Saturday, February 15, 2014

I Didn't Know That!

Hey ya'll! I was reflecting on my pregnancy and answering some questions when I realized there was more that I didn’t know could happen during pregnancy than I did.  Some say “ignorance is bliss” when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, but if you are anything like me, you need to know everything there is to know.  Mind you, just because something is on here does not mean it will happen to you! In fact, most of what is on the list won’t; however, it is important to educate yourself so it isn’t a complete shock if it does happen to you.  That being said, this is the beautiful and ugly truth about pregnancy.

There are tons of myths out there, pregnant women should avoid exercise, pregnant women can’t eat seafood, all women get a pregnant glow, the list goes on and on about half truths out there about pregnancy.  That’s not to say that what I have to offer is the gospel truth but this will give you an non-sugarcoated glimpse into the pregnant world.  As I said before, and I can’t stress enough, just because there is something written here does not guarantee you will experience it.  Some women have wonderful, beautiful pregnancies without a hiccup.  For those of you that don’t, this is for you.

  • You Might Experience Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
I had no idea there was even a possibility to get hemorrhoids during pregnancy.  I just always assumed when hearing women say they had them it was from the pushing in delivery.  I was wrong.  You can in fact get hemorrhoids during pregnancy.  It doesn’t happen to all women.  I was fortunate enough to avoid this all together, Thank God! 
For those of you out there, like myself, who don’t even know what hemorrhoids are...they are veins in an around your bum that can swell and protrude.  Doesn’t that sound lovely?
Usually hemorrhoids are due to the increase blood flow and growing uterus putting pressure on the bum.  They can also be caused by constipation, which some women experience because of the prenatal vitamins and iron pills.
The best things you can do to deal with this situation if it were to happen to you is by laying on your side to alleviate the pressure and doing a sitzbath for about 15 minutes everyday.  Using witch hazel wipes and putting it in the water for the sitzbath are also incredibly helpful and soothing.

  • You May Get Acne Or A Body Rash
Due to the change in hormones your sebaceous glands are stimulated which can lead to acne.  Unfortunately, there is not too much you can do because you need to be caeful about what products you use during pregnancy.  Washing your face with a non-abrasive face wash to keep the oils down may be the best route.  Also, estrogen and the skin stretching can lead to itchy skin which is very common in pregnancy.  Using unscented lotions will be good for this and cocoa butter to help with the elasticity of the skin. You should mention this to your doctor or midwife, especially if you feet and palms start to get really itchy because this may be cause to check out the liver.

  • You Might Find A Change To Your Skin Color
With all of the hormones in your body your melanin cells have boosted in production.  Melanin cells are responsible for your skin pigment.  This causes the skin to appear darker.  Your freckles become darker, even your nipples and areolas can darken.  Melanin is also the little dickens that causes the line known as “linea nigra” or the black line.  I did not have a clue this was going to happen, until one day I looked down and saw a dark line on my belly.  This eventually will go away.  Four months after my son was born it is just about disappeared.  Be aware that it can also cause you to have some dark spots called Chloasma.

  • Pregnancy “Glow” Can Also Come With Sweaty Pits! 
The pregnancy “glow” caused by the boost in metabolism and hormones also boost your blood flow.  This can cause an increase in the amount you sweat.

  • You May Get Leg Cramps of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Leg cramps and RLS are not harmful to your baby in any way.  They may just keep you up at night.  There isn’t too much reasoning for them out there, but they can happen.  The possible reasons are compressed blood vessels and pressure from the weight of your baby. Some suggested ways to counter this would be by stretching, soaking your legs in warm water and massage.  If you are uncomfortable you should mention this to your doctor or midwife, they may want to check and see if the cause is from an iron deficiency.  If you do experience this, the best way to alleviate the pain is by stretching your leg out straight and flexing your foot.

  • Possible Heartburn And Acid Reflux Could Happen
The wonderful hormone progesterone that allows the uterus to relax also causes other muscles like the lower esophageal sphincter to relax causes that lovely called heartburn.  The relaxation of the muscle can cause a back up of acid into your esophagus.  If this does happen to you in your pregnancy be thankful to know if will subside after you have given birth. 

  • You May Experience Constipation Or The Flip Side
Along with the glorious “morning sickness” some mommas experience there is also constipation or going a super amount!  The constipation is caused from the muscles becoming lazy from the extra progesterone flowing.  Most people think if the muscles that cause you to have a bowel movement are relaxed then you will go more.  Quite the contrary, the more relaxed the muscle the less you will be going.  To counter this you can drink a whole bunch of water! If you think you had enough...drink more! You can also increase the fiber in your diet.
On the flip side, some moms experience going more than normal.  This can be due to the position of the baby.  If the baby presses on the muscles necessary for a bowel movement, towards the end as the baby weighs more it will cause you to go more.

  • You Could Experience Something Called “Hyperemisis”
I am sure you have heard of that wonderful thing called “morning sickness” which can happen in the first and sometimes second trimester.  For women, like myself, who don’t seem to be getting any better this could be Hyperemisis.  During my pregnancy, I had “morning sickness” which was swept under the rug in my first trimester because according to my doctor it was a typical pregnancy symptom.  When the “morning sickness” lasted morning, noon, and night and did not seem to get better after the first 5 months we had to take another look.  I was constantly dehydrated and being sent to the hospital for fluids and IV nausea medication.
The best advice I can give from personal experience about this is that you truly know your body best.  When the sickness goes from just a little “morning sickness” to never ending nausea and vomiting do not let your doctor or midwife overlook it.  I wish I had known about this in particular because I was not aware this could be so severe.  
Thankfully for women who do experience this there are some way to help you through.
In home IV’s are wonderful because you get your hydration right from home and don’t have to worry about going to the hospital and waiting in the ER for hours on end just to get some hydration.  They also infuse your IV bag with vitamins that you aren’t able to get, anti-nausea medication and any other medication necessary.

  • Wetting Yourself Is A Definite Possibility
If you find yourself in a fit of laughter, coughing, sneezing or just standing up from sitting down you could wet your pants.  The location of the bladder is conveniently under the uterus.  As the baby grows the pressure is added to the bladder causing some leakage.

  • You Could Have Gas
You could possibly find yourself letting it rip worse than your older brother and his friends.  Yet again we have our lovely and dear friends progesterone and relaxin.  They have relaxed the muscles including the GI muscles causing the digestion to decrease and the gas to increase.  Clear the room boys!

Here are just a few things that POTENTIALLY can happen in your pregnancy.  I hope this helps any questions that you may  have relating to some unknown things! When in doubt contact your doctor or midwife! As I said before, you know your body best and if something doesn’t seem right contact them immediately and make sure you get a thorough explanation!

Remember that everything you endure is in it's own way beautiful.  There is nothing like holding that gorgeous baby in your arms an dyou quickly forget all the things you had to suffer through. It's all for your peanut.

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