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5 Surprising Things That Happen to Your Body During Pregnancy

Lindsey Patterson Nov 1, 2019
Pregnancy is a crazy experience many women go through. In order to grow that small, yet fully equipped human in you, some pretty big physical, mental, and even emotional shifts can take place. Here are some of the most astounding ways your body can change during pregnancy.

Your Abdominal Muscles Separate

The amount of stretch your abdominal muscles undergo in such a short amount of time affects your abdominals. Women experience something called Diastasis recti, a situation where your abdominal muscles have stretched so much that it’s harder for them to close back together. Luckily, there are plenty of diastasis recti exercises to help combat this.

Your Blood Volume Doubles

From early in the first trimester to right around 34-36 weeks, your body starts to produce more blood and plasma, eventually going from 30 to 50 percent. This drastic increase can account for up to 4 pounds of the healthy weight gained during pregnancy. Your body needs to take up extra oxygen to your baby as well as perfuse all those tiny, growing organs.

You Get Forgetful

Women experience mental fog or "pregnancy brain". There's no need to be alarmed as this brain fog is just your hormones having their way. Most women report this forgetfulness to vanish a few weeks after delivery, while some say it lingers a bit longer. However, sleep deprivation and the added stress of caring for an infant can also play a factor.

Your Skin Gets Darker

About 90 percent of expectant women experience skin darkening of some kind. You may notice darkening of your areolas, the skin under your arms, and even your freckles and moles. Some women report a dark, vertical line that forms on the belly called the linea nigra or even facial darkening called melasma, or “the mask of pregnancy.”

Your Joints Get Looser

When you’re expecting, your ovaries and placenta produce an important hormone called Relaxin. This hormone helps prepare your pelvic muscles, ligaments, and tendons to relax and expand in order to birth your baby. This hormone causes loosening in other areas of the body causing you to feel a little imbalanced and prone to injury.