Being pregnant is amazing! You watch your belly grow, feel your baby kick, and you get that beautiful pregnant glow. But being pregnant also does some really funky things to your body. Your feet are swollen, your nipples are sore, and let’s not forget about the stretch marks. Here are 20 ways your body changes when you’re pregnant.
20 You are a hairy beast
The increase of estrogen in your body will increase the length and growth of hair follicles, so the hair on your head will be on point. The bad news is that this will also result in hair growth where you don’t really want it. So while you’ll have many good hair days, you’ll also have more unwanted hair on your upper lip, stomach, back, and nipples! And with that big belly in your way, how will you reach down to shave? Fun.
19 You’ll shed more than your dog
After giving birth, your estrogen levels will fall, causing women to shed so don’t freak out if you see clumps of hair falling out after showering or brushing your hair. Your hair will be back to normal within four to six months after giving birth.
18 Girl, you need a manicure
Pregnancy can cause your nails to grow faster, but unfortunately coarsens the texture of the nails causing them to be brittle and soft and split more easily. It is believed that the changes in your nails may be because of increased blood flow to the fingers and toes due to increased estrogen levels.
17 Those dreaded stretch marks
Because you are gaining all that baby weight, you are bound to have some stretch marks. The more you gain, or the bigger the baby, the more likely you’ll have them and the worse they will be. Stretchmarks are typically seen on a woman's stomach, breasts, backside, or thighs, and sometimes they itch. Doctors recommend cocoa butter to help soothe the itchiness, but there is really no way to prevent them. After you have the baby, the marks should shrink and become less noticeable.
16 Melasma all over your face!
Yes, you’ll enjoy that pregnant glow to your skin, but unfortunately there are also some pigment changes you may experience during your pregnancy. Melasma, also called chloasma, are dark patches that can pop up on your face near your eyes or over the cheeks and nose due to increased melanin.
15 That weird, but cute belly line
Fluctuating hormone levels cause that dark line right smack in the middle of your belly running from the bellybutton to the pubic bone. This pigment change, known as linea negra is usually more common in women with darker skin and will fade after delivery.
14 More pimples on your face than a 13-year-old boy
Happy breakouts! Acne is common during pregnancy because of hormonal shifts that cause your skin to secrete more oil.
13 You think you’re sensitive? What about your boobs?
Your boobs will feel tender when you’re pregnant and your nipples will be more sensitive as well. Some women sleep in a maternity bra at night for comfort and support.
12 More nipple changes
It is common that a woman’s areolas will darken and enlarge early on in pregnancy. The nipples may also leak colostrum, a milky fluid usually in the third trimester. Lucky you!
11 Your belly button’s transition
Are you an innie? Not anymore! In the second trimester, your innie will become an outie… and if you’re an outie, then you better hope you don’t poke someone’s eye out with that thing.
10 It’s getting hot in here
Due to an increased metabolic rate and sweat gland activity, pregnant women will feel hot hot hot. It is recommended that pregnant women wear loose clothes and drink lots of water to help cool them down.
9 That good ole pregnancy waddle
In order to create more space in a woman’s pelvis for a baby, your body secretes pregnancy hormones called relaxin to loosen joints and ligaments to help prepare for labor and delivery. Relaxin also stretches joints all over the body, which can lead to back pain and sciatica. Relaxin is also responsible for the pregnancy waddle, which is the result of a big belly and a curved spine.
8 Swollen Footsies
When your pregnant, your feet can grow a whole shoe size because of an increase in growth hormone. The swelling may be because the body is producing extra fluids that go straight to your feet and ankles and it is also believed that the arches in the feet flatten out.
7 All stuffed up
Your blood volume increases when you’re pregnant and can lead to runny noses and congestion. You can use a saline spray or a neti pot to help clear you out.
6 Having to pee all day, everyday
Another fun result of your blood volume increasing during pregnancy is that it puts pressure on your kidneys, thus making you have to pee every five seconds. Then, later in pregnancy, the actual weight of the baby pushing on your bladder makes you feel like you always have to go.
5 Panting like a puppy
With the baby pressing up against your diaphragm, you may feel a shortness of breath like you can’t breathe. They call the shortness of breath, dyspnea, and it will help to slow down and find a position that allows to relax and just breathe.
4 All backed up
Constipation is common during pregnancy because of hormones, and it’s important to not try to push too hard, which can lead to hemorrhoids. Try exercising, drinking lots of water, and eating fiber instead.
3 Who farted?
Good news! You can blame your gas and heartburn on the baby. The pressure of the uterus on the stomach causes acid reflux and gas. Tums, Mylanta, and Mylanta Gas are all safe during pregnancy.
2 Everyone loves a good leg cramp
Leg cramps and restless leg syndrome can be caused by low iron and/or potassium. Stretching before bed, exercise, and eating bananas will help your cramps, and if you are too low on iron, you may need to take a higher iron supplement.
1 Why are my gums bleeding?
Bleeding gums are a common complaint during pregnancy and it is more dangerous than usual because your immune system is down. Make sure to visit a dentist, floss,
and take care of your gums and teeth to prevent gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums and infection.
Sources: healthywomen.org, livescience.com
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