Your pregnant body
Women's bodies do incredible things when growing a baby; of course, no two pregnancies are the same.
Breast changes: One of the first signs of pregnancy is large and painful breasts.
Seesawing emotions: Pregnancy hormones flood your system and you will find yourself crying at the drop of a hat.
Morning sickness: Some women don’t get morning sickness, while others find themselves running for the bathroom every 10 minutes.
Varicose veins: Those bulging veins in your legs are caused by the extra weight and pressure of pregnancy.
Pregnancy glow: Not all women get the pregnancy glow, some women gat acne, rashes, marks or discoloration, but this gets better after baby arrives.
Swelling: Swollen ankles, toes, fingers and face are signs that your body is holding excess water; this gets better as soon as baby arrives.
Reflux: Heartburn and indigestion can be a real pain, literally. As your baby grows, you will feel pretty uncomfortable after eating. Drinking water or milk will help.
Cravings: Cravings are strange and unusual desires for food and not just a cover for chocolate addiction. If it’s not bad for you or the baby, feel free to indulge, you deserve it.
Stretch marks: They usually appear on your belly, thighs and breasts as a result of your body expanding to a large size in a short time. Creams and oils may help. There’s no reliable way to prevent them, but they do fade a little over time.
Placenta: During pregnancy, women’s bodies grow an entire organ, the placenta. This develops in the uterus and provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby.
Contractions: When in labor, you will feel powerful waves across your stomach, thighs, back and legs. The intensity gets worse as labor progresses. Pain relief may include; birthing pools or epidurals.
Shaking and shivers: Labor is the most intense physical challenge you will ever experience. Your body experiences a great deal of shock and pain and not to mention the overwhelming emotions when your baby finally arrives, it’s understandable if you feel shaky.
After-pains: These are painful contractions while breastfeeding caused by the hormones that makes the milk come down which is stimulated when the baby drinks.
Exhaustion: Feeling very exhausted is the hardest part of being a new mommy, when you feel constantly emotional and depressed, ask for help.
Baby blues: The third day after birth, your body starts to dump all those pregnancy hormones and floods your system with breastfeeding hormones. You will feel very emotional, overwhelmed, tired and uncomfortable. Some TLC and reassurance will help.
Despite all those side-effects, the experience of motherhood is worth more than anything else in the world. And that’s no secret!