Body Changes During Pregnancy
Body changes during pregnancy are expected. As your pregnancy progresses you will experience physical changes, including backaches, weight gain and fluid retention. Symptoms like these, while uncomfortable, are normal, and often will go away after you give birth or as your pregnancy progresses.
Your Changing Body
Body changes during pregnancy are more common & natural than you think! As your pregnancy progresses, you will experience a series of physical changes, including backaches, weight gain and fluid retention. Symptoms like these, although uncomfortable, are normal, and will often alleviate after your baby is born or as your pregnancy progresses.
In the meantime, there are ways to manage these physiological changes during pregnancy so that you can enjoy this time with some well-deserved rest, love and pampering!
Weight gain is one of the most noticeable physical changes during pregnancy. Try to keep in mind that this weight gain during pregnancy is important for the nourishment and overall health of you and your developing baby. This additional weight will eventually come off after the baby is born. Concentrate on:
- Eating nutritious meals
- Cutting out junk food
- Exercising regularly (after first checking with your doctor)
If you experience backache brought on by pregnancy, try these methods for easing your discomfort and getting a good night's sleep (under y our doctor's supervision):
- Go for simple stretching or yoga to release tension in the back and leg muscles and strengthen them
- Treat yourself to a massage to relax and loosen tight and sore back muscles
- Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your bent knees to support your lower back
Swollen Ankles and Feet
Your body retains more fluid during pregnancy. Due to this, you may experience swollen legs, ankles and/or feet (edema), particularly during your third trimester. To relieve this condition:
- Stay off your feet as much as possible
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods
Note: Call your doctor if you notice sudden swelling on your hands and face. It could signal a dangerous pregnancy condition called preeclampsia.
It is not uncommon to feel itchy as the skin on your breasts and belly expands. Some women also find that their palms and the soles of their feet get red. You may also find that certain conditions which normally make you itchy (such as dry skin, eczema or food allergies) worsen during pregnancy.
To reduce discomfort, avoid taking hot showers or baths, use mild soap and moisturize liberally with lotion.
Severe itchiness in the second or, more commonly, third trimester can be a sign of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, a liver problem that affects up to 2 percent of pregnant women and may spell trouble for your baby. Such changes during pregnancy are not entirely normal, but you need not panic. Call your doctor immediately if you think you have cholestasis. If you do, your doctor will recommend the appropriate tests for you and your baby.
When to See a Doctor: Contact your obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GY) promptly if you begin to feel persistent or extreme itchiness.
Not all women get stretch marks. They appear in areas where the skin has stretched more quickly than normal due to rapid weight gain. You can reduce the probability of these by gradually adding pounds, and not exceeding the recommended weight for your body type.
If you do get stretch marks, there are some options for minimizing their appearance. Some studies have shown that topical ointments may help; however, they must be applied soon after you give birth.
(Note: Some topical treatments are not safe to use while you are pregnant and/or nursing, so consult with your doctor).
Sometime around the fourth month, your nails may start to grow faster than usual. They may also become softer or more brittle and develop tiny grooves. They should return to normal within a few months postpartum.
Body Changes to Get Excited About
While pregnancy body changes are a challenge to deal with, there are a few physical changes you will enjoy and cherish, such as:
- Healthy and soft hair
- The proverbial "glow"
- A newly ample bosom
We at JOHNSON’S® understand that bodily changes during pregnancy, although natural, can be quite stressful for a mother. Our aim is to make them as easy-to-cope-with as possible and pack these nine months of pregnancy with all the happiness, love and comfort that a mother truly deserves!