body is already going through dramatic physical changes. Your hair may already appear thicker, as it tends to shed less during pregnancy. You may notice you have pains similar to period pains at first. And you may already be experiencing some lower back pain. Your insides are on the move!
As your uterus prepares to protect your little one, your internal organs start to move out of the way for your growing foetus. All of this is achieved by a surge in hormones you may not have experienced before. They are so strong, you may even think your face is looking a little different. The nose can widen a little as the body softens to allow it to change shape. As things move, this can change what is in close proximity to your stomach. As you lay down, the stomach may be squished a little and add to that sick feeling.
By the time the first kick comes at the halfway stage, you will be feeling your pregnancy! You’ll be bigger almost everywhere. Your backside, in particular, will be protruding more than normal, causing more of a curve in your lower back. This is caused by your pelvis making space for your growing baby. Have a look at http://www.livescience.com/16937-body-pregnancy.html to see more. Don’t worry, your body stays soft enough for this to reduce during the weeks after birth.
The weight of the baby may only be a few grams at this stage, but to you it can feel like several kilos. Your hips have moved, so you may already be waddling a little. But all this movement, combined with the baby weight could be putting pressure on your back, coccyx and sciatic nerve. This can be incredibly painful. You can try some of the ideas at http://www.momjunction.com/ for relief. Alternatively, specially qualified physiotherapists can help reduce this. Acupuncture is also highly regarded. Sitting on a donut cushion can help. You may even find it more comfortable to stand.
Once the kicks start, however, you may begin to tire rather quickly. What was a magical sensation that gave you and your husband so much joy at first quickly becomes uncomfortable and disruptive. Your baby sleeps at odd times, but will most likely be active when you’re trying to sleep. Kicks get stronger and more painful as he gets bigger and stronger. And yes, they will wake you up! It is at this point in the pregnancy (around twenty weeks) that you will start to fatigue. And as the pregnancy progresses, getting comfortable, mobile, and rested is harder and harder to do.
One of the most important things for you to do when you are pregnant is to rest. Your body is working hard and your baby is taking all of your energy. While you don’t really need to eat much more than you did pre-pregnancy, you do need to rest more often. It’s not just the task of growing another life that is making you weary though. Pregnancy can be so uncomfortable, it can be impossible to sleep for longer than an hour or two without shifting position.
It’s important to treat yourself to a comfortable bed. And if it’s the height of summer, use the air conditioning to help you rest at a comfortable temperature. You need to sleep on your left side when you’re pregnant. This increases the healthy blood flow to your placenta. It helps the nutrients you’ve consumed reach your growing baby. Sleeping on your back or front can actually be very dangerous to you. It can put pressure on your arteries, restricting blood flow to your brain. As your lungs are becoming more squished up, you will find it easier to maintain a steady breath on your side while you are sleeping.
As you continue to change shape, you may find that your bed becomes even less comfortable. If you can invest in an adjustable one like the one at https://www.izonebed.com/sleep-during-pregnancy you will be better able to stay comfortable as you get heavier and larger. Once the baby is born you will be unable to sleep for more than a couple of hours before your newborn needs you. A comfortable bed is essential to maximize your rest periods.
The more tired you get, the more ‘baby-brained’, you’ll become. Lack of sleep drastically diminishes your ability to focus. You’ll also be prone to forgetfulness. It can be a good idea to start becoming an organized note taker. You’ll need these skills as a parent! Write things down, such as appointment times and tasks to do. Reminders in your smartphone can be very handy!
The Last Two Weeks
If you are worried or fearful about birth, the last two weeks can be quite upsetting. You’ve now reached a size where everyday tasks can be difficult. Ironing, cooking, and even driving are problematic because your baby bump is in the way. The other concern is that your baby will arrive early. That means it could be any day now. First pregnancies often result in a later than predicted birth date. However, you may be especially uncomfortable, distressed, or have health complications. Your doctor may choose to induce for an earlier delivery.
By now you will have received some coaching to help you breathe through the pain. You will also have been told what to pack in your ‘Go’ bag. You may even have the route to the hospital memorized and rehearsed! But what you can’t possibly fathom until it happens is what labor and birthing actually feel like.
The fear and anxiety can make the sensations feel stronger. Use the breathing to stay calm if you can, and have someone with you who can help. As much as it hurts, this is the natural way of things. Your body is built for it, and your baby will be kept safe.
You may be terrified something will go wrong. You might even be fearful you won’t love the baby that has caused you so much discomfort for the last few months. Many women are concerned about being unable to preserve their dignity. All of these things are natural. The truth is, you won’t care who is looking at your special places when you’re in labor. You’ll just want the pain to stop and the baby to be out and safe.
There isn’t much you need to do during labor or the birth. The doctor or midwife will tell you when to push, and describe the best way to do it at the time. But it is up to you to manage your own contractions pain. Gas and air doesn’t always alleviate the sensations you’ll feel during the strong contractions. You need to master the breathing techniques to help you cope. And staying mobile does help many women, even though it is very tiring when you’re nine months pregnant!
It will all begin with a feeling of indigestion or period pains. From there, light contractions will turn up every few minutes. This can last for hours, and some women choose to sleep through them. Once you are more dilated, and the contractions are much closer together, it’s time to head to the hospital. And just a few hours later, you’ll have your beautiful baby. Congratulations.