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Pregnancy and your body.


During pregnancy, there are many changes that happen in your body. Some of these changes will affect your diet and lifestyle. This article will explain what you should expect during pregnancy, how to prepare for it, and what you need to know before you become pregnant.

Pregnancy is a miraculous time in a woman's life, as she nurtures and grows a new life inside her. During this time, the body undergoes several changes to accommodate the growing fetus. Some of these changes are noticeable, while others are more subtle, but they all play a critical role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy and birth. In this article, we will explore the various body changes that occur during pregnancy and what they mean for both the mother and the baby.

One of the earliest and most noticeable changes in the body during pregnancy is an increase in hormone levels. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone are essential for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, and their increased levels cause several physical changes. For example, these hormones can cause fatigue, nausea, and mood swings in the early stages of pregnancy.

As the uterus expands to accommodate the growing fetus, the abdominal muscles have to stretch to make room. This can result in a condition known as diastasis recti, where the muscles separate at the midline, causing a bulge in the abdominal area. This condition is generally harmless and resolves on its own after pregnancy, but some women may experience back pain or discomfort.

Another noticeable change during pregnancy is weight gain. The average weight gain during pregnancy is around 25 to 35 pounds, but this can vary depending on several factors, such as the woman's starting weight and the number of fetuses she is carrying. Weight gain is essential for supporting the growing fetus and provides an energy reserve for breastfeeding after birth.

One of the most significant changes during pregnancy is the enlargement of the breasts, as they prepare for lactation. The mammary glands grow, and the breasts become more sensitive and tender. The nipples may also darken and enlarge, and small bumps may form around the areola, which is known as Montgomery's tubercles.

The heart has to work harder during pregnancy to pump blood to both the mother and the growing fetus. As a result, the blood volume in the body increases by up to 50%, and the heart rate may rise by 10 to 15 beats per minute. This increased workload can cause shortness of breath and fatigue, and it is essential to take breaks and rest when needed.

One of the more subtle changes during pregnancy is the increase in fluid retention. This can cause swelling in the feet, ankles, and hands, and can also contribute to varicose veins. To reduce fluid retention, it is recommended to keep the feet elevated, avoid standing for extended periods and wear compression stockings.

Finally, pregnancy can also cause changes in skin and hair. Some women may experience a "pregnancy glow," with clearer, smoother skin, while others may experience breakouts, dark spots, or melasma (dark patches on the face). Pregnancy can also cause changes in hair texture, with some women experiencing thicker, fuller hair, while others may experience hair loss.

In conclusion, pregnancy is a time of many physical changes, as the body adapts to accommodate the growing fetus. Some of these changes are noticeable, while others are more subtle, but they all play a critical role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy and birth. 


Complete Healthcare for Women - Obstetrics and Gynecology


Richard Lorenzo, D.O.

Kortney Jones ARNP


Kortney Jones, ARNP Kortney Jones, ARNP Kortney Jones is board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She provides ob-gyn services including birth control, pregnancy and prenatal care, and infertility as well as gynecological services such as women’s health and wellness, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, pellet hormone therapy, and menopause.

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