I’m pregnant and my body’s gone crazy Featured

You’re pregnant and while you’re celebrating the little life growing inside you, your body is having a party of its own. From crazy dreams to problems pooping, we give you the low down on some weird body changes you may experience when you’re expecting.

Blocked nose: Some women experience a blocked, stuffy or runny nose during their pregnancy. This is called pregnancy rhinitis and is caused by swelling in the nose as well as increased blood flow to nasal passages. 

Snoring: Around 49% of pregnant women snore for the first time during their pregnancies, says the Snore Lab. This could be due to a blocked nose, weight gain and having to breathe for two!

Vivid dreams: Expecting moms often claim to have more vivid dreams and nightmares. Changes in your hormones affect your sleep rhythms, emotions and anxiety levels, which also impacts the type of dreams you have. Sleeping more during pregnancy also means more opportunity to dream. And waking up regularly to use the toilet or when the baby moves makes it more likely that you’ll remember what you dreamt!

Patchy skin: According to BabyCentre, 75% of moms-to-be experience “the mask of pregnancy” - dark skin pigmentation on the neck, cheeks and forehead. Again, this is due to hormone changes and can also run in families. Your body makes more melanin – the pigment which causes you to tan and protects your skin against the sun and other UV light. These same hormone changes may cause your areolas - the coloured area around your nipples – to darken, and many women also develop a dark line running from the belly button to pubic area, called the linea nigra. 

Poop problems: You’ll probably find yourself spending a lot more time on the loo when you’re pregnant. And that’s not just because your bladder’s being squashed by your growing baby. Unfortunately, diarrhoea and constipation are both common in pregnancy. Diarrhoea can be caused by shifting hormones, a change in diet, and even your prenatal vitamins. It’s especially common in the third trimester. Constipation is caused by increased levels of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes your body’s muscles. This slows down your digestion, which can lead to constipation. These relaxed muscles are also what’s causing you to burp and fart more while expecting!

Discharge: Moms to be experiencing an increase in vaginal discharge will be pleased to know that this is a normal symptom. It’s caused by shifting hormones and changes to the cervix – which is softening to prepare for birth. While white or clear discharge is normal, discharge that is yellow, green, grey or smells bad could indicate an infection and needs a visit to your doctor

Heartburn: When you’re pregnant, hormones progesterone and relaxin increase, relaxing your ligaments and muscles to prepare for birth. This can play havoc with the muscles in your digestive tract – causing some stomach acid to escape, resulting in heartburn. 

Itching: Some itching is normal during pregnancy. As your belly and breasts grow, it stretches the skin, which may cause itching. Hormone changes can also cause dry, itchy skin. But very severe itchiness or itchiness on other parts of your body that lasts for a long time should be seen to by a doctor. 

Growing feet: The same hormones that are contributing towards your heartburn and constipation are responsible for the relaxing of ligaments in your feet. Your increased weight on top of these relaxed ligaments cause your feet to spread out or “grow”. Some women’s feet don’t return back to their usual size after pregnancy. Your feet may also swell because of the increase in fluids and blood in your body. Some swelling is normal, but too much of it calls for a doctor’s visit!

Many of these symptoms are normal, but if you are worried or suspect that your symptoms aren’t normal, please contact your doctor. - Gabi Falanga

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