Pregnancy is an amazing, exhausting, stressful, and inspiring experience. And there are many aspects to fertility and pregnancy that modern science has only recently begun to catalog. Indeed, the process of human reproduction is so complex and so intricate that it’s easy to confuse pregnancy fact with fiction. Perhaps because of this, some misconceptions and misinformation regarding pregnancy still exist to this day. First-time moms-to-be shouldn’t have to deal with misnomers and falsehoods related to their pregnancy, though. Fortunately, these pregnancy facts will keep expecting moms informed of some of the challenges –– and delights –– they’re about to encounter over the next nine months:
It’s notoriously difficult to predict if, or when, a woman will become pregnant. Though certain times of the month are more conducive to conception, women may become pregnant at virtually any time –– including while on their period. On the other hand, many couples do experience difficulty getting pregnant. In fact, between 10-12% of people (both men and women) struggle with infertility issues at some point in their life. Doctors typically recommend for couples to try and conceive for at least a year before they seek infertility treatment. Because many different factors contribute to whether or not conception occurs, it can be difficult to “plan” a pregnancy with any accuracy.
Your Body & Pregnancy
It’s an understatement to say that when a woman becomes pregnant, she’ll experience hormonal changes. That’s true, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. During pregnancy, it’s common for a woman’s heart to “work overtime” to accommodate the need for more blood and oxygen. And in addition to the well-known fetal girth, women’s feet and breasts are also likely to enlarge during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can even lead to fluctuations in a woman’s voice –– though those changes are not permanent and tend to abate after pregnancy has ended.
Pregnancy & Your Baby
Expecting mothers and their babies share an intimate connection that is even stronger than some people realize. Amazingly, infants in the womb are able to recognize their mother’s voice after around 30 weeks. That strong connection between mother and child does come with some risks though. Some are well-documented –– like how smoking or drinking can negatively affect prenatal development. Others are less well-known. For instance, there’s a connection between STDs and pregnancy. Women with certain sexually transmitted diseases can pass infections to their baby either before or during birth. That’s particularly scary given the fact that many STDs are asymptomatic. The good news is that doctors screen pregnant women for STDs –– among many other things –– during regular prenatal visits.
The relationship between a mother and infant in the womb is a strong one, but it’s also one that all mothers-to-be should understand well.
It’s natural for first-time moms to have a few questions they may feel uncomfortable asking. But it’s still important to ask them! A few pregnancy questions moms often ask include:
- Can I still have sex during pregnancy? Yes. Most of the time pregnant women can have sex safely without disturbing their baby. At a certain point late in the pregnancy, however, sex may no longer be possible.
- Can I work out during pregnancy? Somewhat. Light workouts like non-strenuous yoga or walks are great activities for pregnant women to explore. Check out these pregnancy fitness tips for moms to be.
- How long is a pregnancy really going to last? On average 280 days –– which is actually a little longer than nine months. But no two pregnancies are the same!
Is it Normal if . . .?
Many women feel worried if a pregnancy deviates from the norm in any way. Or they may feel concerned about continuing certain healthful activities while pregnant. The good news is that there is no such thing as a “normal” pregnancy. Some babies are delivered early. Others are late. Others via cesarean section. Some pregnant women experience intense food cravings or morning sickness. Others have much milder symptoms. Some babies are even born with teeth. At the end of the day, normal is such a relative term that moms-to-be don’t need to concern themselves too much over trivial issues. The only things that really matter are the health and happiness of mother and child.