What Really Happens During Pregnancy

June 5, 2019   Pregnancy & Postpartum

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Many say being a mother is the best gift in the world. However, the journey to motherhood isn’t always as glamorous as it may seem in the movies. If you’re feeling a bit down about your pregnancy so far, or maybe feeling hesitant to start your family, you are not alone. Here are four things that you may actually encounter when you’re expecting.

Morning sickness may last past 11:59 am…  

Some say it feels like waking up after you’ve had a full night of drinking sugary alcoholic drinks. However, the term “morning sickness,” can be a bit misleading, because it’s common to experience nausea or vomiting at any moment in the day. It affects approximately 70-85% of women, typically beginning around the 6th week of pregnancy and subsides during the 17th week. Morning sickness is usually a result of the increased hormones in your body. Although the symptoms are unpleasant, women who experience morning sickness tend to gain just as much weight and have just as healthy babies as their non-vomiting pregnant friends.

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It may be time to go up a bra size...

Your belly isn’t the only thing that grows during pregnancy. Although every pregnancy is different, breast growth is a given. During the first trimester, it’s common to feel breast tenderness, and the slightest touch can be painful. In your second trimester, you may notice that your breasts are growing substantially, and you may also see color changes in your areolae (and nipples), as well as fluid discharge. Your body is preparing to breastfeed, which is considered to be a wonderful bonding experience with your newborn, if you decide to do so instead of formula.

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Buckle up for the emotional roller coaster...

When pregnant, it’s typical to experience a variety of emotions. As an expectant mother, you have a lot running through your mind. You may be super excited about the arrival of your baby but extremely nervous about raising a human. Perhaps you’re discouraged about your bodily changes, not to mention tired of peeing 20 times per night—or maybe you’re just HANGRY. Whatever the reason, you can expect your mood to change frequently, and it’s all just due to an increase in hormones. Totally normal!

Every pregnancy is different, so it’s possible you could feel more emotional during your second pregnancy than you did the first time around. Although you may be fatigued, try to make time for daily physical activity. This can help with the tiredness, while also tending to the influx of emotions through the release of endorphins. Take a walk at lunch or do some Pilates. Just be sure to review your workout regimen with your healthcare provider.

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You may misplace your cell phone more than once…

Often referred as “pregnancy brain” or “mom brain,” it is natural to experience some mental fogginess. You may go to the grocery store in your slippers or lose your keys. Pregnancy is a transitional time. In addition to other body parts, your brain is going through a variety of changes. Do your best to laugh off your brain mishaps and know that this isn’t permanent. In fact, motherhood can actually improve brain activity over time.

When the nine months come to an end and you’re holding your sweet baby (or babies) in your arms, you will probably forget about the not-so-great days (or weeks) you experienced throughout your pregnancy. If you’re in the middle of a bout of morning sickness, your feet are swollen, and you feel like your breasts can’t possibly be any bigger than they are, remember that in a few months’ time, you will feel an immense sense of joy as well. The tiredness, well, that has only just begun!

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Rebecca Banaski, DO, MPH

Pregnancy is a period of considerable transformation in a woman's body. But all these changes are to begin nourishing your growing baby and establish a healthy pregnancy.

— Rebecca Banaski, D.O.

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