by Mary Howard, RN
Pregnancy is so much more than having a baby. It involves changes in mind, body and emotions. Hormones rage and emotions flare. Let’s look at some things to help you and your spouse understand the natural process of pregnancy and beyond.
Pregnancy is broken up into 3 trimester of 3 months each. About every 3 months, there is a major hormone shift. Just when you think you are getting a handle on this pregnancy thing, everything changes.
The first trimester, you may feel extreme sleepiness and tire easily. You think, “This baby is so tiny. Why does this make me so tired?!” It is hormone changes. Your body is giving you a reality check by letting you know that you will probably have to slow down a little and get more rest. If you are one of the special Moms, morning sickness will probably set in during this trimester.
Then you have another hormone shift and enter the second trimester. Morning sickness may diminish and you might notice absent-mindedness. A hearty appetite sets in and some of your energy comes back. You start to feel like you can handle this pregnancy thing. You’re not too big to feel like doing things.
The third trimester sets in with another hormone change. A very emotional time, you may cry at the drop of a hat or make a mountain out of a molehill. You begin to feel really big and may feel somewhat vulnerable. Your bladder gets really small, squashed, getting you ready for night time feedings! The third trimester is a wonderful time to sit with your spouse and feel the baby move and talk to your unborn.
During each stage of pregnancy, you may need the emotional support from your spouse for different reasons. With the morning sickness, you’ll need understanding and help washing some of the dishes. With the absent mindedness, maybe some reminders and joking to make light of your plight. During the end stages, when you feel so big and vulnerable, you will need a lot of emotional support from your spouse. Then, of course, when the big day comes, it is nice to have someone there that you don’t have to hide your feelings from, someone who wants to experience the joy and pain with you.
Guess what, after the baby comes the challenges that face a couple have just begun. Nighttime feedings and lack of sleep may make you edgy. This is a good time to discuss any major decisions before making them. Postpartum depression may happen in greater or smaller degrees or will be different from day to day. It is confusing to be depressed when you have this beautiful new baby, but it is real and partly another hormone change.
As your body moves organs back into their original position, about 3 or 4 months postpartum, your body may go through another hormone change. You may notice your hair coming out by the handful. If you are breast feeding, you may continue to have hormone changes that affect your feelings.
Many breast feeding Moms continue to have changes that may affect their relationship with their spouse. When you are nursing heavy the first 4 to 6 months you may need extra rest and have a tremendous appetite. If you think about it, you are still supporting your baby’s body almost completely, and the baby is much bigger than when you were pregnant.
Many times, you may notice a dislike to be touched by your spouse. This is not unusual, but you need to remember your spouses feelings and that he doesn’t have the same feelings. You may be tired after holding the baby all day and not want the bodily contact. Your spouse can help you out by taking the baby for a walk or just out of the same room. This allows Mom to have an emotional break from worrying about baby. This is also a wonderful bonding time for baby and Dad, time to be on their own.
Remember that your feelings will be different from your spouses feelings. Communication is always important in any relationship, but communication becomes especially needed when you have another life to consider. Be patient with each other and “Everything in Moderation,” and the birth of your baby can make your relationship healthier and stronger.
Mary Howard is a Registered Nurse, mother of two, and enjoys natural gardening. She hosts this Site: www.Powerlinehealth.com