You Won’t Believe What Pregnancy Does to Your Body

3:12:18MBPostYou Won’t Believe What Pregnancy Does to Your Body

Before getting pregnant, it’s hard to fully understand what pregnancy does to your body. Once pregnant, it doesn’t take long to realize your body is feeling different than it did before. A pregnant body works overtime to provide nourishment and remove waste for a growing baby. If this is your first pregnancy, you’ll be surprised how much harder your body must work – and dismayed at how it feels when it does!

Have a heart (or two)

Because the body must produce and circulate 50% more blood during pregnancy, the heart works much harder. With each beat, the heart is pumping more blood – and it’s pumping faster, too. If your heart was pumping 70 beats per minute before getting pregnant, it’ll jump up to 80-90 beats per minute during pregnancy. Some women notice this and can feel their heart beating, or palpitating. Ideally, blood pressure should remain constant or decrease slightly, but if it increases, it could lead to a serious condition called preeclampsia. As the baby grows and the uterus enlarges, it can impede the return of blood from the legs and feet to the heart. This is why pregnant women sometimes suffer swelling and varicose veins, and why sleeping on your back during pregnancy is a bad idea.

The tracts

In a very basic sense, pregnancy affects your body through the hormones being released and for the obvious reason that the baby is growing in size and weight, thus requiring more resources. Mother’s body does all it must to support the baby, who is drawing the nutrients he needs from his mother. Internally, the body’s systems cope with the added workload in the following ways:

  • Digestive – The hormones and growth of the baby during pregnancy alters the way the digestive system works in several capacities. Many pregnant women suffer morning sickness (nausea and vomiting), heartburn, constipation, and/or hemorrhoids.
  • Urinary – Because of the extra blood produced for the baby during pregnancy, mom’s kidneys work harder to filter all the waste from the blood. This – combined with the growing uterus pressing on the bladder – is the reason pregnant women usually need to use the restroom more often.
  • Reproductive – The uterus, or womb, is where the baby grows. This will enlarge as the pregnancy progresses.
  • Respiratory – All pregnant women breathe faster and deeper and feel short of breath when engaging in exercise or rigorous activity.

Don’t forget these

Remember, pregnancy affects all parts of the body in one way or another. Let’s add more to the mix:

  • Skin – Stretch marks are common on the abdomen, hips, and breasts due to the growth of the baby during pregnancy. You might also notice a dark line running down the middle of the belly.
  • Joints and muscles – The ligaments that hold a joint together loosen and relax during pregnancy. This can make it easier to lose your balance, so be careful! Wearing supportive, flat shoes with good grip can help. Backaches occur because of the extra weight and size of the front of the body, and women often compensate for this added weight by changing posture.
  • Hormones – The placenta is an organ that grows in the uterus with your baby and provides the nutrients he needs throughout the pregnancy. The placenta produces lots of hormones – such as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), estrogen, and progesterone – which alter the way your entire body functions. One example is gestational diabetes, a condition that can occur if the body isn’t able to efficiently manage blood sugar.
  • Breasts – In addition to a growing belly, the breasts grow in size during pregnancy. The glands within are preparing to produce breastmilk for the baby, causing the breasts to feel tender and firm.

Pregnancy is undeniably hard on a woman’s body, and some ways to recuperate are to get plenty of sleep, eat well, and get lots of exercise. Talk with your doctor or midwife about ways you can be as comfortable as possible until labor begins. The good news is that once pregnancy is over and you deliver the baby, you typically won’t have to deal with what pregnancy does to your body any longer.

Interested in learning how the MonBaby smart monitor helps parents track baby’s sleep position and breathing movements? Click here!

How do you deal with the challenges of being pregnant? Share with us in the comments!


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