Odd changes that occur in a pregnant woman's body
Alixandra Caole Vila (The Philippine Star) - September 2, 2014 - 3:35pm

MANILA, Philippines - Have you ever wondered what happens inside a woman's body while she carries another life inside her? Here are some of those odd and fascinating changes:

Uterus can expand up to 500 times the size of the normal.
Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital says that the uterus can expand up to 500 times more than the normal size, when a mother is carrying quadruplets.  It can go from a couple of ounces to 1-2 pounds in weight. Once a mother has delivered, the uterus gradually returns to its original size and weight.

The heart grows, literally.
Pregnancy changes can have massive effect of the cardiovascular system of a woman. The changes occur to meet the increasing metabolic demands of the fetus growing inside the womb. In fact, a pregnant woman’s blood volume increases up to 50 percent, with the heart beating faster and more intensely. Consequently, women who have a history of heart disease must consult their doctor first before planning to be impregnated.

Bones become soft.
Another amazing change on a pregnant woman’s body is the softening of the bones and ligaments. But how does the body prepare for the delivery of the baby? The body secretes relaxin, a hormone that gradually loosens up the joints. The softening targets the pelvis, enabling the baby to easily pass through during the delivery.  Unfortunately, these also create an increase in risk of injury.

The feet increase in size.
Ever wonder why your shoe size suddenly become 9 inches long from 7 or 8? According to American Pregnancy Association, this is due to bones loosening tightness during pregnancy. The resulting pressure is released on the feet making them enlarged and swollen.

Less hair loss occurs.
University of Wisconsin Hospital says that during pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect how your hair looks and feels. Hair loss slows down considerably, and hair growth can increase. You may notice that your head of hair is thicker and healthier-looking than usual. But some women find that their hair is more limp and lifeless during pregnancy.

Cheeks blush.
Most people compliment pregnant woman ("You are glowing!"). Glowing skin is real for pregnant woman, and this could be attributed to the increase in the amount of blood in their bodies. Aside from the heart, the cheeks are also filled up with a more blood, giving them radiant glowing cheeks.

The sense of smell heightens.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center, the heightened sense of smell is due to the high levels of estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Scientists hypothesize that this is to help pregnant mothers avoid eating small levels of toxins that could put the fetus at risk.

Breathing gets deeper.
Babyexpert.com says that as a pregnant mom's uterus grows, the diaphragm is compressed. It does seem more difficult to breathe, but they actually inhale more air.

Digestion slows down.
Progesterone slows digestion early on so the body can absorb more nutrients to pass to the baby.  This can result to constipation.

AMERICAN PREGNANCY ASSOCIATION BABYEXPERT BODY HAIR PREGNANCY PREGNANT RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN HOSPITAL
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