What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Finding out you are pregnant brings many emotions. You may be excited to finally be pregnant or surprised because you weren’t trying. You may be scared because of failed pregnancy attempts, your present situations, or simply because bringing a baby into the world is scary. At some point in your pregnancy, you are likely to feel overwhelmed. All of the emotions, both positive and negative, are normal pregnancy-related emotions. However, they are difficult to deal with sometimes.

Emotional Changes

One of the hardest things to deal with might be emotional changes. Part of the reason they are so challenging to deal with is that we do not often know that they are coming or why we feel the way that we do. Our favorite character is killed off of a television show, and we cry like we knew him or her. Our partner brings us a perfectly blended smoothie without being asked, and it is cool and refreshing on a hot July day. Whatever the trigger, the waterworks start. We cry uncontrollably, or we feel like our hearts will burst with love. These emotions are not easy to cope with when we think they are silly. The most important thing to realize is that emotional changes are a direct result of hormonal changes during pregnancy. These hormonal changes ensure that your body is producing the appropriate hormones for your baby to grow and develop. Embrace the changes and laugh when you can. Cry when you cannot. It will be okay in the end to be a little silly about the things that make you cry.

Hormonal Changes

You may have the clearest skin you have had in your life, or you will suddenly grow a beard. The hormonal changes are not easy to cope with either. Some of these changes will make you uncomfortable. Hot flashes, dry skin, oily skin, and hunger can all be symptoms of hormonal changes. You should eat a few more calories a day, but eating for two should not be two adult portions of food. However, hormonal changes can make it seem that you are always hungry or craving different foods. Sometimes these cravings are a result of your body becoming deficient in a nutrient, and you need to eat more of that thing to satisfy your body. These changes can be overwhelming and frustrating. The good news is that they do not last long.

Shape

Your body shape will stretch and grow throughout your pregnancy. Internally your organs shift and move to make room for your growing baby, and externally your belly will grow. However, some women find that they also have swollen feet or that their feet seem to spread or grow. Several women report their feet “growing” during pregnancy. Breasts begin to grow and swell to prepare for milk production post-delivery. These changes can be overwhelming at times. It will seem that clothes are not made for pregnant women and that you are increasingly uncomfortable. The good news is that you can dress the way you want in many situations. Wear what you can until other things are more comfortable. Your rapidly changing body will not remain this shape forever.

Questions

Everyone has questions—doctors, grandparents-to-be, friends, strangers, and you. Depending on the specialists that you may need during pregnancy, you may be asked some of the same questions repeatedly. Take a list of medications, family medical histories, and other medical information that you are concerned with and ask your medical appointments. When they ask questions, you will have information, but you will also have questions ready for them. You can write down what the doctors and nurses say during the appointment if you are afraid you will forget.

A pregnant young adult woman resting on sofa at home, feeling unwell.

Pregnancy Brain

Maybe it is the process of growing another human, or it is the other things on your mind, but many pregnant women complain of forgetfulness during pregnancy. The third trimester seems to be the worst culprit for this problem. Writing things down or recording them might be helpful for some parents. Many parents-to-be will audio record appointments with their doctor’s permission. If this is not a possibility, writing down instructions can ensure that you have something to refer to if you forget. There is no proof of this condition existing or not, but lack of sleep, stress, and worry can all alter your memory skills.

Fatigue

Growing another person is hard work. You will be exhausted from seemingly nothing. Keep in mind that your body is working overtime to protect you and your growing baby. You may notice that you are fatigued in your first trimester but have more energy in your second. This is likely because your body is trying to determine what this foreign object is in your body and then trying to protect it. The second trimester is primarily the growing stage. The first and third are the most exciting. Take a nap while you can. Your napping days are limited.

Final Thoughts

If you have been through one pregnancy, then you are an expert on that one pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different. While bodily changes are similar, their impact on your physical and emotional well-being is different each time. With one pregnancy, you may have nearly no food intolerances and never have morning sickness. In the next, you may not be able to keep anything down. A third pregnancy may see mild sickness but nothing intolerable. Your body will prepare for each child differently, just as each of those children will have a different personality. Embrace your body’s changes. Most of them are not permanent. Some women have uncomplicated pregnancies, and others seem more difficult. This difference is just a fact of life.

Babies are miracles of nature, and you want to enjoy each moment that you are pregnant. Some of those moments are not easy to enjoy, but they will not last forever. You will get through them. The result is usually a bundle of joy. If you are concerned about anything in your pregnancy, always speak to your medical professional.

 

 

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