During pregnancy, the body undergoes many changes on physical, hormonal and other levels in so little time (to meet the demands of the uterus, placenta and fetus) that it is natural for pregnant women to get confused, scared and even frustrated. However, remember that most of the changes that your body undergoes, like weight gain, are normal and essential for the development of the baby. Trying to understand these changes and what causes them will help feel comfortable and ease anxiety.
Changes in the Respiratory System
The respiratory rate increases due to the sudden increase in the oxygen consumed by the mother to meet the demands of the fetus. Apart from this, there is a decrease in the functional capacity of the lungs; which makes pregnant women feel out of breath or what they often call ‘feeling weighed down’.
Changes in the Cardiovascular System
During pregnancy there are several changes in the cardiovascular system of the body including increase in blood volume and increase in the growth of blood vessels. Also, pregnant women might face low blood pressure problems, especially, in the second trimester because the uterus exerts pressure on large veins, causing slow return of the blood to the heart. Women should engage in regular exercises during pregnancy, like Pranayama; this not only helps in maintaining blood pressure levels but also facilitates comfortable labor.
Changes in the Urinary System
The uterus, as it expands, puts pressure on the bladder, urethra and pelvic floor muscles which leads to temporary bladder control problems like frequent urge to urinate and even leaking of urine while coughing or sneezing. Wear comfortable maternity clothes like long tops and kurtis to feel relaxed and comfortable while making frequent trips to the toilet.
Physical Changes in the Body
There are many physical changes in the body during pregnancy; like breasts may become tender and larger to prepare for breastfeeding and pre-milk may start leaking by the third trimester, the abdomen expands in the second trimester and the top of the uterus nears the rib cage. A maternity body pillow can help pregnant women in sleeping comfortably while supporting the belly; also wear comfortable sleep wear for a deep and relaxed sleep.
Changes in Skin, Hair and Weight
Significant changes happen in the texture and growth of hair and nails. There is also a weight gain of about 12 – 17 Kg. throughout the pregnancy. Stretch marks start to appear in the second half of the pregnancy on abdomen, thighs, buttocks and breasts; there are certain things you can do to minimize stretch marks like wearing a pregnancy belly band that will support the belly, make you feel comfortable avoid weighing down of the belly, thus, reducing stretch marks. Read this blog to know more about benefits of using a pregnancy belly band.
On Your Way to Motherhood!
Despite all confusion, physical changes, hormonal changes and issues; most women, later, recall pregnancy as one of their most cherished times. Don’t let little things make you feel sad, angry or frustrated; enjoy this period as much as you can and stay happy as your mood and behavior significantly affects the baby as well. Wear good maternity clothes that not only make you look good but also make you feel good. Do activities that make you feel relaxed.
Stay happy and enjoy this phase as every day brings you closer to your bundle of joy!