When a woman becomes pregnant for the first time it is exciting and it also makes the woman cautious. It is a completely new experience for the woman and her family. And after that moment nothing remains the same. Woman body during pregnancy undergoes a variety of changes.
Sometimes, make woman worry is this a normal change going on my body or should I worry. Here, in this blog, we will talk about all the changes that are normal during pregnancy.
Due to these changes woman’s body looks different, the physical changes are visible like weight gain, expanding belly, thick hairs, morning sickness and so on.
Pregnancy is a gift that brings a lot of happiness and a new life into this world. Let look what we are going to see,
Inside the Page
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Sensory changes
- Breast and cervical changes
- Skin, hair and nails changes
- Circulatory system changes
- Respiratory and metabolic changes
1. Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy
During Pregnancy the hormonal and physiological changes are very different and unique.
Pregnant woman gets a different kind of mood, sudden mood swing and an increase in estrogen and progesterone hormones. There are other different kinds of hormones that are affected by pregnancy. Now, these changes are not just limited to mood,
- Create the “glow” of pregnancy
- Aids in the growth and development of the fetus
- Affects the physical effect of exercise and other physical activities on the body
i. Estrogen and progesterone changes
Estrogen and progesterone are the main hormones that play an important role in pregnancy. These hormones are responsible for the various changes in the body during pregnancy.
A woman produces the highest level of estrogen of her life during the pregnancy period. The increase in estrogen hormone leads the uterus and placenta to,
- Improve vascularization
- Transfer Nutrients
- Support the developing baby
It also plays an important role in the development of the fetus. Estrogen levels increase gradually during pregnancy and reach its maximum during the third trimester.
Sometimes a woman can feel nausea due to rapid increase of estrogen levels during their first trimester. During, the second trimester it is responsible for the development of a milk duct that increases the breasts.
The other hormone Progesterone is also at a very high level during the pregnancy. It is responsible for the loosening of ligaments and joints in the all everywhere in the body. However, it is also responsible for the internal structure to increase in size, like ureters.
ii. Pregnancy hormones and exercise injuries
Pregnancy hormones are vital for pregnancy, but they also make woman’s body ligaments looser. Due to that, they are not able to do heavy work like exercise, picking heavy objects which expose pregnant women to a greater risk of sprains and strains of the ankle or knee.
However, there are no studies that suggest an increased rate in injury during pregnancy.
iii. Weight gain, fluid retention, and physical activity
Here is another common body change during pregnancy that you see. Weight gain in pregnant women is pretty common but it increases the workload on the body.
This additional weight with gravity slows down the circulation of fluids and blood in the whole body, especially in the lower limbs. Therefore, pregnant women hold more fluid and results in swelling of the face and limbs.
This makes any physical activity even harder. These swelling can be seen during the second trimester and often continues to the third trimester.
2. Sensory changes
Pregnancy can significantly change how a woman feels and experiences the surroundings through her sight, taste, and smell.
i. Vision changes
Though vision changes are not that common some women have experience vision change during pregnancy. They feel difficulty to see far away objects which are also known as nearsightedness. However, the correct biological explanation is still unknown.
Some women have blurriness and discomfort with contact lenses. Pregnant women with preeclampsia or gestational diabetes are at higher risk of rare eye problems such as vision loss.
ii. Taste and smell changes
No pregnant women can deny that their taste and smell have changed somehow after pregnancy. It’s pretty common to experience this change in sense of taste and smell. They like saltier, sour, and sweeter foods very much.
Many pregnant women urge to eat food items like a pickle. These taste preference may change according to trimester.
At times, pregnant women have reported changes in their sense of smell. They get high awareness and sensitivity to a variety of odours. However, there is very little reliable data that tells us about high awareness of smell towards certain odours.
3. Breast and cervical changes
Transformation in women’s body is required for the baby and women both changes during the pregnancy. The Hormonal changes, which starts in the first trimester leads to many physical changes all over the body.
Like breast size increases, a cervical change which helps the mother’s body for pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
i. Breast changes
Pregnant women’s breasts go under a round of noteworthy changes during pregnancy. Increase breast size, help the body to prepare milk for the baby. As the breasts grow, pregnant women may experience more sensitivity and dark veins.
Sometimes, due to rapid growth in breasts skin can’t keep that growth which leads to stretch marks. In, the second trimester many women have seen to produce thick, yellowish fluid. Yeah, sometimes that fluid gets leaked.
ii. Cervical changes
The cervix is another body part that undergoes physical change during pregnancy and labour. The cervix is the entry part of the woman’s uterus. It is seen that the cervix tissue get thickens and becomes firm and glandular. Few weeks before giving birth to a child the cervix may soften and dilate slightly from the pressure of the growing baby.
4. Skin, hair, and nails changes
Sometimes you will notice that your skin texture has changed, or your hair is growing at a faster rate than before pregnancy. Yes, it happens. Although most of the physical appearance is temporary, some can be permanent like stretch marks.
i. Hair and nail changes
Due to the hormone, many women see changes in their hairs and nail growth. Hormones change can sometimes cause excessive hair loss. During pregnancy women’s may see that their hairs are growing at a very fast rate and thicker. This happens because of the higher level of estrogen in pregnant women’s body.
Faster nail growth is also seen in women’s. Taking prenatal vitamins and having a good amount of nutrients in the body leads to growth hormones of pregnancy. The increased blood flow to the figures and toes can be a factor for nail growth.
ii. Stretch marks
Stretch marks are common to all pregnant women. It is one of the common body changes during pregnancy. Almost, 90 percent of women develop stretch marks by the third trimester. These stretch marks normally appear near breasts and abdomen.
However, with time these pinkish–purple stretch marks slowly start to disappear but not fully. They usually fade to the colour of the skin and shrink in size. Stretch can cause itch and can be troublesome if you scratch them.
So, apply some coco cream on your stretch marks that gives relief.
5. Circulatory system changes
As pregnant women, blood vessels go through rapid expansion. It increases stress on the heart and lungs. So, pregnant women produce more blood than non–pregnant women. So, due to that huffing and puffing, feeling dizzy becomes quite normal.
i. Heartbeat and blood volume during pregnancy
As time goes when women are pregnant, her body requires blood to flow more than the normal. So, during the second trimester of pregnancy, her heart has to work 30 to 50 percent harder than normal.
Due to which heart is able to pump more blood at each beat. During pregnancy, there can be 15 to 20 per cent increase in heart rate. In the third trimester, it becomes common that heart rate reaches 90 to 100 beats per minute.
During pregnancy there is an increase in blood volume till the last month. You can easily see 40 to 50 increase in the volume of plasma and about 20 to 30 per cent increase in the red blood cell.
Hence, creating a demand for the iron and folic acid intake.
6. Respiratory and metabolic changes
Pregnant women need oxygen not just for her but also for the baby. So, there is an increase in the amount of oxygen intake, which is transported through the blood.
This happens due to increase demand for blood and the dilation of blood vessels. Now, due to all these increases in oxygen and blood, the metabolic rate also increases during pregnancy for which women have to take more energy and have to take care of herself during physical exertion.
i. Breathing, Metabolic rate, and blood oxygen levels
In pregnancy as the body requires more oxygen. So, the lungs have to increase their capacity of holding air. It is seen that about a 30–50 percent increase in the amount of air moved in and out of the lungs.
However, this happens due to two factors first each breath gets a larger volume of air and second due to the increase in the rate of breathing.
It is seen that when a pregnant woman is at rest, she consumes more oxygen than at motion. Although, there isn’t any effect of it on the amount of oxygen available for physical activities.
The resting metabolic rate or the energy required by the body while at rest increases significantly during pregnancy. As it is measured by the amount of oxygen used during rest.
ii. Body temperature changes
A pregnant women body change during pregnancy and one change that is seen increases body temperature. In pregnancy, a women’s body tends to become warmer than usual and sweat a lot.
This happens due to an increased metabolic rate and sweat gland activity. To keep cool, especially during summers women should take the proper amount of water. And wear loose clothing.
God has created a woman’s body in such a way that it adapts the changes during pregnancy. Woman’s body has to go from many transformations. Sometimes it becomes difficult to deal with changes.
Physical changes in a woman’s body is a vital part of pregnancy. That prepare woman’s body for the grooming of the newborn. So, take care of yourself and if something unusual change comes you must visit a doctor.
You may also read- Breast Changes During Pregnancy | Complete Guide
Ans) Yes it is normal. During pregnancy, it may happen several times that pregnant women’s breast size increases.
Ans) It is because due to the increase in metabolic rate and the sweat gland activities. Which leads to an increase in body temperature.
Ans) The swelling mostly seen in limbs and face. Although some women’s have reported swelling in the foot also.
Ans) Yes it is quite common during pregnancy. Most women’s experience taste change during their trimesters. And also it depends on trimesters.
Ans) Applying cream on the stretch marks gives relief. Although it disappears (not completely) and shrinks with time.
Ans) It is seen in some women’s that their mouth tastes like metallic. It is a change of taste that normally occurs during pregnancy.