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“Expect the Unexpected”: Here’s What 5 M’sian Mums Wish They Knew Before They Got Pregnant

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Source: 123RF & 123RF

For an expecting mother, pregnancy is more than just producing offspring; it’s about putting her body through a great deal of change to create new human life. And to reflect that, the process of pregnancy from start to finish is one giant mixed bag of challenges and weird bodily phenomena. Alas, there could only be so much one could learn from gynaecologists and other mothers. So to let mums-to-be know what to anticipate from this roller coaster ride, we asked for a few precautionary tales from Malaysian mums on what they failed to expect during a period full of expecting.

1. “It’s a lot more painful and nastier than what Hollywood tells you.”

Morning Sickness

We mentioned before that you shouldn’t outright trust the internet when it comes to your ob-gyn needs. But if there’s one place that’s more ill-suited for setting your pregnancy expectations, it’s definitely Hollywood. These fictional pregnancies are often chock-full of tropes and inaccuracies that have filled many audience members with unrealistic expectations of how women would go through their pregnancies.

“I was pregnant with my first child at the age of 28. For the first four months, I lost a lot of weight and vomited nonstop throughout my first trimester. The experience was eye-opening as I’ve only heard of beautiful stories regarding pregnancy.

But the most gruelling point of the pregnancy was definitely the delivery itself. No movie in the world will ever do justice to the pain I experienced once the labour contractions began. Thank God, the doctors decided I didn’t need to get an epidural!” – Emma, 35

 

2. “Your legs are your body’s MVP during your pregnancy.”

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For this next part, let’s get schooled on what varicose veins are. Varicose veins are large, swollen blood vessels found primarily in the legs but can also show up anywhere on the lower half of your body including the rectum (yikes!). These veins look purplish in colour and are usually visible above the surface of the skin in the form of lumps.

Varicose veins can affect up to 40 per cent of all pregnant women. While they are usually harmless, they can also potentially cause itching, discomfort, and sometimes even pain for those experiencing this condition. 

“Both of my legs experienced varicose veins which appeared from my thighs to my ankles. I never expected that I would get this condition. It hurts a lot not only to stand but also to lie down and sleep. I would have been spared a lot of trouble if I came into this pregnancy knowing about varicose veins and exercised my lower body more.” – Sara, 37

 

3. “Sleep has become a precious commodity.”

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Many people tend to underestimate how pregnancy can impact a woman’s sleeping schedule. It is said that around half of all pregnant women suffer from insomnia, which can be detrimental as sleep is essential for prenatal care. 

“In my 20th week, I couldn’t sleep a wink almost every night. And on the nights where I do manage to sleep, I always end up waking up at around 3am to go to the bathroom and pee. But once I’m done with my business, I can’t go back to sleep anymore!

I appreciate my husband’s understanding of how this pregnancy has botched my sleeping schedule. But watching him wake up to his loud alarm at 7am while I haven’t had a single moment of slumber all night can be quite demoralising at times, to be honest.” – Keertana, 32

 

4. “I never expected my three pregnancies to be so wildly different from each other!” 

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Pregnancy can be a very fickle phenomenon; no matter how often a woman experiences it, there’s always some physiological issue around the corner that’s bound to blindside them. People always say that one woman’s pregnancy will never be similar to another’s, but they almost never tell you that your next pregnancy down the line won’t be similar to your first!

“My pregnancy with my first child was pretty much smooth sailing through and through, possibly because of my young age at the time. But that pregnancy ended up being a far cry from the next two! For my second pregnancy, I couldn’t walk more than a few feet without morning sickness settling in.

My third pregnancy wasn’t exactly as bad as the second, but a lot of complications arose during childbirth and I eventually had to get a C-section. So now I’m literally scarred for life, but all that matters is that my third child was born safely.” – Melissa, 40

 

5. “I can’t believe it took us three years just to conceive!” 

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We might sound like a broken record at this point but it does bear repeating: pregnancy is an unpredictable event. For those of us who were lucky enough to receive proper sexual education, we were often taught almost religiously to use contraception to evade unwanted pregnancies. But most of the time, aspiring parents are usually unprepared for one hard truth: skipping contraception doesn’t always mean you can immediately get pregnant.

“We had to learn the very hard way that there’s more to reproducing than just having unprotected sex a few times. We failed to consider many aspects such as my ovulation cycle, my age, and my genetics. Even my husband’s sperm health should have come into account, as it turns out.

“Luckily enough, we weren’t infertile or anything, but our ob-gyn doctor did warn us that the process can be a bit demanding. Eventually, after a lot of effort and lifestyle adjustments between me and my husband, we conceived our first child THREE years after the moment we decided to have children.” – Safar, 29

Because for some Malaysians, conception is not necessarily a smooth journey

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Going through pregnancy can be quite arduous, but not all aspiring mothers have reached that stage yet. For some women, getting pregnant can be almost as strenuous as BEING pregnant.

There’s more to conception than just having unprotected sex and then waiting nine months after the first positive test. Although the process of conception is not always simple, the TMC Fertility Centre is ready to help Malaysian couples in need! 

In conjunction with Fertility Awareness Month, TMC Fertility Centre is here to provide fertility services for aspiring Malaysian parents!

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To commemorate June as Fertility Awareness Month, TMC Fertility Centre is holding a campaign to raise awareness about infertility and the importance of getting screened for fertility. 

For the months of June & July, TMC Fertility Centre is offering a few deals for their services that can tell the fertility rate of a couple. These deals include: 

  • Exclusive discounts for Fertility Screenings
  • Sperm Analysis for RM68
  • Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH Testing) for RM98

TMC Fertility also has a wide range of other fertility treatments including:

  • Ovulation induction
  • IVF (In-vitro fertilisation)
  • Fertility pills and timed intercourse
  • Frozen embryo transfer
  • PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidies)

To understand the severity of infertility in Malaysia, let’s have a look at statistics. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 10 to 15% of all Malaysians suffer from some form of infertility. Some of the causes of infertility include:

  • Age: Being of an age where fertility is already declining due to poorer egg and sperm health
  • Weight: Being underweight or overweight affects ovulation and sperm production
  • Tobacco: Can damage one’s reproductive organs and increase the risk of miscarriage
  • Alcohol: Excessive intake can notably reduce fertility
  • Sexual history: Sexually transmitted infections can damage one’s reproductive organs, leading to reduced fertility

The condition is classified as a disease which needs attention as early as possible, as it contributes to Malaysia’s declining birth rate. While it is not life-threatening, TMC Fertility believes that it is a pressing matter like other diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Lobby

To counter this, TMC Fertility hosts the biggest network of fertility centres in Malaysia, as well as being a pioneer in the Malaysian IVF industry. By adopting the latest technology in Assisted Reproductive Technologies, TMC Fertility Centre has assisted with the births of over 6,000 babies to date.

Think you’re ready to have children? Then let TMC Fertility’s dedicated team of specialists guide you through every step of your journey to parenthood!

For more info on TMC Fertility’s services, visit their website or book an appointment at one of their branches here.

 

Source: BellyBelly
Source: Healthline
Source: Flo Health
Source: 123RF
Source: Insider
Source: Facebook

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