Although each pregnancy is as unique as each baby is, it’s not uncommon to look for clues about what to really expect when mom’s expecting. And usually, the very first place a mom-to-be looks is to their own mother. The bookstore great. The blogs are uber helpful. The advice mom gets from her doctor and her friends is invaluable. But, sometimes a mom’s genetics can tell her more than any book, blog, or person.
So, mom has to ask herself how much can she actually learn from her mother’s pregnancy experience. For instance, if grandma-to-be got certain complications, is mom going to get them, too? Or, since she had a cesarean, is that also what mom can expect from her birth experience? There are many ways a woman can compare her pregnancy to her mom’s.
Some women find that their pregnancies are identical to their mom’s. Others experience the exact opposite from what their mom experienced. Like mentioned before, every woman is unique and so is her pregnancy. Still, there are ways she can learn from her mom’s pregnancy that have been backed by scientific research. Some similarities are simply by chance. This post will distinguish which is which, so mom will know what is hearsay and what is actually science. Let’s dive in!
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
15 Your Mother’s Complications Are Hers Alone
If you’re like many of us women (or humans, in general) then you might have a tendency to internalize certain negative things. Especially about pregnancy. For instance, the fact remains that simply because your mother struggled with complications during her pregnancy doesn’t not at all mean you will, too.
You are not predestined to follow in her footsteps in terms of pregnancy complications. The reason is that pregnancy complications depend on the details.
They come about because of something in your life that directly or indirectly cause them. Things like your diet, work schedule, sleeping habits, and stress level all play a significant role. A lot of the time, women are either unaware of the direct cause or there are several reasons for the complications. In other words, there are a lot of variables that factor into what causes pregnancy complications.
You won’t experience your mom’s complications simply because you’re related. This doesn’t mean you won’t experience the same or similar complications. But it won’t happen just because you’re mother and daughter. The bottom line is for you not to automatically assume that you and your mom are the same person with the same life or will experience the exact same complications.
14 Blood Conditions Follow Bloodlines
When it comes to complications that exist because of external influences like work schedule or diet, you are your own unique story. Though when it comes to conditions in the blood, your uniques story becomes more like a family tradition passed down from generation to generation.
It’s true. Science tells us that we can’t escape our bloodlines. There is a whole heap of information in just one drop of blood. What that means for you when you’re expecting is that you need to be aware of the blood conditions that run in your biological family.
For example, do blood clots run in your family? If so then you could be at risk for developing them yourself. Blood clots can cause major complications like hearts attacks or even miscarriages. Deep-vein thrombosis is another risky condition that stays in the family. Most of these conditions appear during the first trimester and within the first six weeks postpartum.
Like any other hereditary condition or any condition, for that matter, the best thing you can do is simply to educate yourself on the condition itself. Simply because it runs in your family doesn’t mean you’ll experience it. Thought it’s never a bad idea to be pro-active.
13 Your Similar Bone Structure Could Repeat History
Many mothers and daughters look very much alike. More than just facial features and hair color, they also share a similar bone structure. You may be tall, petite, or average. And further still, you could have fine bones, medium bones, or grand bones. If you love fashion then you might already know this, but there’s an easy way to tell what bone structure you are. According to whattowearhowtodress.com, if you measure around your wrists and they are 5 1/2 inches or less then you are fine bone structure. Medium bones measure 5 1/2 to 6 1/2. Naturally, grand bone structure is anything over 6 1/2.
Knowing what bone structure you are can be beneficial in many ways. Like mentioned above, you could know how to dress your frame. Of course, you can also know how it will affect your pregnancy. This is a situation where you can take notes from your mom’s experience.
If your mom experienced any complications because of her bone structure and you share the same bone structure then you may also experience the same struggles that she did.
Things like trouble with certain joints or widening feet are what you need to watch for. Pelvis issues are an issue in a category of their own and up next.
12 Too Many Variables To Expect A C-Section Like Your Mom Had
The question most pregnant women ask is whether they’ll have a cesarean like their mom did. The answer is rather simple. It’s no, not necessarily. First of all, it’s important to drive home the point that you are not your mother and your pregnancy is not her pregnancy. You can take that one to the bank.
One reason cesareans are performed is because the doctor feels the baby is having too much difficulty passing through the mother’s pelvis. So, you might be examining your pelvis and sizing it up to your mom’s pelvis to try to predict your birthing experience.
There are actually a few types of pelvis shapes. The most common is the gynecoid pelvis – 42 percent of women have this and it’s optimal for vaginal childbirth. An android pelvis is narrow and makes vaginal delivery more tricky, but not impossible. Only about 24 percent of women have this type. The rarest makes vaginal delivery very unlikely and is called the platypelloid pelvis and it occurs in less than 3 percent of women
Also, keep in mind that delivering your baby via cesarean isn’t just determined by pelvis shape. Things like birthing position, baby’s head size, and other factor influence the need for a cesarean.
11 Preeclampsia Runs In The Family
Although preeclampsia is not a new condition in the least bit, it’s made a lot of headlines in the past few years due to so many celebrities being diagnosed with it. Kim Kardashian probably made the biggest splash when she was diagnosed. But, Brooke Mueller and Mariah Carey struggled with it also. Jill Duggar Dillard was probably the youngest celebrity to have the condition.
Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Many women also experience swelling and water retention. Untreated, this condition can be very harmful to both mom and baby. It can damage a mother’s internal organs, specifically the kidneys. Babies are at risk of being born before they are fully ready to meet the world impacting their chance for survival.
Unfortunately, like the headline reads, preeclampsia does run in the family. It impacts up to 6 percent of all pregnancies.
In fact, one of the biggest risk factors for preeclampsia is a family history of the condition. If your mother was diagnosed with it then your doctor will likely keep a close watch on your pregnancy, as well.
Also, women with a personal history of high blood pressure have an increased risk for the complication.
10 Your Mom’s Changes Don’t Dictate Yours
Besides actually giving birth, the second biggest concern for most women is how much weight they’ll gain during pregnancy. And this concern could really go one of two ways. Too much weight gain or too little. For instance, perhaps your own mother gained far too much weight when she was pregnancy with you or one of your siblings. Because of this extra weight gain, she never returned back to the size that she was pre-pregnancy or she suffered complications from the weight gain.
Naturally, you will be thinking about your own health during pregnancy and referencing your mom’s experience.
The thing about size changes is that it’s really dictated by personal choice.
No, none of us choose to gain the weight that we do. But, our diet and lifestyle largely influence the amount of weight gained during pregnancy. On top of that, you have a different metabolism than I do or even your mom. Each human body is unique when it comes to how it reacts to food intake.
What this means is that simply because your mom’s body reacted to food and lifestyle a certain way during her pregnancy, doesn’t mean yours will follow suit. It’s really up to you and your doctor to produce the results you want in terms of weight, not genetics.
9 If Your Mom Had Morning Sickness, You Might Too
We can all thank the Duchess of Cambridge aka Kate Middleton for educating the world on the condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum or extreme morning sickness. Not only did the Duchess experience this when she was pregnant with her first child Prince George, but also with her other two little royals, as well.
Basically, this condition is really, really bad morning sickness. It can get so awful that it frequently causes women to become dehydrated. Some symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, fainting, headaches, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, lethargy, cramping, and even shock. Clearly, dehydration is nothing to mess around with pregnant or not pregnant.
One unfortunate thing about hyperemesis gravid arum is that this condition is persistent. And yes, it’s hereditary.
According to Mom365, “Researchers from the University of California – Los Angeles and the University of Southern California found that pregnant women with a sister who had experienced hyperemesis gravidarum while pregnant had ‘a more than 17-fold risk of experiencing the debilitating condition, too.’ Odds weren’t as high for having a mother or grandmother with the condition, but it was still found that if the mother had a female relative – even through the child’s father’s side – who experienced extreme morning sickness, there was an increased chance that she could have it too.”
8 Labor Length Seem To Stay In Families
There is a loose link between the length of labor and genetics. What I mean by this is that you can possibly use the amount of time it took other women in your family to have their babies as a reference for how long it will take you to give birth.
According to scientific research, this theory isn’t set in stone. But, there is a casual connection.
It wouldn’t hurt to get the scoop on what other family members experienced when they were giving birth. Did you have any side-of-the-highway births in your family? Or do you know that women in your family labor a long time? Whatever the history might be, take it with a grain of salt. When it comes to labor and childbirth, the amount of time it takes isn’t fully hereditary, but it does play a significant enough roll to be mentioned in this lineup.
The best way to approach this is to look for other similarities between you and family members. Sure, you can compare yourself to your own mom, but you can even look at aunts, sisters, grandmothers, or cousins. If you start to see a pattern then you can lean in that direction that the pattern might be written in your blood.
7 Cholestasis Is A Family Hormone Condition
Cholestasis isn’t exactly popular terminology that we hear everyday. Even among pregnant celebrities, this isn’t a common condition. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it affects about 1 to 2 pregnancies in 1,000. And you’re more at risk of developing this condition if you have a mother or sister who had it.
Some believe that if you’ve experience this condition during one pregnancy that you have a 90 percent chance of experiencing it again with another pregnancy, but the research isn’t conclusive.
So, what is cholestasis exactly? Well, it’s a liver disease that only happens during pregnancy. And you can blame pregnancy hormones for causing it. Raging hormones affect the gallbladder and the normal flow of bile resulting in bile building up in the liver and possibly entering the bloodstream. Like mentioned before, women whose relatives had cholestasis are at risk. Also, women carrying multiples are more prone to this condition.
It’s dangerous to both mother and baby. It may increase the risk for fetal distress, preterm birth, or stillbirth. Cholestsis typically occurs in the third trimester when your hormones are peaking. It makes you extremely itchy. You may also have dark urine, pain in your upper right quadrant, or experience depression. Doctors often diagnose topical creams to help alleviate the itching.
6 Stretch Marks Could Be An Unwanted Gift From Mom
There’s an enormous misunderstanding about stretch marks that we’re going to clear up right off the bat. They are not simply the result of skin over-stretching. Though over-stretching is indeed something that happens during pregnancy. To a number of body parts, I might add.
Stretch marks are actually scars that frequently form when collagen and elastin fibers tear.
Pregnancy isn’t the only time these scars form. They can happen during puberty or when you lose or gain a significant amount of weight in a short time frame.
And weight gain isn’t even the true culprit. Once again, it’s your hormones stirring the pot. And the thing about stretch marks is that they can be genetic. They can be, but like other conditions, they are not set in stone. If your mom has stretch marks from being pregnant then there is a good chance that you will, too. Not because you’ll gain the same amount of weight. Rather, it’s because your body could very possibly react to hormones in a similar fashion. If you do experience stretch marks then keep in mind that there appearance is easier to reduce when you first get them opposed to after they have turned a grayish color.
5 Your Delivery Date Has A Loose Link To Your Mom’s
If you want to know whether you’ll be overdue, deliver on your due date, or even deliver early then look at when your mom delivered. Although it’s not always 100 percent accurate, it can give you a little clue about your own delivery date. When it comes to delivering early, studies show that early labor does run in families. Remember that there are so many other health reasons why you could have early labor.
A full term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Though many babies come both earlier than 40 weeks and later than 40 weeks.
As well as early labor, going past your due date is somewhat genetic, too. So, if your mom went a week or two past her due date, there’s a good chance you may very well experience the same thing.
If your mom experienced early labor or a delayed due date then talk to your doctor about the risks that you might also face. In fact, anytime you believe there to be similarities between you and your mom that you possibly link to a condition during pregnancy, alert your doctor. They’ll be able to look at the history and pull medicals truths from it to help gauge your pregnancy better.
4 Mothers And Daughters Often Approach Labor The Same
When it comes to labor and delivery, this is often a 40+ week ordeal. No, you are not in labor for 40 or more weeks. But, there’s a good chance that the epic feat of pushing a baby out your body is on your mind. Here’s the thing with labor, no one can truly predict it. No one can really tell you it will happen like this or feel like this. Other women can tell their story and you can learn about what happens to your body. The details of your own labor is a story yet to be written by you and your baby.
But…yes, there is a but to all of this information. Although labor is a physiological event, it’s also a mental event. Meaning, the way you think about labor greatly influences how labor actually plays out.
This is where your mom’s experience comes into play.
If your mom had a great labor experience and she’s filled your mind with her own positive stories then that’s how you will likely approach your own labor. You will be positive and expect a good outcome like your mom had.
On the other hand, if your mom had a negative labor experience then you will probably approach labor apprehensively. It’s important to full grasp your true beliefs about labor instead of just blindly adoption someone else’s, even if it is your mom..
3 Your Baby’s Size Can Be A Family Affair
Have you heard that big-headed babies run in families? Well, it’s kind of true. Though there are exceptions. In terms of genetics, according to TheBump.com, it’s likely that you will give birth to a baby about the size that you or your spouse were at birth.
So, if you were an enormous baby when you were born then you probably shouldn’t plan on giving birth to a petite baby.
Like most things in life, there are many other factors that affect the size of your baby at birth. For instance, your weight plays a significant role in your baby’s weight. Larger mothers tend to give birth to larger babies. Conversely, smaller moms give birth to smaller babies.
Birth order plays a part, as well. The more babies you have the bigger they get. So, your firstborn is often the smallest of the bunch. And further still, boys are typically larger than girls. And you can’t forget about due date. If your baby is born early then they’ll probably be smaller than if they’d been born on or after their due date. All this talk of big babies tends to be a little daunting. Just remember that you were made to do this, big baby or little baby.
2 Gestational Diabetes Is Hereditary
Gestational diabetes is an incredibly common condition that affects up to 18 percent of all pregnancies. It usually shows up in the second trimester between weeks 24 to 28. This is why most doctors like to administer the standard glucose screening during this stage. In all reality, gestational diabetes can impact any pregnant women whether it runs in your family or not.
You don’t already have to be diagnosed with any type of diabetes to be stricken with gestational diabetes. In fact, that’s exactly what it is – diabetes during pregnancy when you didn’t have it pre-pregnancy. Though, if managed properly, there’s no reason why you can’t give birth to a healthy baby.
There are several things that could influence whether you will have gestational diabetes or not. One is whether you have a family history of either diabetes in general or gestational diabetes specifically.
As well as being genetically predisposed for the condition, your weight could also impact whether you will struggle with this condition. Your age, diet, and lifestyle also plays a significant role. If your mom was diagnosed with any type of diabetes then it would do you well to be extra careful, so you can decrease the risk of getting it yourself.
1 Your Hair Color May Mirror Your Mom’s
So many physiological aspects are impacted during pregnancy. From stretch marks to widening hips to your hair changing colors or even texture. Many woman have experienced their hair darkening and recall this happening to their own mother. Although it’s not written in stone (0r science textbooks), it’s definitely one of those old wives tales that could use a little more testing.
According to Romper.com, “California-based doula Monique Cowan says that pregnancy can definitely change your hair color. ‘The hormones and chemicals in your body are doing all sorts of craziness in you during pregnancy, so your hair, skin, and even your eyes can develop an increase in melanin,’ she tells Romper in an interview. ‘For some women, the change can be permanent. Lots of women also experience their hair greying postpartum.'”
One thing to remember that if your hair turns gray during pregnancy, this probably isn’t due to either age or stress. It’s likely due to your nutritional intake. This isn’t naturally occurring, so review your diet before freaking out.
To sum up, although pregnancy is undoubtedly unique to you, a lot can be learned from your mom. Pregnancy has always been and always will be one of those things in life that we can’t fully predict. So, keep a grain of salt with you to couple with all the scientific evidence.
References: www.Mother.ly, www.Mom365.com, www.boldsky.com, www.WhatToWearHowToDress.com, www.AmericanPregnancy.org, www.TheBump.com, wwwRomper.com