Pregnancy brings with it a myriad of physical and emotional changes. From the very moment of conception, a woman's body embarks on a transformative process that goes through both visible physical changes and emotional adjustments.
What are common physical symptoms of pregnancy?
- Metallic taste in mouth - (known as Dysgeusia - this is actually caused by the fluctuation in pregnancy hormones (mainly oestrogen) which play a large role in moderating sense of taste!)
- Nausea + Vomiting - (also known as "morning sickness" - but these symptoms can occur at any time of the day. Hormonal changes and an increased sensitivity to certain smells and tastes are thought to contribute to this.)
- Increased urination - (As pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus exerts pressure on the bladder, leading to increased trips to the bathroom. This symptom is particularly pronounced during the first and third trimesters.)
- Sore breasts
- Food aversions
- Heightened sense of smell
- Light spotting
- Milky white vaginal discharge
- Light spotting
- Thicker or shinier hair
What are the emotional symptoms of pregnancy?
- Mood Swings: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can contribute to mood swings. Women may find themselves experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions, from joy and excitement to anxiety and sadness.
- Anxiety and Worry: Pregnancy often comes with a heightened sense of concern for both the mother's well-being and the health of the developing baby. This anxiety is normal, but excessive worry should be addressed with healthcare providers.
- Body Image and Self-Esteem: As the body undergoes rapid and sometimes unpredictable changes, women may struggle with body image issues and changes in self-esteem. Support from partners and healthcare providers can play a crucial role in addressing these concerns.
- Coping with Hormonal Shifts: Hormones play a substantial role not only in physical changes but also in emotional well-being. Coping with these shifts may require developing strategies such as engaging in relaxation techniques, exercise, and seeking emotional support.
Coping with the emotional impact of pregnancy
Pregnancy can leave you feeling happy, anxious, and exhausted - sometimes all at once. Even if you are basking in the happiness of your pregnancy, expecting a new baby can bring emotional stress.
The emotional stress alongside the mood changes and physical symptoms can leave you feeling not so positive about the pregnancy, and this is normal.
Not everyone will feel like they are blossoming in pregnancy, partly because of the emotional ups and downs but also because of the vulnerability that pregnancy brings. Especially for those parents who have become pregnant after a precious loss or following fertility treatment.
You can also experience depression in pregnancy known as antenatal depression. Approximately one in 10 pregnant women experience antenatal depression. The condition can vary and can affect women in different ways. Sometimes it can be hard to know if how you are feeling is normal or a sign of something more.
Symptoms of antenatal depression include:
- Feeling sad, low mood or tearful a lot of the time
- Feeling irritable or getting angry easily
- Losing interest in people
- Loss of appetite
- Eating too much
- Negative thoughts
- Feeling guilty or hopeless
- Struggling to concentrate
It is important to remember that each woman's experience is unique, and influenced by factors such as genetics, health, and individual circumstances. It's essential for expectant mothers to seek support from healthcare providers, loved ones, and even support groups to navigate the complexities of this transformative phase with confidence.
If you have access to myTamarin fertility support, book in a consultation with one of our nurses who can help you navigate the challenges that pregnancy can bring.
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