Pregnancy brings a variety of changes to the body. They can range from common and expected changes, such as swelling and fluid retention, to less familiar ones such as vision changes.
- You may experience of a lot of physical changes during pregnancy, or only a few.
- You will probably have emotional ups and downs during pregnancy.
The hormonal and physiological changes that come with pregnancy are unique.
They experience changes in the amount and function of a number of other hormones. These changes don’t just affect mood. They can also:
- Create the “glow” of pregnancy
- Significantly aid in the development of the fetus
- Alter the physical impact of exercise and physical activity on the body
Estrogen and Progesterone Changes
Estrogen and progesterone are the chief pregnancy hormones. A woman will produce more estrogen during one pregnancy than throughout her entire life when not pregnant. The increase in estrogen during pregnancy enables the uterus and placenta to:
- Improve vascularization (the formation of blood vessels)
- Transfer nutrients
- Support the developing baby
Pregnancy can dramatically alter how a woman experiences the world through sight, taste, and smell.
Some women experience vision changes during pregnancy, characterized by increased near-sightedness.
Taste and Smell Changes
Most women experience changes in their sense of taste during pregnancy. They typically prefer saltier foods and sweeter foods than non-pregnant women.
Pregnant women also report changes in their sense of smell. Many describe a heightened awareness and sensitivity to a variety of odours.
Pregnant women’s breasts often undergo a series of significant changes during pregnancy as their bodies prepare to supply milk to the new born baby. Pregnancy hormones that affect skin pigmentation often darken the areola. As the breasts grow, pregnant women may experience tenderness or sensitivity and notice that the veins are darker and the nipples protrude more than before pregnancy.
Hair and Nail Changes
Many women experience changes in hair and nail growth during pregnancy. Hormone changes can sometimes cause excessive hair shedding or hair loss. This is especially true in women with a family history of female alopecia.
But many women experience hair growth and thickening during pregnancy and may even notice hair growth in unwanted places. Hair growth on the face, arms, legs, or back can occur.
Stretch marks (striae gravidarum) are perhaps the most well-known skin change of pregnancy. They’re caused by a combination of physical stretching of the skin and the effects of hormone changes on the skin’s elasticity. Up to 90 percent of women develop stretch marks by the third trimester of pregnancy, often on the breasts and abdomen.
Circulatory System Changes
The following are common during pregnancy:
- Huffing and puffing while climbing stairs
- Feeling dizzy after standing quickly
- Experiencing changes in blood pressure
Because of rapid expansion of the blood vessels and the increased stress on the heart and lungs, pregnant women produce more blood and have to utilize more caution with exercise than non-pregnant women.
Most women who exercise for 20 to 30 minutes or who exercise during hot and humid weather will sweat. In pregnant women, loss of bodily fluids from sweat can decrease the blood flow to the uterus, the muscles, and some organs. The developing fetus needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients carried through the blood, so injury may result from a lack of fluid.
Pregnancy bring significant psychological changes to both mother and father as well.
Ø Grief may arise from the realization that one’s roles would be changed permanently.
Ø Even the partner would have to leave the roles or the life he has been accustomed to as a man without a child to support.
Crying is a common manifestation of mood swings, during and even after the pregnancy.
Changes in Sexual Desire
1.Women who are on the first trimester of pregnancy experience a decrease in libido mainly because of breast tenderness, nausea, and fatigue.
2.On the second trimester, sexual libido may rise.
3.The third trimester might bring an increase or decrease in sexual libido due to an increase in the abdominal size or difficulty in finding a comfortable position.
4.The couple must be informed that changes are normal to avoid misunderstanding the woman’s attitude.
The Psychological Tasks of Pregnancy
Both the woman and her husband walk through a tangle of emotions during pregnancy. Accepting that a new life would be born out of your blood is not as easy as others may think. There are several stages that both should undergo, the psychological way.