Women have described the changes their body underwent during pregnancy as surprising, weird, and amazing. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you find yourself on, one thing is certain, your body will undergo some interesting changes throughout your pregnancy.
Board-certified OBGYN Kiran Patel, MD, together with board-certified family medicine and women’s health specialist Leela Patel, MD, guide women in South Charleston, West Virginia in having as healthy of a pregnancy and delivery as possible.
Starting before conception through delivery, our team can help you prepare for pregnancy, minimize risks, manage pregnancy-related conditions, and lead a healthy lifestyle while pregnant. In addition, the team of Patel & Patel offer preconception counseling, noninvasive genetic testing, and fertility evaluation.
There are many joys of being pregnant, and the body goes through some extraordinary changes as your body supports the growth of a new baby. Here are some incredible changes women experience during pregnancy.
Your blood volume doubles
Growing a healthy baby requires more blood than your body normally makes. Once you become pregnant your body goes to work the first few weeks increasing blood and plasma by an average of 50%. With each beat your heart works harder and more efficiently to pump out extra blood to support the growth of your fetus. The extra blood benefits you too, it helps to reduce the risk of complications, such as a hemorrhage.
You really do glow
You may have had a pregnant friend or family member who appeared to be glowing. Now that it’s your turn you should know that the pregnancy glow is a real phenomenon and there’s science behind how and why it happens.
A combination of factors including increased blood volume and boosted hormones can make your face appear fuller and have a rosy appearance. In addition, an increase in skin oils gives moms-to-be a dewy, glowing appearance. This combination can make your skin look healthier and give you a radiance that you don’t usually have.
Your lips plump up
Forget lip plumping lipstick, another effect of increased blood volume and fluids is plump lips. If your friends or loved ones say you have a pouty appearance, they may be right. During pregnancy the mucous membranes throughout your body, including your face, increase and draw in extra blood and fluids. This can result in fuller, poutier lips that may appear rosier in color.
Your vagina changes in appearance
Don’t be shocked if you look down and don’t recognize your vagina anymore. The vagina swells and changes color during pregnancy. Women report that their vaginas took on a purple or blue hue during pregnancy.
Along with increased discharge, you may notice a different odor as well. Some women even develop varicose veins in their vulva, which can change the shape. Fortunately, these changes return to normal following delivery.
You become hairy
Unless you’ve had permanent hair reduction, you’re likely to notice that the hair on your head and body starts growing thicker and faster. Not only that, but you may also grow hair in areas like your chest, face, and abdomen.
While it may seem weird, this is totally normal and caused by the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. What’s more, many women experience hair loss a few months after giving birth. No need to worry about this either, it usually stops after a few months.
If you have any questions or concerns about these, or other changes your body may be experiencing, be sure to discuss them during your prenatal appointment. Our team is here to help you navigate your pregnancy journey.
You’re in compassionate, expert hands when you choose Patel & Patel as your women’s care provider. To schedule a visit and to discuss our services call our team at our South Charleston, West Virginia office or send your request online today.