Changes to your body during pregnancy

Ecstatic is the word that should have described my emotion upon confirmation of my first pregnancy. But instead, all I could do was cry. My mind was reeling – why can’t I stop crying? I’m happy….I’M HAPPY! Somehow my mind and body has misconstrued the message – I am thrilled to be pregnant but I cannot stop crying. The message must have been lost in translation. After a little consideration, the answer hit me – Hormones! That’s right; my logical mind had been hijacked by pregnancy hormones!

As a relatively level headed person, I definitely was not prepared to have illogical reactions fuelled by hormone fluctuations. Nor was I prepared for the myriad of other changes that my body was about to encounter throughout pregnancy. It seems that there is quite a list of pregnancy related changes that occur in a woman’s body that no one really talks about. So in order to prepare other unsuspecting women, I’ve compiled a list of changes that your body may go through during this time;

Nausea and/or vomiting

Although traditionally this is called morning sickness, I’m not convinced that is the most appropriate name – in my experience, the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy can strike at any time of day. Or if you are one of the unlucky ones, you may experience this morning, noon and night. “All day sickness” might have been a better name!

Metallic taste  

You may encounter a slightly bitter metallic taste in your mouth. It can come and go, or hang around all day. This little pregnancy symptom makes drinking a good amount of water challenging – unless you are a fan of metallic tasting liquid!

Sore/enlarged breasts 

This is one of the first things that I noticed about pregnancy – my breasts grew larger. And for someone on the smaller side, this was a welcome surprise…..That is up until the soreness set in! A slight touch or accidental brush up against something, and ouch – tender! And as for already large breasted women, prepare yourself for buying a larger bra size to accommodate. 

Frequent urination and Light Bladder leakage 

Imagine a small child bouncing up and down on your pelvic floor like it’s a trampoline and putting pressure on your bladder – well that’s kind of what happens – and that’s also why you may experience unexpected urine leakage. The pressure becomes a little much and weakens your control. You may need to go to the toilet more frequently. And this happens overnight too – maybe its nature’s comedic way of preparing you for night waking once the baby is here!

Changes in hair condition, skin and nails 

For some fortunate women, you will notice improved quality and appearance of skin, hair and nails – there’s definitely truth to the saying “you’re glowing”. However, on the other side of things, hormonal reactions can trigger skin conditions like acne, rashes, dry cracked patches and blotchiness. Hair can be prone to oiliness and/or dryness and in extreme cases even fall out. Nails can become thin and brittle.

Reflux/indigestion 

The art of sleeping upright became my saving grace during the later stages of pregnancy. As heartburn, indigestion and reflux kicked in, staying upright seemed the only cure when all the Mylanta in the world couldn’t ease the burning discomfort!

Stretch marks 

The rapid expansion of your breasts, waist and unfortunately bottom and thighs, can result in fine red lines on the skin for some women. These lines fade over time but in some cases never quite disappear completely. There has been no miracle solution to preventing these, but as with everything, eating well and taking care of yourself may help. 

Extreme fatigue  

I have never felt so TIRED IN MY WHOLE LIFE! Prepare yourself for fatigue like you’ve never known before. The different stages of pregnancy can leave you feeling completely zapped of energy. I guess when you think about it, you are growing a small human inside you – I imagine that would be quite a tiring job. If you can, incorporate an afternoon nap into your routine, it will definitely help with the fatigue.