Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!
Pregnancy

How Does the Body Change During Pregnancy?

Body Change During Pregnancy

When you’re a mom that is looking to see how your body is going to change as you go along in your pregnancy, you have a lot of things that you will have to look at and think about.

The differences are going to vary from person to person as you move forward with your pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t experience a lot of changes while you’re going through the process of being pregnant.

In this article, we’re going to give you a better idea as to how your body is going to change and adapt to the child growing inside of you.

Obviously, other things may happen than what we are talking about here, but it is at least a good start for you to consider and look at while you’re going through your pregnancy journey.

Respiratory system changes and adjustments

Your respiratory system is your system that includes your lungs, your throat, your esophagus, and other things that work to help you breathe properly.

Because you are not just breathing for yourself anymore, you are also breathing for your child, your respiratory system has to make a number of different adjustments in order to be able to work overtime effectively and without a lot of stress or irritation in the process.

Here are just a few of the things that you will notice with your respiratory system.

You will have a faster rate at which you breathe (respiratory rate). You won’t be hyperventilating, but you will notice that you breathe a lot more every minute.

As with anyone who is carrying extra weight, you may notice that you may get out of breath when you do physical activity that is more than the norm, like walking up stairs or doing the laundry. This is due to the excess weight you hold, so it takes more oxygen to move.

You may notice that your body is not able to do as much with the air that you take in, mainly because the baby is taking some of that air away and using it for their own needs.

You may have issues like increased tidal value and respiratory alkalosis, both of which are easily dealt with. Your doctor can give you more information on these potential issues and tell you how to prevent and/or treat them as necessary.

Changes in your heart and blood flow

Your cardiovascular system, which includes your heart and your veins, is incredibly important in your body because it helps to prevent disease, it makes it easier for you to breathe, and it gives your body the nutrients that it needs through your blood.

Your immune system and the white blood cells that accompany it are produced and sent around the body with your cardiovascular system as well. That being said, your blood flow is going to have to make some adjustments in order to deal with your baby effectively, and so you may notice a variety of changes happening to make those accommodations.

Here are a couple of the most obvious ones that you may come across.

Your heart is going to pump out a lot more blood, so you will be dealing with increased blood flow as a result of this. This will help everything get through your body and into the body of your child a lot more effectively.

You will likely notice that your heart rate is a bit more than it was previously. This isn’t of concern, and it happens because of what we just mentioned – it works harder to make sure that you have better blood flow for you and the baby.

During the second trimester, you’re going to notice something that is a little bit odd when compared to what you’ve experienced for the rest of the time. Your blood pressure is actually going to be less, instead of more. This isn’t odd, so there’s nothing for you to be concerned about.

Your blood is going to be a lot thicker than it was when you first became pregnant. That’s because you have more nutrients running around in there and you have a lot more waste to deal with as well. This won’t make a lot of a difference, except for with your blood pressure, which we just addressed.

Body Change During Pregnancy

Digestive tract and system changes

Your stomach is always going to be hungry, but that isn’t the only thing that is going to change in your digestive system when you’re pregnant.

Since your digestive system is no longer just providing for you, it is also providing for the little one that is growing inside of you, the body will naturally make a number of adaptations in order to ensure that he or she gets everything that they need in order to digest their food appropriately.

Here are just a few of the things that your digestive tract will do in order to ensure that you and your baby get the nutrients that you need.

As mentioned in the introduction to this section, you will end up feeling a lot more hungry than you used to, mainly because you’re eating for 2 instead of just for one.

You will also be burning a lot more energy in order to get around and function, so that’s something else that you will want to consider and think about as well. It’s fine if you want to eat more, just as long as you’re making excellent choices that will benefit you and the baby.

Sometimes, you will crave foods that you really didn’t think that you were ever going to crave, and in combinations that you probably didn’t even consider before. This is because your hormones are acting a little bit odd and, on top of that, you just want to eat whatever you are able to get your hands on at that point in time.

Acid reflux and heartburn are two big problems that many pregnant women deal with on a regular basis. This is due to the fact that your baby is located near your stomach, and since everything is moved around a little bit in there, you’re a lot more likely to fight off reflux. Be careful with the foods that you’re eating, watch out for triggers and you’ll be fine.

Morning sickness is incredibly common, mainly because our bodies are more sensitive, our hormones are all over the place, and our bodies are just not acting how we feel they are supposed to act. Even though there are a lot of ways that you can deal with morning sickness (and we have a whole article on it that which you can check out as well).

Constipation and diarrhea are both issues that can also occur if you aren’t careful, mainly because of what you’re eating and how drained those things will become of nutrients because of you and the baby. It may make it harder to pass some of those foods, and you may be uncomfortable. A simple laxative or eating more carbs can help with both of these problems and make it a lot easier for you to pass your stools.

Body Change During Pregnancy

Breasts

Your breasts are, of course, an incredibly important part of your life and the life of your baby. That’s why, during pregnancy, your body will start to make changes so that your breasts are ready to do their job whenever you actually have your child.

Some of these changes may be uncomfortable, but they will serve their purpose in the long run. Here are just a few of some of the most important changes that are going to happen to your breasts during your pregnancy.

Your breasts are going to become much larger. On average, women notice that they go up at least a cup size, if not more, while they are pregnant. This is to accommodate the milk and because of the hormonal changes that occur while you are pregnant. You may notice stretch marks and other changes as a result, which we will discuss more in the skin portion below.

Because of this growth and a number of other factors, your breasts could end up being a lot more painful and tender than they would have otherwise. You may notice that it’s hard to touch them, that it’s uncomfortable to wear a bra, and/or that you have a hard time when it comes to laying down at night.

There are a lot of options that you can try in order to help your back and the rest of your body feel better during this period of time – look at various products, try them out, and see what helps you to function more comfortably.

During your third trimester, there are a lot of problems that you could end up dealing with, including leakage from your breasts. Usually referred to as colostrums, this pre-milk is what your breasts start to leak so that your body can more easily make the milk that you need to make for breastfeeding. You may also notice milk that starts to leak as well, depending on what your hormones decide to do.

Because your nipples are going to be the main part of you getting milk to your child, they are going to likely become larger as time goes on. This could make them tenderer as well, but that isn’t a cause for alarm. If they appear to be infected or swollen, you may need to get them checked out by your doctor, but otherwise, you don’t have to worry about it.

Muscles and Abdominal Changes

Your muscles have to change in order to make sure that you can carry your weight and protect your child. This is especially true when you’re looking at your abdominal muscles, which will be dealing with the brunt of what you’re trying to take care of when you’re pregnant.

These will deal with a lot of pressure and a bit of pain while you are adjusting to it, but as you know, it all has its purpose and you will start to see a huge difference when you are growing. Here’s how your muscles and your abdomen will adjust while you’re going through your pregnancy.

When your abdominal area starts to expand, you will likely notice that everything in your abdomen feels a bit crowded; that is mainly because your uterus is making your abdomen expand and it’s actually almost near your ribcage. This may result in discomfort, but it’s normal.

Your spine actually makes a lot of changes while you are pregnant. The skeleton will actually adjust to the size of your uterus, and on top of that, you will notice that your discs and such are sitting differently as well. A lot of women will actually opt to go to a chiropractor during and after their pregnancy in order to make sure that they are going to be able to move around easily.

Your leg muscles are going to get a lot of work, and you may notice that they are sore at times because of how hard you are pushing them.

Body Change During Pregnancy

Skin changes

Many people don’t realize it, but your skin is going to take some time to get used to what is going on with your body as well. Obviously, you’re going to have to adapt to your large belly, but there are a handful of other things that you’re going to need to do in order for your skin to adapt to what is going on with the rest of your body.

Here’s a brief look at just some of the things that you will want to think about and look at.

Your skin will expand, especially in your abdominal area, and you will start to see stretch marks. While they can’t necessarily be helped, you can use various oils and butter to make sure that you reduce their appearance and make it easier for them to heal when your pregnancy is over.

You may notice that certain areas of your body are going to have a different skin color than they did. This hyperpigmentation is common and you don’t have to feel stressed about it at all – the color will likely go back to normal after your are done breastfeeding. You may also notice that your skin is redder in certain areas as well.

Dry skin is incredibly common and can cause a number of problems for you if you don’t take care of it as it needs to be taken care of. Consider using moisturizing creams and other such things in order to reduce inflammation, redness, and swelling that you may be experiencing as a result of the drying of your skin. You may also notice spider veins, which can be taken care of in much of the same manner as the dry skin.

Are There Any Other Changes?

Obviously, these are not the only changes that you are going to encounter when you are pregnant. Your body has a lot that it has to deal with, so it will do everything that it can in order to make sure that you’re able to continue living and thriving while you’re taking care of your little one.

Other changes may include with your oral health, your mind (“baby brain” as many people refer to it as), swollen ankles and feet, nail and hair brittleness. You may also notice that you’re more likely to use the bathroom because the baby is almost sitting on your bladder at times.

Other changes may or may not occur based on the way that your body works and the needs that your body may have while taking care of the little one.

There could also be other changes that we didn’t mention here that are related to the parts of the body and the systems in the body that we discussed above. Your doctor will let you know whether or not the changes that you’re experiencing are normal and they’ll guide you through it.

Your body goes through so many changes when you’re pregnant that it’s important to understand them before you start going down the path of pregnancy.

In some cases, the changes that you see and notice may be a lot more severe than you realize, or they may not even be related to your pregnancy at all. If you are unsure about something that you’re experiencing, then make sure that you contact your doctor as soon as possible.

They will be able to help you evaluate what is going on and can then give you advice that is related to your current condition. As with any situation, it is always best to get the advice that you need from your doctor before you try to deal with it yourself – they can help you with everything and anything that may be concerning to you and your pregnancy.

Reference URLs:

http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/your-changing-body/

http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/body-changes-infographic

http://www.livescience.com/50877-regnancy-body-changes.html

About the author

pregnancy symptoms

5 Comments

  • It’s true breast size goes up, but it will come right back down when you’re breastfeeding! To prevent saggy breasts I would do lots of chest press at the gym. I think as long as you are in good shape the body has a way of recovering after giving birth. You’re never going to get your pre-baby body back, but you gave birth to a beautiful miracle!

  • I truly never realized that there are so many changes to a woman’s body during pregnancy. While the miracle of life is so wonderful, for me the sacrifices I would have to make of my body would really be something I would take into consideration. It’s good to know that a lot of the changes do go away after giving birth!

  • Good to know what to expect during each stage of pregnancy as it relate to changes to my body systems. I have been researching online and seeking out information that will help me pull through as I expect the arrival my first baby. this article is of great value.

  • hmm the BP changes and HR and stuff like that I already knew, but didn’t think about the spinal change and stuff like that. towards the end of my pregnancies I was seeing a chiropractor every week just to get some relief and it definitely did help. Spinal changes definitely DO occur during this period of time…thank you for bringing it up!

  • I appreciate this article, especially because people don’t really talk about this stuff until you are actually pregnant. Not knowing some of these symptoms (like the spine movement!) would make me feel crazy when they actually started happening.

Leave a Reply to Melissa X