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Pregnancy is a wonderful experience during which a woman develops an intimate relationship with her child. Most mothers, even if they’ve had a difficult pregnancy, have kept emotional memories of the first time they felt the baby kick or turn. But there’s one other important thing that pregnancy does; namely, it changes your body. There is a big difference between understanding that your body will carry a baby for nine months, and experiencing some of the changes that occur in your body during this time. Being pregnant can affect your health, before and even after birth in many ways. Consequently, it is important to understand some of the risks that pregnancy can present to your body and how to manage them.
The Dangers Of ICP
You may experience some itching during your pregnancy. It can be pretty common, especially with the high level of hormones in the blood. Similarly, you may find that your abdomen becomes itchy as the skin expands. The main problem with itchiness is that it can be the symptom of something much more serious, called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) – see my pregnancy story here –, which is a liver condition. ICP causes your bile acids to build up in your body, which can increase the risk of premature birth or stillbirth. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, and it usually disappears after birth. However, women who develop ICP need to be monitored closely. It’s not uncommon for pregnant women with ICP to be offered an induction of labour around 37-38 weeks, or later in my case.
When Your Blood Sugar Level Goes Haywire
Just like ICP is diagnosed via a blood test, another more common pregnancy complaint can be too – gestational diabetes. Some women can develop diabetes during their pregnancy, and while there is no cure, it is also an issue that usually disappears after birth. However, it is important to keep your weight gain under control and to exercise regularly throughout the pregnancy. If you leave your diabetes uncontrolled, the high sugar levels in your blood can cross the placenta, increasing the risk of birth problems or even stillbirth. You should aim to try to stick to a healthy fitness programme through your pregnancy.
The Importance Of Healthy Pelvic Floor Muscles
It’s not uncommon for women who have given birth to overstretch their pelvic floor muscles. As a result, the pelvic floor might feel heavy. You might also experience weaknesses, which can unfortunately result in accidental leaks, and may be a sign that you need to regularly exercise your pelvic floor muscles to regain full control. In the meantime, there’s no need to panic, as you can find simple solutions for temporary incontinence. Stores like https://dryandcool.co.uk offer elegant and washable underwear, for instance. Unfortunately you need to be patient as it can take some time to strengthen your pelvic muscles again, especially if you’ve had a difficult birth. But with regular exercises, you should get back to your normal self.
The Baby Fat That Won’t Go
Last, but not least, is the dilemma of the baby fat. Losing the baby belly can take some time, but you’ll find it easier if you’ve kept active throughout the pregnancy. If you choose to breastfeed, your body will burn in average 5500 calories a day, which can be helpful to lose the pregnancy weight. Don’t rush into a fitness programme though; your body needs to recover from the birth.