It can be hard not to compare your pregnant body with other women who are also expecting. Sometimes it takes just one comment to send you into a spiral of insecurities, and you start to wonder if your baby bump is too big or too small, why your hair (not just on your head) is growing so quickly or seemingly not at all, or if your skin looks patchier than that of others.
Here's the truth: No two pregnancies are alike. If you need proof, just look at Australian fitness model Chontel Duncan's feet. The mom shared a side-by-side comparison of her feet during her first pregnancy and second pregnancy to show that pregnancy symptoms can be extremely different, even for the same woman.
Creating foot phobias all around the world with this post 😂 but this is the raw truth on how bad my fluid got towards the end of my first pregnancy. Second time round I have done nothing different but have absolutely no fluid retention 🙌🏾 #eatyourheartout #footmodel #footfetishnation #pregnant #fluidretention
"This is the raw truth on how bad my fluid got towards the end of my first pregnancy. Second time (around) I have done nothing different but have absolutely no fluid retention," she wrote on Instagram.
The swelling of extremities, like the feet and hands, is common for pregnant women. Maybe that wedding ring is feeling way too snug or your foot can't fit that size 7 shoe anymore. But don't worry. This can happen for several reasons, from hormonal changes to the fact that bodies retain more fluid during pregnancy. In addition, as your baby grows, the enlarging womb presses on the two large veins that return blood to the heart from your feet and legs.
"But if it’s very rapid and you haven’t been on your feet or sitting for a long time—where gravity will cause that swelling—or if it happens with a horrible headache or vision changes, you need to see your doctor ASAP. This could be a hypertension issue," said L.A.-based OB-GYN Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz.
According to experts, to help with foot and ankle swelling, try to avoid standing for long periods. But, this doesn't mean to avoid being physically active. Exercise, like taking walks or swimming laps, can help with the blood circulation. And when you sleep, try to lie on your left side with your feet level or slightly elevated to allow the blood and fluid to drain from the legs.
I was surprised with a cute visit today from a friend Nat who is also expecting 💕 Just being able to see someone in the flesh, rub her tummy, hear how incredible her journey has been so far, how healthy baby is & all the fun talk about kicks, food, names etc was beautiful. This is Nat's 3rd pregnancy so she had a lot of great advice to share ☺️ It's very clear in this photo just how tall I am, I mean my chin sits above Nat's head lol We worked out that we are 4 weeks apart, so our little ones will be the same age, same grade at school and potential best buds hehehehe..... Nat's due start of March & I'm due end of March. Each women carries different and this most certainly doesn't mean one is doing something wrong or not healthy etc. We both have healthy growing babies & we both have had incredible pregnancies so far, feeling amazing & full of energy. #21.5weeks #expecting #march2016 #pregnant #love #happiness #Babyduncan
Duncan also made waves last year when she showed a picture of her with a friend who was due just four weeks before her. Their belly bumps were as different as night and day.
She also pointed out that she's taller than her friend and that Duncan was carrying Baby No. 1 while her friend was pregnant with Baby No. 3. Still, despite these factors, her photo drove home the same truth.
"Each woman carries different and this most certainly doesn't mean one is doing something wrong or not healthy, etc. We both have healthy growing babies and we both have had incredible pregnancies so far," Duncan wrote.
In this day and age, it's not the lack of information that fuels pregnancy myths, it's the overwhelming abundance of conflicting facts, says Dr. Yvonne Bohn, an ob-gyn in Los Angeles and co-author of "The Mommy Docs' Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth." This dose of reality will help set your mind at ease.
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