There are dozens and dozens of books on ‘what to expect when you’re expecting’ that prepare mothers-to-be on the ins and outs of being pregnant, but instead of laying it out in a book, Bored Panda put together this hilarious series of comics.
Some of these illustrations highlight the more well-known struggles of being pregnant, such as the wild mood swings that make you cry at the silliest things – but are you prepared for the crazy costs of maternity clothes? Not to mention being prepared for how other people will treat you seeing your growing belly – yes they will ask to touch it. Scroll down below to check out these hilarious pregnancy comics and don’t forget to upvote your favs!
Dr. Jolene Brighten, a naturopathic doctor and author of the book Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth, explained that women’s hormones shift during pregnancy. The result, she said, “Sometimes we can see lower dopamine levels, which will cause you to crave everything.”
In a study by the Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, 950 pregnant women were surveyed about lower back pain during pregnancy, how it impacts day-to-day life and how their healthcare provider managed the pain. According the Sleep Foundation, the study showed that 645 respondents reported back pain during their pregnancy and a majority claimed that it caused sleep disturbances.
The maternity wear market is a $2 billion industry, cites Vox, with Destination Maternity constituting 18.7% of the industry’s revenue. Fortune estimates that pregnant women, on average, spend almost $500 per pregnancy on maternity clothes. That breaks down to between $50 and $60 spent per month of pregnancy.
Hormones are once again to blame when it comes to a heightened sense of smell – estrogen in particular. Studies have shown that heightened levels of this hormone can even affect the olfactory senses of non-pregnant women. Scientists aren’t really sure how and if estrogen creates any actual changes in the nose or the brain that would result in the increased sense of smell in pregnant women, but it is clear there is some connection.
Health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., told SELF. “These pictures online can be misleading because pregnancy is so individual, and what appropriate weight gain looks like varies from woman to woman,” adding, “Trying to stay ‘thin’ can be dangerous to both the emotional and physical health of the mom and the physical health of the baby.”
Live Science says that researchers measured the arch height and foot length of 49 women during their pregnancy and five months after they had given birth. On average, the women’s arch height decreased, and in turn, their foot length increased between 2 and 10 millimeters (about 0.1 to 0.4 inches) — during this period.
One of the many hormonal side-effects is crying over the most random things. According to Lucy Puryear, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting, this is a staple of the first trimester in particular. “Estrogen and progesterone are skyrocketing at the beginning of your pregnancy,” she explained to Parents magazine, “The changes have big effects on your mood. You can be tearful one minute and happy the next.”
Ever heard of pregnancy brain? This occurs in the early stages of pregnancy and is the result of sky-high levels of progesterone or the “calming hormone.” Dr. Puryear told the outlet, “When I was pregnant with Parker, I once put my older son Peter’s Legos in the refrigerator, and then I tried to serve him a cup of keys to drink!” says Caroline, a mom of two who lives in Oklahoma City.
Fatigue during pregnancy is most common during the first trimester. It tends to go away during the second trimester, but will usually return in the third trimester. According to the American Association, this fatigue is caused by hormonal changes. Your body is producing more blood to carry nutrients to your growing baby.
One of the uncomfortable signs of pregnancy is always having to pee. Hormonal changes increase urine production, combined with an expanding uterus that presses on the bladder. In the second trimester, the uterus continues to expand and will rise higher in the abdomen, away from the bladder so frequent urination will subside. Inconvenient pee breaks return in the third trimester when the baby drops lower in the pelvis in preparation for delivery,
A study on women’s experiences of their pregnancy and postpartum body image concluded that: “Women’s perception of their pregnancy body image is varied and depends on the strategies they use to protect against social constructions of female beauty. Women have unrealistic expectations for their postpartum body, highlighting this as an area where women need better support.”
When it comes to parenting there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but that won’t stop unsolicited advice. “There are so many people who want to direct you on how to be a good mom,” Debbie Thompson, pediatric nurse practitioner and a neonatal specialist at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas told WebMD. “Much of the advice is helpful,” she says. “But a parent must remember that each child is unique.”
Between the hormones, growing belly and aches, and pains, it might be tempting for others to try and jump to the rescue of pregnant women. A study by Cardiff University found there was a common sentiment among many expectant and new moms – “that once they decide to have a child, their lives are no longer free and private.”
More than 1 in 10 pregnant women experience anxiety at some point during pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may affect the chemicals in your brain, which can result in anxiety. Pregnancy is a time of tremendous change so these feelings are normal.
A new study from UNICEF measured the “family friendliness” of countries around the globe across four different categories. These included paid leave available to mothers, paid leave reserved for fathers, childcare enrollment for kids under 3 years old, and childcare enrollment between age 3 and school age. UNICEF measured 41 high- and middle-income countries on these indicators and the U.S came in last against 40 other developed countries.
Humans are hardwired to touch as a form of communication. Psychologist Matthew Hertenstein conducted a study in 2009 in which he asked participants to communicate an emotion just using touch and found that 78% of people were able to accurately determine “anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness, and sadness.” So while there is a magnetic urge to reach towards a pregnant belly it doesn’t make it any less comforfortable or awkward.
A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly – like during pregnancy. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.
There has been a boom in the ‘what to expect’ genre for expectant mothers but as Jacqueline Rose writes in Mothers: “A recent study suggests that the mothers who read the most manuals on mothering report the highest level of depressive symptoms (it is not clear whether the depression is the consequence of reading so many manuals or the reason they are reading them in the first place).”
During pregnancy, your body makes the hormone relaxin, which is believed to help prepare the pubic area and the cervix for the birth. Relaxin loosens the ligaments in your body, making you less stable and more at risk for injury. It’s easy to overstretch or strain yourself, especially the joints in your pelvis, lower back, and knees.