There is no shortage of resources available to the pregnant woman. From tips on ensuring a healthy pregnancy to opinions about whether a glass of wine is okay, the information can be overwhelming.
Your best bet is to speak with your doctor or midwife. Together, you can formulate a pregnancy and birth plan which is suitable for your health and your specific pregnancy.
But what about the things your doctor won’t tell you? Here are 6 tips about pregnancy you’ll want to know that you might not learn elsewhere.
1. You’ll have extremely vivid dreams
Sometimes the dreams are nightmares and other times they’re benign. But, due to a surge of hormones and increased anxiety, you’ll experience some exceptionally intense dreams.
These vivid dreams don’t bother most women. But if you find that you’re losing sleep of otherwise suffering, talk to your doctor. He may be able to prescribe something, or simply offer an alternative sleeping position.
2. Your relationship might suffer
Pregnancy is an intensely emotional time for women. But it’s intensely emotional for their partners, too. You may find yourselves snapping at one another or becoming overly sensitive to the most innocent of words.
Set a date night once each week. Even if you don’t feel like it, go out and enjoy dinner or a movie. You and your partner can use the time to reconnect and your relationship will feel less strain.
3. Everything will be difficult
Your doctor or your friends may joke about how hard it will be to put on your shoes. But in truth, everything will seem more difficult. You’ll likely need to change your sleep position. Shaving will become impossible. Even toilet habits will change.
The best you can do is accept that your belly is growing, and with that change come natural adjustments. Before long, your body will return to its normal shape and you’ll be able to breathe easy once more.
4. Prenatal vitamins come in liquid form
There will be times during your pregnancy that you don’t feel as if you could swallow a Skittle, much less a huge prenatal vitamin. Fortunately, prenatals also come in liquid form.
Liquid prenatal vitamins aren’t easy to find in the drug store. But you can ask your doctor for a prescription. Best of all, most insurance plans with maternity coverage also cover prenatal vitamins. This is important to keep your skin healthy, but they can also ensure your hair stays healthy when pregnant.
5. Your breasts will ache
One of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy is pain in your breasts. That feeling can be as mild as a sensitivity or as severe as a feeling of muscle soreness. That will soon diminish toward your second trimester.
Unfortunately, it can return during your third trimester. As your body prepares to feed your baby, you’ll begin to notice that your breasts feel heavier and are constantly aching. Any pressure can heighten the sensitivity, causing an overall unpleasant experience.
Invest in a good, supportive nursing bra toward the end of your pregnancy. You’re going to need it anyway if you choose to breastfeed; a good bra can make all the difference in the third trimester.
6. Labor is not what you’d expect
Labor hurts. But it’s a pain with a purpose, and some women even find it pleasurable. Don’t worry so much about the pain of labor, as if you can’t withstand it there are medications available.
Don’t worry, either, about modesty during labor. You will likely lose all inhibitions once you walk through the delivery room door. Your body is doing what it was designed to do, and somehow it sends that message to your brain.
You will groan. You will expel fluids (and solids). Your body will be the subject of the attention of twenty different people. And you won’t care. Labor is likely nothing like you’d expect it to be, and your body will find a way to make it tolerable. That’s why women don’t stop after just one baby.