baby

"I felt constantly car sick." 5 things that surprised me most about pregnancy.

Elevit
Thanks to our brand partner, Elevit

From the moment I saw the "two-to-three-weeks pregnant" appear on that tiny test screen, my life immediately changed.

I hadn't expected to feel so intensely different, so soon. From the minute I found out I could not contain the excitement, nor could I understand how I was meant to walk around and pretend like nothing was different when my entire world had changed in what felt like an instant.

Once you have your baby, pregnancy can seem like a blur, but in reality the nine months leading up to the birth can be some of the most challenging and exciting times in your life. 

Every person experiences each pregnancy differently, but there are some common symptoms and the degree in which people experience them can vary.

Here's what surprised me most:

1. You will feel tired as you've never felt tired before (which essentially is good preparation for what's about to come).

The days when it was just me who was tired. Now we both are! Image: Supplied. 

For me, it was 3pm. I'd heard of 3:30itis but this was like nothing I had experienced before. As soon as it would hit 3pm I would feel my eyelids instantly droop. I had no idea what was going on. 

I started drinking coffee in the afternoon, going outside for fresh air - going to bed at 8pm, but despite having a full 12 hours sleep I would wake up feeling tired, a deep in my bones kind of tired.

I was about ready to go and beg my GP for an iron infusion before finding out I was actually pregnant. Surprise surprise, growing a human makes for tiring work. 

Thankfully it eased off midway through my second trimester, I was waiting for the 'burst' of energy I had heard about but unfortunately it never arrived.

2. You will feel emotion on a whole new level.

Pregnancy can be such a joyful time, there is so much to look forward to. The thoughts of your baby entering the world can help you through even the hardest days of pregnancy. Thanks to the additional hormones surging through my body, I found it harder to cope with things as I normally would have.

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I found myself worrying a lot more, holding my breath before each scan, mentally preparing myself for the 'bad thing' that was going to happen. I suddenly knew what mothers meant when they said that the worry never stopped, and my baby hadn't even arrived yet!

Studies have shown that mothers' brains start to change from pregnancy, with increased activity in the parts of your brain that control empathy and social interactions. It literally helps you bond with your baby. It is thought that one in 10 women suffer from antenatal anxiety, which actually makes it quite common. In all seriousness, it's essential to speak to a health professional if this is an issue for you.

3. Forget about food cravings, have you heard about food aversion?

Rom-coms will have you believe that you will have cravings for tubs of ice cream or salty snacks that your dutiful partner will retrieve for you in the middle of the night.

It's also one of the common questions people will ask you - "what are you craving?"

I had no specific cravings to speak of and I felt let down - I wanted to have a quirky food craving that I could tell my kid all about when they were older. Instead, I suffered from food aversion.

The smell of cooked vegetables (mushrooms and capsicum in particular) was enough to make me gag. The sight of eggs, runny or solid was too much to bear. I had all these grand plans to eat fresh food (nothing processed) yet I survived my first trimester eating Vegemite and cheese toasties and mi goreng noodles.

During my early pregnancy I had been eating a brand of pre-prepared fresh meals until one day, when I was about six weeks pregnant, I'd finished heating it and as the smell wafted towards me from the microwave I felt the nausea wave in my stomach. It got so bad that I had to hide the Instagram and Facebook advertisements for this company and unsubscribe from their newsletter - even the sight of their logo would be enough to make me feel ill.

In those difficult months of my pregnancy, I was relieved to have Elevit Pregnancy Multivitamins to support my diet. It made me feel confident that my baby was getting the essential nutrients - like iron, iodine and folic acid - to help him develop, and that I was getting enough nutritional support during the stages of my pregnancy. And for anyone who's trying to get pregnant, it can take time to build the essential nutrients required for pregnancy so you can start taking Elevit one month prior to conception to prepare your body.

With their knowledge of pregnancy nutrition, Elevit recently launched a new formula: Elevit Probiotics for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. It can help support your immunity and gut health, and can be taken alongside the multivitamins.

Check out their website for more useful tools and info on planning for pregnancy, nutrition and common pregnancy symptoms (including constipation - ah, such fun!).

4. Heartburn, oh the heartburn.

Worth the heartburn, honestly. Image: Supplied. 

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The good news? It's true what they say - the minute your baby is born your heartburn disappears.

The bad news? It doesn't only occur in the final trimester.

Everything I read told me to expect heartburn later on in my pregnancy due to all of your organs being squished - well, mine started at 10 weeks, and no, Fruit Tingles didn't work, antacids sometimes worked. But mostly I was ingesting bicarb soda by the teaspoon and learnt to build the perfect pillow fort so I could sleep sitting up. 

5. It's not just morning sickness. It's all-day sickness.

I'd heard morning sickness described as being hungover - which I think is a pretty accurate description. I however, felt constantly car sick. Thankfully, I only vomited a few times, but the feeling of constant nausea lasted well into the second trimester.

I really feel for those who suffer as badly as the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) did. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be. Being pregnant and all of the symptoms that come along with it is hard enough.

Never fear, though. There are many things women swear by to help ease morning sickness, from dry crackers in the morning to taking supplements to drinking at least 2L of water a day (more info here).

I got through, even if some days were challenging. There was one particular day around the halfway mark, I'd tried to make a chicken noodle dish for dinner and failed miserably, so I burst into tears (think Kim Kardashian ugly crying).  I soon discovered that I hadn't washed the chilli and garlic from my hands properly so my tears of sadness soon turned into hot stinging tears of rage (remember, the increased emotions?) and I said to my husband 'I'm over it! Five months is a long time to not feel 100 per cent' and it is, the never-ending hangover.

But you'll get through it. And what's on the other side is full of its own challenges, but the joys outweigh them by far.

Yes, us women are incredible.

What surprised you most about pregnancy?

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Dietary supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet.

Elevit
It’s not only a woman’s health that matters when trying for a baby. Men can also take positive steps to support conception by being aware of factors affecting their health such as stress, alcohol, smoking, pollution and the benefits of adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Menevit, by the makers of Elevit, contains a unique combination of antioxidants that support sperm health and production to help improve your chances of conception.

Click here to learn more about Menevit today. Love Grows with Elevit and Menevit.