For most women, having a baby is definitely a big part of their future. Apart from our genetic predisposal to settle down and pop out babies, let’s face it, they’re just really cute. Also, there’s so many cool perks of pregnancy to factor into your consideration of starting a family. If you spontaneously burst into floods of tears, or randomly engage in a fit of manic laughter on a typical Tuesday, people generally seem stare and edge slowly away. Trust me.
When you’re pregnant however? ‘Ah it’s the hormones’, people say. ‘Poor girl. Someone go make her a hot chocolate.’ Basically pregnancy allows you act like a crazy person and get away with it. Here’s another thing. If you’re craving something, anything at all, people are actually obligated to go and get it for you. It’s as if there’s an unofficial universal law which dictates that if a pregnant woman is craving a pizza with bananas and anchovies on, you’d better already be on the phone bribing Dominoes to create probably the most disgusting pizza ever made. Want to know an even more amazing factor? That’d be your hair honey. Due to all the oestrogen you’re producing during pregnancy, your locks get luscious, thick and glossy. But before you start emptying your birth control out the window~ I’m not going to lie and tell you that pregnancy is all rainbows and unicorns. Here’s my quick, honest guide through pregnancy; weird, wonderful, at times painful, but all in all an incredible experience.
First Trimester (The Terrible 12)
The start of which is commonly signified by a missed period, your first trimester is the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, and will unfortunately have you experiencing a few, ahem, undesirable effects. Sorry ladies.
For example, during your first trimester it’s common to be extremely tired~ so you may be spending far more time acquainted with your duvet. The silver-lining is a pregnancy induced lie-in is a good reason to be late for work as opposed to your usual ‘traffic’ excuse. Also, you can crave some pretty weird foods and develop sudden aversions to others. I have to say, it’d be great to be able to choose what food you suddenly can’t stand to eat (Ah, I simply can’t stomach any salads or healthy food, looks like it’s just cake and takeaway for me, oh well).
You would also be making frequent trips to and from the bathroom as your need to urinate would become far more often. Also, you should seriously think of investing in protection of some sort for your chest because your breasts will become very swollen and tender, and trust me, if the confessions of these women below are anything to go by, you do not want to risk any accidental brushing, or even god forbid, an elbow to the chest.
Armour can become a fashion trend right?
Though you could lose a lot of weight (yes!) you could also gain a lot of weight (oh), and you will probably experience the commonly known ‘morning sickness’; nausea sometimes accompanied by actually throwing up. Ick. You may also be victim to constipation, headaches, and as I’ve already mentioned, crazy mood swings. So if you find yourself inexplicably crying at a toothpaste commercial, cut yourself some slack. It’s normal.
Second Trimester (The Fabulous Fourteen)
The next fourteen weeks is the honeymoon period of pregnancy. Your morning sickness will at worst lessen, at best bugger off completely, and ladies an adorable little bump with appear as your abdomen expands. Que lots of people fawning over your cute little swell and stroking it without permission. Your emotions will level out, much to the relief of everyone around you, and both your energy and sex-drive will return. Hmm. Maybe it’s actually the partners of pregnant women who dub this as the best stage of pregnancy.
This trimester for many women is the easiest, but unfortunately that’s not to say there aren’t any negative effects. You may find yourself hobbling about grumpily, feeling like a moody arthritic spinster and wishing for a walking stick as you suffer from aches in your back, groin, abdomen and thighs. Also, that very cute but rapidly expanding bulge could have a few side effects in the form of stretch marks on your breasts, buttocks, abdomen and thighs. Remember, stretch marks are natural and beautiful. I like to think of them as pregnancy service stripes. Randomly, you may find your hands can become numb or tingly and your ankles, feet and face may swell. You may experience some itching on your abdomen, hands and the bottom of your feet. Though many of these symptoms may sound strange, be assured they are all completely normal, so don’t be scared. By the end of this trimester, you’ll be able to feel your baby moving around inside you! Pretty cool eh?
Third Trimester (The Not-So-Fabulous Fourteen)
This trimester is your third and final stage of pregnancy (woohoo). But beware, consisting of 14 weeks is one of the only similarities with the easy-breezy second trimester. By this stage you will be firmly in the ‘get-this-baby-out-of-me’ frame of mind. The swelling of your feet, face and fingers that may have started in the second trimester will continue. In some cases it can even intensify; which can make some mothers-to-be feel like they could entertain at a children’s birthday party, no clown outfit required. Your breasts will be extremely tender and producing Colostrum (pre-milk), so it might not be the best time to wear your fanciest bra. On top of all that, you can experience shortness of breath, heart burn, difficulty sleeping and you’ll be the size of a blip so basically, no~ this isn’t the most enjoyable stage of pregnancy. Not to fear ladies, because you’re in the home stretch, a few contractions later and you’ll soon be holding your screaming and crying bundle of joy in your arms.
Seriously though, despite the discomfort many women feel during the final trimester, most feel content that they will soon get a face to face introduction with the tiny little person they’ve been growing inside them. When your baby decides they’re ready to meet you, finally, your water will break, contractions will start and after that~ you’ll be in active labour around eight hours on average and then at the end of it, you’ll be a mother. Amazing right?
But what’s your baby been up to while you’ve been experiencing a physical and emotional roller-coaster for the past nine months? Apart from a few grainy ultrasounds that could have been a slightly misshapen cabbage for all you could make out, your kid’s given you no indication of what they’ve been doing.
Well get used to that, because it doesn’t change. Here’s a small window into your baby’s growth during pregnancy, and if you want to follow his or her progress more closely, you can read about baby development in detail below:
As you’ve seen, itchy dry skin is a common, and very annoying symptom of pregnancy, that means a lot of products don’t mesh well with the skin of expecting mothers. Senset Foam is perfect for cleansing and protecting fragile skin, easily purchased from Vernacare.
With it’s moisturising quality, it reduces the risk of cracking and soreness, making cleansing easy and pain free. Actually having a baby will be irritating enough without having irritated skin too…Put down your pitchforks Mums. I’m joking. The happiness and healthiness of you and your little one are what’s most important.
Here’s Two Pregnancy Flourishing Foods we Definitely Recommend
Dairy Delights~ Dairy products are fantastically beneficial for pregnant women, as they help provide protein and calcium which a pregnant woman needs increasingly more. Cheesecake ladies?
Sweet Potatoes~ Did you know vitamin A is important for the growth of your baby’s cells? Well, sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene which the body transforms into vitamin A! Hence why pregnant woman should seriously increase their orders of sweet potato fries.
For more tasty treats to benefit your baby, click the link below:
My bottom line is, remember that pregnancy is a weird and wonderful time, and many of the things your body experiences during it might seem odd, but are completely normal. I think I covered most of the common effects but if you do have concerns, make sure to voice them to your doctor. A good tip is that if you confer with other mothers, many of your fears will be alleviated. Here’s a link to Mumsnet, where loads of first, second and seventh time mothers go online to compare pregnancy observations.
To all you miraculous mothers (present and future) I hope you took something from this other than the thought that you should immediately purchase some armour and a walking stick.