Apart from the obvious changes such as a bulging abdomen, a woman’s body undergoes a series of changes during the trimesters. While the mother can sense some of them outside the body, there are innumerable ways in which the body transforms internally to accommodate the growing fetus.
1. Fuller Breasts
The body prepares itself from the very beginning to nurse the baby even before it is born. There is an occasional colostrum discharge, which is a form of milk produced in late pregnancy until few days after delivery. Over the course of pregnancy, the breasts become enlarged and tender due to increased estrogen and progesterone levels. A well fitting bra can help manage the discomfort.
2. Increased Blood Circulation
Heard of the famous pregnancy glow? Your body does much of the hard work. Since now it is developing a support system for two, there is a remarkable increase of 50% in blood quantity by the time you are in your second trimester. Although, in some cases, there are some side-effects associated with it, which include appearance of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, nasal bleeding and inflammation due to swollen mucous membranes.
3. Growth Of A New Organ
Did you know there is a whole new organ developing inside you since the day you conceived? The placenta is like a life support system, which provides nourishment to the baby, who clings to its wall by the umbilical cord. This organ alone weighs about 2.2 kilograms and releases hormones throughout gestation to keep the pregnancy going smoothly.
4. Relaxed Cartilages
A hormone called relaxin, as the name signifies, relaxes the cartilage that holds the pubic bones together. This relaxation helps in the seemingly impossible movement of the baby’s head through the bony pelvis. Unfortunately, the effect of this hormone, if released in large quantities, is not only observed at a specific location, but in all the cartilage joints in the body. This is the reason some women experience joint and back pain as the gestation nears its completion.
5. Squeezed Bladder
Frequent urination during pregnancy is because of a distended bladder. Ask a pregnant woman if she prefers to be near a washroom, and you would get a candor nod. During the third trimester, the bladder is under constant pressure as the uterus gets enlarged to accommodate the developing baby. This causes pregnant mothers to make frequent trips to the bathroom. Sometimes, in later pregnancy, even a sneeze or a good laugh can make you leak a little amount of urine.
6. Discomforts In Digestion
The digestion process of the body also hits the service road, as your baby pushes the intestines and stomach up, making you feel breathless. Constipation, acidity, heartburn, and indigestion are some of the symptoms you may encounter as the pregnancy progresses.
7. Swollen Feet
For a period of time ladies, you won’t have those happy feet. Pregnancy causes accumulation of fluid in the ankles and feet causing them to swell. Edema or pregnancy swelling can account for 25% of weight gain during pregnancy, and result in a funny tingling effect in the hands and feet.
8. Foggy Brain
Pregnant women show symptoms of forgetfulness. No, they are not approaching Alzheimer’s. Forgetting your appointments, wondering where you left your purse, or forgetting a phone number are simple instances of such moments. The reasons for the effect are unknown, though there seems to be a possibility that elevated hormonal levels have a hand in it.
There are plenty of other signs and symptoms like stretch marks, morning sickness, acne etc that show up relentlessly over the long and tiring 9 months of pregnancy. The goods news is that eventually, you will get back to your normal self within 6 months after your delivery.