Ten Things Women Wish They'd Known about Pregnancy
No two pregnancies are exactly alike, even for the same person. Each is as unique as the babies who are born. But there are many experiences that women share -- and some they say they wish they'd known. Here are the top ten from our informal survey among new moms we know. What do you wish you'd known about pregnancy?
- How tired I'd be. Many women experience tremendous fatigue in the first trimester of pregnancy, although some manage to avoid it until the third trimester. Recognize that your body is literally building a new human and that the process requires a lot of energy. Accepting this fact will go a long way toward acclimating to this level of tiredness.
- How important nutrition is. We've all heard that adage about "eating for two," but it's actually more important to increase vital nutrients and vitamins than to increase the volume of food. Calcium to help build healthy bones and folic acid to help reduce spine and brain defects are especially important. Omega 3s provide essential building blocks for brain development. For more about what to eat during pregnancy for the optimal health of both mom and baby, see our nutrition blog post here.
- How often I'd be visiting the restroom! The pressure on the bladder from the growing uterus and baby often mean more trips to the restroom. Thankfully, this is short-lived, and your capacity returns to normal after you've given birth.
- How much support I’d need. Pregnancy is a time when it's both appropriate and expected that extra support will be needed. Whether it's getting more help around the house or deciding who will be supporting you during delivery, don't be shy about enlisting help.
- That nausea could last all day, not just morning. "Morning sickness" is not aptly named in the experience of many pregnant women. Nausea can occur at any time of day, and for some, beyond the first trimester. Eating small meals every few hours can make a difference.
- That my gums might bleed when I brush my teeth. Many women are surprised to find that their gums bleed and worry that this isn't normal. It is normal, in part because blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy. But bleeding gums can also be a sign of gingivitis, which 40% of women experience during pregnancy. Regular dental exams during pregnancy will help address this issue.
- That I could avoid gestational diabetes by being a little more active. Gestational diabetes is a relatively common condition that women may experience during pregnancy, and it can have serious adverse effects on both baby and mom. Limiting sugar intake and being physically active can go a long way to ensuring a healthier pregnancy.
- That I could be so forgetful! There's a lot on your mind during pregnancy. Add to this fluctuating hormones and fatigue, and it's no wonder many women find themselves feeling a little "foggy" during pregnancy.
- That I could easily love my second baby as much as my first. It's a common worry that it won't be possible to love another child as much as the first. But love doesn't divide; it multiplies. This is one worry you can cross off your list.
- How uncomfortable heartburn can be. If you've never experienced heartburn, it can come as a rude awakening, especially during the third trimester. For most women, taking an antacid makes a difference. And fortunately, the heartburn tends to disappear after birth.
- How indescribable this experience would be. Pregnancy is a time of wonder and awe. It's difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't been pregnant. Many women find that their pregnancy was also a time of personal growth – spiritually, not just physically. Keeping a journal to record your thoughts and experiences can be a valuable exercise.
When it comes to pregnancy and babies, CBHA delivers. Literally. Whatever it is you’d like to know, we hope you’ll consider us a partner in your health during your pregnancy and beyond. We strive to make each woman’s pregnancy journey personalized for her unique concerns, conditions, and needs. We’d love to be part of your journey.