By Kathy Fang
Pregnant women can develop diabetes during their pregnancy
Gestational diabetes only happens during pregnancy and usually goes away after the birth of the baby. This came as a huge surprise for me during my first pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can happen to any expecting moms, even those who are healthy and fit. I had to cut out fruit and carbs for a short period of time during my pregnancy to help bring down the blood sugar level naturally and because I was only borderline diabetic, the change in my diet was all I needed to do to avoid contracting the disease.
Aversion to smells and foods
I was fully prepared for this one as it’s something you hear quite often from pregnant women. Girlfriends would tell me about their personal bouts with smells they couldn’t stand. It is said that during the first trimester, your sense of smell is heightened dramatically and so are your taste buds. The most memorable food aversion I had was towards burgers. I remember eating one of my favorite burgers and thinking it was extremely dry and chalky. My friend who was eating with me had the same exact burger and didn’t have the same experience as mine. But after that one bite, I loss all appetite for burgers and couldn’t eat from that burger joint or even try another burger for well over a year, even after I gave birth.
Healthy Hair and Nails
Due to the extra boost of hormones, oftentimes women experience that beautiful mom glow. I know you’ve heard that saying before. For me while I didn’t experience the beautiful flush some women do, I did benefit from the hair and nail growth. Being in the food industry, my nails have taken a beating, they tend to be more brittle and don’t grow as fast as I would like them to. But when I became pregnant, my nails were growing fast and strong. I had the best natural nails ever during my pregnancy.
Hair loss after Birth
Women who have not had children probably haven’t heard about this one as much, but women who have had children are familiar with this side effect. The truth is your hair will fall out after giving birth. New growth hair will grow out eventually, but it will take a very long time for it to grow into long strands, meaning you will have this frizz like hair situation on your hairline for many, many months, sometimes even for a year.
Your heart grows larger
Because your heart has to work harder pumping blood to your body and through your uterus, your heart grows in size during your pregnancy. And symbolically I would like to think that your heart grows larger because you have more people in your life to love now, your new baby. It’s such an incredible feeling when you think about the love you have for your bun in the oven, even before you meet them. Imagine what you feel when you finally meet them.
Yes, this is real. Maybe it’s all the hormones or maybe you’ve just got too many things going on in your life now that you are growing a human being inside your body. Foggy memories and short-term memories were something I suffered from during my pregnancy. And after some research on this occurrence, there’s an explanation for it. From past research, it seems the expectant mother’s brain volume decreases during pregnancy, specifically during the 3 rd trimester. How crazy is that?
Shortness of breath
This is something I didn’t really expect considering how fit and active I am both before being pregnant and also during pregnancy. But I found myself taking breaths between sentences. I would be out of breath if I went into any long speeches or conversations, something I never had a problem with. The reasoning behind this sudden need of frequent pause for breath is due to the higher level of progesterone in the body. The hormone expands the lung capacity, allowing the mom to carry larger amounts of oxygen to the bun in the oven.
I suffered from this the second time around. It was extremely unsightly as I had it all along my legs. The large amount of blood that moves through your veins during pregnancy can add a lot of added pressure. And since varicose veins are something my mother suffered from, I naturally was more susceptible to it. Oftentimes it’s hereditary so there isn’t much you can do to prevent it. My OBYN did recommend wearing compression leggings to prevent them from getting worse. Thankfully after giving birth, my spider veins dissipated. And for those who still have it, laser treatments can help too.
Your feet grow in size
My mother used to tell me how her shoe size went up by a size after having me. As a kid, I thought she was making that up to let me know how much she had to go through to have me. But now as a mom I can attest to this! During pregnancy your feet and hands can grow in size, swell up so much that you may not even recognize them. By my third trimester, I was wearing my loosest pair of sneakers and my wedding ring didn’t fit my finger until six months after giving birth. A lot of it is
just retention of water but for some it’s your joints loosening. And sometimes they don’t snap back into the same tight positions he started from.
When pregnant sleeping on your left side is encouraged – Wait what?
You have to sleep on your left side only? While you don’t have to follow this super strictly it is advisable to sleep on your left side for the larger portion of the night as it helps improve circulation to your heart, uterus, and kidneys. Meaning better oxygen flow to momma and to the baby. And since your liver is located on the right side, sleeping on the left will also relieve pressure and weight on your liver.