The New Normal: Understanding How your Body Reacts to Childbirth

Posted April 15, 2020 by in Health + Fitness
pregnant woman

Pregnancy is a monumental change to a human body. Even if you’ve watched friends or family go through a pregnancy, you’re going to be in for a lot of surprises when it’s your body going through it. Apart from the usual complaints of weight gain, mood swings, and morning sickness, pregnancy has a lot more secrets than you might have necessarily been prepared for.

To make sure the effects of pregnancy don’t blindside you, here are a few of the stranger ways your body might react to childbirth and pregnancy:

stylish pregnant woman

Your Nose Might Get Bigger

We’re sure plenty of women have heard that their feet can swell during pregnancy – it only makes sense with the added weight and gravity, right? – but did you know that your nose can also get bigger when you’re pregnant? While this might sound like an old wives’ tale, nose swelling can and does occur during pregnancy.

This is due to an increase in estrogen, which facilitates blood flow to the nose’s mucous membranes, plumping your nose as a result. While your nose will most likely shrink back to its original size in post-partum if it’s something that continues to bother you, you can employ the services of a world-class rhinoplasty specialist to help it get back to the shape and size you’re more comfortable with.

Your Voice May Change

This won’t be anything as extreme as a young boy going through puberty, but the increase of the oestrogen and progesterone hormones in pregnancy can affect your lung capacity, muscle control, and bodily fluids. These can all result in a swelling of the vocal cords, which may alter your voice and make it difficult to reach high notes while allowing you to reach lower ones.

These changes to your vocal cord could also make them more likely to tear, so it’s probably not the time to start trying to master Celine Dion on karaoke.

Your Bones Will Loosen

To prepare your pelvis for delivery, your body will release a hormone called ‘relaxin’. Can you guess what it does? The secretion of this hormone allows the pubic bone to separate in the middle, allowing the uterine muscles to ease and relax the cartilage that keeps your bones tight together.

This will make it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal, but it can also cause other side effects like joint and back pain.

Foggy Brain

You might hear many women refer to ‘pregnancy brain’. They forget things, misplace things, and just plain struggle with memory retention. While there is no clear consensus on why this happens – or if it does happen—there are theories.

Pregnancy’s high levels of sex hormones could play a part, as could the changing priorities of a pregnant woman, all leading to some apparent forgetfulness. 

A Lot of Unwanted Hair

If you have had a rogue hair here and there before pregnancy, prepare yourself. Many women experience an increase in hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, and arms. While shocking for a lot of women, this is all completely normal. It’s caused by the production of male hormones in the ovaries and placenta during pregnancy.

Once you’ve given birth, this will decrease and the hair will go away. It’s not all bad, the hair on your head will also get thicker and healthier, making it glossy and radiant. 

We hope these tips help! For more advice on parenting and/or pregnancy, check out one of the other article below: