Pregnancy can bring couples closer or set them apart. Pam and Patrick had just welcomed the news of an addition into their family and three months into their pregnancy they realised they hadn’t really thought about the side effects of pregnancy.
Theirs was a love marriage and they were a happy couple, fully committed to building a family. Patrick was also excited by this new change in their life and equally stressed out watching his bride of one year facing these pregnancy-related challenges all by herself – he could only be a by-stander, and offer his compassion and full support. There is only that much a father can do – goes the common belief.
Let’s face it a pregnancy will come with its side effects and there will be some hurdles and some anxieties to be dealt with. No one is quite prepared for pregnancy, no matter how many books they have read on it. They kind of learn through the entire pregnancy period.
For instance through the pregnancy, there were some anxieties about high BP, of baby’s heartbeat slowing down, and the never-ending throwing-up that Pam quietly endured. But the couple came out wiser from the experience and when we gave them some FAQs on the side effects of pregnancy their answers were to the point, practical and useful. We share it with you.
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Side Effects Of Pregnancy – A List of FAQs
Being pregnant could be the happiest feeling in the world and you could be over the moon waiting for the baby but there is no denying the fact that there are some side effects of pregnancy that leave you anxious, unsure and with a lot of questions in your mind.
Pam and Patrick decided to answer those questions and clear all your doubts. The side effects of pregnancy are surely there but it is not always all that bad. Here are the FAQs and our answers.
1. Do the stretch marks go away?
It’s important that you don’t give in to the urge of scratching the areas that have stretched. Massage the areas with vitamin E enriched oil. A lot of good products are available in the market that reduce stretch marks. They will also help in keeping the nipples soft and pliable, enabling early suckling for your baby.
They help in your well being, lactation after the baby arrives and a quick recovery for you. Yes, you need to just get back in shape after delivery. But the truth is for some women the stretch marks disappear, for some it doesn’t go so be prepared. This is one of the side effects of pregnancy that often stays.
2. How soon can we have sex again?
We know you are anxious about it. What? No sex for the next 9 or 10 months? The first trimester is a time to be careful. This is also the time when many men find it easier to slide into infidelity.
It is alright to have intercourse if the baby and mother are in good health. No acrobatics though, be warned. Consult your gynac before you go back to having sex. Go for the positions that are especially comfortable during pregnancy. You can also try alternatives to intercourse.
3. Do women lose their libido during pregnancy?
Loss of libido is one of the side effects of pregnancy that women have to deal with. But this does not happen always. Some women crave sex during their pregnancy.
Usually after the delivery, till their vagina regains its shape and the breasts become less sensitive, women have less libido. But with a bit of understanding from the men in their lives, they get back their urges soon enough. But in case the libidos remain mismatched, don’t waste a minute to see a counsellor and fix the issue before it goes out of hand.
4. Is there any special diet I must follow?
A well-balanced diet, with a dash of your favourite meat or fish should be fine. Nuts, lentils, green leafy vegetables, fruits are all good. A lot of water is a must. A reasonable exercise regime – walking is sufficient.
That way you will get your quota of sunlight. Papaya is a great fruit that has been maligned by quacks. I used to eat them in large portions. But sometimes you could be asked to control sugar in your diet if you have the tendency to develop gestational diabetes or you could be asked to avoid certain foods if you have high pressure.
A good idea is to take a diet chart from a nutritionist and follow it diligently.
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5. Does having gestational diabetes mean the baby will also get it?
No, both mother and baby will regain good health, but it is vital that you keep a good diet regimen and exercise routine and get back in shape, gently. Try yoga.
Breast-feeding will actually bring back your body to a decent fat-loss. Mostly diabetes occurs due to self-medication and binge eating with no exercise.
6. How to make the delivery easier?
There are many ways to decide on how you want to bring your baby into this world. There are natural methods, water delivery and so on. You can learn more about it on Birthing Village – it’s a website that encourages natural methods and home birthing.
But something that you need to discuss with your doctor is the method of pain management you want to go into. A long labour can be painful so some opt for painkiller injections, some for epidurals and in the modern era a lot of new techniques are available that makes the delivery smooth sailing.
7. What are the breastfeeding challenges?
Breastfeeding is not as easy as it seems. As one of the side effects of your pregnancy the breasts will swell up and the nipples will become large so that the baby can latch on to it as soon it is born.
But most new mothers struggle with two things – latching the baby to the nipple and producing enough milk to fill its stomach up.
This is something very important that is taken as a given but mothers find out the hard way that breastfeeding could be a challenge. A great idea is to to talk to a lactation consultant who can not only tell you all the things you could do during your pregnancy and after it, to increase the flow of milk but they could also help you understand latching.
You needn’t worry about sagging breasts. Your breasts will come back to its old size after you have stopped feeding.
8. Will I lose the pregnancy weight?
This is the most frequently asked question because women are perpetually worried about being stuck with the weight they gain as a side effect of pregnancy.
You start losing weight as soon you start breastfeeding and do away with the binge eating. But there is no magic formula to knock off the weight in a day. You just have to eat healthy and do light exercises and you will love your own body within 6 months.
9. Will I have sleep issues?
This is one of the most horrible side effects of pregnancy. From the moment the blue line is visible on the test kit the hormonal changes in the body give some women sleepless nights. Some cannot sleep from the very beginning of their pregnancy, some start having disturbed sleep in the second trimester.
In the third trimester you have to use the loo so many times in the night that your sleep is disturbed anyway. Then finding a comfortable position to sleep with that huge tummy becomes an issue. Invest in a nice pregnancy pillow to find some relief.
10. Is postpartum depression real?
It is very real. And our advice to you is do not ignore it if you see the signs. Having a baby is like a storm hitting you and many new mothers grapple with the changing realities. After having a baby sleeplessness, inability to have the normal routine, constant advice by nosy elders and an ignorant life partner, often leave women with self-doubt and lack of a coping mechanism.
Statistics show that up to 80% women have the “baby blues” or mild postpartum depression and it becomes severe among 10%-20% new moms. A study reveals 1 in every 7 women experience postpartum depression in the first year. This is actually one of the worst side effects of pregnancy but ensure you see a professional counsellor.
11. Do all women vomit during pregnancy?
No not all women are found retching during pregnancy. But some do get “morning sickness” and vomit the moment they leave bed. For some the retching continues throughout the day. Some even vomit 10 to 15 times in a day. Sometimes medication is needed then.
Some feel nauseated throughout the day and are unable to eat anything. There could be the kinds who vomit and then find their appetite, some have no appetite and some hate the smell of food.
12. Are mood swings normal?
Mood swings are one of the most common side effects of pregnancy and this happens because of the hormonal changes in the body. That is why pregnant women asking you to drive miles to get to a tub of ice cream is a very normal thing.
Pregnant women could be in the best of their moods one moment and begin to sulk in the next. It does get difficult for their partner but they soon figure out how to deal with it.
Having a baby is a time of stretch in many ways, a stretch on your routines, your sense of freedom, your sense of individuality and the best way to handle it is to get headlong into this change, by participating fully in the process of being pregnant and of caring for the infant.
Most importantly if you are aware of the side effects of pregnancy you will be able to tackle it far better.