The Unseen Side of Pregnancy

The Unseen Side of Pregnancy

Last year ELLE editorial team has had a baby boom and I really feel like most of my colleagues have been pregnant at some point. And because I was surrounded by so many pregnant women, I noticed the enthusiasm, concern and caution awaiting the birth of their baby. They were eating super – healthy, drink plenty of water and grudgingly refused to taste Carpaccio, sushi or other raw meat delicacies. And of course, we can’t even talk about alcohol and tobacco.

But, as I was about to find out in the interviews I took for this article, these are some of the most insignificant sacrifices that women make for the sake of motherhood. But being a fine observer, I was able to relax in one respect, namely, that, apparently, motherhood is not the death of beauty. And from what I hear, nor of passion. I confess that I have always had apocalyptic vision on how the pregnancy affects us physically. More specifically, I imagine that after pregnancy, from a slender girl I’ll turn into one with a Somali belly and long breasts like the naked women from pygmy tribes. Therefore, so far I correlated the idea of becoming a mother with a savings account dedicated to plastic surgery correction. And this fear can come true, especially if you take into account the proverb according to which “What you fear, you can not escape”. But motherhood requires so many changes that occur during gestation, as well as afterward, that a girl like me (who does not even have a friend with a child) would have never suspected.

“To a mother pregnancy is a strain to which she adapts through a series of hormonal changes of all organs and systems. But the most noticeable change is the increase in weight. It may be higher or lower depending on the constitution of those women, lifestyle, eating habits or even the desire to not make pregnancy an illness. There are changes of the center of gravity that occur due to the positioning of the pregnant uterus, with emphasis of lordosis and, in compensation, kyphosis occurs. In this context it is not indicated to wear high heels or extra pounds, just to diminish the emphasis of these problems. But all these do not represent risks in the context of a normal pregnancy. Other signs that scare the young mothers are modified skin: hyperpigmentation of the nipple area, vulva, anus and the white line, especially the chloasma gravidarum (facial hyperpigmentation) and stretch marks. In general, hyperpigmentation stops after birth, while stretch marks diminish and turn white. But gum bleeding, morning sickness, feelings of irritability and cravings for affection are some effects of pregnancy that can scare you in the first instance, if you’re a woman, and you can make a run for it if you’re a man”, says Dr. Doina Mihailescu, specialist in obstetrics and gynecology in the private health network Regina Maria.

These are predictable changes which our mothers told us about, and which are described in detail throughout the books for pregnant women. But because pregnancy is a period of transition, no one is alarmed at their detection than, perhaps, in a first phase. But what is really interesting in my opinion are the changes that stay for life, as soon as you can call yourself a mom.

“At first, obviously there is a decrease of libido, plus sudden mood changes. But the good news is that all these troubles pass with the birth and the end of puerperium. But some of the changes are kept for a longer period or permanently: excess weight, changing clothes or shoes measures, overhaul breasts, lower consistency tissue or excessive hair loss”, says Dr. Monica Pandrea, MD in obstetrics gynecology at the Medical Center Focus. And according to the mothers who told me their stories (some of them begging me to censor their name for obvious reasons), this is not everything. Because the hormonal storm that happens in our body during pregnancy can sometimes have unpredictable results.


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Foto credit: Felipe Fernandes, Flickr