If I had a penny every time someone asked me, “Is this normal” I would be rich by now! This is a question doulas get on a regular basis. So I want to take you through the top 5 “Is this normal” questions I get!
I want to throw a disclaimer out here. This post is not intended to be taken as medical advice. If at all you are concerned with your wellbeing or the wellbeing of your baby please contact your provider. Again, this is not to be taken as medical advice. These are very basic things to know about our bodies that a lot of times woman don’t know it until she becomes pregnant and has her baby, or has a woman in her life who is open with the ins and outs of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
1. Is it normal to cramp during early pregnancy?
This is one that worries women quite often. Especially if they have been trying to get pregnant or have suffered a previous loss. The cramping can cause some anxiety. If this is you I want to ease your mind a bit. When you get pregnancy the hormone called “relaxin” starts to release. Relaxins job is to loosen ligaments in your body so that baby has room to grow and your pelvis can move to accommodate the passage of your babe. Relaxin can be detected as early as 7 weeks! So if you experience back pain, leg pain, random aches and cramping it could be because of this hormone! Now if the cramping is worse than period cramps or it is continuous and position change doesn’t help and is accompanied with bleeding then that is a time to contact your provider for further guidance. So many women have early cramping in pregnancy. So breathe, let your body do what it’s designed to and relax.
2. Is it normal to spot during pregnancy?
Anytime you have bleeding during pregnancy it can cause your heart to race. The American Pregnancy Association says, 20% of women report some sort of bleeding during their pregnancy. If you experience this during your first trimester it most likely is no reason for concern. However, it could be a sign of a miscarriage so contact your provider to let them know. Sometimes in the first trimester you can experience something called implantation bleeding. This happens when the egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. You may experience some light spotting only when you wipe after going to the restroom. You may also have some brown discharge and this indicates old blood that is coming out. This again is a very normal thing to have. So… if you do have some light bleeding, especially in the first trimester take a deep breath, call your provider and try to relax. Most likely everything is fine!
3. Is it normal to leak milk while pregnant?
Some woman start leaking colostrum, the nutrient dense first milk, around 14 weeks! Other’s go their whole pregnancy without leaking any! So yes, it is normal and it doesn’t mean you’ll run out of milk or that you will over produce milk! Just means you have some leaky milk ducts!
4. Is it normal to push for a long time?
I am not sure why so many woman think that once they get to the second stage of labor it only takes a couple pushes and baby is born? That can be the case for some women, especially second time mothers but first time moms tend to push on average an hour but can go for hours. A lot of this depends on what position you’re pushing in and if you have an epidural and need coached pushing or are unmedicated and are able to do instinctual pushing. Pushing on your back can cause baby to get stuck under the pubic bone. You are pushing against gravity and so it may take longer. Using gravity to your advantage and squatting can open your pelvis up to 30% more and shorten pushing time. So yes, it is normal to push for a long time but there are many factors that go into this. How long did you push for mamas?
5. Is it normal to still look pregnant after delivery?
Girl yes!! It has taken you 9-10 months to grow a baby and it will take time to heal. Your body is miraculously made for birth. But don’t expect it to be overnight that you will feel like yourself. You will have a squishy tummy for a while and you know what! That’s beautiful! It shows that you grew a baby and not every woman gets to experience that. After delivery your uterus shrinks back to normal around 6-8 weeks. If you still feel like your tummy is hanging out or you see some bulges in your tummy after it may be a sign of diastasis recti and you should be evaluated for PT. Honestly, I think every woman should be evaluated to Pelvic Floor Therapy after delivery!
Again… if you have any medical questions or concerns please contact your nurse line! This post should only be used as a reference but not medical advice!
I made a free download just for you! I know this can feel so new and overwhelming for some moms so this goes over 8 “is this normal” questions that I get regularly. Make sure you go to bit.ly/whatisnormal to get your free download now!