Common Body Changes During Pregnancy

Attaining pregnancy no doubt brings you a lot of joy. This is particularly true if it is a pregnancy that you have planned for. The joy can be overwhelming especially if it is your first pregnancy. Knowing that you will henceforth carry a growing fetus within your body to give birth to your offspring after nine months is in itself fulfilling. Unfortunately, that joy soon fades off. Your joy is bound to fade off once the thought of the body changes you are bound to experience come to your mind. Although you are bound to think of the body changes that lay ahead, your joy should not be affected. Your body is biologically designed to bear most of the changes until you deliver your baby.

The following are the changes you are bound to experience and how to deal with some of the changes that can be overwhelming to you.

1st Trimester

Week 1 – Week 3 : The first trimester starts right from the first week you attain pregnancy. You may not be able to notice any changes during the first week. Indeed, your main preoccupation may be to confirm whether or not you have attained pregnancy. Similarly, you may not notice anything in the second week. This is when your ovaries produce progesterone, the hormone responsible for preparing your uterus to receive the fertilized egg. You should be able to know that you are pregnant in the third week. This is when you are most likely to experience slight bleeding that is lighter than your regular menstrual flow. The bleeding occurs as the result of implantation of the fertilized egg in your uterus. Although normal, the bleeding can cause you psychological stress. This is because you are bound to wonder whether it is the result of implantation of the fertilized egg or a sign of ectopic pregnancy.

Week 4 – Week 6 : Your fear of ectopic pregnancy should resolve in the fourth week.  You are bound to miss your regular menstrual flow, a clear sign that you are pregnant. Your breasts are bound to become tender. You are most likely to development extreme sense of smell and taste and may start experiencing morning sickness symptoms including a feeling of nausea and vomiting. Feelings of mood swings, unexplained anger, irritability, faintness, exhaustion and feeling of depression are bound to set in during the 5th and 6th week.

Week 7 – Week 9: The major body change you are most likely to experience in the 7th and 8th week is a feeling of being heavy. This is because, in addition to the weight of the growing fetus, you are also most likely to add on some pounds. Your eating routine is also likely to be affected simply because of increased craving for certain foods. The 9th week is bound to come with its unique experiences. Although you may not know, your blood level is most likely to increase. This can cause nose bleeding. You may also be able to notice bulging blood vessels in your arms. The feeling of dizziness is bound to become intense coupled with frequent urination.

Week 10 – Week 12 : The major body change you are bound to notice in the 10th week is what is referred to as pregnancy glow. Hormonal actions are bound to increase the number of oil glands on your skin and in particular on your facial skin. Your face becomes shiny with other parts of your skin becoming lighter. Abdominal discomfort is very common in the 11th and 12th week of pregnancy. This is the time when your uterus gets low to sit comfortably within your pelvis. This causes your belly to bulge. It is also likely that you may experience swellings on your feet and legs. This is simply because your body retains a lot of fluid.

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Different women experience these 1st-trimester body changes differently. While some women experience mild changes, others experience intense changes that may necessitate hospitalization.

Your pregnancy is valuable. It is, therefore, very important that you watch out for these body changes. The best you can do during the 1st trimester whenever changes occur is to consult your physician or health care provider. For instance, you should not ignore the slight bleeding in the 3rd week. This is because it may turn out to be an ectopic pregnancy, which needs immediate medical attention. Although it is perfectly normal to experience a craving for specific foods, you need to watch out so that you do not add on extra weight unnecessarily.

2nd Trimester

Most of the body changes you experience during the 1st trimester will most likely fade off as you enter the 2nd trimester. However, you are still bound to experience some unique changes. The first major body change you are bound to experience in the 2nd trimester is lethargy and clumsiness. You are most likely to drop anything you carry and you may not have any explanation for the same. This is because production the hormone Relaxin intensifies. The hormone literally relaxes your joints and body tissue as one way of preparing your body to deliver when the time comes.

Week 13 – Week 15 : Darkening of the skin around your nipples, armpits, navel and inner thighs is very common in the 15th week. This can extend to areas around your eyes and cheeks. This is perfectly normal and the only thing you need to do is to avoid spending too much time in direct sunlight. In any case, the darkening fades off after delivery.

Week 16 – Week 24 : A major change you are bound to experience in this trimester and in particular between the 16th and 21st week is a total change in your profile. The baby inside is growing and developing very fast, you are adding additional weight and your feet and legs are most likely to swell more. This is also the time you are most likely to experience your unborn baby’s first kick. You will literally be at the half-way mark of your pregnancy by the 20th week. You are bound to experience some pain in your abdomen and hip. This is simply because the uterus is growing and pulls your pelvic wall and associated ligaments as it grows. You can easily become anemic by the 20th week. This is simply because your baby is growing fast and your body continues to retain some fluid. Although you do not visit your heath care provider frequently, it is of great benefit doing so in a case of serious body changes. In particular, you need to visit your health care provider for the routine check-up to ensure that your unborn baby’s health is good. It is also possible that your blood pressure will tend to rise during the 2nd trimester. This is very critical because it can affect both your life and that of your unborn baby. Paying your heath care provider a visit whenever you experience unusual changes is necessary.

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The other body change that you are likely to experience as you approach the 3rd trimester, which is perfectly normal, is low libido. Sex will be the last thing to come to your mind now. This can be tricky especially if you are married. The best you can do is to talk about your feeling with your spouse.

3rd Trimester

Week 25- Week 35 : Most of the body pregnancy body changes will have occurred by the time to get into the 3rd trimester, at least in the 25th week. However, your uterus is still growing and you are most likely to add on more weight. It is also possible to experience numbness in your fingers. These are changes and feelings that are perfectly normal. This is also the period when you are most likely to become assertive in whatever you do or when you need something. This mainly occurs because your instincts become sharp knowing that you are responsible for another life that is about to be brought to the world.

Your pregnancy is bound to take a toll on your body during this period. You are also bound to experience minor symptoms as your body prepares to get rid of the baby growing within. Your breasts are most likely to leak yellowish substance. This is what comes before breast milk. It is also likely that your skin around your belly become itchy simply because it expands to accommodate the growing baby. You will certainly not avoid experiencing a pink and thick vaginal discharge. This should not worry you. It is simply what has been protecting your uterus from any infection.

Week 36 – Week 38 :  The 36th and 38th weeks signal other different body changes. These are the final changes that prepare your body for delivery. In addition to your belly becoming lighter because the baby drops down into your pelvis, you are also bound to experience contractions. This is just a sign that your body is preparing for the big day.

Week 39 – Week 40 : You should be able to deliver any time by the 40th week. This is the time to watch out for the onset of labor pains. However, note that it is not mandatory that you deliver during the week. You can as well deliver in the 41st or 42nd week.

Most pregnancy body changes that occur during the 3rd trimester are normal. However, it is always a good idea to go for routine checkups to ensure that your unborn baby is in good health. It is also important that you consult your health care provider in case of changes that impact negatively on your life. Note that although you value your pregnancy, your life comes first.

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