As a child develops in utero, a myriad of changes occur within his mother’s body. Most of these changes happen only for the duration of the pregnancy, but others could develop into serious conditions after the delivery.
We asked OB-Gyne specialist Dr. Nini G. Infortuno to discuss these physical changes, so that expectant women may gain a deeper understanding of their pregnant body, and how they can safeguard their health postpartum.
What general changes happen in a pregnant woman's body?
1. You urinate frequently. “The increased pressure on a woman’s bladder and hormonal changes cause frequent trips to the bathroom during pregnancy.”
2. You experience fatigue . “The body is working double for mother and baby.”
3. Your breasts become tender. “Women's breasts are sensitive and tender, and they begin increasing in size very early on during pregnancy. This happens in preparation for breastfeeding.”
4. You have morning sickness.(Read more about morning sickness relief) “Nausea and vomiting are common during the first few months of pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes and increased acid production in the stomach.”
5. You have increased vaginal discharge. “It is common to have increased vaginal discharge because there is increased blood supply to the tissues in the vagina.”
6. You become prone to constipation.(Read more about postpartum constipation) “This is due to the intake of iron in prenatal vitamins and hormonal changes that slow down the digestion of food.”
7. You occasionally suffer from indigestion/heartburn. “Heartburn may occur more frequently when you are pregnant, due to the slowdown of your digestive system and the relaxation of the muscle that normally keeps digested food and acids in your stomach.
8. Your skin gets darker. “Some women get brownish or yellowish patches around their eyes and over the cheeks called the ‘mask of pregnancy’. The medical term for this is ‘chloasma’. Some women also get a dark line on the midline of the lower abdomen called the ‘linea nigra’, and the most common are striations or stretch marks on their abdomen, around their nipples and buttocks.”