Sunday, May 5, 2024

The Perks of Pregnancy


For women on the family way, pregnancy is a cause for celebration. Sure, there are some things most moms-to-be would rather avoid such as “morning sickness” (which isn’t confined to just the morning) and raging hormones that are to be blamed for “pregnancy nose” and other hyperpigmentation and hair growth issues.

Thankfully, they’re temporary, and for all these less than pleasant effects of pregnancy, the top hospital in the Philippines Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed) points to the many perks of having kids besides the obvious (cute babies!).

According to Martin P. Manahan, MD of MakatiMed’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, some changes driven by childbirth are great for the mom’s body and mindset. “Since the health of the mom highly affects that of the child, most women also take this time as an opportunity to modify their lifestyle into a healthier one,” says Dr. Manahan. “The responsibility of motherhood and the desire to ensure the health of their baby motivates moms to adopt better choices and behaviors.”

What else are the pluses of pregnancy?

Easier periods

Many women find that they get less painful menstrual cramps after giving birth. “Dysmenorrhea goes away with pregnancy, regardless of the type of childbirth," says Dr. Manahan.

Improved intimacy

Mothers-to-be aren’t the only ones unleashing hormones at this stage. “That little bun in the oven is producing the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone,” reveals Dr. Manahan. “Together with its mom’s hormones, it may explain the ramped-up sex drive.” For moms, knowing that they’re already pregnant eases any tension, allowing them to fully enjoy intimacy with their significant other.

Lower risk of disease

“From breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, to multiple sclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, pregnancy is said to reduce your chances of developing these life- threatening diseases,” shares Dr. Manahan. “When you’re pregnant, you get your period less, which cuts
your exposure to estrogen and progesterone, hormones that trigger cell growth, boosting a woman’s risk of cancer. The immune system also adjusts itself to prevent it from ‘attacking’ the baby. This change lessens inflammation that may cause nerve damage.”

Better mood

After the hormone-powered journey that is pregnancy, most women find that their moods tend to stabilize. Dr. Manahan notes, “The hormone oxytocin plays a big role during mom and baby bonding. You’ll likely feel surges of love or just have positive, wonderful emotions whenever you hold or nurse your baby.”

Pregnancy doesn’t just result in the eventual birth of a baby. It means the birth of a mother too. “The process of becoming a mother is known as matrescence,” Dr. Manahan explains. “It’s at this stage that a woman begins to reflect on her life, specifically the choices she made and her long-held beliefs. Matrescence can signal a new chapter in your life, a chance to be and do better for yourself and your family.”

For more information, please contact MakatiMed On-Call at +632.88888 999,
email, or visit  Follow @IamMakatiMed
on Facebook and Twitter.

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