It might be expected that the extreme changes a woman undergoes during pregnancy are all completely beyond control. No symptoms like stretch marks, cramps, hair loss, or the risk of varicose veins can be helped.
Expectant mamas need to stop listening to the hype surrounding the potential grisly side of pregnancy symptoms. Because guess what: there are actually symptoms that revolve around the duration of pregnancy, and the aftermath, that are actually preventable.
That’s right ladies and the loved ones who adore pregnant mamas. Take back the power! Soothe those aching swollen ankles with soft wedge pillows to improve blood circulation, and cut down on the bloating and swelling. Take vitamins and exercise to keep health conditions like diabetes and chronic lethargy away.
Oh yeah. Pregnancy is a time to bask in the glow of rocking a gorgeous baby bump. Mamas should look forward to looking over and adjusting their birth plan between prenatal appointments, and feel confident in taking proactive and preventative measures to enjoy a healthier pregnancy.
This is the future. A lot of improvements have taken place in women's’ health care, beauty products, and methods to safely carry a baby and give birth. Cast off the ridiculous notions that pregnancy will turn a mom's system and life upside down, with no solutions except to give in to Mother Nature’s strange ways.
Pregnant ladies do have options, and they can make choices that will keep both baby and mom healthy, happy, and stronger.
16 Gestational Diabetes
During pregnancy it is so important for women to take the best care of their health possible.
In order to prevent developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy, it is critical that ladies exercise regularly, maintain healthy foods, and take any medication to keep their blood pressure in check.
According to Medicine Net, gestational diabetes is more likely to occur in a woman who is obese, has a history of diabetes in the family or is diabetic, or has a history of gestational diabetes within past pregnancies.
When a pregnant mother becomes resistant to insulin, her blood sugar levels can rise, and additionally trigger their baby’s blood sugar to spike too.
Gestational diabetes is serious because it can cause unborn babies to become overweight, or even develop problems with their blood sugar levels after birth. If a mother develops gestational diabetes, the risk of their child being born with respiratory problems, jaundice, or suffering a fatality during childbirth increases.
Gestational diabetes thankfully typically happens in about 4% of pregnancies, so it is not terribly prevalent. However, it pays for women to be cautious about their diet, weight, and seek management and treatment if needed.
Since whatever mom eats or does has an immediate impact on their child, mom has an obligation to do her very best for both her health and her child’s.
15 Certain Birth Defects
Pregnancy certainly brings on a lot of changes for mothers, from bigger shoe sizes, having to ditch drinking and smoking, and dressing a growing baby bump. Many mothers are concerned about having a healthy pregnancy and carrying their baby to term successfully.
However, not all moms remember how much impact their choices can affect their unborn little one. And sometimes, mothers worry so much about doing everything perfectly, that they can actually overdose on certain vitamins and pills, or do other things that could actually have a negative effect on their child.
One thing mom definitely wants to not do is stress themselves sick. Stress can trigger a hormonal response that can negatively impact blood pressure or cause a mom to engage in less than desirable behaviors to reduce their stress levels if they don’t have a more positive plan of action to relax.
Many birth defects can be prevented if mothers make sure to get their blood tested for any anomalies or potential genetic diseases.
Drinking, smoking, and using illegal substances can contribute to premature birth, learning disabilities in children, and organs that do not grow properly.
Certain foods should be avoided, like uncooked eggs, seafood, or unpasteurized juices and milk because of the risk of infection and parasites. Specific chemicals and compounds can also trigger certain birth defects to an unborn baby during pregnancy as well.
14 High Blood Pressure
When a mom has a bun in the oven, genetic predisposition to high blood pressure, poor dietary choices and lack of exercise, or putting on too much weight too quickly might contribute to developing hypertension. According to Healthline, high blood pressure during pregnancy can be caused by smoking, drinking, not exercising, being obese, or being an older mother.
Sometimes a mom’s high blood pressure levels cannot be helped, and might just be a little bit over the desired healthier level. However, if a mother has a significantly high blood pressure level, it is best that she does whatever she can to get the levels down to a healthier number. Having high blood pressure when pregnant is not extremely life-threatening during pregnancy, but it can have a negative and long-lasting impact on the baby and mom.
High blood pressure can cause a mom to develop gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and other conditions. Mothers should also be concerned with having extremely low blood pressure as well because it can contribute to feeling nauseated, fainting, or suffer from headaches.
Moms need to be aware that during pregnancy the amount of blood in her body increases to support her growing child. The volume of blood within a pregnant woman can increase up to 45% of its normal amount, and make the heart have to work harder.
Making sure to make all prenatal appointments, follow a diet and exercise regimen, and regularly check blood pressure is helpful.
13 Hair Loss Or Thinning
One benefit to taking a prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy is the blessing of thicker, longer, stronger, and more luxurious looking tresses.
Many a pregnant woman gets to capture the envy of many, not just for rocking one heck of an awesome baby bump in stride but carrying themselves with grace, a goddess-like glow, and OMG hair.
Yes, mamas worldwide need to thank their unborn babies for the beautiful head of hair that they have on their head right now. It’s not solely just from taking prenatal vitamins, eating healthy, and having amazing genes that their hair looks so good.
And mother’s who frequent the salon or have some secret hair care regimen need to realize that pregnancy has a lot more than they think when it comes to impacting their hair’s health and look.
Now, here’s the bad news. I’ll try to let you down gently. After pregnancy, most moms are going to lose some of their hair volume, and see some hair loss. It’s just how it is. Blame Mother Nature.
However, moms can help combat hair loss and thinning by maintaining healthy weight during and after pregnancy.
Moms can also continue to take post-natal vitamins to boost their immune system and hair growth.
Plus, mothers can make sure to eat healthy foods, drink enough water, and get regular scalp massages and use deep conditioning treatments to love their locks on their head.
12 STDs Can Cross To The Baby
According to Parents, about 2 million women who are currently pregnant carry STDs, according to the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC). If that is not troubling enough, many pregnant women often have no realization that they are not just carrying a bun in the oven, but that they also have a venereal disease.
Some women and men may think that because a baby is protected in mom’s womb within the amniotic sac, that the uterus is sealed off from anything getting in.
Not using protection when pregnant, using intravenous substances, and not being cautious with hygiene and contact with bodily fluids can risk a baby’s health and mom’s.
STDs can cross the barriers that are meant to protect a child while in the womb. And even at childbirth, a mother can, unfortunately, pass on an unwanted and unknown disease to their little baby. Certain STDs, like chlamydia, can be passed onto a child during development, and even cause a baby to develop a fatal case of pneumonia. Trichomoniasis can trigger premature delivery or membrane rupture.
And if this is not enough to cause moms to be more cautious during pregnancy, if a mom has contracted one STD, she is more vulnerable to contracting more and passing side-effects to her child. Pregnant mamas should get tested regularly, be safe with their intimacy decisions, and seek any necessary treatment if they do have an STD.
One reason a mother definitely doesn’t want to skip out on getting adequate prenatal care is the risk of infections. The good news is that most mothers get some type of immunization throughout life, and know to practice certain behaviors like washing hands and staying away from sick people.
However, if a mother decides to tempt fate by consuming risky foods that are raw, uncooked, or at improper temperatures, she could develop an infection. Sharing glasses, changing kitty litter, and handling questionable biological materials can prove risky for a pregnant mother, and should be avoided.
Protection should be used if a mother chooses to be intimate and interact with bodily fluids. Certain behaviors can risk contracting infections like a UTI, hepatitis B, HIV, or strep.
Infections like bacteria vaginosis can contribute to low birth weight or a premature delivery. BV and UTIs may also make a woman more vulnerable to contracting an STD.
Women should take caution when traveling to specific locations in the world, especially if there is an outbreak or health risk present. Women who are pregnant and travel to places that have the Zika virus present incur the risk of their children being born with incurable deformities.
When in doubt, a pregnant woman should seek consul from her chosen doctor, get tested as needed, and seek treatment to infections immediately when discovered.
10 Premature Birth
Sometimes a baby just decides to make a break from the womb, and ends up coming early. And sometimes, a baby might just have arrived before their proper time because of something their mother did during pregnancy. Say it isn’t so! Right?
Well, most moms who have a bun in the oven know that they need to stop drinking and quit smoking and using illegal substances. Continuing to do so do carry the risk of causing the baby to be born premature or with a low birth weight.
However, there are other reasons why a mom might be contributing to her child’s delivery date being pushed up the calendar. If mom has a problem with her cervix, uterus, or placenta, she might have no choice but to deliver her baby early.
Dealing with stress all the time isn’t just bad for a mom’s morale and emotions, it can negatively affect her health to the point that her baby comes early.
Mothers who have suffered a physical trauma, are overweight or underweight before or during pregnancy or have had multiple miscarriages or ended pregnancies are at a higher risk of giving birth prematurely.
Acording to Mayo Clinic, premature birth can lead to children suffering learning disabilities, vision problems, hearing complications, an underdeveloped immune system, and host of other health issues.
9 Low Birth Weight
It’s all about the lifestyle for some women in life, but when a lady becomes pregnant, a whole lot changes. Pregnancy is definitely a life changer and a milestone in life. But many women may not realize that they may have a hand in their child being born with a low birthweight.
Most pregnant moms know to put a stop to excessive partying and enjoying bottles, smoking, and not getting enough sleep. However, there are more than a few reasons that mom might be contributing to a baby being born light as a feather.
According to Stanford Children’s Health, around 1.5 percent of babies are born with a low birthweight under 1,500 grams, or 3 pounds, 4 ounces.
If mom has a problem with her uterus or placenta, childbirth may have to be induced early to protect a child’s life. Women who are under the age of 17, or who are older than 35 years old are more likely to give birth to a baby with a low weight.
Women who are pregnant with multiples, either naturally, or with the help of invitro fertilization are more likely to have children born with a low birthweight.
It also goes without saying that ignoring prenatal care, a lack of access to a nutritious diet, and living with stress, inability to gain enough weight, and infections can also contribute toward a baby being born underweight.
8 Sepsis (Blood Poisoning)
A mom might not think she could possibly develop blood poisoning while pregnant. However, sepsis can develop if a mother has an untreated or unknown infection. Being aware of any signs that something is awry might be the one thing that could save a mother’s life, and her unborn baby’s too.
If a woman has recently given birth, she may be at greater risk of contracting an infection and developing sepsis. Left untreated, sepsis could indeed prove fatal.
When a mother develops maternal sepsis, her immune system kicks into high gear to combat whatever the problem may be but ends up causing inflammation en masse.
Symptoms of sepsis include having a fast hear rate, feeling terrible abdominal pain, headaches, shivering, feeling out of breath, and having a high temperature.
If a woman does not feel that they are recovering from their symptoms after taking over the counter medication, they should seek medical attention for antibiotics. Care should be taken by pregnant and non-pregnant women when on antibiotics, in case their body is not responsive, and the symptoms of sepsis persist.
It is possible that a woman may feel similar symptoms to sepsis during pregnancy and after giving birth. Women may feel the chills, breathe faster, or feel light headed.
7 Staying Healthy
It’s important for a woman to carry on enough healthy weight, in order to support the life of her developing child and herself during pregnancy. Growing a tiny human takes a lot of work, energy, patience, and dedication. It is certainly no easy feat to pull off successfully.
However, gaining enough weight can be a bit troublesome. Women who have a predisposition to being overweight, a family history of obesity, or who are currently obsese during pregnancy can cause undue complications for both mom and baby.
According to Science Direct, studies have suggested a link between maternal obesisty and neurodevelopmental problems in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, about 15 women out of every 100 are obese.
Obesity has been connected to children being born more vulnerable to developing behavioral problems, ADHD, depression, and poor relationships with others. Boys have been found to have a greater risk of developing behavioral problems when they reach the ages of 9 through 11.
Mothers who carried excess weight during their pregnancy were more likely to give birth to sons who exhibited problems. However, girls have not been shown to display similar behavior problems.
If mom does her best to keep her weight gain and weight stability under control with diet, exercise, or medication as prescribed, it might prove helpful for her child’s future.
Love them or hate them, stretchmarks are commonly a parting gift from pregnancy, nursing, and bouncing weight gain and weight loss.
Before a mom decides to give up all hope that there is anything she can do to treat her existing stretchmarks, or even prevent them from being overly red, raised, and severe, here’s some hope. Mom may have some options when it comes to stretchmarks, and they are not all invasive.
Some women can choose to embrace their shape and the skin they are in. And any woman who understands the value of true self-love, and developing acceptance for their body in all of its curious, funny, and fantastic changes is pretty amazing and revolutionary.
Women who may not feel so great about living with stretchmarks that are super prominent may want to listen up. According to sources like The Bump, mothers can choose to moisturize their skin like no one’s business, using creams with cocoa butter, undergo a laser procedure, or eat a healthy diet and reduce weight gain.
The good news is most stretchmarks do eventually fade a bit given enough time. But for mother’s who can’t wait, the best thing to do is pamper skin before and during pregnancy, and most certainly after to reduce stretchmark’s appearance.
5 Varicose Veins
Carrying a baby bump is no small task. And trying to prevent varicose veins can be equally difficult when mom is having to support additional weight from increased blood volume, and a special tiny human that has yet to be born.
And moms don’t just have to thank being pregnancy for the increased chance of developing unsightly varicose veins. Pregnant ladies can thank genetic predisposition if women in their family have a history of varicose veins.
Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the fashion police. Most pregnant women make the sensible option to put away the high heels when pregnant. Wearing high heels throw the spine, legs, hips, and balance out of sorts.
If it wasn’t a feat of wonder to walk down the street like you are own the catwalk in a pair of stylish towering heels, walking in heels with a baby bump brings things to a whole new level of OMG. Seriously.
Women need to ditch wearing high heel shoes when pregnant, get massages frequently, moisturize their legs and feet often, and get off their feet when they can. Being a superwoman does not mean that a pregnant woman should power through staying on her feet all day long at work.
Mom needs to take time to elevate her feet and legs during the day, get massages, moisturize, and sleep with her legs elevated at night. There are some lovely body pillows and wedge pillows that are sure to do the trick.
4 Calcium Loss
Taking prenatal vitamins is super helpful for mothers, and can help with preventing undue calcium loss. Unfortunately, a lot of women don’t take enough calcium via vitamins, or consume enough calcium in their diet growing up. As a result, when a lady becomes pregnant, and long after pregnancy, a woman can be left with depleted stores of calcium.
Babies take up a lot of nutrients and vitamins. And if a mother does not have a sufficient diet, the baby will draw their nutrion needs straight from mom. Yep. It’s a little creepy, but it’s nature.
So what is a mom to do? Women who want to become pregnant should make sure to get enough calcium before they make the commitment to jump into motherhood. Women who are already preganant should make sure their diet has enough calcium.
Osteoporosis can happen during pregnancy and even during nursing. It’s rare, but it can happen, and that’s scary enough. Bone density loss is real, so mamas need to get that calcium in a healthy way, and often.
Mothers can get calcium from eating fortified plant-based milk, eating yogurt, and eating cheeses that are not risky. Eating foods like dates, kale, broccoli, almonds and bok choy are also rich in calcium, inexpensive, and yummy.
3 Poor Blood Circulation
Carrying a bun in the oven can be pretty life-changing. Because mothers end up with increased blood volume, and have to bear the increasing weight of a growing baby bump, it can contribute to poor blood circulation.
Not to mention, being pregnant can trigger anemia in some women. Hormonal changes and fluctuations are usually to blame for poor blood circulation, in addition to blood clots, and a stressed out circulatory system. After all, having to work twice as hard to pump blood through the body is more challenging on the heart.
Swelling is a real big issue for women, causing increased foot size, discomfort in clothing, and can affect blood pressure levels. Conditions like preeclampsia, anemia, or thyroid issues can contribute to circulatory problems.
When seeking a solution, mothers who are pregnant should keep up with their prenatal care, and elevate their lower extremeties with wedge pillows at night, and during the day. It is also important that mom exercises during pregnancy does strength training exercises, reduces stress, and eats healthy.
Drinking water and taking vitamins can be helpful too. And mothers should definitely avoid wearing skyscraper heels for shoes. High heel shoes contribute to blood clots, varicose veins throw mom’s center of gravity off even more than the baby bump and encourages bad blood circulation.
2 Bleeding Gums
Brushing your teeth is important, and even more essential to carry out when pregnant. If it wasn’t enough for pregnant women to put up with bloating, fatigue, and juggling appointments with the doctor, she might have forgotten to keep up with brushing her teeth.
Before mom became pregnant, skipping out on brushing teeth, or simply forgetting might have just been a faux pas with some ick factor. When a woman becomes pregnant, maintaining adequate dental hygiene transforms into a critical health issue.
Just like other parts of the human body, the gums and teeth can say a lot about your health. Thanks to certain hormones at play within a woman’s body when she is pregnant, her gums are more sensitive and prone to bleeding. I know, I know. And I just said how important it is for pregnant mamas to brush their teeth. But there will be blood? Right? Scary indeed.
However, making appointments with the dentist for scalings, assessment for any tooth decay, and planning preventative measures to protect teeth and gums is important during pregnancy.
The threat and risk of developing an infection in the mouth and gums are real. Tooth decay left unchecked and out of control can potentially harm an unborn child in the womb.
Despite any feelings or desire to huddle under a blanket until the pregnancy is over, moms need to woman up and take care of their teeth to prevent problems during pregnancy.
1 Maternal Mortality
Despite the advances of modern medicine, pregnancy still is not without its risks. In fact, despite technology, and education about preventative measures mothers can take during pregnancy to protect their health, women can and still perish during pregnancy and childbirth.
According to NPR, mothers who live in the United States are more likely to suffer maternal mortality than other developed nations in the world. Annually, some 700 to 900 women pass away as a result of pregnancy, or because of childbirth.
It’s not just that women can possibly lose their lives during the delivery process. A lot of times loved ones and medical personnel miss critical signs of incidents like sepsis, heart attacks, infection, and complications following a C-section procedure.
Mothers may complain of feeling fatigue, nausea, or pain that may be dismissed as normal and expected because of childbirth. However, women in the United States are 3 times more likely to perish during the time between pregnancyand the first year following childbirth, or an abortion, than women in Canada. According to the CDC Foundation, up to 60% of maternal mortality cases are preventable.
Medical personnel needs to take the words and feelings of women more seriously, follow up more closely with procedures, and limit conducting unnecessary procedures that are risky to both mothers and babies.
Mothers who are pregnant should also encourage their loved ones to be champions for their cause, especially if the mom insists that something may be wrong, but are dismissed by the staff at hospitals.
Sources: Mom Loves Best, Live Science, The Bump, Caring For Kids, Web MD, Medicine Net, Healthline, Parents, Baby Center, Mayo Clinic, Stanford Children's Health, NPR, NCT, Science Daily, The Bump, NIH, LiveStrong, Mom Junction