Pregnancy is a unique experience for every expectant mother, but there’s a lot to be gained from learning about the experiences of other women. Whether you’re already pregnant and feeling anxious about the future, or still waiting on a positive test result, understanding what lies ahead will take some of the stress out of your journey.
The modern age has its advantages
Healthcare for women has come a long way in recent years, and you can look forward to experiencing the benefits of these advances during your pregnancy. Scientific research has uncovered plenty of new insights, not only into different methods of delivering a healthy baby but also into how babies grow and develop in the womb. You can even take home a 4-dimensional ultrasound scan of your unborn baby as a reminder of such a special time in your life.
Plenty of health challenges still exist
The world of maternal healthcare has seen plenty of upgrades in recent times, but that doesn’t change the fact that pregnancy can be a challenging time for new mothers-to-be. You may have heard of morning sickness, a common, and often brutal, experience amongst pregnant women, but there are plenty of other things that might cause pain or ill feelings. During pregnancy, you may be more prone to anemia, gestational diabetes, infections, and high blood pressure, which is part of the reason why regular doctors’ appointments are so important – seeing a professional will help keep unnecessary worries and stress at bay.
It’s okay to feel emotional
Carrying an unborn baby isn’t easy, especially since it can have such a significant impact on your hormonal state. Given the sudden imbalance of hormones in your body, it’s only natural to feel the odd surge of emotion, even at the most inappropriate of times. Mood swings can also come as a result of physical stresses or fatigue and are most common during the first and third trimester. If you do find yourself feeling overly emotional, remember that your feelings are completely normal, and cut yourself some slack.
You’ll need a helping hand
For those expectant mothers who are fortunate enough to have the support of a loving partner, the experience of pregnancy is likely to strengthen your bond and bring you closer together. For those who don’t, make sure you keep a sturdy circle of supportive friends and family members close by throughout your pregnancy. Your own parents may be amongst the best sources of support since they have been through the process and will likely be more than happy to help out in the months prior to the birth of their new grandchild.
You may start lactating early
The remarkable fact that your body is able to produce the perfect food for a newborn is somewhat dampened by the fact that production lines may start unnecessarily early. Thankfully, this relatively minor problem can be easily solved by investing in a few absorbent breast pads, which are specifically designed to soak up unwanted breast milk. For a cheaper alternative, padding your bra with a handful of tissues will achieve a similar effect.
Everyone has a birth story
Whether it’s the story of their own baby, a friend, or a stranger on the internet, those around you will likely feel compelled to tell you strange and horrifying pregnancy tales once you let slip that you’re expecting. Although this might seem odd, insensitive or even irritating, try to remember that they are simply doing the best they can to relate to your situation. That said, if you find yourself feeling stressed or uncomfortable during a conversation, don’t be afraid to speak up.
You can expect to be treated differently
Special consideration for pregnant women is a real thing, and not only on crowded buses. You’ll probably find that strangers are more inclined to interact with you when they see you, as they may be reminded of their own mother, partner, sister or friend. Society as a whole tends to hold pregnant women in high regard, and you should enjoy it, even if it is only for a few months at a time.
The uniqueness of pregnancy can make it difficult to feel prepared and to connect with other women. The good news is that by being open to new knowledge you can take some of the confusion and stress out of this time in your life, and make room for more of the magic in the process.