In our previous installment of this two part series, we surveyed a few different topics, along with how each related to the pregnancy experience as a whole. We took a look at the roles of progesterone and estrogen, and how they related to fatigue, a changing sense of smell, and even heartburn. But before that we dipped our feet into the world of pregnancy symptoms and hereditary factors. That is no small topic of conversation, and may yet merit another blog post down the road. But for now, you can remember that genes can play a role in fertility struggles, having large children, and a liver issue called cholestasis which causes severe itching and dark urine.
One important takeaway for all of those issues is to remember that your fate is not sealed, regardless of your situation. While past family members may have struggled to naturally conceive, your case might prove to turn out differently. So don’t lose hope! It’s never a good idea to read myriad of articles about something, freak yourself out to the point that you are convinced you have x condition, and then give up hope without even seeing your friendly local midwife named Deanna D. Seek professional medical care if you are in doubt at all.
Today’s post is going to center on the more emotional aspects of pregnancy, in reference to where these emotions come from and how one can counteract some of the more volatile feelings that can typically arise. Continue to read if you are an expectant mother looking for tips, or perhaps are in need of more holistic antenatal care. Deanne D. Midwifery has you covered.
The First Trimester
We touched on aspects of the first trimester in our previous post, but it will be helpful to take a more in-depth look. The first trimester is usually characterized by an influx of hormones and new experiences. There are anxious moments, extremely happy, and wondrous moments to ponder as well. Many don’t realize that one of the most significant periods of the pregnancy is the acceptance of the pregnancy by the mother. Some may be apprehensive or afraid, which makes complete sense. But if you experience a degree of self-doubt – as in “Am I going to be a good parent?” – rest easy, you are not the first mother to feel like that, and you most certainly won’t be the last.
The Second Trimester
Weeks 13 to 27 are often referred to as the “honeymoon” period of pregnancy. Emotions aren’t quite as volatile, the queasiness lessens, and your sex drive will usually return, stronger than ever! You probably will have a good deal more energy once week 13 comes about as well. This is also the period where you are most likely to feel your baby move for the first time! Your little one was squirming about before week 13, but you probably just couldn’t feel them yet.
Your breasts will continue to grow during this time, but they aren’t likely to be as tender as they were in the first trimester. As your body prepares for breastfeeding, other changes around the nipples take place. Bumps will start to take shape during the second trimester, when an oily fluid will begin to be produced, which will keep the nipples from drying out. During this time, colostrum might secrete from your nipples.
While your hormones may have marginally subsided since the opening twelve weeks of pregnancy, by and large your hormones are still spiking, so don’t expect a return to inner normalcy any time soon. Often, a significant point of inner turmoil is centered around weight gain. Mothers know they need to gain weight in order to have a healthy child, but are conflicted by a fear of not being able to lose the gained-weight. Other responses to hormones include a continued feeling of fatigue and a perceived loss of desirability.
Another aspect of the second trimester has to do with the ability to determine the health of the baby. Advances in technology make it easier than ever to know minute details, but it is up to the parents to determine how much of a peak behind the curtain they actually would like. Testing for various conditions before birth can emotionally and mentally prepare parents for an atypical lifestyle, but ultimately it is up to the parents to decide. Of course, if you or a loved one is having trouble, or would even like a professional to serve as a sounding board, consider the certified midwife services at Deanna D. Midwifery, our antenatal clinic of the Tri-Cities.
The end is in site, but it is far, far off. The third trimester is characterized by anticipation of the big event, more often than not. Unfortunately, your hormones are still in high-gear, while sleeping becomes much more of a physical issue than an internal struggle.
For this period, self-care is incredibly important. This is the time to consider what is happening; to take note of the amazing thing that is happening within, and what is about to unfold. Go to a spa, take walks (if you’re up for it), pamper yourself, journal, or whatever you feel like doing that makes you feel like…you!
Nesting is an important period for expectant mothers, because it allows them the opportunity to look forward to the future with hope and expectation, as opposed to fear and anxiety about the birth. Setting up your child’s room in all of its detail is a healthy activity which is practical as well!
But, back to labor and the birth. Don’t feel crazy because you are scared. It is natural to feel that way. But those anxieties can have a mind of their own if left unchecked. We recommend having honest, open discussions with your partner, family (if you want), and your midwife or physician. Having an outlet where you can name your fears will often help understand and better control those unnamed emotions, that many didn’t even realize were in there.
At the end of the day, it’s important to feel secure in your pregnancy care, as it is a sense of comfort and control during a novel experience. We understand that at Deanna D. Midwifery, which is why we are committed to providing the best prenatal care in the area. More and more women are choosing certified midwives and prenatal care clinics. We are proud to offer exceptional antenatal care and other midwife services to Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, and beyond. If you are trying to find a midwife, look no further than Deanna D. Midwifery. With Deanna D., our Certified Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, we offer care and support from prenatal nutrition to newborn infant care. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services!