Your first pregnancy is full of unknowns (hey, even your second one can be a bit of a mystery), which is why you’re eager for info on what to expect. So when your mother-in-law mentions that huge babies run in her family or your own mom says she had a bad bout of morning sickness, of course you’re wondering if you’re in for those same pregnancy issues. From long labors to gestational diabetes, here are some common pregnancy and labor conditions and info on which ones are hereditary.
Morning Sickness: Hereditary
If your mother or sister had morning sickness, you might want to start stocking up on saltines and ginger ale now. Studies have found a strong genetic link to this nauseating rite of passage, especially in severe cases. Even if you are predisposed to pregnancy queasiness, you can still combat it by always keeping some food in your stomach, sticking to foods that appeal to you and are easily digestible, and talking to your doctor about taking B6 supplements, which can nix nausea.
Miscarriage: Almost Never Hereditary
Miscarriage is so common that almost everyone can point to a family member who’s had one. In fact, virtually every woman will have at least one (which may occur so early that you might not even notice!). The good news: Even if Mom had a miscarriage or two, you’re not destined for the same. Still, it’s not a bad idea to mention the family history to your practitioner. In extremely rare instances, a genetic issue, such as a chromosome abnormality called balanced translocation, can cause repeat miscarriages.
Gestational Diabetes: Hereditary
Yes, unfortunately, you’re at a higher risk for gestational diabetes if any kind of diabetes runs in your family, especially if a sibling or parent has the condition. But your fate isn’t sealed. You can beat the odds if you maintain a healthy weight by eating well (skip the ice-cream binges) and exercising regularly during pregnancy.
Big Babies: Hereditary
Your and your partner’s sizes are strong predictors of how big your baby will be at birth. If you two were both on the smaller side as newborns (and are still petite people), then — lucky you! — you probably won’t have to push out a ten-pounder. (If one of you was big and the other small, it’s a crapshoot.) When you’re calculating, don’t forget to take into account that you might be heavier as an expecting mom today than your own mom was back then — and bigger ladies lead to bigger babies.
Overdue Babies: Probably Hereditary
If you arrived two weeks after your due date, chances are your baby is going to be fashionably late, too. Even so, you may not still be pregnant at 42 (or 43 or 44) weeks: Ultrasounds a generation ago weren’t as common or as accurate as they are now, so due dates weren’t calculated correctly. Translation: Your mom may not have been truly overdue. If you end up waiting awhile, you can try these ways to jump-start labor.
Premature Labor: Possibly Hereditary
A few studies have shown that preterm labor runs in families, but the research is very preliminary. What does that mean for you? If one of your family members went into labor early, tell your practitioner. Your doc will want to know what may have caused the early labor — so he or she can be proactive and protect you and your baby — and periodically measure the length of your cervix, which can be a tip-off about your risk of preterm labor.
A Long, Difficult Labor: Possibly Hereditary
Although you can’t actually inherit these kinds of labors, your mom may have passed down her body type and that can affect what happens in the delivery room. For instance, a mom with a tiny pelvis may have a long labor that ends in a C-section (because she’s too petite for a vaginal birth). If you’re shaped that way, too, it may be tougher for you to push your bun out of the oven. Of course, plenty of other factors also influence what type of labor you end up having, including the position and size of your baby.
For more detailed information please be very much opened to your doctor so he or she can advice you accordingly.