You have probably been asking your mum about pregnancy since you were very young. Perhaps you used to sit in her lap as she flicked through your baby book, pointing out pictures of you in her tummy. As you grew older, you mum probably shared a bit more information with you – perhaps hinting at the morning sickness and the fatigue of early pregnancy.
Now that you are pregnant yourself, however, you will discover a whole load of other details your mother failed to mention to you. For example that:
About Pregnancy #1: You Would Be An Emotional Wreck
Your mum may have glossed over the negative emotions of pregnancy, and focused on the excitement and happiness she felt while expecting you. So it may come as a surprise to discover that mixed emotions are common during pregnancy. In reality, you may find that you encounter every emotion possible during these nine months. Try to be honest about how you feel, and find someone you can talk to about your feelings.
About Pregnancy #2: It Would Be Hard Work
If your mum was looking forward to the pitter patter of her grandchildren’s feet, she may have neglected to mention how hard pregnancy can be. It takes a lot of energy to grow a baby, and you’ll also need enough energy left over to stay on track at work, get things ready for the baby, stay in touch with your friends, and enjoy your last few months as a couple. On top of all this, you may also be battling pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and pelvic girdle pain.
About Pregnancy #3: Antenatal Classes Are Important
Antenatal classes were less popular back then, so your mum may not have attended antenatal classes when she was pregnant with you. Antenatal classes are a great way to prepare for the birth, and to find out what you should expect during those newborn days.
They are also the perfect way to get your birth partner trained up in ways to support you during labour, and give you both an opportunity to meet other parents-to-be in your local area. Ask your healthcare provider for details of your local antenatal classes, and to find out more about what they entail.
About Pregnancy #4: You Would Turn Into A Raging Sex-Bot
There’s probably a very good reason your mum didn’t mention this one – how many people want to think about… never mind. Some women experience an increased sex drive during pregnancy. This is believed to be in part down to the increased blood flow to the sexual organs, allowing for increased sensitivity, but is also attributed to increased hormones.
As your bump grows, you may need to experiment with positions until you find a way to have sex without your bump getting in the way.
About Pregnancy #5: Dad Can Help
Equality hasn’t quite won out, but as a society things have certainly improved since your mother’s generation. Generally, couples tend to split the household duties these days. If you are struggling with pregnancy fatigue, aches and pains or sickness, as your other half to pick up the slack. You don’t need to do it all.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help, especially if it frees up energy and time for you to nurture your pregnancy. Dads also play a bigger part in the delivery room these days, so you’ll be relying on your partner to tend to you during labour.
About Pregnancy #6: You Might Snore
This symptom is often forgotten about as soon as it ends, but up to a third of women will snore during pregnancy. Increased oestrogen levels during pregnancy can cause the nasal passages to swell, this can cause snoring. Snoring is most common during the third trimester, though may occur sooner. Snoring is unlikely to bother you, but may be annoying for your partner.
About Pregnancy #7: You Might Get Leg Cramps
Little details, like the scream-inducing pain of leg cramp waking you in the night, are often forgotten when mothers pass on pregnancy wisdom to their daughters. Leg cramps are quite common during pregnancy, though experts are not exactly sure what causes them. One popular belief is that cramps are the result of a lack of nutrients, particularly magnesium and calcium. Most common during the third trimester, leg cramps can occur at any time during the pregnancy.
To try and avoid leg cramps, make sure you are drinking enough water, and spend time each day doing leg and calf exercises. According to NPS Medicine Wise, “There is some evidence for efficacy of magnesium supplementation in treatment of leg cramps in pregnant women but not for other people.” A warm bath before bed may also help to prevent leg cramps.
About Pregnancy #8: It Can Be Overwhelming
Your mum may have skipped over anxiety dreams she had during pregnancy, or her fears that she would not be a good mother. Pregnancy is a daunting time, and you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed from time to time.
As you prepare for the huge change that motherhood brings, you may worry about whether you are cut out to be a good mother. It’s ok to be scared, most women feel overwhelmed at some point during pregnancy. Speak to your partner, or a trusted friend, about how you feel.
About Pregnancy #9: You’ll Finally Appreciate Your Mum
Mums, they work tirelessly for very little thanks. Until, that is, their daughters fall pregnant, and then (finally) they are appreciated. Not only will you want to hear all about your mum’s pregnancy so that you can compare, you’ll also finally understand what she went through for you. Many women report pregnancy and motherhood as being the time they felt they truly connected with their mums.
About Pregnancy #10: Love Isn’t Always Instant
If you’re expecting the fairytale swell of love in your heart as you hold your baby for the first time, you may be disappointed. Love isn’t always instant, in fact some mothers take a while to bond with their babies. Though not unheard of now, delayed bonding was not discussed as openly in your mum’s generation and so she may not have told you about her experiences.
Don’t worry if love doesn’t come straight away, it will come in time. If you are worried about delayed bonding, you may find it useful to focus on bonding with your bump during pregnancy. Talking to your bump, responding to your baby’s movements, and spending fifteen minutes each day focusing on your developing baby, can help you to develop a bond.