Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. I have difficulty putting into words just how amazing it is. You are creating life. It's exciting and at the same time it can be nerve wracking. So what are some of the common concerns when pregnant? Not only is your body changing, growing, and you are experiencing new aches and pains that you haven't felt before, your mind is also experiencing changes that you were not prepared for. You are not going crazy, what you are going through is normal. Whether this is your first pregnancy or your third, the aches, pains, concerns and emotionality are all unexpected and yes, they are normal.
I am going to address the most common concerns that women have when they are pregnant. The very first one that many pregnant women stress over is weight gain. I remember when I was pregnant the first time, some 16 years ago doctors watched the weight you gained, but they didn't tell you that you should only gain so much. So with my last pregnancy that ended only 5 months ago, weight gain is an issue and one that is monitored by the doctor.
First you have to gain weight; a normal healthy pregnancy requires weight gain. Most doctors will tell you that the average acceptable amount of weight to put on is 28 pounds. Before you get upset over adding an additional 28 pounds to your frame look at the way the weight breaks down:
Baby: 6 ½ to 8 pounds
Breasts: 1 to 3 pounds
Womb: 1 ½ to 2 pounds
Placenta: 1 to 1 ½ pounds
Amniotic Fluid: 2 pounds
Other fluids: 2 to 4 pounds
Extra Fat: 6 to 8 pounds (this is the same as the lovely weight gain from the winter holidays.)
Extra Blood Volume: 3 to 4 pounds
So as you can see it isn't fat that you are putting on. It is the necessary components to a healthy pregnancy.
The next concern is the pain in the hips, the knees and the back. No you are not old, you are pregnant and once you have baby, those pains will go away. When you are pregnant your ligaments tend to soften up a little and they are slightly weaker early in your pregnancy. The older you are, and the number of pregnancies you have had can intensify the pain you experience, at times making it difficult to function. If that happens, talk to your doctor. Know that there are things you can do to cope with the pain including changing the way you sit, get up, and sleep and the activity that you partake in.
Another big concern for pregnant women in the way they are feeling. Some women will feel as though they are losing their minds, yet others will feel weepy, and others will have a rather short fuse. We can thank all of those lovely feelings to the every changing and fluctuating hormone levels in our body as we progress through our pregnancy. That added with the aches and pains, and decrease amount of sleep you get as you become more and more pregnant will only make it worse. While I didn't really notice an emotional component with my first two pregnancies, of course I was much younger and those pregnancies were a number of years ago, with this last one… I had a short fuse the longer I was pregnant. I found my tolerance level had… shall we say, dropped significantly. I was atleast aware that it was happening and I did apologize to my older kids for it, I couldn't help it. I had my days where I felt like my evil twin… and then there were days that I was normal. Once I had our daughter… my evil twin went away.
Many women, and lets face it their partners also, worry about the changes in the bedroom as the woman becomes more pregnant. I want to say to everyone that reads this, that it is perfectly safe for the bedroom activities to continue as long as the woman is healthy and the pregnancy is without complication. As the belly grows you are going to have to be more creative, but for many couples this is a time of increased intimacy and magic in the bedroom. Talk with your partner about the concerns you both have. Discuss what is comfortable and what is not. Do not assume that either partner will just know what to do and what not to do.
Trust me when I tell you what you are feeling is normal.
If you are concerned about the way you are feeling or the things you are feeling talk with your doctor and talk with a friend that is or has been pregnant.