Pregnancy is a truly magical time, where each week brings with it new experiences and insights.
But peppered between those beautiful moments are the less-treasured occurrences that you only really learn about once you’re up the duff yourself…
Yes, it’s true that the experience of growing life inside you is one of the most incredible experiences you’ll ever have.
And, yes, it’s likely that bringing new life into the world will rank up there in your list of “the most important things I ever accomplished”.
But there are some aspects of pregnancy that aren’t quite as miraculous as the nappy commercials would lead you to believe.
Case in point? That pregnancy glow people talk about is real… but sometimes, it’s brought on by a mad case of the sweats, even though everyone around you is rugged up in sweaters and jeans. Hypersensitivity to heat and cold is just one of the many side effects of pregnancy that rarely get discussed. Here we discuss some of these side effects:
A common pregnancy complaint is constipation. It’s not only uncomfortable and a little annoying, but it can lead to the even more unappealing symptom of…
Chronic constipation can cause haemorrhoids, those uncomfortable little bulges that are actually varicose veins in the rectum. Insoluble fibre is thought to help prevent constipation as it acts like a sponge, pulling water into the stool, making it easier to pass. Boost your diet with vegetables, beans, brown rice, wholegrains or psyllium husk for relief.
Thanks to your newfound ability to retain water like a pro, it’s entirely possible that your feet may swell to double their regular size. Don’t worry, they usually make their grand reappearance shortly after bub is born.
Not all mums-to-be experience stretch marks and those that do insist that they fade with time. “Stretch marks occur thanks to a loss of collagen and elastin fibres, which help the skin stretch when there is rapid weight gain,” reports Mother and Baby magazine. “You’re more likely to get them if you have dry skin, so keep yours supple by massaging moisturisers into the areas and increasing omega-3 fatty acid foods, like fish oils and flaxseed, to improve your skin’s health.”
Due to all of the hormonal changes in your body, you may find that your skin changes. Breakouts and spots are a common complaint, but generally these issues calm down once you enter your second trimester.
Chronic lethargy and tiredness
Of all pregnancy symptoms, this one can be one of the most difficult to manage! We’re used to leading busy lives, so a bout of chronic tiredness can seem massively inconvenient… especially if you’re sleeping for 10 hours a night and you still feel tired. There’s a good reason for all of this lethargy: During pregnancy, your baby absorbs your iron supply, which causes a reduction in the number of your oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This causes your body to conserve energy and makes you feel sleepy. Most expectant mums report that their energy returns in the second trimester, so don’t despair — enjoy the rest while you can get it!