Your body is performing a miraculous feat now you're pregnant.
And yes, you feel like sinking to your knees. The trouble is, it's not to give thanks, but because you feel like you've run a marathon when in fact you only went to the corner shop. While you recover on the sofa, just remember:
- If you're still in the first three months, high levels of the snooze-inducing hormone progesterone are to blame.
- You're not lazy-you're a fertility goddess who's creating a whole new human life (tell that to anyone who's questioning your fourth nap of the day).
- Getting up in the night to wee robs you of the most restful stretches of deep sleep.
When you look in the mirror, are you reminded of the large mammal enclosure at the zoo? Resist the temptation to stick up a Do not feed the elephants' notice.
Yes, you are putting on weight, but this isn't a problem - it's for the most exciting reason.
On average, mums-to-be gain around 24lb by the end of their pregnancy, approximately 8.6lb of which is the baby and placenta. So celebrate your new curves and don't even think about dieting-just eat healthily.
* This is one time in your life when you'd be worrying if you weren't piling on the pounds.
Pregnant women are always described as glowing', but it's not just observation - it's fact. You can thank the extra two-and-a-half pints of blood in your system, plumping out those fine lines and giving you a radiant complexion.
If you develop a few rogue spots due to galloping hormones, drinking plenty of water should help.
The pink or purplish stretch marks that appear as your skin works to accommodate the extra baggage may look alarming at first, but after the birth they'll become faint and silvery.
* Think of stretchmarks as medals to commend your nine months of dedicated service.
While your normal figure has gone AWOL, Mother Nature is making up for it by providing you with gorgeous, glossy hair and strong, healthy nails.
* The wealth of sprays and polishes you used pre-pregnancy can be put away for a while.
Cry me a river
One minute you're on top of the world, the next you're weeping over a life insurance advert. Pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster - not just because of the mega-doses of hormones but also because it's a life-changing event. If it's your first pregnancy, some worries are normal.
* As you bob along on a sea of emotions, remember that you can only do your best and that's all your baby needs.
Appreciate your assets
The transformation of your breasts can be eye-popping, especially if you've always had to resort to serious padding. Your new buxom figure will keep your partner strangely attentive, but that's not the only advantage:
* Your boobs are useful as well as beautiful as they're preparing to nourish your baby.
One hot momma
Does it feel like your internal thermostat is on the blink? While everyone else is shivering in their cardies, you're stripping off layers and adding ice to your bath water. The reason your body thinks it's high summer in the middle of October is that your metabolism has made your body produce more heat.
* As you fan yourself furiously, just imagine the cosy nest your womb is providing for your growing baby-after all, he's starkers in there!
Pregnancy can be a very rewarding time, but it can also be a pain in the bum. Literally. When you're expecting, increased blood flow to the pelvic area may cause the veins to swell, which, along with the pressure of your growing baby, can lead to piles. Not a very romantic story, but it has a happy ending, as they should disappear after the birth.
* And with a beautiful new baby to gaze at, other worries will be at the bottom (sorry!) of your list.
A heavy load
Never mind old wives' tales, it's hard not to feel like an old wife yourself, as you totter along, clutching your aching back. It's not surprising your body's feeling the strain, though. Your womb is growing from the size of a pear to 20 times bigger, and you naturally alter your posture to compensate for this new extension. Lying down flat or getting on all fours may provide relief.
* A massage from your partner can help, too.