Motherhood is one of the most beautiful, unique experiences of life- and that’s what everyone pretty much tells you about it. The truth in fact is, it can also be quite a quivering experience.
Movies and novels often show us the cute little things like morning sickness, frequent bathroom trips, weight gain (obviously), food cravings which all seem justified if you are making a baby inside your own damn body but there are also some ‘not so cute’ things that remain under wraps, and are often neglected.
Unfortunately, nearly half of the women suffer from constipation at some point or the other during pregnancy, and experience abdominal pain, discomfort, infrequent bowel movements, and the passage of hard stools. One of the primary reasons behind this is the increase in progesterone hormone, which relaxes all the smooth muscles, including your digestive tract. This leads to slow digestion of food through your intestines leading to constipation, which is also exacerbated by the fact that all the extra iron and calcium in your prenatal vitamins which are binding in nature.
If you have constipation, the chances of you getting haemorrhoids increase. Haemorrhoids are most common in pregnant women who experience constipation.
As the foetus grows, your uterus is enlarged which begins to press against your pelvis, leading to a lot of pressure on the veins near your anus and rectum. This often results in swollen and painful veins in your rectum region.
Haemorrhoids are pretty common during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester when the enlarged uterus starts putting pressure on the veins.
3. Your uterus becomes the size of watermelon
It may be a little scary to know that your uterus usually the size of an avocado, ends up becoming the size of a watermelon during childbirth. However, the miraculous things our body is capable of- it also ends up shrinking to its original size within a period of 5-7 weeks. This physiological process is called involution, and occurs after parturition; when the hypertrophy of the uterus has to be undone since it does not need to keep the fetus in it anymore.
4. Postpartum depression is a very real thing
It is a familiar routine to experience ‘baby blues’ or ‘feel empty’ immediately after giving birth for a few days. Generally, this feeling subsides within a week- but it is also not atypical for women to experience extreme periods of sadness and detachment from the baby for weeks post birth, in which case, they may be suffering from postpartum depression. A lot of people confuse postpartum depression with baby blues but the symptoms and after-effects of the former are more intense and long-lasting which can also potentially interfere in the mother properly caring for the new born. One in every eight woman experiences postpartum depression.
Some of the symptoms of postpartum depression are-
- Excessive mood swings
- Always feeling overwhelmed and restless
- Excessive emotional outbursts
- Having thoughts of hurting the baby
- Having thoughts of hurting yourself
- Detachment from your baby
It is important to know that postpartum depression isn’t a character flaw or a weakness, but a mental illness that can be perfectly treated with prompt attention.
5. You may poop during childbirth
So here is the thing, the muscles that help us poop are the same muscles that also help a pregnant mother push the baby out. So it is understandable why women passing stool during childbirth is a normal contingency. Earlier enemas were used prior to labor but their use has almost been expunged since apart from being plain uncomfortable for women they did not even help the situation much.
One may be worried about the medical professionals in the room as well as their family, however, the last thing you need to worry about is the doctors since most of them are quite familiar and easy to the sight. And as far as your family members are concerned, they will be more worried about you and with all the blood coming out- they won’t notice poop which even if it comes out, the nurses in the room wipe away quickly.
In fact according to medical professionals, “If women poop during the delivery, they are using the right muscles.”
However, the good news is that when its all said and done, all these ‘scary’ things during and after pregnancy are usually pretty common and totally normal, and often make for good stories.