Being pregnant is a wonderful, beautiful, life-changing period of time – but you may experience some physical changes that can be uncomfortable for you. Due to the hormones surging through your body and the fact that your baby is taking up more and more space, you may encounter many unexpected but totally normal changes. Here are some lesser-known affects of pregnancy on a woman’s body:
- Extra saliva + nasal congestion. These symptoms often go along with bad morning sickness or heartburn, but not always. Try sleeping with your head elevated or take a warm shower to relieve sinus pressure.
- Constipation + gas. It’s not pretty, but it is totally normal to have digestive changes during pregnancy. Progesterone, known as one of the “pregnancy hormones,” also slows the flow of food through your intestines, which can create some uncomfortable situations. Drinking lots of water and eating a healthy, fiber-rich diet can help relieve some of these symptoms.
- Dry skin, breakouts, and discoloration. Remember that your skin is your body’s largest organ – so it’s no mystery as to why it can undergo changes during pregnancy. You may develop acne, patches of rough or dry skin, or areas of darkened pigmentation on your face (commonly known as “the mask of pregnancy”). It’s also very common to notice extra hair growth on your stomach, chin, arms, and other areas, too. A few months after your baby is born, you’ll shed the extra fuzz – all completely common effects of pregnancy hormones.
- Big-time breast changes. Your nipples may become more sensitive and some women even begin to leak breast milk in their 3rd trimester. These changes are completely normal – your body is just getting ready to nourish your little one when he or she arrives!
Although some women do feel great during pregnancy with glowing skin and heaps of energy, that’s not everyone’s reality. If being pregnant is physically unpleasant for you or you feel stressed and anxious, you’re not alone. Try to remind yourself that this time will pass quickly, and when it’s all over, your beautiful baby will make it all worthwhile. You may wish to share your feelings with your healthcare provider to get their advice as well.