7 ways your body changes during pregnancy
If you have been trying to fall pregnant for a while, you’ll probably have read up on most of the tell-tale signs that you’re expecting. You know about late periods, sore boobs and bloating, not to mention experiencing nausea in the first trimester.
However, there are other body changes during pregnancy which you will notice as you progress towards your due date. Take a look at some of the differences you can look forward to (or dread… depending on how they affect you).
That pregnancy ‘glow’
When you’re expecting, your body gets a boost in blood volume, which means your skin can start to look flushed.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “changes in hormone levels might also cause the skin glands on the face to secrete more oil (sebum), which can make skin look slightly shinier.” The drawback of this ‘glow’ might be a few more acne breakouts than usual. Try to use natural treatments for your skin and check which products are best avoided during pregnancy.
As well as being tender, your boobs are gonna swell. You can expect to go up at least one cup size so your bras don’t pinch and feel uncomfortable.
You might also find underwire bras just aren’t doing it for you anymore. Pregnancy is all about that c-word… comfort, so look for a supportive maternity bra. You might want to save money by finding a feeding crop that you can work out in during your pregnancy and wear as a nursing bra after baby arrives. Tip: look for magnetic clasps… they make breastfeeding so much easier!
Some pregnant women notice their favourite heels no longer fit. The hormones flying around your body plus the extra weight can cause your feet to flatten and lengthen. Some women find they need to keep wearing a size larger, even after pregnancy.
Don’t forget to look for supportive, comfortable shoes while you’re expecting. It will help make the days feel less long.
Blotches and dark lines
The ‘mask of pregnancy’ has nothing to do with facials at the beauty salon.
It doesn’t happen to everyone, but don’t panic if you notice patches of brown or yellow skin on your face. This is just one of the common pregnancy body changes.
As your belly grows, you may also notice a brown line from your belly button to your ‘delivery zone’. This is also normal and will fade in time. Your body is just making more pigment because of your pregnancy.
Darker nipples are a thing as well. Some believe it’s an evolutionary feature that makes it easier for a brand baby to spot its feeding station.
While the swollen feet and additional pimples might leave you feeling not-so-great, one positive pregnancy body change is extra hair on your head.
When you’re expecting, your hair tends to grow faster and fall out less. It can even change colour and texture. Enjoy it while it lasts because once your hormones return to normal you might notice a lot of extra strands in the shower.
Ligament and joint pain
‘Relaxin’ sounds like a painkiller or sedative but it’s the name of yet another hormone that makes itself known during pregnancy.
This hormone’s job is to make it easier for your baby to join you in the real world and it gets to work by relaxing the ligaments in your pelvic area. The problem is Relaxin can work a little too well, loosening joints all over your body. It’s one of the reasons why you might be advised not to overdo it with exercise during your pregnancy; your joints and ligaments are easier to overstretch.
Relaxin can also give you back pain and make it hard to walk as quickly as usual. To help minimise the discomfort, find a quality pair of maternity tights. If they’re made from the right kind of compression fabric, they will give you some extra support around your stomach, hips and back.
Pregnancy body changes: sore gums
Even your mouth can’t escape the side-effects of pregnancy. Apart from wanting more food and water than usual, you may notice your gums get sore and that they even start to bleed.
Again, this all comes back to hormones. You’ve got all that extra blood volume and the boost in blood flow can cause sore and sensitive gums. Dentists are used to having phone calls from pregnant women who are suddenly really uncomfortable. They will be able to recommend the right plan of action to reduce the pain without the need for pregnancy no-no drugs.
These are just seven pregnancy body changes from a long list. If you’re worried about your health during pregnancy, see your doctor. Otherwise, dress comfortably, make sure to stay hydrated and get a small amount of exercise each day.
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