Pregnancy is a natural wonder that no woman should take for granted, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, we probably don’t realise all of the issues we might need to deal with until we actually get pregnant. Head’s up to first-time mums: these are some of the troubles women may face when carrying that little bundle of joy (feel free to add your own to the list!):
- · Incontinence – If you are suffering from embarrassing leaks during pregnancy, don’t worry – it’s not uncommon! When you cough, sneeze, strain or laugh, you may experience some unexpected urinary leaking. This can be avoided through regular kegel exercises during pregnancy. Strong pelvic floor muscles will support the extra weight of pregnancy and shorten the second stage of labour. It also has post-natal benefits such as faster healing time between the anus and vagina and a more satisfying sex life. So start practicing your pelvic floor exercises now in preparation!
- · Tying your shoelaces – Even the simplest of tasks such as tying your shoelaces proves difficult as the weeks progress. You may wish your flexibility was better, or that you didn’t skip that yoga lesson last month, but the truth is it’s unavoidable. If you have a husband who is available to tie your laces every time you leave the house – perfect. However, this isn’t always the case, so the solution is: invest in laceless footwear. That doesn’t mean you have to plod around in a pair of Crocs, there are many fashionable alternatives out there like laceless Converse trainers.
- · Sleeping on your tummy – If this is your sleeping habit of choice, you might find it hard to break at first but sleeping on your tummy will cause discomfort, especially the further along you are. . Your abdomen undergoes physical changes during pregnancy that make lying on your stomach increasingly difficult. Sleeping on your back is also a no-go due to the health risks associated with it – when resting on your back the large vein used to transport blood from the lower body to the heart is affected. It also puts stress on your back, intestines and two major blood vessels from the weight of your pregnant uterus. So, the best sleeping position is SOS – sleep on side.Sleeping on your left side increases the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and the baby. Spooning a pillow is a good idea to help minimise your sleepless nights!
- · Avoiding sushi – Contrary to popular belief, it actually can be okay to eat sushi during pregnancy. If you are a sushi lover, you can indulge safely BUT you need to research the do’s and don’ts first. For example, during pregnancy you must only eat cooked shellfish such as prawns, crab, and scallops. You must also ensure any raw fish has been frozen beforehand to kill any parasites. Avoid sushi made with raw chicken, beef and pork as uncooked meat holds a much greater bacterial risk in which may result in salmonella.
- · Going sober– Years ago it was deemed acceptable for expectant mothers to drink eight units of alcohol per week, but although some women may allow themselves the occasional small glass of wine, it’s probably best to play it safe and ditch the booze. It’s a bit annoying, but just think of how nice that wine will taste and how much you’ll enjoy it, guilt-free, nine months down the line!
Although we have to make a few sacrifices during pregnancy, finally getting to hold your baby in your arms will bring great happiness and joy in to your life and make it all worthwhile.