As previously mentioned, the major cause of the changes experienced by a woman during pregnancy is increased hormone production. Your body normally produces a few milligrams of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen is a day. But once you get pregnant, these hormones increase to at least 30 times more than the usual amount to support and nourish the fetus. The effect is felt in drastic changes in the breasts, skin, back and even pains in the stomach and head. Read on to know more about those physical changes.
- BREASTS – There’s tingling sensation, tenderness and swelling. During the menstrual period, the same is experienced due to hormonal production. In pregnancy, however a more dramatic change is likely to occur because this is when your breasts start to produce milk for your baby. Your breast may have a small amount of discharge that appears like milk. It is colostrums, a pre-milk substance that’s high in protein, antibodies, and minerals. You may feel embarrassed by the leaking but it is just a minor problem that can be solved by wearing a highly absorbent bra.
- TEETH AND GUMS – Increased blood flow makes your teeth and gums sensitive, that’s why you may experience a swollen mouth and bleeding gums. Even before your pregnancy, you should have consulted your dentist for tooth extraction, cleaning, and X-ray. Having such procedures done during your pregnancy may be harmful.
- FREQUENT URINATION – The pressure on the bladder by the uterus makes you feel like urinating all the time. Make it a habit to empty your bladder from time to time to avoid the inconvenience of getting out of bed and going to the bathroom when you should be sleeping in the middle of the night.
- CONSTIPATION – Because of the enlarging uterus, there is downward pressure on the muscles and veins in the rectum, which results in inconvenience bowel movement. Dilation occurs and causes painful bowel movement. As mentioned, a high-fiber diet can prevent constipation because it is easy to digest. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day also aids in digestion.
- FATIGUE – Unusual tiredness is always felt during pregnancy. Dizziness and laziness may also be felt. As the fetus grows, your increased body weight makes it difficult for you to do your normal activities. You can lessen the fatigue by taking enough rest, exercise, and proper food.
- SKIN – The skin undergoes one of the most visible and common changes during pregnancy. Although some pregnant women have glowing complexions, others experience discoloration and acne, Skin on the underarms, neck, and other parts of the body become darker. Stretch marks become visible on the abdomen, back of the legs and thighs, and the skin texture changes from smooth to rough. However, the skin returns to its normal state after birth.
- HAIR – Straight hair may become curly and vice versa. The hair of some women becomes shiny and vibrant while that of others may become coarse and dry. At other times, hair becomes thicker or thinner. Thinning hair is normal, though. It is passing phase and it doesn’t mean that you will go bald. However, during your pregnancy, it would be better to avoid dyeing or perm your hair as the chemicals used in those procedures may be harmful to you and your baby.
- FINGERNAILS – In some pregnant women, Splitting or breaking of nails occurs. To protect your nails, wear gloves when working or apply strengthening cream and lotion until after delivery when the nails have returned to normal.
- VAGINA – The vagina tissues changes early in pregnancy. They become more dilated in preparation for birth. During this time, the pregnant woman may lubricate more and feel a greater desire for sex. But this is not true for all women. If you experience heavy discharge, you can use a light sanitary pad. Douching is discouraged because it may harm the baby. If you discharge has a foul odor consult your gynecologist.