What No One Tells You About Pregnancy and Childbirth

pregnant woman wearing red long-sleeved dress

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Morning sickness, fatigue and swollen feet are just a few of the side effects many women suffer from during pregnancy. These are fairly common symptoms and if asked, you’ll often hear a litany of other common complaints. There are also some not so well known symptoms that you may not be prepared for.

When Swelling Gets Out of Control

According to the American Pregnancy Association, swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by additional blood and fluid needed to meet the needs of the developing baby. Trading in your high heels for flip flops may only be the beginning. Some women swell so much they have to wear support hose which go over the legs and belly. This can be very uncomfortable, especially in the summer when temperatures soar.

Beyond Pregnancy Acne

Hormonal changes in your body can often cause your skin to break out. Pimples aren’t the only skin condition you may encounter during pregnancy, though. According to the March of Dimes, the surge of hormones can also cause growth of moles and skin tags as well as skin darkening such as melasma, a brownish darkening of the facial skin, and linea nigra, a dark line on your belly. As if that’s not enough, you may also experience itchiness and rashes.

Childbirth Surprise

Pregnancy culminates in this beautiful event called childbirth. It is beautiful, right? Okay, so maybe this is too much information and will just cause you to fret, but while you’re pushing your precious little baby out, you’ll probably also push a bowel movement out. Don’t worry, your nurse, doctor or midwife has seen this before and will get it cleaned up without you even knowing about it.

Postpartum Problems

After having your baby, you will be very swollen and may need to keep ice packs on your vaginal area for several hours to days after birth. According to the MayoClinic.com article entitled, “Postpartum care:

What to expect after a vaginal birth,” chilled witch hazel pads may help too. In addition, after childbirth you may leak urine when you cough, strain or laugh. This problem usually improves within three months so you’ll need to wear sanitary pads and do your Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Many women have fairly uneventful and yet very exciting pregnancies and births. Hopefully you are one of them, but if you do experience difficult side effects, try to keep your eye on the prize and do everything you can to eat well, sleep well and keep yourself generally healthy for that little person growing inside you. When see that precious baby’s face for the first time, you’ll know that everything you’ve been through during pregnancy and childbirth has been worth it.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.