People have a lot of questions about babies, from getting them to sleep through the night to teething. Let us back things up before we start worrying about solid food and first teeth. Let's talk about how we end up with babies — no, not quite that far. We mean pregnancy, people. And there are a lot of common pregnancy questions.
Whether you're trying to get pregnant, have a bun in the oven, or you are just a curious human being, you will probably have a lot of questions about the mystery that is pregnancy. We obviously know what is supposed to happen at the end of things, but the changes along the way are sometimes surprising. Is that supposed to happen? Is that meant to be there? And am I supposed to feel that? Know that you're not the only mom-to-be — or person — to have queries. That's why we have a handy-dandy guide. Take a look at the most common pregnancy questions — and their answers.
If you think that you might be pregnant — or you got that telltale positive reading on your pregnancy test — you will want to know exactly what to look for to be sure you're pregnant. The American Pregnancy Association says that signs differ from woman to woman, and even from pregnancy to pregnancy. That being said, one of the biggest clues is a late or missed period. The second most common thing according to the APA's poll is feeling nauseous followed by a change in breasts. Feeling queasy can be ambiguous because most people will be wondering whether they ate something off rather than thinking they're pregnant. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. At-home pregnancy tests can give accurate insight, but a professional will confirm things for sure.
Feeling knackered takes on a whole new meaning when you're pregnant — never mind when you actually have the baby. If you thought you were tired before, you might find that you've reached new levels of exhaustion while preggers. What to Expect reveals that fatigue/tiredness/drowsiness/mom brain is a common symptom many women experience in the first trimester of pregnancy. The reason is the body is undergoing some serious prep work to get ready for baby. It's building the placenta. Additionally, you're getting used to carrying some new weight around. The good news is that the tiredness normally goes away in the second trimester. But, it can start up again in the third. Experiencing severe systems that aren't going away? Speak to your doctor because anemia (iron deficiency) could be a problem. And remember that eating well and often and practicing self-care can help.
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Mamas want to know what they're in for so this is one of the common pregnancy questions. The Office On Women's Health reports that complications are defined as health problems that can impact the mother, the baby, or both. If women have health problems before they get pregnant, the issues might show up during pregnancy. This can happen with things like migraines, thyroid disease, asthma, and diabetes. Other new common complications that could happen during pregnancy include high blood pressure, depression, anemia, ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus), and preterm labor. Miscarriage is also on the list. It is important to be aware of changes in your pregnancy and to know the symptoms of complications. If you suspect something could be up, speak to your doctor/gyno.
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Active or more sloth-like, this is still one of the common pregnancy questions among mamas-to-be. It's something that you should ideally discuss with your health care provider at the start of the pregnancy. There is no cut-and-dry answer because it depends on a person's activity level before their pregnancy, what trimester they're in, the type of exercise they want to do, their pregnancy history, etc. Follow your doctor's advice above all else. In general, some moderate exercise is good for getting the body ready for the birth and boosting mood. KidsHealth.gov suggests that those who are pregnant avoid anything with bouncing, sudden changes of direction, and any activity where there is risk of abdominal injury. Listen to your body, don't push things, and watch out for any sudden symptoms. And remember to stay hydrated.
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This isn't a question that most people want to think about it, but people will find themselves Googling it. Miscarriage is defined as a pregnancy loss in the womb before 20 weeks. According to March of Dimes, the chances of a miscarriage happening to women who know they are pregnant are between 10 to 15 percent. Miscarriages are most common before the 12th week of pregnancy. That is why some parents wait until they are beyond the three-month mark before they announce they are expecting. But, pregnancy loss can still happen in the second trimester. Out of a 100, one to five moms can experience a miscarriage in their second trimester. Research is still being done to find out more about miscarriages but there are women who miscarry who eventually do have children. There are also more and more supportive networks for parents who have experienced a loss of pregnancy.
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Even those who don't know much about pregnancy will have heard the one about avoiding flying while pregnant. So, is it legit or an old wives' tale? Always check with your doctor because your situation might be different than someone else's. In general, the American Pregnancy Association says that it might be fine to travel by air during all stages of pregnancy. The best time is during the second trimester after people are passed the morning sickness and before baby bumps get too big. Major airlines with pressurized cabins are good while smaller planes are best avoided. Self reveals that airlines have varying guidelines for pregnant passengers. For example, some carriers will want signed notes from an obstetrician if you're close to your due date.
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Morning sickness is the thing that literally brings women to their knees in pain. So, having a rough idea of when it will end can *hopefully* be the bright light to get you through the queasiness. Unfortunately, there's no clear cut rule when it will end. We previously mentioned that it can be one of the first signs of pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association reports that nausea often starts around the sixth week of pregnancy and ends around the 12th week for most women. Note we said "most." Some pour souls can experience it into their second trimester and potentially for their entire pregnancy. If symptoms are severe, you could have hyperemesis gravidarum. Contact your obstetrician if you cannot keep food down and/or the symptoms are impacting your life. Complications could occur if you and your baby aren't getting enough nutrients.
When you're starting to grow a human being inside your belly, it would be nice if you had an idea about what it would be like beforehand, right? That is why this is obviously one of the common pregnancy questions. Listen up, soon-to-be-moms: The Mayo Clinic says many of the things that happen are invisible, but they happen quickly. A lot of hormones are at work and when everything gets going that's when the symptoms of fatigue and nausea will come on. In the first trimester, women might experience changes in appetite, including food aversions. Tender, swollen breasts can be a common complaint. Those who are expecting likely will have changes in going to the bathroom such as increased urination and constipation.
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There are over 6.13 million Google search results on how to prevent pregnancy stretch marks, people. Stretch marks occur during any rapid form of weight gain or loss, which is why they're common during pregnancy. What to Expect reports that 90 percent of women will experience love lines. They often show up between the 13th and 21st weeks of pregnancy on the hips, thighs, belly, breasts, and bum. Stretch marks can vary in color including pink, red, purple, tan, and brown. Staying well hydrated and keeping skin moisturized can help prevent stretch marks, per the American Pregnancy Association. There are lots of homemade stretch mark treatments and ready-made, mama-approved options. Exercise can also prevent stretch marks because it keeps the body elastic.
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Should you give up your occasional sushi dinner while pregnant or not? It's a big question for expecting women who love their sashimi. Check with your doctor about what you can and cannot eat, in general. The NHS states that it is usually safe to eat dishes with raw fish, including sushi, during pregnancy. But, it depends on the type of fish and whether or not it has been frozen. For instance, the NHS recommends avoiding shark, marlin, and swordfish, along with raw shellfish. The fish contain high levels of mercury and that could negatively impact the baby's nervous system development. Tuna should be limited because of the same reasons. Pregnant women shouldn't have more than two portions of oily fish (herring, sardines, salmon, etc.) per a week. Some raw fish, like salmon, can contain parasitic worms (i.e. anisakis) and they can cause health problems. Depending on how the fish were raised, freezing can kill the worms and make it safe to eat.
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You might not have wondered whether it's alright to get a tattoo while pregnant, but you have probably considered whether it's a-okay to get a bikini wax while preggers. People have a lot of thoughts on it and you might have heard some interesting stories. Check with your obstetrician and consider the kind of wax. (e.g. classic bikini or Brazilian wax) BabyMed says that waxing is generally safe for most women who are expecting, but the experience might be more unpleasant than normal due to an increased sensitivity from the higher hormone levels during pregnancy. Although, some mamas-to-be might consider it good prep for childbirth... Infection and ingrown hairs are things to be careful of, especially when you might not be able to see what's going on down there because of the baby bump.
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"How do I figure out how far along I am?" might be the most common thing a women will ask her health care professional after "Is it a boy or a girl?" There are all sorts of convenient pregnancy calculator apps and websites that factor in cycle dates, last periods, ultrasounds, dates of conception, and more. The problem is some women might not have an accurate answer to those questions or they might not have a regular cycle. The professionals can give more insight into how far along you are with ultrasounds and by measuring the size of the uterus. Just know that even if a professional gives you a due date, it's not necessarily set in stone. Due dates can change slightly depending on the unknowns that go along with pregnancy math (hello irregular periods) and with other factors like having an above average fundal height (the distance from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus).
If you're going to find out the sex of your baby, an ultrasound is normally the way to do it, right? There are some old wives tales with coins and baby bump shapes, but they're guesses more than anything else. According to Baby Center, an ultrasound performed mid-pregnancy (16 to 20 weeks), is typically the method to determine a baby's sex. But, know that it isn't foolproof. Baby Center says a baby's vulva or penis can begin forming as early as six weeks, though they can sometimes be difficult to tell apart even after weeks of growth. And we cannot discount human error.
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Ah, gas. When you're pregnant, it can sometimes feel like you have eaten eight bean burritos at all times. Sorry to get real, but it's true. So what's up with the pregnancy farts? Gas pain is common during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, according to Medical News Today. It can lead to cramps, bloating, and abdominal pain. The reason for the gas, like many things during pregnancy, has to do with hormones and body changes. Just be mindful of abdominal pain because it is also the symptom for other pregnancy complications like Braxton Hicks Contractions (aka "practice" contractions) and Round Ligament Pain, states the American Pregnancy Association.
If you are a proper latte-slinging caffeine addict, the thought of having no coffee for nine months might be unfathomable. Should moms-to-be avoid caffeine completely? It's a tricky one because there's varying information on it, points out the American Pregnancy Association. What is for sure is that caffeine is a stimulant, a diuretic (promotes production of urine), and it can cross through the placenta to the baby. The APA suggests avoiding caffeine as much as possible during pregnancy because none of these things are the best for the pregnancy or baby. Others suggest moderating caffeine levels, at the very least. Remember that caffeine isn't just in coffee. It can be lurking in chocolate, soda, tea, and even some medications.
This is something that many expectant women might type into Google after another crazy night. LiveScience reveals that in a study comparing pregnant women to non-pregnant women, the pregnant bunch reported more intense dreams and nightmares. HuffPost says common examples include conception dreams and ones about giving birth to inanimate objects or animals! The raised hormones levels during pregnancy impact emotions and in turn dreams. WebMD elaborates that the wild pregnancy dreams can be linked to how a woman's body is changing and what trimester she's in. We suggest keeping a baby dream journal for insight and for entertainment. It would be something interesting to look back on or to reference with any additional pregnancies.
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We have covered the coffee lovers now let us cover the mamas-to-be who love wine o'clock. Wondering whether pregnant women can drink their favorite glass of red or rosé is one of the common pregnancy questions. A Harvard Health Blog from 2018 says, "Drinking a little alcohol early in pregnancy may be okay." That is contrast from a lot of studies that have said to avoid alcohol completely. "While not drinking any alcohol during pregnancy is the safest choice, small amounts of alcohol early in pregnancy may be less risky to the mother's health and the health of their babies than previously believed," the blog reported on the findings in the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Minimal alcohol during the first trimester doesn't appear to impact birth weight or blood pressure, according to the report.
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When mamas are coming to the end of their 40 weeks, they will likely be thinking a lot about this one. Childbirth prenatal classes can offer important information and some birthing positions to make things easier. Trying to chill out is one of the biggest things. Yes, we know that you are going to be giving birth to a new life, but trying to keep zen about things will make it easier on you. It's also a good idea to have a rough birthing plan. Discuss with your S.O., parents, and anyone involved in the delivery how things should ideally go when you go into labor. Do you have a babysitter or cat-sitter on standby? Do you have a bag packed? Connecting with other women who have had children, like friends and family, can offer reassurance and insight.