A woman’s body is so resilient. It can transform into many roles in a woman’s life. One of that role is to be ready for child-bearing. And with that, a woman’s body will evolve in many ways to adjust to its new role.
Pregnancy or gestation is a beautiful change that a woman’s body go through during conception. A woman’s body will undergo plenty of transformation that are totally exciting, frightening, and even confusing for a pregnant woman especially the first time mommies to-be for 9 months.
Here are some of the physical (and even those that a woman does not see) changes a woman’s body will undergo during pregnancy:
Temporary cessation of menstrual period during pregnancy
This is one of the few initial tell-tale signs of gestation. A woman’s monthly menstruation suddenly stops once the ovum is fertilized. This process lasts for 9 long months. Therefore, a pregnant woman will temporarily lose her period during the duration of her pregnancy.The menstrual cycle usually returns after few weeks to months after birth.
Enlargement of the breasts
During pregnancy, the breasts will enlarge and also become tender due to the increased estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body. The breasts will also become painful towards the end term of pregnancy as it gets ready for milk production.
The belly is the major area that will show the most obvious physical change in a pregnant woman’s body. The abdomen will expand accordingly as the pregnancy progress. The skin will also stretch during this process causing stretch marks and itching.
Bleeding gums and loose teeth
This period requires extra calcium for the baby as well and the mother has to provide much needed supplement to ensure baby is meeting the required nutrients. During this time, the mother (although not all) will experience bleeding gums and loosening of teeth. The levels of hormones are also contributing factors to these; hence, it is advisable for pregnant women to consult their doctor in the early onset of pregnancy to check their oral health as well.
Pregnancy puts pressure in the kidneys and bladder making a pregnant woman urinate frequently. This is because the weight of the baby is pushing back the kidneys and bladder, making it difficult for the mother to-be to hold off urination.
Due to the weight of bearing a child, hormonal changes, and low levels of potassium and iron in the body. Stretching and light exercise can help relieve cramps. The pregnant woman may be tested for her iron levels and the doctor may also prescribe supplements with iron if required.
Swelling on the face, arms, and legs
The face, arms, legs, and even feet will get swollen due to the extra fluids being retained in the body.
Aches and pains
A pregnant woman’s body will feel pain throughout the pregnancy period because the ligaments and tendons are getting stretched to allow a baby to grow inside the belly. The spinal curvature gets realigned as well to give balance. There will be changes in the posture of a pregnant woman.
Widening of the hips
The pelvic bones in our hips gets prepared towards the end of the term of pregnancy when the ligaments holding them together loosens in preparation for labor and child birth.
This is the time when a woman’s hormones go not just a little loco, but a lot. Hormone levels shift and the placenta becomes an endocrine gland temporarily. It produces large amounts of estrogen and progesterone. The body will experience many things due to these hormonal changes such as hot flushes, skin blemishes, production of milk or lactation towards the later part of pregnancy, and skin discoloration due to the increased melanin.
Hormonal changes and pressure on the rectum can cause a pregnant woman to constipate or have difficulty passing stool.
Change in body weight
Being pregnant will also entail a change in a woman’s body weight as the body carries a baby that will grow and develop to full term weighing as much as 6-9 kilos.
These changes are part of a woman’s reproductive evolution and they can be exciting and scary at the same time. If this is your first time getting pregnant, do not get overwhelmed with these changes as they do not happen all in one go. There are plenty of resources in the world wide web such as checkpregnancy.com to guide you through your monthly progress during the duration of your pregnancy. You can also pick up more information about your and your baby’s health and what to expect after delivery.
Pregnancy may be a daunting experience especially to those who are just planning or in their first pregnancy. Do not underestimate a woman’s body because it is tougher than what you think you know.
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