Lifestyle

The Struggles of Pregnancy

A note to the women out there reading this article who have already experienced pregnancy and may relate to the struggles associated with it, and to the women who have never been pregnant, remember, that at the end of the day as challenging as it may sound, it will surely be a worthwhile experience.

Pregnancy brings a lot of joy and excitement to a relationship, however, it also comes with its struggles. When asking women to give an account of their experience during pregnancy, we will learn that not all women pass through the same symptoms. Some women may tell you that they have enjoyed pregnancy, whilst others couldn’t bear the side effects. 

Swelling

Swelling may be experienced at any point during pregnancy, but it tends to be more noticeable around the fifth month and can increase while you are in the third trimester. During pregnancy, the body produces approximately fifty percent more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the developing baby. This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, enabling it to expand as the baby develops. It also helps prepare the pelvic joints and tissues to open up for delivery. Swelling is most likely to occur in the hands, face, legs, ankles and feet and it is a known fact that the extra fluids account for approximately twenty-five percent of the weight women gain during pregnancy.

Certain determining factors of swelling may also be the heat during the summer months, standing for long periods of time, having a diet low in potassium, high levels of caffeine consumption and sodium intake.

The struggles of undertaking daily tasks

Anyone who has been pregnant can relate to this! As the belly of a pregnant woman starts to grow, it is more difficult and challenging for a woman to perform the day-to-day tasks that she is used to do regularly. If washing of the dishes was considered as a simple task and only took a few minutes, now this will take longer.

A pregnancy struggle which most women will relate to is the shaving of the legs. A pregnant woman will start to find it hard to shave her legs as her belly would be blocking all possible views. Another daily struggle of a pregnant woman is that of tying her shoes before going to work or when something falls on the floor, making it difficult to reach out for it.

Sleep deprivation

For most women, pregnancy is a time of serious sleep deprivation, even for those who never had problems with sleeping. The reason for sleep deprivation during pregnancy is the change in hormone levels. Hormonal changes also have an effect on the muscles, which may result in sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder which occurs when the throat muscles relax and the breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. 

Another factor which could potentially lead to sleep disturbances whilst being pregnant is the frequent trips to the bathroom. The reason for the frequent trips to the bathroom is mainly due to a hormone referred to as hCG. Most commonly in the third trimester, the uterus of the woman starts pressing down on the bladder, increasing the urge to go to the toilet.

Another common problem during pregnancy is leg cramps. Leg cramps are painful spasms in the calves. Studies show that doctors are still unsure why leg cramps occur during pregnancy. Many associate these cramps with fatigue as women carry the extra weight.

Thought pregnancy was easy? Think again!

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