When I was still a naïve little girl, I had a very different perspective about pregnancy. In my mind, it only meant that the mom’s belly would expand, and then a baby would pop out after nine long months. They are on point, of course, yet I got served with more realizations as I was experiencing all the physical revamping that naturally come with gestation. “Pregnancy is a vulnerable time for women, one in which we need support from our health professionals to accept our changing bodies, minimize stress, and work towards holistic wellbeing,”writes Alexis Conason, Psy.D. I’d hate for you to be as surprised as I was back then, so let me tell you about the body changes to expect when expecting, apart from your tummy growing and gaining weight. Your Blood Pressure Can Fluctuate You may notice that your heart rate increases and decreases during the first few months often even when you’re not exerting a lot of energy on an activity. There’s nothing to worry about, considering you don’t have cardiovascular disease. The fluctuation in your BP is merely due to the muscle making adjustments and creating more blood vessels in preparation for the baby’s development in your womb. You Need To Pee A Lot Going for bathroom option #1 is entirely predictable too. Imagine, your uterus will balloon upward and stay above the urethra, pelvis, and bladder. Rather than floating in the belly, however, the weight of the baby and gravity enable the former to settle on top of latter organs. The pressure brought by those make you lose your ability to hold your pee in for a while. Sometimes, I’d even experience a bit of urine escaping as I get up, laugh, or sneeze. There’s no doubt that you may go through that as well during your pregnancy, so be ready. There Will Most Likely Be Stretch Marks Stretch marks appear since the growth of the womb tears some of the elastic fibers in the skin. Aside from the belly, you may also see the streaks on your arms, inner thighs, buttocks, and breasts. They can be purplish in the beginning, but time and dieting will allow them to fade post-birth.
Your Body Parts May Constantly Ache It may be challenging to feel physical relaxation asthe weeks pass by, despite not doing much around the house. The back can be in pain the more you stand as it’s not easy to keep your spine straight once you have a beachball-sized belly. When you lie down, the legs may become numb too because the blood that’s supposed to flow down them may become hindered by the expanded uterus. Not to mention, your middle section may hurt if the child moves and rests on your ribs. “Within weeks, the mirror reflects back to her how the pregnancy is changing the external shape and size of her body. Adjusting to the felt-sense of the boundary between her physical body and the surrounding environment can be challenging as these changes progress over the course of the pregnancy,” writes Ann Diamond Weinstein Ph.D. The Breasts Will Enlarge The incredible amounts of progesterone and estrogen that you have while still pregnant can enhance your bust size. Your nipples also may jut out so that the infant can quickly latch onto them after the delivery. You can’t expect your breasts to stay that way forever, though – they’ll eventually deflate when the baby stops drinking your milk. The Gums Might Bleed People say that you’re at high risk of weakening your teeth when you’re pregnant. I didn’t want to believe that initially, but I saw the possibility of it when my gums bled every time I’d floss or brush. The explanation I received from the dentist is that the hormonal changes make the gums tender; that’s why they’re extra sensitive while you’re carrying a child. The best thing to remember is that all these matters will go back to normal once you deliver the baby to the world. “Rather than feeling like something is “wrong with them,” let’s encourage mothers to speak more openly with each other so that the beautifully messy challenges and joys of matrescence are as accepted in our culture as the ups and downs of adolescence,” writes Alexandra Sacks, M.D. So, endure the discomfort for a little while, mom-to-be; all your hardships will dissipate when you lay your eyes on your new son or daughter. Cheers!