Pregnancy phase is not just about the growing of a woman’s belly but also about many other changes taking place in her body. They are all the reasons why we need to place our utmost respect and endless love towards our mother.
This post is a tribute to all mothers in the world who remain graceful, caring and kind despite the pregnancy changes she had to go through. (Source:Dailymail.co.uk)
- Extra Body Weight
Most women gain about 12 to 17 kg during pregnancy. The extra weight comes from the foetus, usually weighing 3 to 4 kg, the placenta, uterus, amniotic fluid and maternal fluids.
- Respiratory System Changes
Some pregnant women may feel constantly out of breath because they actually take more breaths per minute than non-pregnant women in order to supply oxygen to the womb, placenta and foetus.
- Cardiovascular System Changes
Pregnant women have a higher heart rate due to the higher volume of blood being pumped by the heart per minute during pregnancy. More blood vessels grow to accommodate this change, but the pressure of the expanding uterus on the women’s large veins means that blood is more slow at returning to the heart. The hormone progesterone relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, so the blood pressure drops in the second trimester and a woman may feel like fainting.
- Gastrointestinal System Changes
As there is decreased emptying of the stomach, pregnant women experience more constipation. The hormone progesterone causes the lower esophageal sphincter – a bundle of muscles at the low end of the esophagus, where it meets the stomach – to relax, causing an increase in acid reflex and heartburn.
- Changes of the Breasts
Hormonal changes affect a pregnant woman’s entire body. The placenta produces large amounts of oestrogen and progesterone to help the uterus grow, so women may feel warmer and experience hot flushes.
- Abdomen Changes
A pregnant woman’s uterus will expand up and out of the pelvic cavity. It may ache on one side or the other, as its walls, along with the ligaments that support the uterus, become stretched.
- Urinary System Changes
Pregnant women may have temporary bladder control problems and may urinate frequently, or find urine leaks when they sneeze, cough or laugh. This is because the uterus expands, putting pressure on the bladder and urethra – the tube that allows urine to pass out of the body.
- Musculoskeletal System Changes
Pregnant women have an exaggerated arch in their back (called lumbar lordosis) as the spine re-alignes to maintain balance. The ligaments become more lax due to hormones, causing back pain and pelvic pain (called symphysis pubis dysfunction)
- Skin Changes
Stretch marks, scars caused by the stretching of the skin, appear in the second half of pregnancy. Hyperpigmentation – darkening of the skin and nails – also occurs due to changes in hormones, and high levels of oestrogen may cause spider or thread veins to appear, as well as a reddening of the palms.
- Other Common Changes
Other common changes include swollen feet and ankles, due to the extra fluid in the body during pregnancy, changes in the texture of the women’s hair and nails, leg cramps due to fatigue from carrying more weight around every day, and a higher body temperature in early pregnancy.