Most women find pregnancy to be a great time in their life. It marks the transition from being a women to also being a mother. This transforms your life forever. During pregnancy, changes in your body accompany this transformation. As your body is preparing to bring a new life into the world, it is understandable that your body will have go through some changes. Each trimester comes with a very different set of physical changes. Below are some things to be prepared for with each trimester of pregnancy.
First Trimester (1-13 weeks)
Due to the quick increase in hormones, there are many noticeable changes in your body during the first trimester:
- Morning sickness – As your body tries to adapt to the increased hormone levels, one of the side effects is morning sickness. Luckily, this is only temporary and there are several natural ways to subdue it.
- Breathing changes – To keep down the levels of carbon dioxide in your body, you may notice yourself breathing deeper and faster than normal.
- Increased urination – This is one of the most common and noticeable changes. The uterus begins growing in preparation of the baby, resulting in pressure on the bladder, causing you to have to make more trips to the bathroom.
- Swollen breasts – Due to the increased hormone levels, it is also very common to experience swollen or tender breasts. Wearing a supportive bra during the day and while sleeping can help to reduce discomfort.
- Increased joint flexibility- Due to the increased levels of the hormone, relaxin, you may notice your joints and ligaments begin to loosen and become more flexible. This allows your pelvis to spread to contain the baby. Some women begin to feel back pain due to this change. A great way to relieve this pain is with regular pregnancy massages.
- Acne – Those same hormones that gave you acne in your teenage years are back again. Luckily most over the counter acne medications can be very effective and are safe during pregnancy.
Second Trimester (14- 26 weeks)
Once you make it to the second trimester, many of your discomforts from your first trimester will subside. The second trimester is when most women really embrace and enjoy being pregnant. Here are a few more changes that will happen you your body during this stage:
- Enlargement of the heart – During pregnancy the mother will experience an increase in blood volume to accommodate for the baby. This will cause some extra pressure on your blood vessels causing swelling of your feet and legs.
- Pressure on the stomach – As the uterus continues to grow it puts pressure on the stomach, which can cause heartburn. There are many antacids that can help relieve this discomfort, but you should talk to your doctor to make sure that you use the best one.
- Darkening of the skin – Also called melasma, this change in skin tone can occur all over the body. The most common spots include darkening of the skin on cheeks, forehead, and your abdominal area. Don’t worry though, because this is common and most see this go away after pregnancy.
Third Trimester (27-40 weeks)
By the third trimester, your body begins its final transformation in preparation to give birth. During this stage your baby will move begin to move into your pelvic region. In the third trimester you may notice:
- Breathing and eating changes – In the first part of the third trimester you may have difficulty taking deep breathes or eating large meals, because your baby is putting pressure on your stomach and lungs. This is very normal, and you can overcome this problem by eating small meals throughout the day. Around the last two weeks of pregnancy your baby will drop down to your pelvic region and you will be able to eat and breathe more normally.
- Itchy skin – Due to the stretching of the skin to accommodate the baby, you may feel itchy skin. Using a good moisturizer can really help during this stage of pregnancy.
- Increased loosening of the joints – The loosening of the joints that we talked about in the first trimester is now in full force in preparation for giving birth. This may cause you to feel a bit unstable and feel aching in your lower back and groin region.
It is amazing how your body knows exactly what to do to give your baby the best environment possible for healthy growth. All of the little discomforts that you experience will be forgotten as soon as you hold your baby for the first time. Know that the changes listed above are just some of the most common changes in pregnant women, but they are not the only ones. If you feel anything out of the ordinary during your pregnancy, don’t stress, but do make sure to call your doctor. If you have any questions regarding your body’s transformation talk with an obstetrician in your area.