Author: Dr. Kathyani V S
Qualification : MBBS, DGO, Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine
Human body undergoes enormous changes during pregnancy. It affects the body from head to toes. It is amazing how the body accommodates the baby so smoothly.
- There is a new growth spurt in hair, glow on the face and bleeding gums because of increased estrogen in the blood.
- Increased pigmentation on face ,neck , nipples and abdomen due to increase in melanin . This pigmentation is also known as melasma or chloasma or pregnancy mask.
- Water retention leading to puffiness of face , swelling of fingers and toes. Swelling around sciatic nerve causes pain in lower back and thigh . Contact lens users feel difficulty in their usage.
- There is marked increase in the size of breasts as they need to get ready for nursing the baby.
- Dryness of skin and breakage of collagen leading to stretch marks.
- Constipation because of progesterone, the hormone of pregnancy, it is known to make the bowel sluggish.
- Joints and ligaments loosen around pelvis and other places because of pregnancy hormones specially relaxin, this helps for accommodating baby and delivery. Loosening also results in back pain, change in gait waddling.
- Increase in body temperature, heart rate and Breathlessness due to increase in metabolic rate and increased cardiac output.
- Increase in stagnation of venous blood flow leads to hemorrhoids or piles, varicose veins
- Acne worsens as the hormonal shift makes skin very oily.
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