What is meant by “maternity”?
It’s considered to be the period whilst a woman is pregnant and shortly after the birth of her baby (babies in the case of multiple births).
What is wellbeing?
The state of being comfortable, happy or healthy.
So once you find out that you are pregnant, whether you do a home pregnancy test or go to see your GP Doctor for confirmation of your pregnancy, you have started your maternity period. To enjoy your pregnancy your wellbeing is important.
As soon as you know that you are pregnant it is important that you advise your GP so that you can then receive the necessary support from the healthcare system, including having the all-important 12 week and 20 week scans of your baby (babies). Having the 12 week scan is often the most exciting times for parents during the early stages of pregnancy, as it’s the first time you get to see your baby.
How will my wellbeing change during my maternity?
In the first trimester of your pregnancy you will notice that you feel tired quicker, you may be experiencing morning sickness or are starting to crave certain food types (some women don’t though and that’s fine). To help your wellbeing during your maternity period eating healthily, especially ensuring that you are eating enough fibre is very beneficial to you, as the majority of pregnant women experience constipation at some point. If you’re having issues with constipation or feel very tired do go and see your GP. They can advise on what to do to relieve constipation if your diet isn’t helping to do this naturally plus they can do tests to see if you are anaemic, and so whether or not you need more iron in your diet.
Some women experience what’s commonly known as pelvic girdle pain (symphysis pubis dysfunction). This can cause women real issues when trying to get on with their day to day activities as it causes pain and immobility in pelvic joints. If you find that you are struggling to undertake your normal daily activities due to such discomfort go and see your GP and ask for a referral to a physiotherapist.
I’m struggling with pregnancy piles now, what can I do?
If you are pregnant and you find that constipation has been a real issue and you find sitting down truly uncomfortable, consider getting a maternity cushion to sit on. Many women use the Comfyse Cushy Cushion which has a unique and flexible shape which enables pregnant women to sit down and reduce their discomfort caused by piles.
Read our blog on “pregnancy piles” for more information about how to treat them and improve your wellbeing.
When to tell family and friends about your pregnancy
Many women choose to keep their pregnancy a secret from the wider world for the first three months. This is due to the highest risk of miscarriage occurring during these first months. However it’s absolutely up to you as the individual who is pregnant as to when you want to tell people your news.
If you do experience a miscarriage, regardless of when it occurs during your maternity, you need to seek medical assistance immediately and if possible get family or friends to support you at the time and in the future. Losing a baby can be traumatic both physically and mentally, and so do reach out if you need help to process what’s happened and the way that you are feeling. There are organisations out there which can support you at this very difficult time in your life, including the Mariposa Trust – https://www.mariposatrust.org/
Even if you are experiencing spotting and not a miscarriage, do contact your GP or Midwife for advice and help. They may wish to keep a closer watch over your pregnancy to ensure all is going well.
I’m probably overreacting and I don’t want to bother my GP or Midwife
Remember your health is of paramount importance and you should never think that you are “bothering” your Midwife or GP with concerns. They will have seen hundreds and thousands of women during their maternity periods, and so they are able to give you advice and assurance regardless of your concerns.
Knowledge about your maternity = empowerment
We truly believe that knowledge is power, and so the more you can learn about pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period, the more empowered you will be to ensure that your wellbeing is the best it can be.
Women are strong, we create the human race, we deserve to be heard and to use our voices, loudly.
“No woman should be told she can’t make decisions about her own body. When women’s rights are under attack, we fight back.” —Kamala Harris
Dislaimer – the content in this blog is created to help share the experience of mums who have already been pregnant. It is not professional medical advice, and so if you have any concerns about your pregnancy, seek advice from Midwives and GPs about your specific issue or concern.