If you are an expecting mother and want to know what happens with your body during pregnancy here are some cool and maybe weird facts you didn’t know, but you need to know.
Being pregnant is fun … or not. It should be though. Despite all the trouble you go through with carrying and delivering your baby you should enjoy it somewhere along the way. Yes, I know your body does go crazy but these moments are unique and maybe, if you’re like me, you’ll be missing your pregnancy times. So take advantage. There’s nothing more special than your baby kicking. So let’s forget about the myths and dive in some interesting pregnancy facts involving your body, brain, diet and more.
Have you heard of this? I honestly knew about this before getting pregnant but I didn’t believe it. I simply thought it was a myth. So here I am pregnant and, yap, nesting. It hit me hard. I had this constant urge to clean and rearrange things in my house. I mean who paints walls while pregnant? Me. Nesting is a common instinct during pregnancy and may get more intense as you get closer to giving birth. Whatever you do, don’t overdo it. Be cautious.
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2. BABY BRAIN
I’m sure you’ve heard of this. I used this excuse all the time while I was pregnant. It’s true though. As a pregnant woman, you’re tired and overwhelmed, you’re worn out. Between all the doctor’s appointments and the million stuff you need to prepare before your baby arrives you’re mentally exhausted. So it’s expected to have moments of forgetfulness.
3. MOOD SWINGS
This is very easy to imagine. We’re women, we tend to be moody sometimes. Our monthly period is a good reason, let alone during pregnancy when our hormones go wild. There are aspects that are not as exciting as the big news when you carry a baby in your womb. Can’t sleep the way you used to, you want to pee the whole time just to mention a few. In fact, mood swings are common during pregnancy so don’t feel different.
4. YOU WILL NEED A NEW BRA
And I’m not joking. This was one of my favorite parts about being pregnant, but that’s because I’m a size 34B so you understand my joy. They will continue to grow throughout your pregnancy and stay fuller even after you give birth.
5. YOU WILL GLOW
Not in the dark though. You probably heard so many times how pregnant women tend to have this glow that just makes them special and stand out. Well, the glow is real. Once again, hormones are to blame or … be praised. Remember a lot of things are happening with your body, increased blood flow being one of them in particular.
The reason why this happens is because your body needs to pump more blood (around 50% more, causing your heart to increase in size too) to supply the uterus where your fetus is growing. This, in turn, promotes oil gland secretion (will also make you feel hot), hence your glowing face and your pimples. Sorry!
You may also notice new spots on your face. I had a ton of those. Their scientific name is chloasma and you can actually try to minimize its effects by wearing sunscreen. They will go away shortly after your delivery.
Speaking of brown spots, it’s worth mentioning that you will develop this brown line on your abdomen (linea negra) and your nipples will darken. Pregnancy hormones produce more pigment on your skin, which is continuously stretching to accommodate your baby. And that means you are going to be itchy. I found that coconut oil works great. That’s all I used.
6. LONGER HAIR AND NAILS
Heaven! I know, who doesn’t want that? I used to go for a trim every month almost, that’s how fast my hair was growing. And the people from the salon used to tell me that I had sooo much hair. You’re not going to lose hair while you’re pregnant, did you know that? I was super excited. And 3 months after I gave birth I lost the hair I was supposed to lose in those 9 months and more. I had bold spots. Here’s a picture to show you:
Your hair will grow fast and not only on your head, everywhere else too: face, belly, nipples, legs. This is temporary so don’t freak out. The same rule applies to your nails. They will surely grow faster, but not necessarily stronger.
7. YOU WILL SHOP FOR NEW SHOES
Don’t buy too many pairs, like I did. You will waste your money I promise you. You will need new shoes that’s a fact. Or I shouldn’t say that, because some women don’t swell at all during pregnancy. But if your feet are starting to swell you will notice you won’t be able to wear your shoes anymore.
I went from size 7 to size 8. The bad part is that you may need multiple sizes as your feet will get more and more swollen. Wear flip flops if the weather lets you. Your hands may also swell due to fluid retention in your tissues. There are times when this fluid can accumulate in the carpal tunnel and put pressure on those nerves. If you find yourself feeling numbness or tingling in your hands and fingers you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Address it to your doctor.
8. YOUR VOICE WILL CHANGE
Since I mentioned swelling as being a common symptom during pregnancy, be aware that your voice may change as well. You may experience swelling not only in your feet but also in your vocal cords.
9. LOOSE LIGAMENTS
I learned about this first hand. I was around 6 months pregnant and I bent a little to grab my mail. As I was trying to stand back up I fell on my back. I lost my balance (during pregnancy your center of gravity shifts) and hurt my ankle and wrist in my landing on the floor.
Pretty bad experience, so this is something you want to avoid. Be aware that your ligaments loosen (due to relaxin) as your body prepares for delivery. Avoid sudden movements and take it slow, literally!
10. VARICOSE VEINS
Pregnancy comes with enlarged veins on top of all the other things mentioned earlier. Pregnancy is a big event indeed, that’s why it deserves the right announcement. Here are a few things you can try to help you with your varicose veins:
- elevate your feet (this also helps with swelling)
- wear loose clothes
- avoid prolonged standing
Horror! Just to remind you, hemorrhoids are varicose veins in your rectum. They can happen during (your uterus puts pressure on your uterus) or after pregnancy (due to pushing from delivery). I honestly don’t have enough words to describe you have painful hemorrhoids are.
I had them after I gave birth. They were so painful I couldn’t even sit down properly. I had to suffer for a while until I made this oil concoction and it healed them overnight. Find out more in 11 Pregnancy Tips – Helpful Advice For Moms-To-Be.
Pregnancy hormones slow down your intestinal activities. On top of that, your growing uterus will start putting pressure on your large intestines, making it harder for you to have bowel movements. One safe way to cope with that is to drink a ton of liquids.
As a pregnant woman, you may suffer from acid reflux because once again your uterus is continuously expanding and will eventually cause your stomach and intestines to become displaced.
14. YOUR UTERUS GROWS
It makes sense right? It has to accommodate your fetus and not only that, a bunch of other stuff like placenta and a ton of fluid that your baby needs.
15. YOUR FETUS CAN HEAR YOU
It’s hard to believe but your baby is able to distinguish sounds at 18 weeks approximately. And as time goes by, it will become more and more responsive to sounds. I used to play this song in my car thinking that my baby would listen to it. Today, it’s her favorite song.
16. YOUR FETUS EATS FIRST
When you’re pregnant you crave more, you eat more and you gain more weight. Simple as that. You will be surprised to find out that your baby gets to eat first your digested food, and whatever the leftovers end up to you. You can’t get upset at this one right? It’s all for a good cause. Oh, and by the way, your baby can also taste any strong flavors that you might eat, like garlic. Cool, right?
17. YOU MAY DEVELOP DIABETES
Your blood sugar may go high enough to get gestational diabetes. It also means your pancreas is overwhelmed and cannot supply enough insulin. Your doctor will test you for this and guide you in case you get it, as this is a concerning complication. The only good thing about it is that it will go away once you deliver.
18. DIFFERENT SENSE OF SMELL
Sensitivity to smell is a pregnancy sign, to begin with. I was extremely sensitive to smell to the point I couldn’t wear perfume. Furthermore, some pregnant women may have a metallic taste or no taste at all.
19. YOU CAN LACTATE IF YOU HEAR A CRYING BABY
You can automatically start lactating if you hear a baby (not your baby) crying. I don’t know if that’s either funny or scary.
20. YOU PRODUCE A TON OF ESTROGEN
What does that mean? It means that when your pregnancy reaches full term, you produce more estrogen than a non-pregnant woman in 3 years. Wow!
21. YOUR GUMS MAY BLEED
During pregnancy, your gums become more sensitive to plaque (pregnancy gingivitis), leading to inflammation and bleeding. In extreme cases, you can even get pyogenic granuloma.
22. WEIRD CRAVINGS
These pregnancy cravings are also real! But new research suggests that the reason behind this could be a nutrient deficiency. You may want to contact your doctor if you have super strange cravings that have no nutritional value (pica) like craving for dirt.
23. OUT OF BREATH
You may find yourself running out of breath more easily and that’s because as your uterus expands it puts pressure on your diaphragm, making it more difficult for you to deeply inhale.
Don’t let these startling pregnancy facts take away the pure joy of being pregnant.