There are a number of strange body changes during pregnancy. Becoming aware of these changes will mean that they lose some of the fear and anxiety that would have otherwise devoured you.
After all, pregnancy is different for everyone so even if a relative or friend has experienced a particular symptom it doesn’t mean that you will be the same.
The problem is that this is a hectic time for the body and mind. So many new things are happening with peculiar feelings and experiences thrown on top. Of course, we all know about the continual growth in the belly, but there’s a whole lot more to your body and pregnancy than that.
How Will My Body Change During Pregnancy?
From bones separating to a blue vagina, your pregnancy will do some extreme changes to your body. It’s only natural to look at yourself and wonder what is going on and for there to even be some doubt that the changes you see are even linked to the pregnancy at all.
So, to hopefully reduce your stress and worry, here are seven ways in which you may experience body changes during pregnancy.
Your Shoe Size Will Change
The first thing to mention with a pregnancy body change is that you may need to buy new shoes. There’s a tendency for your feet to become larger during pregnancy and it’s all connected to a mixture of weight gain along with those fluctuating hormones.
Often, it is the hormone called relaxin that is responsible. As the name suggests, it allows for ligaments and other parts of the skeleton to relax more, and that does include all of the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet and ankles. Also, the extra weight and water retention may help to flatten your arches. The result is an increase in shoe size of up to half a size.
Your Hair Becomes Denser
Pregnant women may very well develop healthier and denser hair during their pregnancy. Once again, this is due to changes in hormone levels.
We all lose hair on a daily basis, but it seems that during pregnancy this is something that slows down. However, hormones only affect the loss part of the hair cycle and it never impedes the growth side of things. In other words, we continue to produce hair to such an extent that everything becomes one-sided.
The only problem with this is that after the pregnancy is over and hormone levels drop, it will often be the case that the woman sees an increase in the volume of hair falling out. This is something that’s temporary and nature will resolve itself in around a year.
The Mask of Pregnancy
The ‘mask of pregnancy’ may sound dramatic, but it’s more straightforward than you may have expected. This is also known as melasma, and it leads to some women developing brown patches of skin on their face. They will also find that any freckles or moles will darken during this period, so while it does not resemble a mask as such, there’s no doubt that these dark patches can be disturbing for some women.
The reason why some women develop melasma is due to an increase in the levels of melanin. This is what gives your skin its natural color, so as those levels increase in areas of your skin, so does the color.
Most women will find that everything goes back to normal after they give birth. However, that’s not always the case as some women will be left with even faint patches of skin.
You May Develop Hemorrhoids
So, this is slightly embarrassing pregnancy body change, but a percentage of women will discover that they develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Now, you may wonder how on earth this could happen and what the link is between pregnancy and hemorrhoids, but it makes more sense than you would expect.
The key is with your uterus. With the added weight and pressure, it changes the blood flow to the lower half of your body. A result of this can be the walls of your blood vessels becoming weakened and with the added pressure it can result in hemorrhoids developing.
The good news is that they are often temporary and will go away on their own after giving birth. The only problem is that it may take several months for this to occur.
Your Uterus May Stay Larger
We mentioned the role that the uterus can play in the appearance of hemorrhoids, but it’s worth looking at the uterus itself in some more detail.
For most women, the uterus is roughly the size of a pear. During pregnancy, this changes from a pear to something closer to the size of a watermelon. After pregnancy, it then drops back down to the pre-pregnancy size.
The problem is that this is not always 100% guaranteed. Yes, every woman will experience a reduction in the size of her uterus, but there are some that find it stays significantly larger than it was before they were pregnant.
A study in 1996 showed that this could happen, but after menopause things should reduce once again thanks to the changes in hormones.
This may sound pretty horrific, but it’s more common than you will be aware. It’s actual medical name is diastasis recti abdominus, and this will prove to be a permanent change for you.
This is when there is a separation between your abdominal muscles, and it is to create space for your belly to continue to grow. Obviously, every woman will experience this during their pregnancy, so it is a natural thing to occur.
The problem is that potentially as many as half of all women will continue to have this separation even a year after they have given birth. The good news is that it’s not dangerous and is nothing to worry about even though it’s strange that nature would do something such as that.
Women may experience poorer quality orgasms after giving birth. This is thanks to the way in which the muscles around the pelvic floor area are stretched to within an inch of their life meaning there’s a general loss of control compared to before.
There are exercises that will strengthen it once again, but other research has indicated that this may only be one cause of poorer orgasms from a rather extensive list. Issues such as fatigue, breastfeeding, pain and a whole host of other things may also be playing a role.
Ultimately, the body is going to be on a roller-coaster for those months, and it does take time for things to get back to some sense of normality. You are not alone in experiencing these changes, and sadly there are a whole lot more that have not been covered here. The good news is that it’s all natural and Mother Nature does tend to know what she’s doing. Most of the body changes during pregnancy are only temporary, so don’t stress.