Even if you’re having the healthiest and happiest pregnancy, there’ll be days when you can’t help but wrestle with conflicting emotions: the itchy skin, your disappearing waistline and passing gas like a whoopee cushion, not to mention the many fears about your developing baby.
If the pregnancy blues are hitting you big time, it may be time to remind yourself of the fun bonuses this “blossoming” period brings. Count your many blessings with us:
1) Glossy thick hair
It’s no fluke that you now have locks so lustrous, they’ll put Kate Middleton’s bouncy blowout to shame. Thanks to an increase in the oestrogen hormone during your second trimester, your hair stops shedding, so your tresses will be the thickest they’ve ever been. After giving birth, you’ll start to shed any hair you hadn’t lost during pregnancy — and in copious amounts all at once, for some! To counter that, increase your intake of fruit and veggies, as these contain antioxidants and flavonoids that promote hair growth. Or try special shampoos and hair tonics.
2) Strong shiny nails
Around the fourth month, you’ll start noticing that your nails are growing faster. If you usually have brittle ones, you’ll also notice your nails are getting thicker, harder and shiner. Strong nails are a good sign that you (and baby) are getting enough protein.
Thanks to an increase in the oestrogen hormone during your second trimester, your hair stops shedding, so your tresses will be the thickest they’ve ever been.
3) Radiant complexion
That celebrated pregnancy glow that most mums look forward to usually kicks in during the second trimester. You may notice that everyone is suddenly complimenting your clearer and brighter skin. You can thank the hormonal surge, more active oil glands and the increase in blood volume for this (the latter brings more blood to the skin and gives it natural luminosity).
Your skin becomes more sensitive while you’re expecting, so it’s best to use a mild, fragrance-free hydrating cleanser on face and body.
4) You’re encouraged to eat well!
Studies show that what you eat can affect bubba’s health and IQ in the long run. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t, from time to time, succumb to that midnight char kway teow craving or treat yourself to French toast and pancakes for brunch! Just remember to heed your paedi’s weight suggestions (you only need to increase your caloric intake in the second and third trimesters, by 300 calories a day).
5) Heightened senses
Your sense of smell and taste is heightened during pregnancy — so much so that you can even smell things quite a few metres away. The downside is that your colleague’s pongy perfume is is now bothering you and you want to hurl whenever you walk past a wet market. Yet, these are the same senses that make your food taste especially delicious — yum!
Wanna know more “pros” of pregnancy? Read on…
6) Bigger boobs
An increase in the size of your breasts is usually one of the first signs of pregnancy — they become swollen and tender as a result of the increased levels of oestrogen (that helpful hormone again) and progesterone. The best part is that they aren’t done growing yet (yay!), even though you can’t wait to show off your newfound cleavage.
Your breasts will usually continue to enlarge throughout your pregnancy — sometimes by a cup size or even two — so, you many need to replace your bras several times during those nine months.
7) Beautiful belly
After years spent trying to “suck it in”, you can finally let it hang out and breathe. Once your bump grows, you’ll have this beautiful belly to show off. Don’t hide it under baggy clothes — opt for figure-flattering garments that will accent your new shape in a favourable way. Bodycon dresses are super-comfy. Watching you blossom will also make your man very happy as the sight of your pregnant body is a constant reminder of his virility, too.
It’s common for mums-to-be to get an overwhelming desire to clean and organise the house.
Nesting is the natural female instinct to prepare for birth — it’s common for mums-to-be to get an overwhelming desire to clean and organise the house as their due date approaches. Don’t fight this feeling, because it’s going to be a long time before you will even want to do laundry after bubba arrives. Instead, take advantage of all this energy, get some decluttering tips and interior decorating inspiration (pinterest?) and hit the furniture stores.
9) No more period cramps…
…For at least 9 months! Your menses will return eventually after you give birth, but for now, you don’t have to worry about those pesky monthly visits and the accompanying abdominal cramps. By the way, some women find that the menstrual pain ebbs ceases altogether after childbirth. A possible explanation is that these women will have fewer prostaglandin-receptor sites (they trigger contraction) in the uterus.
10) Increased sex drive
Just because you’re preggers doesn’t mean that all the boudoir fun has to stop. In fact, the extra oestrogen and progesterone hormones fizzing around you in your second trimester will increase vaginal lubrication, make your breasts and nipples extra sensitive, and even boost the flow of blood to your pelvic area. All of which can lead to some X-rated action between the sheets!