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Old 21-02-14, 06:41   #1
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Default What It Feels Like To Be Pregnant

What It Feels Like To Be Pregnant

What does it feel like to be pregnant? Quite a number of young women, who have never been pregnant, often pose this question. Even men are not left out of the wonderment about the mystery of pregnancy —usually to the amusement —or irritation of their wives, and other women.

A mother of five put it this way – if you have never been through it, or if you’re a man— it’s hard to imagine what it feels like to be pregnant. However, the urge to know is strong. Below are series of responses from women describing everything you need to know about what pregnancy feels like, and why it feels that way.

Morning sickness
How many women have suddenly realised they’re pregnant after an unexplained bout of vomiting? Morning sickness is a classic pregnancy symptom, starting around the sixth week of pregnancy, by which time a woman has likely already missed a menstrual period. By the way,“morning sickness” is not always accompanied by vomiting, nor is it limited to the morning.
Usually, morning sickness is caused by rapidly changing hormonal levels, particularly a hormone called HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG levels increase rapidly in early pregnancy and play a role in the signaling chain that causes the hormone progesterone to spike, which in turn makes the uterus a welcoming, blood-rich place for a fertilized egg to implant.

In early pregnancy, HCG levels are expected to basically double every two to three days. Pregnancy tests detect HCG levels, which eventually deplete. A 36-week pregnant woman can take a urine test for pregnancy and have it come back negative because her HCG levels are no longer so high.

First-trimester fatigue
This is a symptom which although far more common than morning sickness, is less heralded. You just get so tired even doing nothing.
A woman doesn’t look pregnant yet (and may not have shared the news), but often feels as worn-down as she will throughout the entire pregnancy. A woman who related her first pregnancy experience recalled: “In the first trimester, I would feel fine one minute and the next second I would feel as if I hadn’t slept in a week.
Simple, routine chores like cooking dinner or going to the grocery store felt like running a marathon. Experts agree that fatigue in early pregnancy is probably caused by the extra work a woman’s body is putting into the pregnancy. Fortunately, the fatigue typically lifts by week 12 or13 of pregnancy.

Growing mammary glands
Blossoming breasts are another pregnancy symptom. Some of the growth is caused by extra fat deposits laid down by the body in anticipation of gestation and nursing, the rest is hormonally driven growth of the mammary tissue that will produce and deliver milk to the baby.
Breasts often start swelling long before the baby bump, probably to ensure that a baby born early may be able to breast feed. Early-pregnancy patients need not worry that the rapid breast growth they see in the first trimester will continue throughout the pregnancy. They will stop growing, for sure.

Relaxing joints
One of the odder pregnancy sensations is that of the joints relaxing. Birth involves getting a baby’s large head through the pelvic opening.
As part of this process, the body starts releasing a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy, softening the cartilage connection at the pubic bone called the pubic symphysis. Relaxin isn’t targeted at this joint in particular, however, so it can make the rest of a woman’s joints feel loose and unstable, too.
Relaxin can lead to aching sensations in the pelvis and other loosening joints, but that’s a good thing. Many women do not notice any pre-delivery loosening of their joints even when their contractions during labour pull open their cervix at the head of the uterus, widening their pelvic bones.

Weight gain
A woman who is normal weight will generally gain 11 – 16 kilograms during pregnancy. On average, about 3.4 kg of this is the foetus itself, according to the Olson Center for Women’s Health at the Nebraska Medical Center. Another 0.4 kg is the placenta.
The breasts gain about a 0.5 kg and women usually add about 3.4 kg in maternal energy stores, or fat. Another 1.6 kg is water weight, and 1.4 kg is blood. Yes, pregnant women have more blood — up to 50 percent more than they did before pregnancy.So what does that weight gain feel like? It can be frustrating at first. Before women start obviously showing (at around 20 weeks for a first pregnancy), they may feel bloated and fat, or find their clothes don’t fit.
Before pregnancy, the uterus is about the size of a pear and sits low in the pelvis. By the time a woman is full-term, the organ weighs 5- 6 kg and extends up to the ribcage. Unsurprisingly, that front-loaded weight gain can stress the lower back and sometimes put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing numbness and shooting pain down the leg. The baby bump can also get in the way of everyday activities.

Baby kicking
Unlike aching joints or daily nausea, the feeling of the foetus moving is a pregnancy side effect most women welcome. At first, baby’s kicks are easy to mistake for gas bubbles, but they gradually grow in strength into unmistakable jabs.

Last edited by jenkins4; 02-03-14 at 00:05.
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