Pregnancy And Your Body: Symptoms And Changes In Your Body
It’s so exciting, isn’t it? Getting ready for this next chapter in your life. Do you know what is happening inside your body in your pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a period of considerable changes in a woman's body. These changes, affecting virtually every part of the body, are all geared towards growing and delivering a healthy baby, without harming the mother. Some of these physical changes are visible, such as an expanding belly and weight gain, while others are well known, such as an enlarged uterus, morning sickness, and backaches. However, a few bodily changes may be unexpected and catch some women by surprise.
Pregnancy lasts an average of 266 days (38 weeks) from the date of conception or 40 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period. It is divided into three periods of three months each. These periods are known as the first, second and third trimesters. Each trimester brings with its own unique set of experiences.
During the first trimester, your body will go through a lot of changes, while your baby is developing. As your hormone levels change and your baby starts growing, so will your body. As you progress through the first months of your pregnancy, expect to feel different in many ways.
#1: BELLY CHANGES
You may be wondering how does your belly change in the first few months of pregnancy. Well, at this point, your baby is still very small, so most of your belly changes come from the weight you gain in your first trimester. Most physicians recommend gaining about 3-6 pounds (1,5 - 3,5 kg) during the first trimester and eating approximately 150 extra calories a day from healthy sources. You can access simple healthy recipes in the bonus video, where we talk about everything you need to know about your diet.
#2: HAIR CHANGES
You may have many good hair days during pregnancy as estrogen increases the length of the growing phase of hair follicles often resulting in a thicker and healthier looking head of hair.
As estrogen levels fall after giving birth, you may shed more hair. They might see clumps of hair falling out after a shower or brushing, which is a normal occurrence.
Most women find their hair returns to its normal growth and texture within four to six months after giving birth.
#3: BODY TEMPERATURE
A majority of women will tend to feel warmer and sweat a lot during pregnancy due to an increased metabolic rate and increased sweat gland activity. To stay cool, especially in the summer, it is recommended to wear loose clothing and drink plenty of water and other fluids every day.
#4: INCREASED URINATION
Another thing that can happen is increased urination. Though it is more common in the third trimester, it can also occur during your first few months of pregnancy. This is because your growing uterus pushes on your bladder. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself using the restroom more often; as your uterus is growing, which puts more and more pressure on your bladder.
#5: STRETCH MARKS
As your body grows, some areas of skin may become stretched tight. Elastic fibers right beneath the skin may tear. This creates streaks of indented skin called stretch marks. Stretch marks are likely to occur on your belly and breasts.
Not every pregnant woman gets stretch marks, but they are very common. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent them completely. Try to manage your weight and not gain more than what your doctor recommends.
We recommend using cocoa butter to help relieve the itchiness of stretch marks. They typically shrink after giving birth and become less noticeable.
In about 1% of pregnant women, a condition called cholestasis can develop. This is a liver disease that causes intense itchiness, usually starting with the soles of feet and palms of hands that worsens at night. Call your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms.
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