12 Changes To Your Body During Pregnancy That Might Surprise You

Posted July 1, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

If you’re pregnant, you’re probably expecting some big changes to your body. You know your body is being flooded with hormones, so shifts in your mood and body are something you’re anticipating. But pregnancy is surprising. And that means some pretty incredible things happen to your body too. 

For some people, pregnancy will literally change everything. And for some people, it won’t. While the experience is so individual can be wonderful and intimate, it can also be a bit intimidating when you’re not sure what to expect. Much like understanding postpartum bodily changes, you want information at your fingertips. 

So here you are. Here is a list of changes you can experience during pregnancy to feel prepared and in control. And, honestly, a lot of them are pretty amazing:

Cardiac

It might surprise you to find out that your heart and blood flow changes when you become pregnant. Your blood flow can increase up to 50% to supply all the extra oxygen your body needs. And because of that, the size of your heart will grow to accommodate all that additional blood flow. As a result, expect your pulse rate to rise slightly and your blood pressure to drop. 

Brain And Hormonal

With hormonal changes, you can expect to have mood swings and changing emotions. It can be a lot like PMS. So if you have bad PMS, you’re more likely to experience mood swings when pregnant. You’ll also experience a nesting instinct as you feel the urge to prepare your home and life for the new arrival.

Many women can experience depression, so it’s key to keep in touch with your healthcare provider for support. And don’t forget baby brain, where you’ll have trouble concentrating thanks to ever-changing hormones and the pressure of the arrival of your little one.

Food Aversions

You’ve heard of pregnancy cravings. But you can also experience intense aversions to the food you once loved. Some women can’t stand coffee or even chocolate. If your body doesn’t want it, don’t force it!

Voice

Another surprising change, your voice. Thanks to all the estrogen and progesterone pumping around your body, vocal cords can swell. This means higher notes are harder to hit. But you’ll be able to master lower notes you never knew you could!

Skin

Pregnant women are often attributed to having a certain glow about them. But early on in pregnancy, the quick change of hormones can mean you experience acne or skin color changes. And everyone knows about stretch marks, of course. You could also experience a rash. Have a look at creams and ways that are great at treating pregnancy rash if it causes you problems. 

Sense Of Smell

Your sense of smell will heighten, and you might feel like a bloodhound; it can be so sensitive. That’s thanks to estrogen flooding your system. It’s a defense mechanism that means you’ll be able to sniff out trouble before it presents itself. 

Oral Health

Thanks to all that extra blood circulating around your body, you can find that your gums bleed when brushing. It’s not a cause for concern but make sure to let your dentist know you’re pregnant if you pay them a visit. 

You might also find that you produce a lot more saliva. That’s another thing you can thank pregnancy hormones for. 

Bowels And Bladder

You’ll likely feel the need to pee more often once the baby starts to push down on your bladder. And you might experience peeing unexpectedly. But did you know that pregnancy can cause a whole host of gastrointestinal symptoms? For example, you can become constipated, have indigestion from morning till night, develop hemorrhoids, and have gas and bloating throughout the pregnancy. 

Breasts

Unsurprisingly, your breasts will grow in size. You can even begin to lactate discharge from about halfway through the pregnancy. Colostrum can show up from your third trimester as your body prepares to make breastmilk. So it can show up in your bra or on clothing. 

Joints

Expect your joints to loosen up during pregnancy. It’s because of a hormone called relaxin that softens up ligaments. You’ll notice it more from the third trimester, and it might affect the way you walk or sit. It’s integral to the pregnancy journey because it helps your pelvis become more flexible for childbirth. 

Feet

Now, you’ll be prepared for clothes not fitting you anymore. But you might find that your beloved shoes don’t either. This is because your feet can grow up to a full size during pregnancy!

Hair And Nails

Hair becomes thicker and shinier. And your nails can improve too. Many pregnant women even say they both grow much quicker than when they weren’t carrying a child. Some women even report having hair grow in slightly more unwanted areas!