During pregnancy the body undergoes many changes in order to accommodate a new living thing, organs get pushed around, extremities expand, moods swing. There is also the need to pee every two minutes and craving certain foods while bent over the toilet throwing your guts out.
What can you read in this article?
- Changes in body during pregnancy
- Effects of pregnancy on the body
- Emotional changes during pregnancy
Expecting a baby? Just found out you were pregnant? This article will tell you what changes to expect in your body and emotional health.
Physical changes during pregnancy month by month. | Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels
Writer and mother Rita Templeton of Scary Mommy is definitely familiar with these symptoms after two pregnancies. Here are the freaky pregnancy surprises
Have you had these freaky pregnancy surprises?:
1. The Beard
At first, she thought it was a dry patch of skin on her chin, having noticed it while she was toweling off after a shower. In fact, Rita had wished it was a dry patch of skin; instead, it was little growths of hair.
“I was hoping maybe they’d disappear once my hormones were back to normal, but no. The bad news is that it never went away,” she said. “Oh, and I gained like 10 more chin hairs with each pregnancy (four total—you do the math).”
2. The Fat Nose
Pregnant women generally accumulate weight in their midsections, but there are those who accumulate weight everywhere. Rita was one of those women.
“I did not anticipate that my nose would get bigger too. But it did, and I walked around for the last few months of my pregnancy with a swollen schnoz that would have been better suited to a garden gnome.”
3. The Skin Tags
Other than her skin breaking out, Rita also experienced an excess of skin growth, “weird little flaps of extra skin that appeared in random places, like the sides of my neck and under my armpit, serving no purpose whatsoever aside from being odd and annoying.”
4. The Ugly Veins
“When I was young, childless, and naïve, I’d see women with road-map legs and think about how terrible it must be to age so ungracefully. Little did I know that by the time I was a ripe old 29, I’d have spider veins on the backs of my knees so bad that I could navigate someone from here to China.”
5. The Big Feet
She has large feet, to begin with, and her two pregnancies only made it bigger.
“My youngest is nearly 4, and I’m still waiting for the day when I wake up and slip into a 9 again, but that hasn’t happened yet.”
Physical changes during pregnancy month by month: Changes in body during pregnancy
Physical changes during pregnancy month by month. | Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels
Changes in body during pregnancy are totally normal. They might be new to you, and some might be weird but here’s everything you need to know so you won’t be so surprised like how Rita found hers.
In the first trimester of your pregnancy, you may start to feel the following changes in body during pregnancy:
- You feel nauseous and exhausted.
- You may start to gain weight.
- Because your uterus is developing, it exerts pressure on your bladder, making you feel like you need to urinate frequently.
- Your breasts grow larger, heavier, and more sensitive.
- You may have mood swings.
- Your heart rate and respiratory rate have both increased.
Once you reach the 2nd trimester, you will feel more changes in the body during pregnancy. Some might improve what you’ve been feeling while some new changes that may occur can be uncomfortable.
- You start to feel better, with less fatigue, nausea, and irritability.
- You may notice you are unable to concentrate at work or at home.
- You may be concerned about the tests (including an ultrasound) that will be performed at this time. However, if any health abnormalities are discovered, these tests will ensure that you and your baby receive the best possible care.
- Your hair may thicken and your fingernails may become stronger.
- In some instances, your nails could also be otherwise – softer and more prone to breaking.
- Some foods, such as sweet, spicy, or fatty dishes, may appeal to you.
- Some foods may have a flavor or odor that you dislike.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may still experience a few changes in the body during pregnancy.
- Back pain
- Difficulty to sleep
- You may feel exhausted or uneasy.
- There may be discomfort that will irritate you.
- You may start to have worries about giving birth.
- Braxton Hicks contractions may be felt (tightening of the muscles of the uterus). However, this do not imply that labor has begun.
Effects of pregnancy on the body
Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels
While there may be physical changes in the body during pregnancy, there may also be emotional effects of pregnancy.
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During pregnancy, some women may experience vision changes, including increased nearsightedness. However, there is not enough research yet on the exact biological mechanisms of this change. No worries, as the majority of women return to their pre-pregnancy vision.
Blurriness and discomfort with contact lenses are common changes during pregnancy.
Taste and smell
During pregnancy, the majority of women notice changes in their perception of taste.
Pregnant women tend to favor saltier and sweeter foods than non-pregnant women. They have a stronger tolerance for intense sour, salty, and sweet flavors as well.
The amount of blood accessible to the fetus might be reduced by dehydration. Preterm contractions are more likely as a result of this. Furthermore, the loss of body fluids through sweat can reduce blood flow to the uterus, muscles, and some organs in pregnant women.
During most types of exercise, uterine oxygen consumption remains steady, and the fetus is unharmed. However, this can be risky for women who have pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Pregnant women have a general rise in base metabolic rate and core temperature, regardless of whether or not they exercise. Pregnant women have an excellent ability to regulate their core temperature. Increased body heat is released as a result of increased blood flow to the skin and the expanded skin surface.
Heat stress can, however, develop during activity. A rise in the mother’s core temperature, known as hyperthermia, can be hazardous to the baby’s development.
Breathing and oxygen levels
During pregnancy, the amount of air that passes in and out of the lungs increases by 30 to 50 percent. As a result, some pregnant women say it’s harder for them to take deep breaths.
Dizziness and fainting
The vena cava, a major blood channel that connects the lower body to the heart, is compressed when you lie flat on your back. Blood flow to and from the heart is reduced, resulting in a quick and abrupt drop in blood pressure. This can make you dizzy or lead you to lose consciousness.
Dizziness can be relieved by lying on your left side, which is also a good sleeping position.
Estrogen and progesterone changes
The main pregnancy hormones are estrogen and progesterone. During a pregnancy, a woman produces more estrogen than she does throughout her entire life. During pregnancy, estrogen levels rise, allowing the uterus and placenta to:
- Improve formation of blood vessels
- Transfer nutrients
- assist the baby’s development
Estrogen is also thought to play a role in the development and maturation of the fetus.
Progesterone, on the other hand, is necessary for converting the uterus from the size of a tiny pear in its non-pregnant condition to a uterus capable of carrying a full-term baby.
Emotional changes during pregnancy
Aside from the physical changes in the body during pregnancy, you may also experience changes in your emotions.
Feelings and emotions
During pregnancy, you may experience feeling various emotions, and may even feel a lot of highs and lows. These feelings include happiness, love for your baby, anger, surprise, general sadness, fear for the baby’s health, and fear of birth.
Photo by Rafael Henrique from Pexels
Because your hormones are changing, you will most likely experience heightened emotions, both pleasant and negative. With this, you’ll most likely have mood swings.
Aside from worrying about your baby, about motherhood, and other issues that concern the family, you may also worry about yourself – the physical changes and effects of pregnancy on the body.
This, together with the changes in your hormones, may be a lot to take but it is common in pregnancy. However, if you feel like you might need some help, don’t hesitate to call your doctor for assistance and medical attention. You’ll feel better.
Anxiety and depression
Approximately 15% of pregnant women will experience depression or anxiety. Even more women will be affected by these issues after giving birth.
Many women avoid seeking treatment because they are embarrassed or guilty about feeling so bad at a time when they should be happy.
However, depression is not something you should be embarrassed about. When left untreated, this can have long-term effects in your and your baby’s wellbeing.
If you are feeling emotionally unwell and uncomfortable, consult your doctor for advice on how to cope with the changes.
Let’s not forget about the pregnancy glow, when does it start?
Some people say that pregnancy glow is just a myth. While some believe it is triggered by happiness and could also predict the sex of your baby.
While you may feel pleased and excited during your pregnancy, the glow could actually be due to a variety of medical conditions. The glow can be attributable to the following signs:
- Hot flashes
- Skin stretching
- Increased oil in skin
- Hormone fluctuations
- Increased blood flow
Whatever changes you may be feeling in your body, know that these are normal and that all you need to do is to continue taking care of yourself and your baby. If you have pressing concerns about these changes and your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. He or she will know what’s best to do.
Additional information from Margaux Dolores
Better Health, Healthline, Mayo Clinic
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