10 Body Changes to Expect with Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a major mind and body changing experience. If the new rage of hormones isnt enough, you get to watch your body grow in ways that seemed impossible. All women have different pregnancies, and even pregnancies vary in just one woman. Some women are extremely uncomfortable for their entire pregnancy, while others feel great.

Emotionally women also have an array of feelings. Anxiety, fear, happiness, joy, and anything in between is normal and to be expected. If the people around you are treating you different because you are pregnant that can cause worry or tension. Be sure to communicate with your partner, friends and co-workers to make sure that they know what you can and cant do.

Now that you are pregnant, your body will be changing inside and out. Even though a woman is made to have babies, you might find this process uncomfortable and limiting to some degree. With morning sickness, an expanding waste line, and swollen feet and ankles, you feel a bit defective and not capable of doing everything you once did. Try to tell your self this is temporary and you will have your body back after the baby comes. Express your frustrations to your partner or a close friend. Sometimes talking about these things helps alleviate the stress.

Pregnancy lasts about 9 months or approximately 40 weeks from the beginning of your last period. It is sub-divided into trimesters that last approximately three months each. This helps to break down the three major stages of fetal development. The first and most fragile trimester is when the baby goes through the most changes.

Your baby goes from a ball of cells to a miniature person in 12 weeks. All the body systems are laid out and this little bean looks like a baby. The second trimester is dominated by maturation and growth. The brain is maturing the connections to the rest of the body and controlled movements begin. All the rudimentary systems are now maturing to there after birth functions. The third trimester is the growth stage. The baby is complete and just needs to get fat. The lungs also fully mature in this stage. It is believed that the same hormones that help initiate labor trigger the lungs to mature.

The first trimester

(week 1 – week 12)

A womens body goes through a major amount of changes in the first trimester. These changes are necessary for the baby to grow and thrive till he or she is born. Cessation of menstrual period, morning sickness that occurs at any time, day or night, or all day and night, excessive saliva, swollen and tender breasts, darkening of the areola, frequent urination, fatigue, constipation, heartburn, mood swings, feeling angry, sad, or happy for no reason, stuffy nose and allergies even if you have never suffered from them before, food cravings are all common and to be expected during the first trimester. The physical changes will be minimal at this stage, especially if this is your first baby, you probably wont even look pregnant.

    1) Breasts become larger.

    2) The uterus starts to get bigger and will pop up out of the pelvis at the end of this trimester

The second trimester

(week 13 – week 26)

The second trimester is often comfortable for the woman, as the discomforts felt in the first trimester have passed. This is when people are going to notice you are pregnant and there will be no hiding it. Lots of women get the “pregnancy glow”, caused not only by excitement, but also by an increased level of hormones affecting the skin.

Retaining water in the feet, ankles and face (edema) is a common pregnancy ailment. Gaining weight and getting rounder, feeling the baby move, dry skin on stomach where the skin is stretching, another increase in breast size, increasing heartburn and indigestion, constipation, slight swelling of the feet, hands, ankles and face, development of a dark line on the skin between your navel and your pubic area, development of a “mask” or darker area on your face, hemorrhoids, backaches that can remain throughout pregnancy, nipple secretions, muscle cramps, particularly in the legs and at night, gas pains, changes in your hair: it can become less oily, and skin problems. The physical changes that occur are more than the first trimester. By the end of this trimester you will have to wear maternity clothes, or the like.

    3) Feeling the baby kick and roll

    4) Nosebleeds and nasal congestion.

    5) Hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

The third trimester

(week 27 – week 40)

During this period, the shape of the belly changes a few weeks before labor as the baby drops deep into the pelvis. Increased fetal movement, protrusion of navel, increased backaches, shortness of breath, Braxton Hicks (false labor), groin pains, stretch marks, difficulty sleeping, varicose veins, and finally, labor and delivery! The major physical change this trimester is increase of size. You will be filling out as baby fills you up.

    6) Movement of the fetus can be seen from the outside.

    7) The navel pushes out.

    8) Some women experience backaches.

    9) In order to accommodate the weight of the baby women tend to walk differently, almost like a waddle.

    10) A significant dropping of your belly