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Women's Health Blog

Understanding Body Changes During Pregnancy

During pregnancy your body will continuously change—biologically and physically. Changes transpire to help the development of the baby and to prepare your body for labor. You will feel extremely tired throughout the process because your body is working very hard to make these alterations.

Common changes such as a lack of bladder control, stretch marks, and an increase in body weight are well known. But here are five body changes you probably didn’t know about:


You’ll Run Out of Breath Quickly and Easily

Your respiration rate increases to recover from maternal oxygen consumption. The over consumption of oxygen is needed to support the uterus, the fetus, and placenta. You may feel out of breath walking up a few steps or simply while rolling over in bed.


Everything in Your Belly Will Shift

The uterus grows and expands out of the pelvic cavity, shifting the stomach, intestines and other organs. This alteration can lead to constipation, acid reflux and heartburn.


Your Breasts Will Grow

As you may already know, your breast become larger and more tender during pregnancy to prepare for breastfeeding. This occurrence is due to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. Your nipples may stick out and by your third trimester a yellow, watery, pre-milk substance called colostrum will leak through.


Stretch Marks, Spider Veins, and Red Palms

You may have thought stretch marks were the least of your skin worries, but not so. Hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, including the nipples, face, and abdominal midline may occur because of hormonal changes. High levels of estrogen and hyperdynamic circulation may cause you to experience spider veins and reddening of the palms. A change in your hair and nail texture and growth is also possible.


Having a Bad Leg Day?

During your pregnancy, you will experience leg cramps due to your body carrying extra weight, a shortage of calcium or magnesium, and the compression of blood vessels in the legs. Your feet and ankles may swell as well because of extra fluid in the body.


Let Beebe Healthcare’s women’s health experts help you prepare for your big day with our prenatal classes. Call (844) 316-3330 to speak to a Women's Health Nurse Navigator or click here to learn more about our prenatal classes.