How much does pregnancy change a woman? You'll understand after reading this…

How much does pregnancy change a woman? You'll understand after reading this…

Pregnancy is a remarkable journey in which not only does a tiny life grow silently within the body, but expectant mothers also go through numerous changes.

Some of these changes may seem intriguing or even overwhelming, but there's no need to be overly anxious because pregnancy is a continuously evolving process.

Weeks 1-4 of Pregnancy

In the first month of pregnancy, the size of the uterus usually remains unchanged, and there is no significant change in weight.

As a result, most expectant mothers may not realize they are pregnant yet. However, some more sensitive expectant mothers might notice increased breast sensitivity, softness, and occasional nausea or fatigue, attributing it to a decrease in physical stamina or appetite.

Weeks 5-8 of Pregnancy

  1. Signs of Pregnancy Emerge: Menstruation stops for expectant mothers, although a few may experience slight spotting.

    During this time, expectant mothers might experience fatigue, nausea, breast changes, bloating, and other signs of pregnancy, but some may feel completely comfortable.

  2. Changes in Uterine and Body Shape: The uterus of expectant mothers starts to enlarge slightly, reaching the size of a goose egg,

    but there are no visible external changes, making it hard for others to notice the pregnancy.

    Some expectant mothers may experience a slight weight gain (usually less than or equal to 1 kg), while others might lose weight due to morning sickness or reduced appetite,which should not significantly affect the baby's development.

Weeks 9-12 of Pregnancy

  1. Noticeable Changes in Appearance: By the 12th week of pregnancy, the expectant mother's uterus is about the size of a clenched fist,

    the abdomen protrudes slightly, the bladder begins to feel pressure, the waistline thickens a bit, and breasts enlarge further with darker nipples.

  2. Body Adjustments and Changes: Due to pregnancy, the circulatory blood volume increases, metabolism speeds up, and the load on the lungs, kidneys, and heart also increases.

Weeks 13-16 of Pregnancy

  1. Becoming a Beautiful Mom-to-Be: By this stage, the expectant mother's abdomen is noticeably protruding, making it less suitable to wear regular clothing.

    It's better to opt for loose-fitting clothes or maternity wear.

  2. Maintaining Hygiene: In the mid-pregnancy phase, increased metabolism may lead to more sweating and increased vaginal discharge.

    Daily hygiene routines, including bathing, not only maintain cleanliness but also promote blood circulation and relieve fatigue.

Weeks 17-20 of Pregnancy

  1. A Growing Belly: The uterus continues to grow, reaching the size of an adult's head. Weight gain is approximately 0.5 kg per week.

    Due to the faster growth of the belly, stretch marks may become more visible.

  2. Changes in Skin Quality: Hormonal influences may darken the skin and cause uneven pigmentation, making freckles and birthmarks more apparent.

    Breasts and nipples continue to enlarge, with the areola darkening and expanding, sometimes even producing milk.

Weeks 21-24 of Pregnancy

The uterus further enlarges, reaching above the navel, and the expectant mother can now accurately feel the increased size.

The lower abdomen becomes more prominent, and there may be back pain and fatigue due to the body's adjustments.

Breasts continue to enlarge, and the breast glands become more developed, potentially leaking a sticky yellowish fluid.

Increased blood volume may lead to anemia, toothaches, or mouth sores for some expectant mothers, and some may experience gestational diabetes.

Weeks 25-28 of Pregnancy

  1. Frequent Urination and Leakage: As the baby grows rapidly (the uterus is about 27-32 cm long at the base), it can compress the lungs and bladder, causing breathlessness and frequent urination.

    Sometimes, sneezing, coughing, or laughing can lead to slight urine leakage. Using sanitary pads can help, and pelvic floor exercises can reduce urinary leakage.

  2. Painless Uterine Contractions: In the late stages of pregnancy, some expectant mothers may experience painless uterine contractions several times a day, lasting around 30 seconds each.

    These contractions, known as Braxton Hicks contractions, are a practice for the uterus and are not a sign of labor.

    Expectant mothers can practice Lamaze breathing during these contractions.

Weeks 33-36 of Pregnancy

  1. Slower Weight Gain: After the 33rd week, weight gain should slow down or even slightly decrease, indicating that the baby is fully mature.

    On average, expectant mothers should gain about 10 to 14 kg during pregnancy.

  2. Increased Discomfort: With the baby's head descending into the pelvis, discomforts like heartburn, indigestion, and breathlessness may diminish.

    However, the rapidly growing belly can cause back pain, and increased pressure on the bladder leads to more frequent urination.

  3. Energetic yet Fatigued: Some expectant mothers may feel energetic during this period, but it's essential not to overexert themselves.

    Poor sleep quality and the physical strain of carrying the baby can lead to fatigue. Adequate rest and light, moderate exercise can help maintain energy levels.

Weeks 37-40 of Pregnancy

  1. Weight Stabilization: By the 38th week, expectant mothers' weight should stabilize or even slightly decrease, indicating the baby's full maturity.

    Typically, for an average body type, a weight gain of about 10 to 14 kg throughout the pregnancy is appropriate.

  2. Preparing for Delivery: The baby's head has descended into the pelvis, relieving pressure on the chest and abdomen. The expectant mother's cervix and vagina become softer, discharge increases, and milk may start to leak from the breasts.

    These physical changes indicate that the baby is ready to be born, and the expectant mother is prepared for childbirth and breastfeeding.

Please note that these changes are typical during pregnancy, but each woman's experience can vary.

It's essential to consult a healthcare provider for personalized guidance and care throughout pregnancy.

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