Physical Changes During Pregnancy






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During pregnancy, your body will undergo some pretty significant changes. Making room for a new tenant in the little one, helping them grow and develop, and keeping you ticking over at the same requires your body to adapt in a big way. 

It’s not easy, and many changes are not obvious at first glance, nor are they expected. You will get bigger, a little (or a lot!) more uncomfortable, and your body will just feel very different. Let’s go over what you can expect, and how best to navigate changes during pregnancy.  

The Early Changes 

From an outsider’s perspective, little has changed. But right after pregnancy, your body is already going through transformation. You will go through morning sickness, your breasts will be more tender or even quite sore, and daily fatigue is also quite common. 

Because many couples choose to wait to tell people the good news, usually until the first ultrasound at the 12-week mark, it can be a little tricky to pretend everything is business as usual. 

For the most part, you should try and focus on rest and your overall well being as much as possible. Don’t overfill your schedule, try to relax and be kind to yourself. If the pain becomes a little too much, try over-the-counter medicines, consulting your pharmacist for advice. 

Mental Health During Your Pregnancy 

Even though we have made great progress as a society when it comes to mental health, there is still a lot of stigma attached to struggles during pregnancy. 

We tend to expect women to be at their best, happy about the upcoming bundle of joy at all times. And while it’s certainly true that it’s a time of great happiness and gratitude, it’s also common to face sadness, anxiety, and a generally low mood. 

But many pregnant women cover this up with an exterior, a facade, afraid of not feeling what is expected from them. This is not healthy, not for the woman, nor for the child. 

Mental health during pregnancy is just as important as the physical changes women will go through. We need to put the focus on mental health, and take away the stigma surrounding it. Every experience is unique, and women should not have to feel guilty for going through what is completely normal.  

The Changes That Come with ‘Looking’ Pregnant 

One of the top questions women wonder about is when they’ll start looking pregnant. Every woman is different, so there’s no exact timeframe. But you can expect to have your clothes feeling just that little bit tighter from around week 13 (but it can be anything up to 29 weeks!). 

It’s clear why. You’re not only carrying your baby, but your body also needs to have enough nutrients for 2! Your hunger will increase, as you will require more calories. Don’t feel guilty about your sudden urge to eat far more than you’re used to, it’s a normal part of the process. Just make sure you focus on nutritional choices where you can! 

We often look at Instagram and see glowing mums-to-be, still stylish, rocking dresses, and looking their best. But that’s social media, remember that. When you’re pregnant, it’s all about comfort. 

You’re going to be bigger than you’re used to. Most women will gain 25-35 pounds, no matter what you do with your diet Your feet will swell up, you may not know where your ankles begin or end. You will feel tired, and not quite yourself. 

You will also be glowing, you’re carrying a new life. Even though you’re bigger, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo style either. Invest in some nice maternity wear, size up your clothing, and focus on you.

Unfortunately, aches and pains will also be common, due to hormonal changes, the expanding uterus, and your weight gain. Back aches, ligaments hurting, and sciatica may all be part of what you have to look forward to. This is all completely normal, albeit sometimes very uncomfortable. 

Your Hair, Nails, and Skin During Pregnancy 

Many women are often shocked by just how different their hair, nails, and skin ‘behave’ during pregnancy. Your nails will grow faster than you’re used to, your hair will be thick and lustrous, and the increased blood volume and hormonal activity will give that famous ‘glow’ to your skin. 

You may also see your nipples become darker, your breasts enlarged. The linea nigra, which is a line from your belly button to your pubic hairline, if it develops, will be prominent, but will fade. 

Unfortunately, there are some unwelcome changes also. You may see dark patches on your skin, known as melasma. The sudden increase in your weight and breast size may result in stretch marks. 

And following your increase in hair thickness and count, you may see a sudden shedding. This can be an alarming experience for many women, but not to worry, you will usually see a rebalancing as your body adapts to the changes. 

Just remember, the changes you will feel are all part of the journey. It’s a challenging yet rewarding process. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, focus on you and the baby, and never feel guilty for not feeling happy 100% of the time. 

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