Being pregnant brings a lot of physical and emotional changes. Even in the first week of pregnancy, some women can feel unusual tiredness and breast tenderness. Hormonal changes not only make you feel physically exhausted, but emotionally tired as well. So, don’t be surprised when you’re suddenly bawling while watching a comedy show. In this post, let’s look at the seven most surprising things you may not know about your pregnant body.
1. Your Skin May Be More Brilliant
Some of your friends might just compliment you on your “pregnancy glow” as you enter the second trimester, and science can explain why. As your hormonal level changes, the hormone progesterone also increases the natural oil production of the skin, which can make it more radiant. Estrogen floods your body as early as the first trimester. This hormone can make you look flushed, which explains the rosy cheeks. Finally, HCG is another hormone that’s only produced during pregnancy, as the placenta secretes it. It helps increase the blood volume of your body, making your skin appear more flushed as well!
2. Hair and Nails Grow Faster and Stronger
The same hormone that’s making your breasts tender is also responsible for that positive change in your hair and nails. A lot of moms claimed that their hair took a long time to grow out before pregnancy. But their hair is lusher, shinier, and grows much faster during pregnancy. The same goes for their nails. The high estrogen levels in their bodies are helping nails grow faster and stronger.
3. Increase in Shoe Size
If you suddenly find yourself shopping for a bigger-than-usual shoe size, you'd be surprised to know that pregnancy also changes the shape and size of a woman’s feet. This change usually occurs during the second trimester and will continue to increase until late in pregnancy. There’s not much you can do to stop your feet from growing. However, you can help ease foot swelling by drinking plenty of water and using a maternity leg pillow to help improve blood flow.
4. Have Weird Food Cravings
Yearning for food you rarely eat might just come as a surprise to you as well! If you’ve heard of the infamous pickles and ice cream combo, let us tell you this. It’s not some made-up story by a bored pregnant mother! Many women claimed they suddenly had bizarre food cravings like dumplings at 3 AM or spicy buffalo wings when they don’t even like chicken. Of course, you can blame raging hormones for these unusual requests. Experts are not sure why pregnant women have these food yearnings, but it’s possible that these cravings are your body’s ways of telling you what it needs. You may have nutritional deficiencies that have to be addressed immediately.
5. Develop Food Aversions
If there are changes in food cravings, you’ll also notice that you suddenly have a strong dislike for food you normally like. Food aversions usually happen during the first trimester when hormonal changes occur. Remember the hormone HCG? The rising levels of HCG may be responsible for pregnancy symptoms like cravings, nausea, and food aversions. Morning sickness is another factor that may cause your dislike for what was once your favorite breakfast food.
6. Problems with Focusing
Do you often find yourself zoning out? Are you having a hard time concentrating at work? Symptoms of pregnancy, like morning sickness and exhaustion, can make you feel fuzzy. However, it's also possible that well-rested pregnant women are easily distracted and forgetful. Hormonal changes, anxiety, and thinking about the baby’s arrival contribute to concentration problems. Your smartphone calendar, even the Stickies on your computer, can help you remember important appointments.
7. Better Sex
The whirlwind of new emotions and sensations also includes sudden changes in mood and sex drive. Increased blood flow to the sexual organs and breasts is the reason for your libido going into overdrive. You’re more sensitive, and you’ll even feel fondness for your more voluptuous figure. It’s completely normal and a great way to stay emotionally and physically connected with your partner.
There are a lot more surprises when you’re pregnant. Some can be stressful, and others quite pleasant. Let your doctor know about these changes so you can get help with handling these pregnancy surprises.