Most of us dream of the day that we will finally get to hold our beautiful baby in our arms. The countless sweet memories we would create with our tiny replicas and that deep bond we create when pregnant. It truly is a wonderful feeling and all the pain and effort is worth it all.
But nobody really talks about all the changes your body goes through when you are pregnant. Of course, we all know that we will go through mood swings because of the hormonal changes in our body. Our tummy, breasts, thighs and hips are going to get bigger over the course of our pregnancy. But what about everything else that your body is going to go through?
Whether you are a mother who has already been through this, an expecting mother who is currently going through this, or are planning to become a mother, you will surely go through at least 2 or more of these:
1. Skin pigmentation
Due to the increase in hormones like progesterone and oestrogen, the skin on your breasts and underarms can become darker. This is referred to as skin hyperpigmentation. The hormone that causes this skin pigmentation is called melanocyte. This spreads to your skin cells and makes your skin appear darker. But don’t worry about it, all or most of it will go away post delivery.
2. Increased hair growth
Yes, you are going to find hair growing in parts where you never had hair before. The hair growth may be thicker in certain areas too like your underarms or your private parts. You may also find that your eyebrows are growing thicker and need to be groomed more often. To groom your eyebrows and remove upper lip hair, opt for natural methods like threading or tweezing. This will also go away after delivery, so
3. Vaginal discharge
Most women have a vaginal discharge during their pregnancy. It is normal to have a clear or whitish discharge from your vagina, similar to the discharge you may have noticed before your periods. This is just the excess mucus that is produced in order to protect your cervix from any bacterial infection. You can wear a panty liner to make it feel less uncomfortable.
If this discharge has specks of brown or pink in it, it could be vaginal spotting, which is also harmless. Nevertheless, it is always best to have a talk with your doctor about any discharge that you are having. A thick yellowish discharge could mean a yeast infection and any other colour like black or green could indicate a bad infection.
4. Pain when your baby moves
It is common for mothers to experience a certain degree of pain when their baby moves or kicks around in the womb. This pain is comparable to the period cramping and pain that one had growing up. If the pain gets unbearable or if you are not able to do any of your normal daily activities without it feeling like a total chore, then you should bring it to your doctor’s notice.
5. Fluctuating sex drive/libido
You would notice a change in your sex-drive through the course of your pregnancy. During your first trimester, you may not feel like being anywhere near your husband. This is because of nausea and indigestion that you will be accustomed to in the first 3 months.
In your second trimester, with the changing and raging hormones, you would feel like a newly-wed wife and would want to have sex all the time. During the third trimester, your sex drive may die down yet again. This could be due to nausea or because your breasts are starting to become sore - yet another thing to look forward to.
6. Stretch marks
As your baby grows bigger and bigger, your stomach is going to stretch out a bit. Your breasts, hips and thighs grow too and this can leave some stretch marks on your skin. They may get a bit itchy at the start. Applying oil on them sure does reduce the itchiness. These stretch marks could either be light or dark and may make you feel insecure. Just accept them as a part of motherhood and take comfort in knowing that almost every strong beautiful mother has these stretch marks.
7. Hyperactive bladder
Almost every mother has experienced an increased urgency to pee during their pregnancy. There is nothing you can really do about it because you still need to drink plenty of water every day. You can reduce the number of cups of coffee and tea you drink though - they actually increase the number of times you have to run to the bathroom.
8. Acid reflux & heartburn
So there is this muscle in your digestive system that is responsible for closing your oesophagus (food pipe) after the food you swallowed reaches the stomach. This muscle is called a sphincter and it gets weakened as your pregnancy progresses. When the muscle fails to close the oesophagus, the acid from your stomach rises up through your food pipe causing you to feel a burning sensation in your chest.
This burning sensation is heartburn and the acid travelling up your food pipe is acid reflux. It is normal for pregnant women to face this problem. Try to have several well-timed snacks through the day and leave sufficient gap for the food to digest before you sleep.
9. Your cervix
The length of your cervix would keep changing throughout the course of your pregnancy. It would become short and then long towards the end when it starts to dilate. It may also swell up when your baby moves around, meaning that it would become difficult or painful to have sex at that time.
10. Sore breasts
As your breasts swell up and start preparing for breastfeeding, they can become sore and painful to touch. Your nipples especially may hurt a lot when you try to wear bras. The best remedy for this is to wear a gel padded bra made for breastfeeding moms. You can cool the gel pad in the fridge to help numb the pain. You could even opt for a warm water bag to help soothe the pain. This pain will reduce a few weeks after delivery so just hang in there.
Indeed, mothers do go through a lot during their pregnancy. If you related to even one of these, you truly are one strong lady and you should be proud of that! Kudos to you and your little one. :)