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Pregnancy- “natural” doesn’t mean without discomfort.

 

 

 

I am always intrigued by the phrase “being pregnant is a most natural process” and that birth is “the most beautiful experience there is”.  After all it is this very experience that is creating life. Being of the male variety I am unable to ever have first hand knowledge of these phrases, however as my wife is currently 19 weeks to the good, (and dealing with it magnificently-no bias of course!) I am somewhat able to get an insight into the finer details.

 

A caring osteopath on hand

 

The physical and emotional changes are incredible. The growing strains (in her case, low back pain and quite regular needs to visit the toilet as our unborn son {yes, we found out}, has seemingly taken to using my wife’s bladder as a treadmill!), requiring treatment on a near weekly basis by her caring and considerate osteopath husband has helped to manage her low back pain; and with the added benefits she is getting from pregnancy yoga classes, everything is looking very neat and tidy indeed. An ever-growing bump, however, will challenge all of this as ligaments become more lax and muscles strain under the increased weight of our growing baby, not to mention placenta and amniotic fluid.

 

Keep active

 

As a general rule it is important for any mum to keep comfortably active during pregnancy; walking or swimming being the most classic ways. Anything water based will provide that much needed support for growing, (and often aching) bodies. Varying forms of yoga will, amongst other things, teach you to understand what your body needs through improved breathing, and postural education.

 

Running mum’s don’t forget running!

 

In addition to all of this it is not necessary to shy away from weight bearing exercise, (the baby is well protected within the amniotic sac). After all, Paula Radcliffe was training well into her pregnancies. You may, though, point out that she could as she is a world-class athlete! It is of course relative and the simple line of advice is:

 

Don’t try anything drastic!

 

That’s not to say that if you were a world-class couch potato keep up the good work; but rather embrace the need to keep your body moving and always instinctively listen to what it is telling you.

1) Keep well hydrated

2) Blood sugar levels at an optimum

3) Don’t exceed 80% of your maximum heart rate during intense exercise.

 

 

 

What changes may bring

 

I earlier alluded to the emotional element that comes with pregnancy. Hormones are running riot through all pregnant women’s bodies and can lead to significant mood changes and cause a great deal of stress.

 

It’s not all bad (says the bloke)

 

Despite the somewhat negative press, there is of course an optimistic side. In my wife’s case with every physical strain there has always been a coupling with an excitable flutter of moving body parts inside. Not to mention the first real kick last week.

I also watch in amazement with every bout of sickness she has had, in her mind reaffirming “the norm” and joy of knowing she is pregnant.

 

For what it’s worth, being able to watch my wife nurture and care for him is a unique situation to behold. And if I feel like this, to be the very person who is doing the “growing” and “nurturing” must be a very special privilege indeed.

 

As my wife goes off for another pregnancy yoga class I am reminded of the fact that (having already been subjected to some hormonally driven tirades),

A)   I’m pleased she’s going to yoga to help meditate and re-energize,

B)   Quite frankly given the strain she is being put through –

 

Sickness,

Headaches,

Sinus blocks,

Uncontrollable bladder,

Back pain….etc

 

Absorbing a few hormonal bombs is the least I can do to help her through this most “beautiful and natural experience”!

 

Note: I must also spare a thought for a current patient and a friend who are both currently expecting twins. Double the discomfort! (All being well, double the joy at the end)

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