During 9 months of pregnancy, your body is growing a tiny human inside of you. Doesn’t it still blow your mind that your body literally creates a small person that is half you, half your partner?!
Anyway, it is completely normal to experience some side effects and a few aches and pains along the way.
Staying fit, getting plenty of rest and eating a healthy diet are all ways you can help your body cope with the pressures of pregnancy.
For some women this change can be challenging and can take its toll on the body. Pregnancy can be a complete rollercoaster, both physically and emotionally. However, there are a few fortunate people who have a relatively easy pregnancy journey.
We are extremely envious of those people.
Below we have listed a few of the more common symptoms experienced by women. It’s important to remember, that each woman’s experience will be different and may vary from mild to overwhelming.
The pregnancy glow. We have all heard of this. Arguably, one of the best parts of being pregnant. There are a LOT of hard parts, don’t even get me started, but the glow can definitely help make up for the sore ankles and constant aching back. Almost.
This so-called “pregnancy glow” is attributed to two main factors; increase in blood volume and a rise in your hormone levels.
The rise in blood volume brings more blood to the vessels resulting in a flushed look (aka glow).
Hormone levels can also cause the glands in your skin to secrete oils that can give you the appearance of a glow.
The pregnancy glow is usually experienced after the first trimester and long into the second and third trimesters.
Probably the worst and hardest part about being pregnant is experiencing morning sickness. We aren’t lying when we say it feels like a constant hangover that you have to put up with for 12-14 weeks.
One of the hardest parts about morning sickness is experiencing it in early pregnancy, typically when nobody can tell you are expecting.
Most women will wait until they have passed the 3-month mark, otherwise known as the safe mark, to announce their pregnancy. It can be tough to keep your morning sickness at bay and keep the secret hidden from others when you are puking out the side of your car on the way to work.
But the reality is, morning sickness is an extremely common part of being pregnant. Just how severe your sickness is usually depends on your genetics.
The good news is that for most, morning sickness only lasts through the first trimester and once your little one has arrived, it will feel like the most minor inconvenience in the world.
Morning sickness can come in the form of nausea, or in more severe cases, vomiting.
A small percentage of women will suffer from a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (severe morning sickness). This is an extreme case of morning sickness, where the woman is unable to hold down food or drink. She is usually hospitalised until it passes.
Pregnancy cravings are very real. Some women will crave foods they wouldn’t normally eat, while others will have very strange cravings indeed.
For me personally, pregnancy cravings looked like Indian food at 10pm and banana with Vegemite early in the mornings. I was definitely eating for 2… Maybe 3.
The cravings you get while pregnant can be very strong and when you’re carrying a baby in your belly you can’t really partake in your favourite vices like having a glass of wine after a long day of work.
Sometimes these cravings can feel so strong because food can become an emotional release for pregnant women and something they can enjoy and focus on instead of their aching body.
Weight gain is a reality of pregnancy. Just how much weight you gain is determined by a number of factors i.e., genetics, body type, the food you eat and your exercise regime.
Sometimes it can be hard to accept this fact. Your body will change and look different from your pre baby body, there is no avoiding this. You will gain weight and your skin will stretch, leaving you with, in my opinion, beautiful weight gain and stretch marks that represent just how incredible your body really is.
Of course, try to eat healthy and nourish your body. However, try not to be too hard on yourself if you gained a few extra KGs along the way. Your body was busy producing life. No matter what you look like post baby, you have just achieved the greatest accomplishment ever.
Nesting is one of the fun parts of being pregnant. It is nature’s way of preparing for the impending arrival of the newest member of the family.
If you’ve been pregnant before then you will know that feeling you get late in your third trimester — the sudden urge to organise every inch of your home and buy bundles of baby items before the little one arrives.
It’s also a great way to get the house clean.
Feeling tired is normal. Listen to your body and avoid overexerting yourself. Be mindful of your limitations, knowing everyone’s will be different.
Make sure to cut yourself some slack while you’re pregnant. Your body’s going through some insane changes and most of your energy is going towards helping your little one grow to be healthy and strong.
Get yourself into a routine and try to hop into bed early each night. Should you need a nap during the day, indulge in one while you still can.
Increase in body temperature
A pregnant woman’s body temperature will rise from 37 degrees to 37.8 degrees when pregnant.
This helps explain the uncontrollable sweating you may experience while pregnant, along with the stinky smell you may emit.
Especially during the first trimester, you may notice your pits smell a little funkier than normal, this is due to the rise in your body temperature and all those raging hormones.
Avoid hot, stuffy environments. Choose ventilated spaces with air flow and wear clothing that is non-restrictive and allows your skin to breathe. Cottons, bamboo and modals are fantastic fabric choices as they are natural fibres and will help to keep you cool. Stay away from synthetics and other non-breathable fabrics because they’ll make you feel hot and irritable.If you’re feeling hot hot hot, we recommend wearing super soft, breathable styles or moisture-wicking styles.
Increase in breast size
For some women, an increase in breast size is one of the perks of growing a baby inside of you. You may even go up 3 cup sizes all in the span of 9 months.
For the small chested ladies this can be amazing, but for women who already have a relatively large bust, the pressure this can put on your back can be immense and extremely painful!
It’s during pregnancy and breastfeeding that breast health should be high on your priority list.
Wearing a poorly fitted bra during this time can result in premature sagging and breast pain. It is our recommendation that you go and get fitted for a comfortable maternity bra that not only looks great on, but also supports and lifts your breasts, reducing the strain on the breast tissue.
Raging hormones are the cause of many pregnancy complaints. Bad moods, rashes, acne, skin pigmentation, swollen ankles, blurred vision, morning sickness and an increase in breast size to name a few.
These hormones are the reason you probably find yourself emotional over the smallest of things.
You may find yourself crying because someone ate the last of the leftovers. This is completely normal and just another part of your pregnancy journey.
The good news is that most of these complaints are short lived. After giving birth your hormone levels do return back to normal in time, and most of these conditions correct themselves.
If any of these problems continue well after the birth of your baby, we recommend visiting your healthcare provider.
Needing to pee is the most commonly depicted pregnancy side effect in any Hollywood film. But they aren’t lying. When you become pregnant you best believe you will be visiting the toilet many, many times a day.
As your tiny human continues to grow inside of you, the room available for him to grow into becomes less. He will begin to press up on major organs including your bladder, which will cause you to go to the ladies more often.
Some of the most common pregnancy woes can’t be avoided, but finding the correct bra for your stage of pregnancy can definitely ease your discomfort. Shop by trimester 1, trimester 2 or trimester 3.