How your body changes with pregnancy
If you’ve ever looked at advertisements with pregnant women, their beatific smiles, perfect glistening skin and smooth rounded stomachs might fool you into thinking that pregnancy makes everyone automatically beautiful and at peace with the world. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case for all of us. For instance, while one may go through the entire course of pregnancy without a single hint of morning sickness, another may be retching into the toilet bowl half an hour on a daily basis. One mother’s hormonally-induced dewy skin may be yet another’s acne-ridden heartache.
Whether you’re a potential mother-to-be, or a man looking to better understand the changes that your significant other is experiencing, read on to find out more about some of the strangest pregnancy-related changes to your body that no one has ever told you about.
- Your hair and nails grow much faster
Well, your facial and body hair in particular would grow much faster due to an increase in androgen hormones. This could be a source of annoyance for those who regularly remove such hairs, as they may find that they have to shave or wax more often than usual. During pregnancy, it’s best to avoid using permanent hair removal techniques such as Intense Pulse Light (IPL) hair removal as the increase in hormones could result in a higher chance of skin pigmentation problems after the treatment. You may also notice that your beautiful locks are looking much thicker and more lustrous than usual. This is also normal, because the rise in oestrogen helps to keep your hair in the ‘growth’ stage rather than in the ‘resting’ or ‘shedding’ stage. Nails would grow longer at a slightly faster pace for many pregnant ladies as well. As always, these changes are temporary and your body would slowly go back to normal after delivery.
- Miscellaneous body parts become larger
It’s normal for most women to have their breast size increase by one or two cup sizes during pregnancy. This change would become more apparent after the sixth or eighth week of pregnancy, as the body gears up for breastfeeding by causing fats to gather in the breasts and milk glands to enlarge. Your feet are also going to get larger during pregnancy. This could firstly, be due to swelling, as a greater pressure is now placed on your feet due to the heavier body weight. Secondly, the feet may get larger as the space between joints become larger. As the body prepares for childbirth, it loosens the ligaments and ensures that the pelvic joints will be able to accommodate the birth.
You develop the nose of a bloodhound
During pregnancy, your sense of smell is likely to become much more acute due to hormones. The greater acuity of this sense could be both good and bad. Previously beloved fragrances may now strike you as being far too pungent, and delicious foods you used to love now send you running to the nearest bathroom. Perfectly innocuous foods such as spaghetti and fish are frequently reported to cause adverse reactions in pregnant ladies who have caught a whiff of these foods. Pickles on the hand, are strangely tolerable and even preferred by ladies suffering from morning sickness. Some theorise that the amelioration of the olfactory sense is part of evolutionary design that allows mothers to better differentiate between foods which may be safe for ordinary consumption, and foods which may have adverse effects on the unborn child.
You grow a new organ
As if it’s not enough that a human being is growing inside you, your body would also start to grow a brand new organ in order to support the baby. The placenta is a key organ that allows the removal of waste products and the supply of nutrients to the baby to take place. Not only does it provide nutrients, the placenta also provides oxygen, produces hormones and fights against infections. The baby’s umbilical cord is developed from the placenta, and the placenta is connected to the wall of the uterus. After delivery, the placenta is expelled from the mother’s body. Though it’s commonly discarded, the placenta has strong ritualistic significance in many cultures and is also used for cosmetological and nutritive purposes.
- You now store 1.5 times the amount of blood
The volume of blood in a pregnant lady’s body can show an increase of up to 50 per cent of its previous volume. The rise in blood volume is necessary in order to support the demands of the uterus. The increase in blood volume can have some unexpected beauty benefits. Blood circulation is increased as the heart works harder to pump a greater volume of blood, and this results in a bright and healthy flush on the skin.12 Jan 2020