Discomfort and Pregnancy

And what some might consider tough mama love.

I will be 100% honest, and if you follow me on social media, you already know my stance on this subject.

First of all, let me just be 100% clear, your body, your baby, your pregnancy, your birth, is all up to you. Let’s remember I’m just a birth worker and mama on the internet with my own opinions of pregnancy, labour, birth, mamahood, etc. Do you have to agree with me? No. Do you have to love what I say, no. Am I allowed to have and share my opinion/view of biologically and physiologically normal pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and motherhood? Yes. Do you have to do what I say? Nope.

I completely understand discomfort during pregnancy, it’s a thing that happens to everyone. I don’t know a single mama who has never felt discomfort during pregnancy. And if they’re out there, please know how incredibly lucky you are!

For me, each pregnancy has been vastly different in the amount of discomfort and the type of discomfort! All of this to say, remember I’m not immune to discomfort either. I’ve felt it, I’ve been annoyed by it. I’ve whined and complained to my husband (bless him), I’ve sent mama friends text messages venting about how annoying x symptom or pain is.
However, I’ve never complained publicly about being uncomfortable, I don’t think that’s necessary or helpful in the slightest and doesn’t at all put out the positive energy of pregnancy and motherhood that I want to cultivate in the world.

We have enough people “poo-pooing” happy mothers, happy positive pregnancies, euphoric postpartum periods. We don’t need more.

It also opens the door to a lower vibration–stick with me. Time and time again it’s been proven that vibration and energy affects all living beings. What you put out you get back. What you surround yourself with you get back. Manifestation is real. Some people call it praying–remember praying, manifesting, whatever can be positive and negative.
If all you’re doing is lowering your vibration by complaining on a public forum, then being surrounded by other moms complaining, how do you think that’s going to make you feel at an energetic level? It might feel good for a moment, an hour… but after that… you’re just left with the same discomfort and now an even more lowered vibration.
I like to think of it like this– imagine going to the beach. You’re maybe hanging out in the ocean, building a sandcastle, having a beach picnic… It’s all fun! The water is fun, the sand is fun, the sun is fun. It’s great whilst you’re there doing the beach things…Then you leave and go about your day (not changing or showering, because that would be changing your vibration to something higher, and complaining and surrounding yourself with other complainers is not raising your vibration). Your suit is still soggy wet making your cover up clothes stick to your body uncomfortably. Your hair is crunchy and gross from seawater, salt, maybe sunscreen, and sweat. Your skin feels tight from the salt water and maybe burnt from the sun. You have sand in the absolute worst places.

Was going to the beach fun? Yeah.
Is complaining fun? Yeah.
In the moment did it feel worth it going to the beach? Yeah.
In the moment did it feel worth it to complain to strangers and have them complain back? Yeah.
The walk to the car were you fine with the sand, sweat, wet clothes etc? Yeah probably.
The 30 minutes to an hour after the complaining to strangers were you fine? Yeah, probably.
2 hours after leaving the beach and still being soggy, burnt, sweaty, and sandy do you feel fine? No.
2 hours after complaining to strangers did it fix anything? Do you feel exponentially better? No.

(I recommend reading “Good Vibes Good Life”, honestly it’s game changer when it comes to wanting to live a more happy grateful life)

On top of that, it also can spread misinformation about what is actually physiologically normal when it comes to pregnancy. And that goes both ways. Someone might say, “Oh yeah, that’s normal” when it’s not and on the flip side could say, “that sounds miserable, why stay pregnant?”

I’ve never wanted or even had the thought cross my mind to “just get it over with” because I was “uncomfortable.”

This is not a “toot my own horn,” I’m saying it for a reason.

Here’s where the tough mama love comes in. Did you ever stop to think that the reason you’re uncomfortable is to prepare you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the process of labour and motherhood?

Nothing in pregnancy is “just because.”

Every “symptom” of pregnancy has a reason. Morning sickness has been thought to be to protect us from eating poisonous foods and also to signify a deficiency in a mineral or vitamin. Our bellies getting bigger is to accommodate the size of our baby and placenta that we grow from scratch. Our painful ligaments are because of relaxin, a hormone that makes us more bendy and flexible so that our bones can move during labour. Our braxton hick or prodromal labour prepare our bodies to actually give birth…

We accept ALL of these as a normal part of pregnancy.

We don’t say, “Ugh morning sickness, it’s so annoying, induce me now so I can be done with this.” Or “these braxton hicks contractions are uncomfortable and inconvenient, schedule the c-section, I’m done.” We deal with them. We find ways to work through it. Some of us might use over the counter or prescription meds to battle morning sickness. Others will use natural remedies and homeopathics to help.

Why don’t we offer the same love and grace to just being “uncomfortable?”

Yes, that baby’s tiny feet are in your ribcage, yes that’s annoying…but you have a growing, healthy child inside of you.

Yes, your back is hurting because of the pregnancy weight and weight of the baby. This is why diet is so important during pregnancy, don’t willingly add more than necessary discomfort by eating horribly and either having heartburn, excessive weight gain, stomach aches, headaches etc.
Is there anything you can do to fix that little baby’s feet in your ribcage that doesn’t involve forcing them out? Yes.
Is there anything you can do to help deal with the added strain on your back from pregnancy? Yes.

Spinning babies, chiropractic care, massage, pelvic floor therapy, gentle pressure on their feet to guide them away from the area, belly support whether a belly band or for in bed, pillows. A healthier diet that doesn’t involve overly fatty foods, fried foods, processed sugars, inflammatory foods, spicy foods (if you’re prone to heartburn). There’s comfort techniques you can do like sifting, abdominal lift and tucks. There’s acupressure, acupuncture, dry needling, herbal support, aromatherapy support, positive affirmations…

You don’t have to live with the discomfort, you don’t have to let it consume you.

Again, I’ve had ALL of the pains. Shooting pains that make me double over and groan out in pain. Ligament and muscle pain that literally knock me on my butt all day and I can’t move without wanting to cry. Rib kicks that feel like my ribs are going to break. Bladder bounces that genuinely feel dangerous like my organs are going to pop out of my vagina. Leg, ankle, foot pain that make me question if I’ve broken something or have seriously damaged a nerve. I’ve had cholestasis that has made me want to *literally* rip my skin off (this actually is a reason to induce, though. I’m adding it in as an added discomfort that even then I didn’t say “hey induce me,” even though I should have). I’ve been so sick that I was positive I was going to die or lose my baby. I’ve had all of the back and hip pain to where walking is almost impossible. I’ve had adductor pain, for seemingly no reason that keeps me up at night and makes getting out of bed miserable. I’ve had labia swelling that genuinely feels like it shouldn’t be happening and like the labia will burst. Hemorrhoids that we all love. A transverse baby. Not to mention the mental and emotional anguish–but that’s a different story.

When I see mamas, especially first time mamas say, “I’m ready to be induced because I’m uncomfortable.” My entire world flips upside down (no, I don’t usually say anything unless it’s a friend). Especially knowing the intense repercussions that come with inducing and how dangerous it actually can be–especially for a mom who’s body isn’t ready to birth. Especially for a baby who isn’t ready to be born.

If your body and baby aren’t ready to birth and be born, you are setting yourself and them up for failure.

This is not including medically necessary induction (which I’ve unfortunately had). This is only talking about voluntary and unnecessary induction and csection (refer back to the top of the blog, your body your choice, but also do your research. Your own research. Not what your doctor tells you).

If your body was ready to birth, you would be in labour. If your baby was ready to be born, you’d be in labour. That’s it. It’s that simple. All of these interventions lead to more interventions, which lead to more complications, which lead to a white coat being your “saviour.”

They didn’t save you. They just didn’t stop you from making unnecessarily dangerous decisions.

Your discomfort is there for a reason, I promise you. Pregnancy is the most comfortable you will be as a mother. Especially if you end up with a c-section aka major abdominal and uterine surgery. Pregnancy is the most comfortable you will be as a mom.

Your discomfort is preparing you for labour which is inherently painful, more painful than pregnancy. It’s giving you every opportunity to practice those comfort techniques to find what works for you and your body, to find what intuitively feels right. It gives you opportunities to practice breathing deeply and openly. If you’re not openly breathing a poop out every time you go, you’re wasting valuable practice time.

You don’t just decide to run a marathon one morning. You prepare for it, you practice, you get uncomfortable, and you work through that discomfort to figure out ways to make it better. You don’t give up and say, “well the work to get to the marathon is uncomfortable. I’m not going to do it. I’m over it.” You work through it.

Pregnancy is just that. It’s the prep. The build up. The time to practice. The time to find what works and what doesn’t. It’s the time to educate yourself on what you can do. It’s the time to use that discomfort for your benefit. Because the discomfort is beneficial.

It’s preparing you for newborn days, lack of sleep, hormonal drops, screaming babies, feelings of terror, engorged boobs, painful nipples, a sore perineum, a stitched up tummy.. It’s preparing you for those bedsharing snuggles that always end up having a tiny human’s body on top of yours some how. Little feet in your back.
It’s preparing you for their first injury that feels so big and scary…And then their first real big injury and the 50 that will most certainly come after that. It’s preparing you for difficult conversations with them about life and death and acceptance and nonacceptance and relationships, and health, and sex… It’s prepping you for difficult conversations with other adults about boundaries, parenting choices, medical choices, lifestyle choices, education choices (trust me, family and friends will want to give you ALL of their opinions on how everything you’re doing is wrong).

Motherhood is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It’s so uncomfortable. It’s so worth it though. Pregnancy is hard, it’s uncomfortable and is so worth it.

Pregnancy is only a season of your life.

And it’s a short season compared to the rest of your life. It’s ten months…That’s not even a year of your life. Be in this season. Every season has something to teach you, listen and learn.

Your pregnancy discomfort is necessary and is there for a reason–to prepare you. Don’t brush it off and just think it’s unnecessary and annoying. It’s a must.

It’s something you have to go through to get through it.

Another book I highly recommend for any mama going through it is “Labour Like a Goddess.” This book is also life changing, especially if you’re struggling with normal pregnancy feelings of fear, embarrassment, discomfort etc.

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