So, you were feeling nauseous, you missed a period and you decided it’s time to take a pregnancy test. Now, with the two pink stripes clearly visible on the test, congratulations are in order. You are pregnant, and you are going to go through one of the most significant experiences of your life. While you are on this roller coaster ride, not only is your life about to change, but so is your body.
After you get pregnant, your body goes through a number of changes, not just externally but internally as well. There is much more to these changes than a bloated body and swollen feet, and before you decide how to deal with a changing body during pregnancy, you first need to understand what they actually are and why they happen in the first place.
Common Body Changes During Pregnancy
Here are some common changes that take place inside your body during pregnancy:
- You start growing a completely new organ inside – the placenta. This organ starts developing roughly a week after conception to form a protective barrier around your baby that stops your blood from mixing with the baby’s blood, while allowing the oxygen and nutrients to get through. The placenta also excretes hormones that support pregnancy and prepare your body for nursing.
- During pregnancy, your body starts releasing a hormone called relaxin, that is known to soften and loosen bones and ligaments. While this makes it easier for you to go through labor, it also affect other parts of your body, resulting in back aches and swollen feet.
- During pregnancy, the hormones in your body also affect spatial memory, making you forget what you were doing just minutes before.
- By the time you reach the 20th week of your pregnancy, you are carrying around 50% more blood than before, which is required by the body to nourish the pregnancy. This excessive blood is the reason behind varicose veins, nosebleeds and hemorrhoids experienced by some women at this time. The extra circulation also gives you the famous pregnancy “glow.” So don’t hate it, embrace it!
Ways to deal with a changing body during pregnancy
The best way to deal with your changing pregnant body is to keep a positive attitude towards it, no matter what others say. Remember that this is one of the best experiences of your life, a miracle is about to happen and all the changes that your body is experiencing are for the good.
Staying active is another way to maintain control over your body. Try to make a regular exercise regimen, go for a short walk or take a swim. In the advanced stages of pregnancy, swimming is one of the best ways to stay active. Yoga is another way you can cope with your changing body.
Don’t feel helpless, because you are not (contrary to the popular belief). While it is true that you cannot completely control the changes in your body during pregnancy, letting go completely can make things worse for you. Consume a healthy, controlled diet, and exercise regularly so that you don’t become overweight.
Lastly, talk to people about your changing body and your concerns, especially your partner and other women who have gone through pregnancy. They can help you maintain a positive attitude about your body during pregnancy.
Written by Team Health & Parenting
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.