Pregnancy is a time where women find out some pretty interesting things about their bodies. Things start happening and changes start taking place that mom-to-be probably wasn’t expecting, or at least wasn’t prepared for. The body reacts to the hormonal changes and the development of a baby inside the womb in some pretty interesting ways and it's different for all women.
What is even more interesting is that some women experience certain things during pregnancy, and others have a completely different experience. In fact, some women are genetically predisposed to feel certain effects of pregnancy. So, if the chance to talk to your own mom about her experiences of pregnancy arises, you also take the chance to blame her for feeling so sick in the morning or something along those lines.
Many conditions associated with pregnancy are hereditary. Now, this doesn’t mean that because your mom had an early labor or a late arrival means that there is a one hundred per cent chance you will. It just means that the chances are likely. Each pregnancy is still completely unique and essentially unpredictable.
However, being aware of certain conditions that your mom or grandmother went through can give you a rough idea of things that might crop up for you during pregnancy. It is worth having a chat about. There are plenty more conditions associated with pregnancy that aren’t hereditary so you’ve got to be on the lookout for them too! These ones, however, are potentially hereditary conditions that might affect your pregnancy.
12 Feeling That Sickness In The Morning
Waking up in the morning while pregnant isn’t always sunshine and roses. It’s not going to be a recreation of a Disney princess elegantly rising and heading off into the meadows to frolic through the grass and sing with the birds. Rather, there is a good chance that some morning sickness will make a dash to the bathroom necessary to relieve the contents of the stomach.
Many women experience morning sickness and the severity of how you experience it can come down to genetics. If your mother or sister or grandmother had really bad morning sickness, heed warning. Now is the time to stock up on ginger tablets or saltines. While you can’t do much about the nauseous rite of passage that comes with pregnancy, you can lessen its impact by sticking to foods you like and can digest easily. Pregnancy really isn’t the time to experiment with new foods!
11 Diabetes That Only Happens During Gestation
There are different types of diabetes floating around in the world and there is one that only women who are pregnant are predisposed to. This is called gestational diabetes and happens as a direct result of pregnancy. Basically, gestational diabetes is an imbalance in blood sugar levels due to the weight gained from pregnancy.
While you can’t help this too much if it runs in the family, you can combat it in other ways. Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy (sounds ironic, right?) by eating healthy and exercising regularly is super important. If you know that you are at risk of gestational diabetes, for your sake and your baby’s it is crucial that you get your diet on track early on. This will make a big difference to your health, and also to how you feel about yourself during the pregnancy. Staying healthy for these 9 months is quite the achievement when genetics is against you.
10 A Big, Big Baby
If it runs in the family it doesn’t mean the fate is sealed, but when it comes to big babies expectant moms should be aware of their history. Bracing oneself to push a big bubba through is worth getting prepared for. Knowledge is the best defence in so many cases.
The size of you and your partner at birth will be a good indicator to let you know what size baby will be sliding through the birthing canal. This is a conversation you want to have with both your parents and your partner’s so that you can get an idea of what to expect.
Also keep in mind that other factors influence the baby’s weight at birth. For instance, your own weight can have an impact. If you are heavier than your mom was when she was pregnant, or vice versa, your baby’s weight will be impacted by this. So keep the kilos off as much as humanly possible during pregnancy so there’s no 10 pound baby trying to push its way through!
9 Heading Into Labor Early
This one isn’t one hundred per cent proven to be hereditary, but there is a good chance it is. Preterm labor does run in certain families, however the research around it is still quite preliminary.
Nonetheless, if members of your family have gone into labor early, you should be aware of this and open it up to discussion with your doctor. If you know the causes of why your family members went into preterm labor, even better. This kind of knowledge will help the doctor be proactive about ensuring a smooth sailing labor for you and your baby.
Basically, if you are potentially at risk of an early labor, regular doctor visits will be essential in the final trimester. During these, doc will periodically measure your cervix to get an idea of where the baby is at. This measurement is a good tip-off to indicate whether or not things are going to run earlier than the due date.
8 Unfortunate Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a condition that means the blood pressure is raised and protein levels in the urine are too high. This can lead to swelling and be dangerous for both mom and baby. Pretty much, it is something that no woman wants to experience during those precious 9 months.
Unfortunately, preeclampsia is linked to genetics. There is no solid proof to say that if your mom or sister suffered from preeclampsia that you are certain to as well. Likewise, if no one in your family has ever had preeclampsia, there is still a chance that you could develop it. It is just one of those minefields of pregnancy.
Thankfully, preeclampsia can be treated relatively easy. With proper management and seeking advice from doctors, women with preeclampsia can go on to have healthy and happy babies. It is just important to be right on top of this one if it does develop.
7 Crazy Hormones In The Gallbladder
Cholestatis is a common liver disease that occurs during pregnancy and is often hereditary. It actually only occurs when a woman is pregnant which is why it isn’t overly well known. What happens is that the normal flow of bile in the gallbladder is affected by the increasing hormone levels.
It is most common in the third trimester of pregnancy when the hormones are really raging away. Women who are most at risk include those whose mothers or sisters have had it, or those who have previous liver damage.
When you have cholestatis, you experience itching around the hands and feet and a darker urine colour. There may also be a loss of appetite and depressive thoughts associated with cholestatis. It is a pretty rare condition, with only around 1 in 2 pregnancies in 1000 affected. Oddly enough, cholestatis is actually most prevalent in Chilean and Swedish moms-to-be. The symptoms generally go away a few days after delivery. It is non-harmful to baby in the majority of cases.
6 Clotting Blood And Deep Vein Thrombosis
Plenty of weird things happen to the skin during pregnancy and it gets more likely to be weird if it runs in the family. Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis isn’t pretty but they are more likely to occur in women who are pregnant or just had a baby and have a genetic history of clotting.
Other factors increase the risk of blood clots and DVT during pregnancy. These include obesity, previous blood clots, increased maternal age, and prolonged periods of inactivity such as sitting on an aeroplane without moving.
Blood clots are pretty easy to treat in pregnant women and the treatment is safe for the baby. The main things you can do to prevent blood clots is to be aware of your family history and be cautious of the risk factors. Staying informed on the signs and symptoms of blood cots is also recommended if you are at risk.
5 Baby Overstaying Its Welcome
This one is always accurate, but the chances of baby following in mom’s footsteps with a late arrival is pretty high. So if mom-to-be knows that she was a late bloomer when it came to leaving the uterus, don’t be too surprised if the little one growing inside does the same.
However, it is important to keep in mind that when you were a baby, ultrasound technology wasn’t as up to scratch as it is now. This means that the estimated due dates a generation ago were really just estimates. Now, thanks to advancements in technology, doctors can get a better idea of the due date and they are generally more accurate.
What it comes down to is you shouldn’t be sitting back on your heels thinking that any contraction at 40 weeks is just a Braxton Hicks contraction. Don’t expect your baby to be late, but don’t be overly surprised if it is.
4 Never Ending, Painful Labor
This one is possibly hereditary since labor is a process that can’t actually be inherited. However, genetics pass down the body type of women and this has a big influence on how the labor goes. When we say body type, we really mean pelvis type.
If your mom had a teeny tiny pelvis that you spent hours fighting your way through to get to the light, there’s a good chance you came into this world with a small pelvis of your own. In the case of small pelvises, a long labor can often result in a C-section. So being aware if C-sections run in the family is another things to keep in mind.
There are so many other factors that shape what type of labor you are going to have so this is one to not stress too much about. However, it is worth noting that a small pelvis can lead to a tough time getting the bun out of the oven. Start doing some pelvic squats now!
3 Fertility Problems In The First Place
For women trying to have a baby, the most heartbreaking thing can be finding out that fertility problems exist. These are a shattering force of nature that make the dream of motherhood that extra step out of the reach. Fortunately with science and technology today, these fertility problems are easier to overcome.
There are some fertility problems that are hereditary. Having an open conversation with the women in your family prior to conceiving can make you aware of some potential challenges you might face. Some fertility issues that have been linked to genetics in some (not all!) cases include problems with ovulation and endometritis. When uterine tissue is found outside the uterus, endometritis happens. This can be fixed through surgery or other means, but it is a genetic condition. Ovulation problems, on the other hand, are sometimes genetic and sometimes not. These really come at a case by case basis.
2 Double Trouble In The Womb
Twins can be a source of double joy or double trouble, depending which way things are looked at. Having twins does run in the family and so is hereditary. However, having identical twins is not hereditary, whereas fraternal twins are. For example, a woman with a sibling that is a fraternal twin is 2.5 times more likely to have twins herself. That’s a pretty big leap above the average!
Fraternal twins come from two different eggs that are fertilised at the same time. The tendency to release multiple eggs is a genetic trait. This is called hyperovulation and happens for no other reason than genetics. It is actually more common in women aged in their 30s, but decreases dramatically after the age of 35. What is also interesting is that it is only the mom’s genetics that impact the likeliness of having twins. So for dads or sperm donors, it doesn’t matter if twins go back five generations in the family. They don’t get much of a say on this one!
1 Pigments Going Hyper On The Skin
In skin there is a thing called melanin and when it gets too much, hyperpigmentation occurs in the sin. This increase in melanin can be due to a hot environment such as sun exposure, hormonal changes such as puberty, and genetics.
The latter one there has a big say on how your body reacts to pregnancy in terms of hyperpigmentation. Those three major influences that increase melanin are all prevalent during pregnancy. The body temperature rises due to increased blood flow and hormones are raging all over the place. This makes for the perfect condition for melanin levels to jump and if genetics have their say, you could be at risk of developing hyperpigmentation during pregnancy.
There is nothing too dangerous about hyperpigmentation. You’ll get some dark spots appearing on the skin but no harm will come to baby. It is more annoying than anything else. Odds are, hyperpigmentation will go away after giving birth and things balance back to normal in your body.
Sources: Motherhoodinstyle.com, Webmd.com, Conceiveeasy.com