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Ten Things Your Mother Never Told You About Being Pregnant

While mothers and grandmothers are quick with advice about everything from baby names to where, when, and how often a newborn should sleep, a new survey reveals that the majority of pregnant women wish their mothers had told them more about what to expect when they are pregnant.   According to the Break the Silence survey sponsored by Boeringer Ingleheim, the makers of Dulcolax, 18% of women who are currently pregnant say they wish someone had told them more about being overly tired and 17% say they wish someone warned them about constipation before their pregnancy. Other issues they would have liked more information about include incontinence, morning sickness, strange cravings, and weight gain.

But just how prevalent are certain symptoms such as constipation among pregnant women?  According to the survey, pregnant women are more likely to report suffering from constipation than women who are not pregnant.  In fact, 60% of pregnant women surveyed say they are currently suffering from constipation during their pregnancy, compared to only 37% who say they have not experienced this condition.  The survey also found that pregnant women are more likely to experience constipation more frequently.  64% of those pregnant women who reported having constipation say they are suffering from it at least once or twice a month, including 44% who are experiencing constipation once a week or more.  Just 33% are experiencing constipation infrequently or less than once a month.

But just because they experience symptoms like constipation doesn't mean pregnant women are comfortable talking about it.  Compared to other pregnancy-related health issues, constipation and incontinence are two of the most uncomfortable topics for women who are pregnant.  Nearly 30% of women say they are very or somewhat uncomfortable talking about constipation, followed by 27% who say they are uncomfortable talking about incontinence.  Other common symptoms women would prefer not to discuss include weight gain (7%); morning sickness (4%); strange cravings (3%) and being overly tired (2%).

Like any women experiencing medical problems, pregnant women need to feel comfortable talking about their symptoms with their doctors, other healthcare providers, or even a friend or family member.  The more you know, the better off you will be.  Of course, it is particularly important to mention these symptoms to your doctor in case they are signs of a more serious condition and not just a normal symptom of pregnancy. 

Created: 8/12/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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