Every year, 123 million women get pregnant, according to the World Health Organization. Pregnancy is a miracle, but it has its downside. Most women find the process of being pregnant difficult at times. It can be so uncomfortable; but, of course, it's all worth it...
Anyone who's newly pregnant (or planning to fall pregnant) needs to know about the downside of pregnancy. There are some pitfalls to be aware of. Knowledge is power, so women who read up on the downside of pregnancy have a better sense of what the typical drawbacks are. They know which annoying issues to expect while they are expecting.
It's not all doom and gloom, though. The end result of a pregnancy is a beautiful little baby. It's hard work growing a baby and that's why there are downsides. So many changes happen in an expectant mother's body, from hormone shifts that cause morning sickness to water retention that makes ankles swell up and beyond. Some pregnancy pitfalls are common knowledge; others are less obvious.
Moms-to-be need to read every single entry on this list. Once they do, they'll know what not to look forward to. Understanding the downside means that there is less to worry about while pregnant. Expectant moms will know which negative aspects of pregnancy are common, normal, and (usually) not worth stressing over.
20 There Are Lots Of Medical Appointments To Attend
When you're pregnant, you're going to need to go and see the doctor regularly. You may be surprised by just how often you do have to see your doctor (ob-gyn), though. According to WebMD, your ob-gyn will probably want to see you once a month, from the fourth week of your pregnancy to the 28th week.
From week 28 to 36, you'll need to see your doctor twice per month. During weeks 36 to 40, you'll need to go to one prenatal medical appointment every seven days.
Prepare to sit in waiting rooms and flip through magazines and make sure that your Smartphone is fully charged before your appointments!
19 Food Cravings Can Take Over
Food cravings are a fact of life for most pregnant women. You may not find yourself craving the proverbial pickles and ice cream, but you're probably going to crave something. These cravings may be your body's way of getting you to ingest particular nutrients that your baby needs.
A craving for crunchy pickles might mean that you need more sodium. A craving for ice cream might mean that you need calcium.
Laura Prepon from Orange Is The New Black did crave pickles, along with pastrami sandwiches. She wanted a lot of deli food while pregnant, according to Parents! Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) indulged in ice cream while she was expecting, and singer Carrie Underwood wanted Pop-Tarts.
18 Jessica Simpson Literally Broke A Toilet Seat
Jessica Simpson has a great sense of humor and isn't afraid to get real about the downside of pregnancy. She doesn't pretend that it's all a skip in the park. Jessica is currently in her third trimester and she's looking mighty uncomfortable these days. She just posted on social media that she broke a toilet seat while leaning back as she sat on it!
She's also talked about her issues with swollen feet. As if that weren't enough, she is also dealing with acid reflux. We're all hoping that Jessica has her baby soon so she can feel better. We applaud her for being so honest about pregnancy problems.
17 Amy Schumer Jokes About The Discomfort
Like Jessica Simpson, Amy Schumer relies on her sense of humor to deal with pregnancy's downside. Amy has had a very intense, chronic morning sickness. She's had a rough pregnancy so far.
Amy Schumer just celebrated her one year wedding anniversary with her husband and her baby is due in the spring of 2019, according to PopSugar. Amy's morning sickness was so bad that she had to go to the hospital for treatment because of it.
At 37 years old, she's finding pregnancy hard. It's tiring her out. She's trying to juggle work and pregnancy and that's never easy, especially with a difficult pregnancy. She's soldiering on and looking forward to meeting her baby.
16 Swollen Ankles And Feet Are No Fun
Kim Kardashian eventually turned to surrogates because her pregnancies came with complications. Kim just didn't feel good during her pregnancies. She isn't one of those women who loved being pregnant and dealt with a lot of swelling due to water retention. This pregnancy symptom is also known as edema.
In 2015, according to Eonline.com, Kim decided to skip the usual high heels and don slippers while going out for a walk. Those slippers must have felt amazing on her swollen feet. The swelling that Kim experienced during her pregnancies was caused by a pregnancy problem known as preeclampsia. It's too bad that Kim didn't have an easier pregnancy experience.
15 Sleeping Well May Be A Challenge
It may be difficult to get deep and healing rest while pregnant. It's often hardest to sleep at the end of the third trimester. It's sort of like a pregnant woman's body is preparing her for the sleeplessness that will come while she's caring for her newborn.
The first trimester is usually the best trimester for sleeping well, according to Healthline.com.
Pregnancy does tend to bring some insomnia. Since it's also tiring, it can be grueling sometimes, so pregnant women should nap whenever they can. Getting as much rest as possible is really important and beneficial. This is a time to baby yourself, for your sake and your baby's sake.
14 There’s A Lot Of Planning To Do
Some of the planning that comes with pregnancy is a lot of fun, such as picking out cute onesies for the baby or dreaming up (and then implementing) the ideal nursery design. Other stuff, such as stockpiling cloth or disposable diapers and buying a breast pump or components for a home "bottle station," is more mundane.
Things need to be organized before a baby comes home from the hospital. There is a lot of planning to do. This planning needs to happen while a pregnant woman is dealing with fatigue or other pregnancy issues. Pregnant women who feel worn out should shop for what they need online and get it delivered.
13 Fashion Choices Are A Bit Limited
There are chic maternity fashions, but some pregnant women can't afford to buy high-end designs. Even the most expensive, "high fashion" maternity clothes are sometimes not too attractive. It's not uncommon for women to feel that their fashion choices are limited during pregnancy.
Some moms-to-be go for body-conscious t-shirts that hug their baby bumps. Others prefer flowing maxi dresses that look fresh and feminine, or loose-fitting tops over dressy trousers, with stretchy maternity panels built-in.
A couple of pairs of stylish maternity jeans and form-fitting tops should be great for casual days. Dressing up may be a bit more of a challenge. Try to enjoy fashion while you're pregnant!
12 Back Pain May Crop Up
As a bump grows, the lower back needs to support more weight. This may trigger a bit of unpleasant lower back pain. According to WebMD, pregnancy back pain usually crops up after the first half of pregnancy is complete. This back pain occurs where a pregnant woman's pelvis meets her spine. This area is known as the sacroiliac joint.
The growing baby bump is just one reason why lower back pain might happen. Another thing that changes is posture. When a bump expands, a woman may change the way that she carries herself, hoping not to trigger back pain. Muscle separation and hormone changes may also play a role in causing back pain.
11 Some Pregnant Women Feel Very Moody
Hormone surges and shifts are going to impact mood. It's a cliché that pregnant woman may burst into tears or have other sorts of emotional outbursts, but there is some truth to this stereotype. Hormones typically fluctuate the most during trimester one, so be aware that you may feel a bit more emotionally unstable than usual during the first part of your pregnancy. Plan accordingly by giving yourself ample time to chill out.
If you can't chill out due to a busy schedule, forgive yourself when you do get emotional. You're only human. Let your support system know that you're feeling moody and need a little TLC. Remember, this too shall pass...
10 Working While Pregnant Can Be Tough
Do you need to keep working well into your pregnancy? If so, you're not alone. According to the Washington Post, more and more women are working during their pregnancies.
At the beginning of the '60s, fewer than 50 percent of women worked during the early phases of their pregnancies. These days, 75 percent of women work during the early parts of their pregnancies and over half keep working right up until a month before their babies are due.
Working is obviously going to make pregnancy more tiring. If you need to work, try to pace yourself. Streamline your schedule so you have a lot of time to rest after work.
9 Pregnant Drivers Are More Likely To Get Confused On The Road
Are you pregnant while driving? If you are, you should know that pregnant women have a higher likelihood of experiencing confusion while they are behind the wheel. According to the DailyMail, women who are expecting have a 50 percent greater chance of getting into crashes.
With this statistic in mind, be very careful while you're driving. Don't drive when you're really tired or feeling unwell. Ask for help if you don't feel up to driving and you need to be somewhere. Consider taking public transit or an Uber or cab. While many women drive just as well as they usually do while they are expecting, others find that their driving skills decrease somewhat.
8 Some Pregnant Women Don’t Have Support Systems
There are women who are pregnant and homeless. This is very sad. Some women don't have support systems while they're expecting — they're on their own. These types of women need to seek out support in the community. They need to access community services that are designed to help the most vulnerable members of the population.
If you have a support system, you're very lucky. Don't hesitate to ask your "safety net" for help while you're pregnant. If you feel alone, reach out. Look for community services or find other pregnant women online, at message boards. There is always a way to find support at this important time in your life.
7 Labor Can Be A Long Process
Labor may take a long time. Labor generally won't go on for more than 18 hours. The average "active labor" time is eight hours, based on information from BabyCentre.
While some women do give birth a lot faster, it's best to anticipate longer labor. Come up with a birth plan, bring the right supplies along to the hospital and generally get your ducks in a row before labor begins.
When you're organized and ready, with a "go bag" in your home entryway, you'll feel more secure. A "go bag" should include a nursing brassiere, snacks, drinks, a change of clothes, a robe, etc. Some women bring their own pillows to the hospital.
6 People May Get The Wrong Idea
When you're starting to show, people may not realize that you're pregnant. They may think that you stopped going to yoga or Pilates. Hopefully, there won't be any crass comments. This is a time when your body is going to change a lot...rapidly!
Until you tell people that you're expecting, they may not know what's going on with you. They may draw the wrong conclusions. Every woman is different when it comes to when she spills the beans about being pregnant. Some women announce their pregnancies as soon as they get positive test results. Others wait until the first trimester is over. Do what's best for you and don't worry about what other people think.
5 Anticipate Lots Of Trips To The Bathroom
Some women figure out that they're pregnant because they are urinating a lot more than usual. It's one of the classic signs of pregnancy. When a woman becomes pregnant, according to Parents.com, she experiences hormone shifts that boost the production of urine. This means more trips to the bathroom. Also, there is a uterine expansion; when the uterus expands, it presses down onto the bladder.
So, don't worry too much if you find yourself needing a lot of bathroom breaks. These bathroom breaks may be inconvenient and annoying, but they aren't a signal that anything is wrong. They are just a part of the pregnancy experience.
4 Pregnancy Complications May Occur
Lucky pregnant women sail through their three trimesters without any pregnancy complications. Others, such as Kim Kardashian (preeclampsia), Amy Schumer (severe morning sickness), and Salma Hayek (gestational diabetes), have pregnancy problems that make them feel really unwell.
If you feel that you're experiencing pregnancy symptoms which are more intense than what other women are experiencing, talk to your ob-gyn. You may be dealing with pregnancy complications and your doctor can help.
Don't suffer alone in silence. Talk things through and then consider all available treatment options. While these pregnancy symptoms may be unsettling, they may be eased with good medical care.
3 Partners May Not Understand The Ups And Downs
Some partners are veritable superstars when it comes to offering support to their pregnant significant others. However, there are partners who just don't have a lot of empathy. If you're stuck with a partner who doesn't seem to understand what you're going through, try to hone your communication skills. Make it crystal clear that you're dealing with morning sickness, or fatigue, or weird cravings or what have you. Ask for help. Don't be shy about letting your partner know exactly what you need.
If your partner still doesn't step up for you, find others who will, such as friends or family members. This is a time when you need authentic and loving support.
2 There Is An Upside On Halloween!
If you're sporting a baby bump at Halloween, it's time to enjoy the upside of being pregnant. Use your bump as a focal point of a truly interesting costume. Pregnant women have posted some hilarious pics of themselves wearing unique and cute Halloween costumes. One woman turned her baby bump into the alien, E.T. With a baby bump, you will have some interesting costume options. Do a web search to see other pregnant women's Halloween costumes and then get creative.
It's true that there is a real downside to being pregnant. But pregnancy is temporary. Dressing up in a silly costume that highlights your bump will definitely take your mind off of the bad stuff.
1 Mental Fog Isn't Uncommon
Feeling a little foggy and confused during pregnancy? You're not alone. Dealing with the hormone shifts and other pregnancy aches and pains, or morning sickness nausea, leaves many women feeling less mentally sharp than usual. This pregnancy downside is known as "pregnancy brain," according to Cosmopolitan.com.
To combat this issue, make sure that you stay hydrated, eat well and get enough rest. Take your prenatal vitamins as directed. A healthy lifestyle is really the best defense against pregnancy brain. Forgive yourself if you make more mistakes than usual. You are pregnant and you're doing your best. You're going to have a beautiful little baby soon!
Sources: Who.int, Webmd.com, Parents.com, Popsugar.com, Eonline.com, Healthline.com, Washingtonpost.com, Dailymail.co.uk, Babycentre.co.uk, Cosmopolitan.com