Before a soon-to-be mother can at last hold her baby in her or arms, or even before that, decide how they want to give birth, the mother must first go through some stages of pregnancy that may give her a little discomfort. After all, it’s not easy for your body to accommodate another human being. There are many physical changes that will occur in the body as it is preparing for pregnancy. However, it is easy to solve many discomforts through several simple lifestyle changes such as eating healthy and exercising regularly.
As one gets into their second and third trimesters especially, they will start to notice that it is difficult to breathe, and they might need to go to the bathroom more often. This is because the fetus has grown to 15-56cm, and the organs in the mother’s body must be compressed to accommodate the growing uterus size. The fetus also lowers the center of gravity, which changes the way a mother walks. This may also cause back pain, which can be solved with simple exercises such as back stretches.
There are several other discomforts that may occur as well. The heart must work harder to pump blood for the fetus and the mother, so the heart rate can increase up to 50%. The baby may also cut off the circulation in the mother’s body, so it is important to sleep on the side, and elevate the feet if blood pools in the legs. For this reason, it is important to exercise regularly because it gets the blood flowing, and gives the mother strength for when she delivers the baby.
As a mother is preparing to give birth to her baby, there are some new discomforts that she may experience in the third trimester. These are how the body prepares for the task of pushing the baby out of the uterus. For example, lightening is when the baby drops into a lower position of the uterus. Braxton Hicks contractions are when the uterus tightens, to prepare for the final push at the end of the third trimester.
All of these discomforts must have been difficult for women to face in a world of men who would never understand their difficulties. In the early days, there was little technology to facilitate pregnancy, and no research about the best positions to give birth, or simple exercises to do while pregnant, or even knowledge of what food to avoid. It’s amazing to think that even after all the discomforts of pregnancy, women still had to deal with inexperienced doctors, without any solutions to ease their discomfort.
There are many things that I was surprised to learn about that occur during pregnancy. One tends to overlook the changes a woman faces even before she has the child. I appreciate the knowledge I have learned this semester because it helps me understand what pregnant women are going through, and it makes me grateful for the technology we have today.