You’ll hear lots of talk about how parenthood will change you. It’ll make you more patient, expand your capacity for love, change your life perspective. All that may be true, as childbirth is a massive moment in anyone’s life, but there are physical changes as well. A pregnant body is working extremely hard and growing another human requires the body to adapt and change through the pregnancy. Let’s take a look at some of the ways your body will change when you are with child.
Pregnancy means that your body will be a veritable cocktail of hormones. Your body will be flush delivering necessities to the baby and you’ll notice some effects to your outward appearance. Most noticeable are the changes to your hair. Hair contains estrogen receptors. As a result of the changes in hormone levels, you’ll see your hair appearing thicker and more glossy. The thickness comes from a decrease in the amount of hair you lose normally. Be aware that after your pregnancy your will return to normal, but it may feel like your hair is falling out faster than ever before — it’s totally normal.
Another way that hormone levels will effect your body can be measured in your bones. Increased amounts of estrogen and relaxin will cause the ligaments in your body to relax. This effect is necessary for childbirth, but before that you may notice more pain in your muscles and joints, especially your lower back. Additional, more relaxin will allow your cartilage and ligaments to stretch more. You may feel some additional mobility as a result.
The changes in food tastes are well documented. Many women report hating a previously beloved food while pregnant and vice versa. The changes in your ability to taste are intrinsically tied to your ability to smell. As a result, you may notice a very heightened nose during your pregnancy. Be careful though because certain smells may cause you to feel physically ill.
The list of ways your body changes during pregnancy is long. There is one clear way that your body changes — a little human is growing inside of you. But work closely with your OBGYN and GP to monitor the rest of the ways you change — your body and baby will thank you.