Pregnancy is a life-altering experience as not only are you mentally preparing for a baby, your body is also changing to accommodate for the little being inside you. To help you better prepare for your pregnancy process, here are the most common changes women experience in their bodies when going through pregnancy.
Morning sickness is one of the first signs of pregnancy, and can vary in intensity among different women. In fact, some lucky women may not even experience morning sickness during their pregnancy at all! For those who do have morning sickness however (especially during the first trimester), pregnancy can become a difficult and changing experience.
Caused by pregnancy hormones, morning sickness may result in nausea and vomiting. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur during any time of the day, and is usually caused by particular foods or smells. Pregnant women are more prone to morning sickness at the start of the day due to their stomach being empty.
To help women adjust to the morning sickness changes of pregnancy in their body, they can take over-the-counter vitamins or herbal supplements. Ginger supplements are said to relieve nausea, while vitamin B6 may also help with relieving symptoms.
Pregnant women may also notice subtle changes in their skin when pregnant – often referred to as the ‘pregnancy glow’. During pregnancy, women experience increased blood circulation, which causes this shiny and rosy effect on the skin. In some women, pregnancy hormones can also cause the skin to be oiler, thus having the occasional flares of acne.
As mentioned previously with the physical effects of increased blood circulation, pregnant women may also notice their veins become more visible on their body. Blue veins around the belly, breasts and legs in particular may become noticeable. Pregnant women may also develop spider veins on their arms, neck or face (small veins that branch from a central area).
Your body will naturally prepare to breastfeed during pregnancy, hence causing your breasts to enlarge in size and become fuller. Along with changes in size, your breasts may also become more tender and swollen. Small bumps may also form around your nipples. Even if you choose not to breastfeed, your pregnancy hormones will cause your breasts to produce milk for your baby.
Women should be prepared to experience significant vaginal changes when pregnant and/or giving birth naturally. During pregnancy, the lining of the vagina will thicken and become less sensitive. The colour of your vaginal skin (both the inner and outer lips) may also change due to increased blood circulation. Discharge (white and thin) may also occur, along with slight spotting and vaginal bleeding.
Some vaginal changes do not disappear even after giving birth. For example, your vagina will grow and stay longer after giving birth, as your body naturally prepares for delivery. During and after pregnancy, women may also be more susceptible to yeast infections due to the changes in PH levels within the body.
Growing a baby in your body is no easy feat, and your body may experience pain alongside such changes during pregnancy. If you are having trouble identifying and managing symptoms of pregnancy, make sure to visit a health practitioner near you.