Having a baby is a huge and life-changing event. You’ll have an extra member of the family and there is a lot to know about parenting.
However, people often neglect to talk about the things you should know about pregnancy. There’s an expectation for women to just get on with it and not complain during their time growing a child. But there are a lot of things to know about pregnancy – and unfortunately, some aren’t pleasant. Here are some of them.
Risks to the baby
Yes, pregnancy has risks. There is always a small chance that the baby could develop a birth defect. But why does this happen? There are a number of possible reasons, so you’ll need to speak to your doctor and do your research. For example, there could be genetic issues. You might be worried about an illness you or the father has, and this being passed on (can a father’s agent orange exposure cause birth defects? Find out more to ensure the safety of your baby). Alternatively, your behavior while pregnant will have an impact, too. This means avoiding certain foods and drinks, like caffeine and alcohol – also remember getting plenty of rest is of high importance.
Risks to the mother
Pregnancy causes risks to the mother, too. It’s not surprising. Your body will be going through huge changes and all women’s bodies react differently. There is a small chance of death during childbirth, for example. You’ll need to attend regular doctor’s appointments and keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. Be aware that having a baby will change your body, too. You may experience significant weight gain after birth, for example, which can impact your long-term health.
Fatigue and insomnia
People often find that they experience serious fatigue during pregnancy. A pregnant stomach can mean that there are no comfortable positions to sleep in, and the baby might kick in the night. While some women enjoy pregnancy, many don’t for this reason. Not sleeping can be extremely distressing, especially when you are very tired. Carrying a baby is exhausting work, so your body will be craving extra shut-eye. Try to nap during the day as much as you can.
Another not-so-joyous side effect of pregnancy is that you will find yourself needing the bathroom a lot more regularly. Hormones stimulate your kidneys to expand and produce more urine, which will help your body to get rid of waste more quickly. And, as the baby grows, it might put pressure on your bladder. You might also find that, alongside needing the bathroom more often, you find yourself leaking when you cough, sneeze or laugh. This is perfectly normal but can be embarrassing. Try using incontinence pads during pregnancy and make sure you’re never far from the bathroom.