From the bionic fatigue, food aversions and just general “yucky” feeling in the first trimester, to the itchy, bitchy and huge feeling in the third
trimester, being pregnant is not for the faint-hearted. I touched on five of the the strange pregnancy symptoms that you never knew to expect (Read Part 1).
Here are another five pregnancy phenomenon to look out for and make peace with.
Cue the snoring orchestra
Especially in the third trimester, snoring can occur as the mucous membr
anes in your nose swell. This is caused by the higher levels of estrogen as well as the increased amount of blood during pregnancy. Add to that the possible excess weight you are packing thanks to a growing baba, you have extra tissue around your head and neck which doesn’t help the snoring phenomenon much either. So the heavier you are, the more likely you are to have trouble breathing when sleeping. Baby Centre.com gives some practical advice on how to deal with snoring during pregnancy.
Where did I put my keys
“Porridge brain”, “Pregnancy Brain”, “Momnesia”, “Mommy Brain” – whatever you prefer to call it – most moms-to-be talk about being forgetful during (and after) pregnancy. The truth is that the capacity of the brain remains unchanged as does your IQ during pregnancy. So what’s the cause? According to Louann Brizendine, MD, director of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, “There is 15 to 40 times more progesterone and estrogen marinating the brain during pregnancy. These hormones affect all kinds of neurons in the brain. By the time the woman delivers, there are huge surges of oxytocin that cause the uterus to contract and the body to produce milk – and they also affect the brain circuits.” In other words, when you’re pregnant, you have higher than normal hormone levels and a whole new set of priorities which can lead to apparent forgetfulness. Let’s be honest, growing a little human being is one of the most important tasks you’ll ever face, so why should writing that memo at work or cleaning that bath tub seem that important?
Is that a contraction?
That baby bump didn’t just come out of nowhere. Your uterus has to grow and expand to accommodate that little life form growing inside you, so other things have to make way to help the expansion project. The round ligaments that surround and support your uterus and connect to the groin have to stretch and thicken to allow for this change, and this you will feel as possible sharp pains in your belly or hips. It’s not a contraction, but it may sure feel like one. Then there’s the Braxton Hicks contractions, or false labour pains, that many women experience in pregnancy especially in the third trimester, but some as early as the second trimester. The contractions are a tightening in your uterus that’s irregular, infrequent and unpredictable. These contractions are not a “pre-labour” sign, just your body preparing for the real deal when baby is ready to come.
My gums are bleeding doc!
You’re brushing and flossing your teeth as normal, but now your gums are bleeding. Don’t stress, it’s just another one of those interesting little pregnancy quirks. Some experts call it pregnancy gingivitis, but all it really means is that due to those pesky surging pregnancy hormones that cause swollen nasal membranes, your gums can become more inflamed and are also more susceptible to bacteria and plaque. Try switching to a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth and gums and try opting for a softer toothbrush. Don’t abandon the flossing, just be more gentle.
Big and weepy
There are 101 things that happen to our bodies when we fall pregnant, some unexpected and undesirable, and some to be celebrated as the miracle being pregnant really is. I’ve walked a long journey to falling pregnant, and while I’ve finally conquered infertility this time round and am trying to appreciate every little aspect of being pregnant, I can’t help still feeling like a big, unattractive pregnant mare. Then it’s the idea of bringing a little human into this big, wide world. Will I be able to give this child everything she needs? Will I be able to protect her and keep her safe from harm? Will I be a good parent? There are so many questions …
It’s all perfectly normal I’m told. So if you feel the same way, rest assured that you and every other new mommy are feeling the same way. We’ll be just fine :)