Pregnancy brings a variety of physical and mental changes to a person. Every woman that goes through pregnancy has a different experience, so you may have many symptoms that you might not expect, whether they are physical or psychological. That is why we are here to show you some of the most common changes you might expect through your journey in different stages of pregnancy and how they affect your emotions and feelings.
During pregnancy, women experience hormonal changes. They go through dramatic increases in estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones that not only affect mood but also create the “glow” of pregnancy and aid in the development of the baby. Women should expect these changes throughout the pregnancy, and they should be prepared for all kinds of changes until their due date. Moreover, it is important to know the due date, so you should be prepared, so a pregnancy calculator would be very helpful.
- Estrogen and progesterone changes
A woman will create estrogen during pregnancy and then her entire life without being pregnant. The increase in estrogen enables the uterus and placenta to support the baby, transfer nutrients, and improve vascularization (the formation of blood vessels).
Progesterone levels also increase during pregnancy. Progesterone levels cause internal structures to increase in size, such as the uterus.
- Pregnancy hormones and exercise injuries
Pregnancy hormones are key to a successful pregnancy; they also make exercising more difficult. Because of the looser ligaments during pregnancy, women may be at greater risk for sprains and strains of the ankle or knee.
- Weight gain, fluid retention, and physical activity
Weight gain increases during pregnancy. Additionally, this weight slows down the circulation of blood and bodily fluids in the lower limbs. Hence, women experience swelling of the face and limbs. This weight also limits exercise. However, to avoid swelling, you must rest, and avoid long periods of standing, caffeine, and sodium.
Pregnancy can dramatically change a woman’s experience of sight, taste, and smell.
- Vision changes
Some pregnant women experience vision changes. These changes include blurriness and discomfort with contact lenses. Researchers don’t know the reason for this, but most women return to their pre-pregnancy vision after giving birth.
- Taste and smell changes
Most women experience changes in their sense of taste and smell. They usually prefer saltier or sweeter foods than non-pregnant women. This experience is most common during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Changes in hair, skin, and nails
Almost every woman experiences changes in their physical appearance. Some of the changes are temporary, while others, such as stretch marks, can result in permanent changes.
- Hair and nail changes
Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, hair and nail growth also change. Hormones can sometimes cause hair loss or, in some cases, hair growth and thickening. However, hair growth changes back to normal after giving birth.
- Stretch marks
Stretch marks are known as skin changes during pregnancy. They are caused by skin stretching and the effect of hormone changes on the skin’s elasticity. Stretch marks are developed by the third trimester of pregnancy. Often on the breast and abdomen.
Circulatory system changes
Pregnant women need to exercise more carefully than non-pregnant women, because of the rapid expansion of the blood vessels and the increased stress on the heart and lungs.
- Heartbeat and blood volume during pregnancy
The mother’s heart rate increases during the second trimester of pregnancy. The reason for this is that the heart performs more efficiently, which ejects more blood with each beat. During pregnancy, your heart rate may increase up to 20%.
- Blood pressure and exercise
There are two types of circulatory changes that impact exercise during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can affect the tone of blood vessels, which may result in dizziness and even loss of consciousness. This happens because the loss of pressure sends less blood to the brain and nervous system.
- Dizziness and fainting
Dizziness is more common after 24 weeks, and it happens as a result of lying flat on the back. Lying on the back compresses the large blood vessels leading from the lower body to the heart. This decreases blood flow to and from the heart, leading to a decline in blood pressure. This can cause dizziness and fainting.
Women that go through pregnancy experience mental, and physical changes as well. Some of the most common changes during pregnancy come back to normal after giving birth. However, some others, such as stretch marks, may be permanent.