8 surprising ways your body can change during pregnancy

According to a recent study, women’s voices get deeper temporarily after pregnancy. Here are some other changes your body might go through that you may not know about:

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Pregnancy blog, 30/05/2018

According to a recent study, women’s voices get deeper temporarily after pregnancy.

Here are some other suprising changes your body might go through that you may not know about:

1. Double the blood

To cope with the extra organ (placenta) and baby that your body is busy growing, your blood volume can increase by up to 50%.

2. Pregnancy mask

Some women develop darker skin around their upper lip, nose, cheekbones and forehead – in the shape of a mask. This condition is called melasma or chloasma and is caused by hormonal changes.

These dark patches of skin can also appear elsewhere on the body, including the jaw, forearms or anywhere else that may be exposed to the sun.

If it’s happened to you, it’s nothing to worry about it but make sure you protect your skin from the sun and it should go down after you’ve had your baby.

3. Linea Nigra

It sounds complicated, but this is the name for the dark line you may have noticed down the middle of your belly. It’s caused by the same increase in melanin as melasma and should fade a few months after the birth of your baby.

4. Sensitive skin

Pregnancy hormones and increased blood flow during pregnancy make your skin more sensitive, so make sure you look after it. Don’t forget to pop on your sun cream if you’re out and about. And when it comes to hair removal, maybe give the waxing a miss. There are some good sensitive hair removal creams out there.

Find out more about being pregnant in summer.

5. Bigger feet

Along with your bump, you may find that your feet get bigger during pregnancy too. It’s thought to be due to the hormone relaxin causing your ligaments to loosen, alomg with the extra weight you’re carrying.

Fluid retention can also make your feet swell. This is normal in later pregnancy, but if it happens suddenly and you have any other symptoms, call your midwife.

6. Luscious locks

Hormonal changes (again) can make your hair grow and become thicker. This does mean you might get hair in places you didn’t have it before, but everything should return to normal within a few months after your baby is born.

7. Baby brain

Found yourself putting your keys in the fridge? It could be ‘baby brain’.

A recent study in Australia found that pregnancy can affect a woman’s ability to focus on tasks and make her more forgetful and clumsy.

8. Wider hips

To help you get ready you for labour, the (aptly named) hormone relaxin softens the muscles around your pelvis. This causes it to separate and make room baby. For some women, this can result in a painful pregnancy condition called symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or pelvic girdle pain (PGP).

Find out how to ease the pain of SPD/PGP.

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