When growing an human being inside of you, the body undergoes some amazing changes. It’s fascinating to experience how the body changes during pregnancy, to make sure your growing baby gets right amount of nutrition, space and oxygen to develop.
Each pregnancy experience is unique. The same woman may even experience different changes in her body for each pregnancy. Your symptoms may be mild or severe. Here you can read some fascinating things that happen or can happen to your body during pregnancy.
You grow a new organ
When you are pregnant you grow a whole new organ in your uterus, the placenta. The placenta is an amazing way for your body to pass oxygen and nutrients from your blood stream to your growing fetus. It has the ability to protect your baby from infections, remove waste products from your baby’s blood and to produce hormones which support the pregnancy. The placenta is attached to the wall of your uterus, and connects with your baby through the umbilical cord.
When you have given birth to your baby, and the placenta has done its job, you usually give an extra push to expell the placenta. It’s usually expelled from the body within 15-30 minutes after giving birth. The placenta plays an important part in many cultures. In some cultures it’s buried to emphasize the relationship between humans and the nature. Other cultures believe that burying the placenta will protect and ensure the health of the baby and the mother. In some cultures the placenta is eaten, a practice known as placentophagia. Whatever you choose to do with the placenta, it’s a pretty amazing organ that makes your body capable of providing everything your baby needs to grow during pregnancy.
Your bones soften
During pregnancy, the body produces high levels of the hormones oestrogen and relaxin. These hormones cause the ligaments that hold your bones together to soften and allow the pelvis to be more flexible. The pelvic bones start moving to make it possible to give birth to your child.
Once your baby is born, the joints will firm up again.
Your blood volume increases
The volume of blood in a woman’s body increases by 50 percent during pregnancy, and cardiac output increases by 40 percent. This is your body’s way to help support the uterus and your fetus to grow. The body manufactures 20 percent additional blood cells to carry more oxygen around the body.
Your veins are more visible
As your body produces extra blood and your heart is pumping at a faster rate to meet your body’s needs, the blue veins in your body may become more noticeable. You might see this on your belly, your breasts and your legs. Some women develop spider veins on the face, neck or arms. This is caused by tiny blood vessels that branch out from a central area, like spider legs.
The pregnancy can even cause your body to develop varicose veins. As the uterus is growing, it puts pressure on the large vein on the right sight of your body and increases pressure in your leg veins. Varicose veins may cause you discomfort and your legs might feel heavy and achy. Exercising daily can improve your circulation and help prevent varicose veins to develop. Remember to not sit or stand for long periods of time and don’t cross your legs or ankles when sitting. Compression socks or stockings make it easier for blood to flow back towards your heart and keep varicose veins from worsening.
You can swell anywhere
The extra fluid that your body is now producing, circulates and can cause swelling throughout your whole body. It’s most common around the ankles and at the end of your pregnancy your shoes might feel a bit to small. To limit the swelling, you can put your feet up higher than your hips for 15 minutes and make sure you drink enough fluid to help your kidney functioning right.
Your might experience changes in your skin
The pregnancy will affect your skin and your body in different ways. Hormones can make your skin dry out and extra collagen in your skin tears when it stretches, causing stretch marks. You can use oils and body moisturizers to help prevent stretch marks. Your tummy might develop a dark line on your abdomen, called linea nigra. It’s caused by higher melatonin levels and will fade again after your pregnancy.
Your skin may look more rosy and shiny, what is sometimes called “pregnancy glow” and is caused by increased blood circulation. So don’t be surprised when people tell you that you look great. Just smile and say thank you.
Your hair thickens
Does your hair feel different now that your pregnant? Thicker than it was before? Usually, when your body is not creating a human being in your uterus, between 85 and 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing, while the rest is in a resting stage before it falls out. High estrogen levels during pregnancy, extend the growth face, resulting in less hair loss. Unfortunately, after your baby’s born, most of that extra hair will fall out and you might feel like you are losing all your hair. So enjoy the thick amazing hair while it lasts!