Everyone thinks that they’ve told you all the things you need to know about pregnancy, but the truth is, there’s a lot that people leave out. If this is your first time to get pregnant or if you’re planning to get pregnant and are looking for the things you need to know, digest this important fact: you will fart a lot. Technically, no one will tell you this. They will just let you smell it. And if you’re lucky, hear it. Kidding aside, this is not an exaggeration. It is a natural physical occurrence.
A woman’s body is so amazing; if you fully understand all that it can do during pregnancy, you’re probably overwhelmed. SmartMom, you are a winner……by a mile, or in this case, by 9 months!
That is what we’re going to tackle today. We’re going to delve into the world of pregnancy and talk about a few things that you need to know. We’re going to divide this into two main categories: Physical and Psychological.
The gradual changes that will happen to your body have a purpose. They are necessary to allow you to provide nutrients and oxygen to your baby, prepare your body for childbirth, and lactation. In my case, I slightly resembled Princess Fiona (ogre style) during pregnancy. If my skin turned green, I would’ve given myself a pat on the back then simultaneously screamed “nailed it!”
Before we go on any further, you have to know that there are only three ways to determine pregnancy or the positive signs of pregnancy: Determination of fetal heart rate, fetal movements felt by the doctor, and visualization of the fetus via ultrasound. The rest, including home pregnancy test and even an increase in tummy size (happens in Pseudocyesis), are either “presumptive” or “probable” signs only.
About the physical changes now – A woman’s uterus will stretch enough to accommodate a total of, more or less, 4,000 g. That’s 4 1-litre bottles of soda! Of course, if you try it by walking around with the bottles attached to your belly, you’d have a hard time. This is because your body is not prepared to handle such weight because you’re not actually pregnant…yet. Everything changes when you are.
Go ahead! Blame it on your hormones! During the early phase of pregnancy, temperature slightly increases along with nasal congestion because of progesterone. Some may take this as a sure case of cold, and brush it off.
Your blood volume will have a 50% spike, and in turn, the increase in red blood cell mass will require extra iron.
There is a very important reason why pregnant women are asked to always lie down on their left side, and not supine. When a pregnant woman lies flat on her back, the weight of her uterus presses the vena cava (wide vein), which will obstruct proper blood flow, and this will affect both the mother and the fetus. This is known as Supine Hypotension Syndrome.
Relaxin is a hormone that relaxes the muscles of your stomach and intestines, that’s why pregnant women are prone to heartburn, constipation, and yeah, flatulence.
Pregnant women walk with attitude, literally; chest out and stomach out. You go, girlfriend! This stance is called the ‘pride of pregnancy’. Pregnant women do this to change their center of gravity for easier ambulation.
Your mood will swing faster than a pendulum on stimulant. Emotional liability during pregnancy occurs frequently due to, again, hormones, and narcissism.
When you tell a pregnant woman that she’s fat, be prepared to die by a single glare alone. Narcissism is normally an early reaction to pregnancy. She will naturally be extra sensitive about her appearance, and will be much more interested in doing things for herself. Her body boundary (zone of separation between a perceived self and others) is thin, hence the vulnerability. Unconsciously, she’s doing it to protect herself and the baby.
Ambivalence is common as well. At some point, even if the woman has prepared for the pregnancy, she will feel a tinge of doubt. This does not equal to the woman hating her pregnant self. It’s just having two contradictory truths, and sometimes, fears. You know, F. Scott Fitzgerald referred to doublethink as an evidence of genius. I think mothers are geniuses. #couldibeanymorebiased
Due to a major role change, a pregnant woman’s stress level will increase. It’s not just her sometimes. The husband will also feel the stress of the wife. This is known as Couvade Syndrome. Manifestations of pregnancy symptoms can be felt by the husband due to empathy.
Like all other things, arming yourself with knowledge is one of the best ways to understand pregnancy. Don’t be afraid to ask your primary physician about the things that bothers you. Nothing is too trivial when it comes to your health and that of your child’s.
It’s important to know how to stay healthy during pregnancy – all these changes will make your normal health routine change slightly. Check out our articles about how to stay healthy and what to avoid during this amazing time in your life!