Your body goes through major changes throughout the 40 weeks of pregnancy. Every system in your body from tip to toe rallies to look after you and your baby. It’s easy to be overwhelmed or self-conscious but try to celebrate your body’s amazing ability to nurture. We think pregnancy is beautiful!
Here are some of the most common changes in pregnancy. If you experience any sudden symptoms, or changes that are extreme or worrying, please see your healthcare provider right away.
- Headaches are common. Maintaining good posture, and getting plenty of rest, healthy food and exercise will help.
- Emotions: Warning: Tears ahead! Pregnancy is a roller coaster of emotions, especially since hormones are involved. Repeat after us: “mood swings are normal.”
- Your breasts will grow, may be sore and may start leaking a yellowish, thick pre-milk known as colostrum in preparation for breastfeeding.
- Expanding belly: Obviously your belly will increase, as will your weight. The Institute of Medicine says that by your due date, you may gain as many as 25-35 pounds if you entered pregnancy at a normal, healthy weight.
- Stretch marks happen for 90% of pregnant women. Exercise and drinking lots of water can help.
- Feet: The body pumps up your blood and other fluids by about 50 percent to meet baby’s needs. This results in swelling in the hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet. You may also feel itchy during pregnancy—1 in 5 pregnant women do.
- Need to pee? Expect increased urination, especially at night.
- Heartburn and constipation: Combat digestive problems by eating small, frequent and healthy meals.
- Aches and pains: Due to your growing belly, back pains are common, as are leg cramps or spasms. Gentle exercise, walking, stretching and care with your posture will help with the occasional pains of pregnancy.
- Nausea strikes early in pregnancy and usually clears up by week 14. It’s called morning sickness but can actually strike at any time of the day.