7 Weird Things That Happen to Your Body When You’re Pregnant
Your body is about to go through some crazy changes and symptoms of pregnancy you might not anticipate.
Certainly someone (your mum?) has said this to you since you’ve announced that you’re expecting. And sure, an increase in oil production – thanks to your pregnancy hormones – can result in that “glow” you hear so much about.
Here is a list of seven things you may not be expecting:
Your feet will get bigger – This one might leave you feeling like Bigfoot. Your feet can grow up to a full shoe size during your pregnancy, thanks to fluid retention, baby weight, and relaxin; a hormone your body produces to help loosen muscles, joints, and ligaments. While relaxin’s job is to make it easier for you to get baby out when the time comes, it can also have the side effect of making your feet grow. But look on the bright side: sometimes your feet never go back to their original size, which means you get to go shoe shopping!
You will be exhausted – Like, falling asleep at your cubicle exhausted. After all, making another human being is hard work. No wonder you’re tired! For many women, this feeling of exhaustion is particularly acute in the first trimester. And for some, it can return toward the end of your pregnancy. While they haven’t pinpointed an exact reason for pregnancy fatigue, many doctors believe that changes in your hormones – including elevated levels of progesterone – might be to blame. Get as much rest as you can now, because baby will need all your energy once he or she arrives.
You’ll probably be constipated – As many as half of all pregnant women will experience constipation during their pregnancy. Once again, progesterone seems to be the culprit here, relaxing your muscles – including those in your digestive tract – which slows the whole process down, leading to constipation. If you’re experiencing constipation, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and call your doctor; she can help determine a solution.
Um…haemorrhoids – As if the constipation weren’t enough, it’s also likely to cause haemorrhoids. Want to try and ward them off? Refer to number three on the list, and try to avoid constipation. Doing Kegel exercises regularly can also help to keep hemorrhoids at bay. If you’re already suffering, some women find pre-moistened wipes can help soothe the affected area. Ask your doctor before trying any over-the-counter relief products.
You’ll have heartburn – This symptom can get pretty intense for some, leaving you feeling like there’s a four-alarm fire burning in your esophagus. Once again, your friend progesterone is the culprit here, making things inside so loosey-goosey that your digestive tract starts to feel like a real two way street. Before you reach for the antacid, talk to your doctor. Some are safe to take, while others aren’t. You can also try eating smaller meals more frequently, so you’re not overloading your system. And make sure you don’t go fully horizontal after eating. Stay seated, or stand up and let gravity help your cause.
You might get acne – About that glow…some women get it, and others get acne. It’s those hormones at work, boosting oil production, which can lead to acne for some women, especially if you have been prone to acne previously. Put down the zit-zapping cream; most over-the-counter acne remedies are off-limits when you’re pregnant. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help eliminate some of the excess oil. Also, ask your doctor to recommend a safe cleanser that can help.
You might get gas (Excuse me!) – Pregnancy gas can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Really. And it can leave you wondering what, exactly, is growing inside you. (Yes, you can thank elevated levels of progesterone, again.) It can leave you impossibly bloated, and in pain from associated cramping. What’s worse, some of the high-fibre foods doctors recommend eating to stay healthy and ward off constipation can actually make your gas worse! The best bet is to figure out what triggers it – lentils, broccoli, and garlic are three of the usual suspects – and avoid eating it. Also, avoiding carbonated beverages can help too. As always, check with your doctor before taking anything to eliminate gas.