9 Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant
It seems it’s not until you join the Mama-to-be Club that the real truth about pregnancy and motherhood comes out. We get real with 9 Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant - because being prepared is more than just a Boy Scout motto, it’s a mantra for motherhood.
1. You’ll get hot. Really hot.
You’re growing a new life inside - your body's working overtime to nurture your mini-me and keep you going through the marathon that is pregnancy. Hormones, an increased metabolic rate and increased blood flow turn you into a human heater. (So that’s where that ‘pregnancy glow’ comes from!)
You might sweat more, feel flushed in the face or really heat up the sheets at night (ahem). And if you add a supportive belly band or layered maternity clothes to swathe your growing bump, your body can feel like it’s in the tropics even in the middle of winter.
Top tip: Keep your bedroom cool and turn to cotton sheets. Being too hot in bed is a recipe for night waking. And you need all the rest you can get right now. That’s why our Butterfly Maternity pillows and covers are made of the highest quality cotton, to ensure the most peaceful sleep.
2. Your nipples may turn into Nutella-hued chocolate drops.
Motherhood is cruel to your body and it starts in pregnancy. Why does no one tell you that growing a child changes your actual nipples? What in the world?
Blame those pregnancy hormones. Your melanin increases in pregnancy, creating stronger pigmentation on the skin. This can make your areola darker and appear larger. You might also notice the skin darkens in your armpits or groin - or even your face (read on for Tip 6).
3. Your hips may loosen so much you get excruciating pelvic pain.
While pregnant a hormone called relaxin gets to work, loosening your joints so your body can accommodate your growing bump (and get that baby out when the time comes!).
Some women experience Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), or pain in the pelvic girdle when the ligaments that normally keep your pelvic bones aligned during pregnancy become too relaxed, causing pain. Mums who know rely on specially designed shorts or belly bands can help ease the pain. Side-sleeping with a supportive pillow that provides stability for your lower back while cushioning your belly can also help.
4. You will read the entire internet - you could complete a PhD in growing a super baby.
You want info and the internet provides! You could drown in an avalanche of opinion, expert advice and hippy-trippy theories about how to navigate pregnancy, babydom and beyond. Your best bet is to scan, absorb the bits that resonate best with you, ditch the rest and run with your intuition. You are the perfect mother for your baby - trust yourself.
5. Rest is best.
The debate over breast or bottle never goes away, and here’s the thing - rest is best. A sleep-deprived, anxious, overwrought mum crying through every feed is not best. No one tells you about their early days struggling to feed, then pump, then sterilise bottles and gear, then madly trying to snatch some sleep when a baby’s sleep cycles are only 2-3 hours - it’s an insanity only mums know.
Your decision is your decision - get the best possible support to feed your baby your way, seek help from professionals, then back your decision so you can enjoy each feed and rest when you’re done.
6. Your face may get new pigmentation.
What? Not only do you have to dress for a new bump, new boobs and new shape ev-er-y-where, but now your face takes a hit too? The ‘mask of melasma’ or ‘pregnancy mask’ shows its face as tan or pigmented patches, often on your cheeks. It often goes away after pregnancy, and can be more pronounced on women with more pigmented skin. As those preggy hormones increase your production of melanin, your skin pigmentation increases.
Stay out of the sun, use an SPF50 every day and invest in a concealer if those patches bother you. Or just wear them loud and proud as a badge of your life-creating heroism.
7. Your belly becomes public property.
In pre-pregnancy life, no one would dream of rubbing your tummy - on the street, in the office, at the shops. And if they did, you’d knock them out. But once your tum pops, it becomes public property, with Jo Random touching, rubbing or commenting on your size. You don’t have to graciously accommodate their inappropriateness. Our mum panel suggest these tips:
- Keep your own hands clasped across your belly as a force-field when you stop to chat.
- As they reach out to touch your belly, grab their hand in a double-handed ‘loving’ hold.
- Wince and make a sound like you’re in pain - they’ll be terrified they’ve hurt you or the baby 😉.
- In these COVID times, be upfront about avoiding all contact.
8. Sleepless nights start before the baby arrives.
Anxiety, night sweats, karate kicks from your mini-me all contribute to sleepless nights.
Getting enough sleep is crucial right now - a comfy body pillow that supports your tum as it grows and cradles your lower back can help maintain the side-sleeping position that doctors recommend (side-sleeping is healthier for you and your baby, promoting blood and oxygen flow).
9. Labour can actually be incredible.
As you get closer to D-Day, everyone wants to share their baby delivery story. And their cousin’s, sister’s, Susan from down the street . . . They love to tell you the horror stories, like some gruesome initiation into motherhood.
Here’s the truth from our panel of mums who know: labour can be incredible. Hypnobirths, home births, inductions, Caesareans - seek out the amazing stories to remind you that this mind blowing experience can also be one of the most empowering, exhilarating and awe-inspiring moments of your life.
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