9 Ways Your Body Changes During Pregnancy
Most pregnant women are concerned about the changes their bodies go through during these nine months. During this period, the body makes changes to meet the needs of the little one that is forming inside your womb. We invite you to discover some of the ways your body changes during pregnancy, so they won’t take you by surprise and you’ll be better prepared.
9 ways your body changes during pregnancy that you should expect
Your body transforms to adapt to the baby’s needs and also prepares for the eventual moment of delivery. The body begins to accumulate reserves to welcome your little one when he or she is born, but this can also trigger discomfort in many parts of the body.
Here are the most common ways your body changes during pregnancy:
1. Increase in sexual desire
During the nine months of pregnancy, there will be constant variations in the levels of hormones, and this will raise your libido. This will make you feel more attractive and, when you have sex, you’ll notice you have far more vaginal lubrication.
The advantage of staying sexually active is that this will serve as a form of exercise to prepare you for the time of delivery.
2. Hormonal changes
Hormonal changes during pregnancy start from the fertilization of the egg itself. The increase in estrogen is what causes the terrible so-called “morning sickness.”
On the other hand, the increase in progesterone contributes to the flexibility of the body’s ligaments, and the production of prolactin helps the development of the mammary glands. The hCG (discussed below) is responsible for the survival of the fertilized egg.
3. Weight gain
This is the most obvious of the many changes during pregnancy. Your tummy will grow week by week and your weight will increase by between 12 and 16 kilos.
This is greatly influenced by your weight before pregnancy and your eating habits, as well as your lifestyle – whether you have an exercise routine or lead a sedentary life.
4. Breast enlargement
One of the first ways your body changes during pregnancy is the increase in breast size and hypersensitivity. After a couple of weeks, you’ll notice how the areola darkens. From the fourth month onwards, your breasts may secrete a yellowish, thick liquid called colostrum, the first breast milk.
5. Changes in the skin
The increase in the production of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone produces changes in the skin. Because these hormones are responsible for producing melanin (the pigment that gives color to the skin), spots often appear on your skin.
In addition, the increase in weight will make your skin stretch, and lose its elasticity. Unfortunately, this can lead to the appearance of stretch marks.
“In pregnancy, your body transforms to adapt to the baby’s needs, and also prepares for the eventual moment of delivery”
6. Changes in the uterus
The uterus will begin to stretch to accommodate the baby, and it will also increase in size. Due to its flexibility, the womb will increase in size from 6 to 33 centimeters. You’re also likely to feel discomfort as the baby grows, because his size and weight will press on the organs.
7. Changes in the digestive system
Nausea caused by hormones such as hCG are sometimes followed by vomiting or headaches. Added to this, suffering constipation is another way the body changes during pregnancy.
The baby’s growth will put pressure on the intestines and other organs of the digestive system. As a result, you may feel a bit uncomfortable after meals.
8. Changes in the hair
Another effect of these hormonal changes during pregnancy is the increase in hair volume. Your hair will also become more dry and brittle than usual. You’ll also notice an increase in body hair on your legs, arms and face.
9. Changes in the feet and legs
Both the growth of the uterus and the increase of blood in your circulation make it difficult for the blood to circulate. For this reason, the legs usually swell and varicose veins appear.
One of the most unpleasant changes in your body during pregnancy is fluid retention. This makes your feet swell so much that your shoes will start to get a little tight.
Pregnancy is a transient stage that marks the beginning of more significant changes in your life. As the pregnancy evolves, try to enjoy this extraordinary experience to the fullest, and prepare yourself to face these changes, and the changes that will come after birth too.