Motherhood is blissful and we all want to attain it at some point in time. Women are blessed with an ability to produce a new life on earth, but that blessing brings in a lot of changes.
And trust me, pregnancy is a boon but it is definitely not easy. A woman undergoes a lot of changes physically and mentally during the process of bringing a new life to the earth.
In this article, I will talk about some physical changes that every woman experience during pregnancy. These facts may sound scary but they are completely normal. So let's begin...
Here Are The 15 Scary Facts About Pregnancy
1. The Uterus Gets Bigger
Before pregnancy, a woman's uterus is typically the size of an orange. By the third trimester, it can be about the size of a watermelon. In fact, it can expand up to 500 times the size during pregnancy.
If your uterus is the size it should be during your prenatal visits, this is a sign everything is progressing well with your pregnancy. If it is measuring too big or too small, it could mean your due date is off, some kind of pregnancy complication or additional testing may be required.
2. A Pregnant Woman's Blood Volume Increases By 40-50%
When pregnant, blood volume increases as much as 50% to help supply enough oxygenated blood to the foetus.
3. Your Heart Grows Bigger While You're Pregnant
To help pump all that extra blood around the body, the heart has to increase in size. Because the heart needs to support two lives at a time!
4. Your Voice Can Change During Pregnancy
With all the hormones coursing around a pregnant body, it's not surprising that there would be some changes. Another is that the voice can change.
The rise in oestrogen and progesterone can cause swelling of the vocal folds, meaning some higher notes are lost and lower ones might appear.
5. Some Pregnant Women Develop Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is when a pregnant person's blood sugar is too high, and the pancreas can't keep up with supplying enough insulin. It usually disappears after giving birth.
6. Your Joints Loosen During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called relaxin that softens ligaments — the tissues that connect your joints. This is to help make the pelvis more flexible during childbirth.
7. Your Sense Of Smell Can Change
Pregnant women usually experience a heightened sense of smell in the first trimester — which can be a sign that you're pregnant in the first place. It may be an evolutionary way to help pregnant women avoid unsafe foods.
8. Parts Of You May Change Colour
As a pregnant body changes, it can develop stretch marks, which are usually paler than normal skin.
Women can also get melasma, which causes dark splotchy spots to appear on the face. The line down the stomach called the Linea Nigeria also gets darker.
The vagina can change colour too. Some women report it turning purple or blueish, which is known as Chadwick Sign.
About 10% of women also get blue varicose veins appearing down there, but they should disappear a few weeks after the delivery.
9. Being Pregnant Can Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pregnant women can experience swelling in their hands due to a build-up of fluid in tissues. Sometimes, this fluid can collect in the carpal tunnel, causing pressure on nerves, leading to tingling and numbness in hands and fingers.
According to health experts, as much as 60% of pregnant women may experience these symptoms.
10. Pregnant Women Might Experience Too Much Of Hair Growth
During pregnancy, hair can feel fuller and healthier, because it can grow faster. But women may also grow hair on other parts of their body, such as their abdomen, face, and back.
11. Gingivitis & Bad Breath
The hormonal changes of pregnancy can make women's gums more susceptible to plaque, which can lead to inflammation and bleeding — called pregnancy gingivitis.
12. Blood Can Also Be Dangerous To A Baby
During testing, pregnant women are offered blood tests. One of them determines whether they are "rhesus positive" or "rhesus negative." Those who are positive have a certain antigen on the surface of their blood cells, which can mean problems during pregnancy.
If a woman has a baby with a man who is rhesus positive, the child may have rhesus positive blood too, even if she is rhesus negative. In this instance, the woman can develop antibodies against the rhesus antigens.
This usually isn't a problem in the first pregnancy, but may cause issues for subsequent ones.
13. Your Partner May Experience Some Of The Same Symptoms
It's called Couvade syndrome or sympathetic pregnancy.
According to some experts, more research is needed to determine whether it has psychological causes, but men have reported symptoms like nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain, backache, anxiety, and depression.
14. Strange Cravings
Hormonal changes may disrupt pregnant women's taste and smell receptors, leading to them crave strange foods.
Cravings could also be a sign that mother and baby are lacking in certain nutrients. For instance, craving red meat could indicate a deficiency of iron.
15. Heartburn Really Could Mean A Baby With More Hair
A small study found there could be some truth to the old wive's tale. Higher levels of oestrogen and progesterone can stimulate hair growth and also relax oesophagus, resulting in acid reflux, or heartburn.
[Also Read: Period Query: Can You Get Pregnant On Your Periods?]
These were some of the terrifying facts about pregnancy which is important for you to know in order to be aware of what can you expect from pregnancy!
I hope the article gave you an idea about the changes that may occur in your body when you are pregnant.
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