Pregnancy is beautiful, exciting, and wonderful…until it’s not. What a lot of people don’t realize, until they themselves are pregnant, is that pregnancy isn’t always great. As a matter of fact, it often hurts. And sometimes, it hurts incredibly. What you may have expected to be relatively easy is surprisingly difficult and maybe even a source of guilt.
While everyone around you is asking, “how are you feeling?”, all you want to do is sneak out of the impromptu inquiry as your bones, stomach, and every living cell in your body scream and writhe in pain. The thing is-you can be honest. You don’t have to give the perfunctory or standard response. You are allowed to say, “well, not great”, “pregnancy is hard work and I am feeling it”, or “like crap”. There should be no guilt in honesty and transparency. You are a human growing another human.
Part of the reason why the general public envisions pregnancy as a time when people are absolutely drunk with happiness can be attributed to media representations but also to us. More specifically, our internalizing social mores that value strength and silence and disparage vulnerability are to blame. Therefore, we often suffer and “put on” for the comfort of others. We would rather shield others from discomfort (which, in itself isn’t bad!), but at the expense of our health and happiness. And so, we delay getting the help we need and we also uphold the facade of the majestic pregnancy.
In order to change the perception of pregnancy and illustrate it is as individual an experience as those who go through it, we need to be open about the realities of pain-real, actual pain. Everyone knows about morning sickness, even if it is laughed off as minor. But people don’t know about the debilitating pain that affects daily life and makes it nearly impossible to enjoy the experience.
There are multiple ways pregnancy can hurt and there are tons of reasons why it happens. Some of the most common reasons are due to weight gain, hormonal fluctuations, and shifting structural anatomy.
Common conditions that cause pain include:
- Acid reflux/GERD
- Hypermesis gravidarum
- Round ligament pain
- SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction)
- Scoliosis and back pain
- Autoimmune disorders
- Antenatal depression
All of the above will have different treatment protocols; however, it is important that you do talk with your doctor or midwife to explore options for relief. In the following weeks, we’ll detail each condition, its symptoms, its causes, and its treatment options. We will unveil and demystify them in hopes to educate and inspire you to seek relief.
Until part 2!