Pregnancy glow, swollen legs, hair growth – you witness many changes in your body as you enter pregnancy. Some are good. Some of them are terribly bad. But, the good news is that many of these changes do not stay forever. Once your little one arrives, they diminish. Your body undergoes these changes to face challenges such as labor and breastfeeding. This prepares you for the arrival of the baby.
[vs slide=”1″ slide_title=”Varicose Veins”]
As you begin your nine-month journey, you may encounter varicose veins. These are enlarged veins. During pregnancy, your body produces approximately 50 percent more blood. But, the rate of blood flow from your legs to your pelvis will be slow compared to the increased blood volume. As a result, pressure will be on the veins, causing varicose veins. Within three weeks to one year after childbirth, you will be free of varicose veins.
[vs slide=”2″ slide_title=”Hair Changes”]
You may be happy about this aspect of pregnancy. Thanks to pregnancy hormones, your hair texture changes and there will be an increased hair growth. But, the bad news is this. You will lose a significant amount of hair in the postpartum. As the hormones return to normal levels, hair loss returns to normal within six to twelve months. Sometimes, you may find hair growth in unwanted places such as on the face or belly during pregnancy.
[vs slide=”3″ slide_title=”Skin Changes”]
Thinking about pregnancy glow? Yes, this is what you look forward to when you are pregnant. The influx of hormones makes your glands produce more oil, keeping your face shiny, and hence, the glow. An increase in blood flow and circulation also contribute to it. Another aspect is that oily skin sometimes triggers acne. The ‘mask of pregnancy’ is another physiological change. It is characterized by brownish spots or patches that develop around the neck and face. Also, you may feel itchiness as your skin stretches over the abdomen. After giving birth, all these skin changes disappear. And the stretch marks you developed become lighter in color over a period of time after delivery.
[vs slide=”4″ slide_title=”Swelling”]
Besides blood, your body produces more body fluids to meet the requirements of the developing baby. The extra retention of fluid softens the body, so that it can expand to accommodate the growing baby. This additional blood and body fluids may result in swelling. You will have swelling and puffiness in your legs, hands, face, ankles, and feet.
[vs slide=”5″ slide_title=”Breast Changes”]
Of course, an increase in breast size is one of the early symptoms of pregnancy. As the hormone levels increase, breast growth and enlargement happen throughout your pregnancy. The nipples and areola, (area around the nipples) become darker. This is due to the hormones that affect pigmentation of the skin. Your breasts may start leaking a yellowish, thick substance known as colostrum. After delivery, some women’s breasts become engorged. And for them, it is difficult to feed the baby.
[vs slide=”6″ slide_title=”Uterus Changes”]
As you know, your uterus grows exponentially during these nine months. At the beginning of pregnancy, the uterus is about the size of an orange. As it grows, it puts pressure on other organs causing you aches and pains. During your third trimester, the uterus will be the size of a watermelon. It will extend from the pubic area to the bottom of your rib cage. After childbirth, your uterus will return to its pre-pregnancy size in about six weeks.
A better understanding of body changes will help you cope with the tough times of pregnancy. Remember, all these changes are worth going through as it brings home your little bundle of joy.