When you become pregnant, it changes many things in your life. The changes start from your body first. Most of these changes due to hormone changes of the body. In the pregnancy period mainly, estrogen and progesterone levels are changing. You can’t avoid these changes from happening but it’s better to educate yourself before it happens to your body.
You will gain about 30 pounds during pregnancy, but all of this weight is not coming from your baby. The part of your baby is only 6-8 pounds. You are likely to gain 7 or more pounds of fat, which your body uses to prepare for breastfeeding and to store nutrients. Your breasts may gain about 2 pounds and 6 pounds from your enlarged uterus, placenta and amniotic fluid. The rest will come from increased blood and body fluid.
When your blood circulation boost with the hormone changes, the breast will grow. Normally it’ll increasing in 1-3 cup sizes and weight will increased by 2 pounds. Also, areolas will become larger and darker. Sometimes stretch marks and lumps may appear.
As your baby and uterus grow larger your waistline will begin to expand. You may not notice this change until the second trimester. It is normal to gain no or little weight in your first trimester.
Changes in hair, nails and skin
Normally in pregnancy hair growth and thickening can be experience and may even notice hair growth in unwanted places like on the face, arms, legs, or back. These may return to normal after the baby is born. It’s common for hair loss or increased shedding to occur up to a year postpartum, as hair follicles and hormone levels regulate themselves without the influence of pregnancy hormones.
Nails in pregnancy period grow faster due to eating well and taking prenatal vitamins adds to the growth hormones of pregnancy. Also, you can notice increased nail brittleness, breakage, grooves, or keratosis. You can prevent breakage without using of chemical nail products by taking healthy diet to increase nail strength.
Some people talking about “pregnancy glow”, when your skin looks more rosy and shiny. It is caused by increased blood circulation. Pregnancy hormones can cause extra oil on your skin. It may cause to have flares of acne.
Stretch marks are the other change that permanently stay on your skin. Mostly around your belly and the breast. They’re caused by a combination of physical stretching of the skin and the effects of hormone changes on the skin’s elasticity.
One of the first hints of pregnancy is increasing in basal body temperature. A slightly higher core temperature will be maintained through the duration of pregnancy. They can be at higher risk of hyperthermia and dehydration. You will have a greater need of water during pregnancy.
Heartbeat and blood volume
Due to rapid expansion of the blood vessels and the increased stress on the heart and lungs, pregnant women produce more blood.
Your heart will work 30 to 50 percent harder at the rest, during the 2nd trimester of your pregnancy, which ejects more blood at each beat. So, the heart rate will increase up to 15 to 20 percent during pregnancy. In the third trimester it can be 90 to 100 beats per minute. When consider the blood volume, it increases progressively during pregnancy until the last month by creating a need for iron and folic acid intake.
Researchers don’t know the precise biological mechanisms behind changes in vision. Most women return to pre-pregnancy vision after giving birth.
Blurriness and discomfort with contact lenses are common in pregnancy. Women with preeclampsia or gestational diabetes may be at an elevated risk of rare eye problems such as retinal detachment or vision loss.
Taste and smell changes
Pregnant moms will typically prefer saltier foods and sweeter foods. They also have a higher threshold for strong sour, salty, and sweet tastes. Dysgeusia (a decrease in the ability to taste) is most commonly experienced in first trimester of pregnancy. Aggravate nausea and nutrient imbalance may indicate by the metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy.
You may experience changes in sense of taste during pregnancy, many women experienced a dull sense of taste for a short period of time postpartum, they typically regain full taste capability after pregnancy.
The majority of pregnant women have reported a perceived increase in their own sensitivity to odors. There’s little consistent and reliable data indicating that pregnant women notice and identify certain odors and intensity of odors more than their non-pregnant counterparts.
Mrs. Ruwandi Fernando is reading for MPhil / PhD program in Physics and currently working as a Technology Entrepreneur in MAS Holdings. In her role as a Technology Entrepreneur, she explores new trends in the maternal apparel space, sustainable products, new technology trends that can be applied to the apparel sector. She is a mother of a newborn who is interested in Kandyan dancing, playing sports, working out, mentoring teenagers, lecturing during her leisure time.