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7 Ways Your Body Changes During Pregnancy

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Hemali A Desai 91% (106 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist,  •  8 years experience
7 Ways Your Body Changes During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most transformative experiences in the life of a woman. Every moment of pregnancy is filled with intense joy and anticipation. However, due to massive hormonal fluctuations during this time period, there can be moments of unexplained depression and distress. This happens mostly due to the metamorphosis that the body undergoes in order to accommodate the growth and development of a new life. During this time, innumerable physical changes take place.

Another major change that can vary from one woman to another depends on their lifestyle, general health, diet, and self-care routine. Another important factor to consider is the kind of drugs that the doctors prescribe which can affect the body in different ways.

Ways in which your body transforms during pregnancy

  1. Skin: The rise in the levels of oestrogen often provides the “pregnancy glow” to the skin. It can temporarily make the skin look even toned and healthy. However, it may also affect the skin in a negative manner; give rise to blotchy pigmentation, rashes, under eye dark circles. The increase in oil secretion causes acne outbreaks. Stretch marks are common problems that do not seem to go easily. These are visible mostly near the abdomen and on the limbs.
  2. Hair: On a regular basis, almost 100 hair strands fall out, and new hair strands take their place. This continues in a cyclical process. During pregnancy, the follicles are mostly locked in a growing phase that causes a surge in the volume of hair. After the birth of the baby, the extra follicles start falling out and this phase can cause a lot of distress to the new mother. However, with proper care and medication, the excessive hair fall should be in control in a month or two.
  3. Bodyache: Back pain , especially in the pelvic or lower back region is one of the most common occurrences in the advanced stages of pregnancy. This is accompanied by headaches, swollen legs or tingly, numb feeling in the hands. The substantial increase in water retention is most visible in the legs and feet and may make walking or standing painfully difficult. Varicose veins develop and worsen during pregnancy. The sudden, yet temporary weight gain causes difficulty in movement.
  4. Digestion: The digestive system slows done during pregnancy. This happens due to a number of chemical secretions, hormones and in most cases, the inability to remain physically active as before. This leads to a rise in acidity, indigestion and most commonly, constipation.
  5. Incontinence: The pressure on the urethra can lead to difficulty in urination and cause incontinence.
  6. Heart, lungs and blood pressure: The heart has to work harder than before and pump extra blood to the growing baby within the womb. This causes an increase in the pulse rate and blood circulation throughout the baby. The blood pressure fluctuates and may drop down during the second trimester as the pregnancy hormones often cause the blood vessels to relax. This is often the reason for dizziness and disorientation during pregnancy. In the case of patients with hypertension, the blood vessels may constrict and can create a medical emergency situation.
  7. Breasts: The increase in progesterone and estrogen, and the milk-producing hormone ‘prolactin’ create visible changes in the breasts. This includes darkening of the areola, increase in the blood flow to the breasts, erection, and hypersensitivity in the nipples and the growth in the milk sacs, ducts, and lobes.

Most of these symptoms improve and disappear in a few weeks after childbirth and the body starts recovering. The sheer exhaustion of childbirth takes a toll on the physical and mental health of the mother. There is utmost need of rest and proper nutrition. There is no need to rush to heal yourself, it is best left to nature along with a few guidelines that a doctor will help you with.

 

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