Deanna D. Midwifery is committed to providing exceptional prenatal care for expectant mothers in the Richland, Kennewick, Pasco, and rural Tri-Cities regions. Our lead midwife is, as you probably could have guessed, Deanna D., who is a Certified Midwife as well as a WHNP (Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner). What that means for our patients is that you are receiving midwife services and care from someone who has the quality of education to pair with over ten years of experience as a midwife practicing prenatal care.

With that in mind, we are confident that our patients, past, present, and future, will be satisfied by the care received while working with Deanna D. Midwifery. We have the experience, knowledge, and, perhaps most importantly, quality people who care about the entirety of your pregnancy and birthing experience.

Now that we have you thinking about pregnancy, today’s post is going to be an entry into pregnancy symptoms, maternal expectations, and what to look out for if you are expecting. Keep reading if you would like some tips or would like a refresher about what kind of experiences the expectant can…expect!

First Thing Is First: Blame Your Parents

Before we get too far deep here, let’s outline the specific symptoms and conditions that might be hereditary, because if there is one bit of solace that can get you through these nine months, it’s the ability to blame your mom or dad. Just kidding, but it is helpful to know what your prospects are of experiencing certain conditions over others:

  • Having An Enormous Child – While we aren’t dealing in absolutes, expectant mothers should understand their proclivity to have large babies if, namely, they themselves were a large baby (or the father was). So go ahead and ask your parents if you never have before. Typically, the child will be heavier if the mother is heavier as well. Just something to keep in mind, do with that information what you will.
  • Hormones In The Gall Bladder –  You may or not be familiar with cholestasis. Either way, cholestasis can be qualified as a common liver disease which arises exclusively during pregnancy. It is typically hereditary, causes severe itching, and is characterized by the inhibition of bile flowing in the gallbladder. Midwives and physicians usually see cholestasis occur in the third trimester. Although the condition itself remains somewhat of a mystery, it is known to be correlated to a genetic predisposition. Only one or two women per thousand are affected, however.
  • Fertility Struggles – We hate to say it, but genes play a significant role in whether couples are able to conceive or not. But the good news is that only some fertility issues are affected by hereditary factors. It might be worth having an open conversation with the women in your family so you have a better understanding of what your genes are bringing to the table. But don’t worry! With advancements in technology, people are more able than ever to overcome fertility difficulties, so don’t lose hope.

Genes play a role in more factors than the ones listed above. Others include the likelihood of twins(!), Postpartum depression, morning sickness, and others. For the purposes of this blog, we won’t be covering all of them. But the good news is that no matter your obstacle, you have a certified midwife at your service if you find yourself within the Tri-Cities area.

Pregnancy Hormones

We all understand that hormones play a significant role in a pregnancy, but we usually reduce that vague statement down to something like, “women have funny cravings for food while they are pregnant”. While true, this is something of a hasty generalization. Let’s take a closer look.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms

The announcer of pregnancy, as it is sometimes known as, is the hormone hCG, which is likewise also known as human chorionic gonadotropin. The presence of hCG in one’s urine or blood is what’s being tested when you take a pregnancy test. Once the placenta is developed, “it” will take over the stabilization duties for hormones like estrogen and progesterone. But before this time, hCG is the great arbiter of those two hormones, interestingly enough.

But why should we care about hCG? Because there are side-effects which you are likely to notice as an expectant mother. A spike in hCG (it will double within the first two weeks of pregnancy alone) can lead to an increase in bladder sensitivity. So the next time that someone calls you a “butterfly bladder” you can tell them 1. You are more than what you do and refuse to be defined by an arbitrary occurrence. 2. You can tell them that it’s not your fault because it’s the increase in hCG levels causing an increase in blood flow around your bladder. Tell them it’s natural, tell them it’s science. That should do the trick.

Estrogen And Progesterone

During a pregnancy, two of the most important hormones in play are the previously mentioned progesterone and estrogen. If you were to boil it down, most doctors and researchers would agree that these two hormones play a massive role in many of the symptoms related to pregnancy. Among them are a few of the following:

  • Heartburn – As progesterone levels go up, the mother’s capability to have her smooth-muscle tissue contract diminishes. This has a utility; the uterus needs to expand without painful muscle contractors throughout the course of the term. But this occurrence is not without casualty, as other smooth muscles, like the lower esophageal sphincter, may experience a similar kind of smooth-muscle change. In turn, this could lead to acid reflux. Keep in mind a change in diet, if said change is heavy in fats, oils, and sweets, could also be a contributing factor to the increase in heartburn.
  • Tiredness And Fatigue – progesterone can flat out make you tired- there’s no two ways about it. The hormone acts in the same way as some sleeping pills, to put it into context. Once you are in the second trimester, however, your energy levels should bounce back. But if those around you don’t know that fact, we won’t tell if you want to squeeze an extra nap or two out of it.
  • Smelling Changes – Don’t be alarmed if your sense of smell becomes much more sensitive, or changes altogether. This is a common change which can also be attributed to fluctuations in hormones. Expectant mothers consistently report liking novel smells while strongly disliking (to the point of repulsion and sickness) smells that were formerly innocuous or even pleasant.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed part one of the series on what you can expect in regards to pregnancy symptoms. In our next post, we are going to focus more on the emotional side of the experience of pregnancy, as well as outline what to expect in the second and third trimesters.

Although we’ve explored a good deal of territory today, the world of prenatal care, midwifery, and pregnancy is vast. We will not be able to cover every intricate aspect, but we will do our best to provide useful and interesting information. The truth is that there is no replacement for experience and knowledge. You can find both of those at Deanna D. Midwifery,  where our antenatal clinic provides Tri-Cities’ expectant mothers with the soundness of care that they and their little one deserve. If you are interested in learning more about what our midwifery services entail, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today! We would love to hear from you.