We rounded up 5 fears you don’t need to worry about during your pregnancy. By Monique Hurlin
By Monique Hurlin
Strange body changes
Stretch marks, acne, hair all over, larger breasts … will your body ever be the same again? Well, mostly. About half of all pregnant women get stretch marks, but they fade over time, and there are many products that can help.
Most symptoms that occur in pregnancy are treatable and will fade. These include spider veins, pregnancy mask and extensive hair growth. Even your breasts may return to their pre-pregnancy size a few months after your baby’s birth.
Not a ‘good enough’ mom
Motherhood can be scary, especially when you think that your child is going to be dependent on you for everything. But the fact that you’re even worrying about this shows how much you care for your baby, which is a pretty good start to motherhood. Just trust your instincts and do the best you can for your child, which is all that any of us can do.
A whole new life is developing inside you, so a bit of extra weight seems a small price to pay for something so incredible. Normal weight gain throughout pregnancy is around 2 – 4 kg in the first 20 weeks, and a further 10 – 14kg in the second 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Eat sensibly, get some light exercise, and interpret cravings healthily. If you’re retaining too much water, or if your weight gain is excessively low, chat to your doctor or midwife. They’ll advice you on how much weight you should be gaining and if your baby is developing properly.
Once your little one is born, breastfeeding will burn calories, and you’ll probably be so wrapped up in being a mom, that a few extra kilos won’t matter. When you’re ready, you can take your baby for gentle walks, and soon you’ll be running after a busy toddler.
The guidelines are fairly simple:
- Meat and eggs must be cooked properly
- Eat only cheeses that have been pasteurised
- Alcohol and cigarettes are no-no’s
- Limit coffee and herbal teas to two cups a day
- If you’re allergy prone, avoid dairy, grains, peanuts and shellfish
- Stay away from preservatives, processed foods or unsaturated fats
- Reach for fruits instead of chocolate
- Take a prenatal vitamin and ‘listen’ to your body. If you’re craving strange things like sand, speak to your doctor.
Your baby’s very safe in your womb, so it’s ok to get intimate with your partner. Many women even have an increased libido. Refrain from sex if you notice an abnormal vaginal discharge, or if your doctor has cautioned against it.
If you experience bleeding, check with your doctor, especially if there’s also fever, pain, or a change in your baby’s movements.
Once your baby is born, sex may not interest you for a while, but if you give yourself time, your sex life will return to normal.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals. Meet the Living & Loving Team and our Online Experts.