There are many things that you need to know about pregnancy. If you are carrying a child right now, you know that it comes with a huge responsibility. From now on, everything that you do will have an effect on the life that is forming in your womb.
This is why it is very important for you to understand what exactly goes on in your body while you are pregnant. This is mostly true for first-time mothers. Some of these changes will be subtle while others will be very significant. But each of these changes is necessary to help your baby develop in your womb and to prepare your body for labor. You want to know what to expect so you will know how to take care of yourself to overcome it.
What happens to your body during pregnancy
But what exactly happens to your body during pregnancy? Let us have a rundown of what you will have to go through.
Your respiratory rate will rise because you will be consuming more oxygen – most of which will be required by your uterus, placenta, and fetus. You will also notice that it takes a lot less activity to make you feel out of breath.
Your cardiovascular system will also go through a lot of changes. The blood volume will increase because this is how your body will send the nutrients to the fetus. Additional blood vessels will also grow. And since your uterus will be growing, you can expect that it can put pressure in some of the big veins in your body. This can affect the blood flow leading back to your heart. You will also experience an elevated heart rate even while you are resting. You should also expect that your blood pressure will vary depending on the term of your pregnancy. For instance, you will have a lower blood pressure during your second trimester.
As your uterus grows, the rest of your body will have to give up room for it. That means your stomach, intestines, and other organs will be displaced. This will cause an increased episode of acid reflux and heartburn. You will also have decreased motility which can lead to constipation.
There will be a lot of hormonal changes in your body to make sure it is conditioned perfectly for your pregnancy. The placenta will be the temporary endocrine gland while you are pregnant and it will be responsible for producing estrogen and progesterone during specific moments of your term. It will also be responsible for the various changes that will happen in your body. The other changes that you will go through will include feeling warmer. The different glands in your body will change to help you get ready for childbirth.
Since this is your baby’s home for the first 9 months of existence, your abdomen will go through a lot of changes too. It will expand and reach all the way up to your rib cage before the baby comes out. This is the part of your body that will ache a lot as the fetus gets heavier. The ligaments will also be stretched as it supports the growing weight of your baby.
This is one of the best sources of nutrition for the baby after childbirth. It is only proper that your body will start preparing it for that important role while you are still pregnant. Your breast will become larger and will feel more tender. This is caused by an increase in estrogen and progesterone. Your breast will get bigger as your due date come near. Your nipples will also be more prominent and when your third term comes around, a yellow and watery pre-milk substance will start leaking. This is the colostrum – a very nutritious substance that your baby should drink after childbirth.
Since the uterus is continually expanding, it puts pressure on your urethra, bladder, and pelvis. This will make you want to urinate more often than before. Sometimes, it will also make you leak when you are coughing, laughing, or sneezing. Not only that, your kidneys will be working harder to excrete both your waste and that of the growing fetus in your womb.
Did you know that even your spine changes with your growing uterus? You do not have to worry because it will not be permanent. But it is necessary because it will help you with your balance. It will affect your gait. The ligaments of your pelvic bones will also loosen up to prepare for childbirth.
There are yet other things that will change as your body goes through the three terms of pregnancy. Your skin, demeanor, and even your food preferences will change as all of these things happen to your body.