Skip to content
Back to Articles

Physiological Changes During Pregnancy

May 13, 2024

Physiological Changes During Pregnancy - featured image

Pregnancy is a state of having implanted products of conception located in the uterus but can also be elsewhere in the body e.g. fallopian tubes. The pregnancy implanted in the uterus ends through delivery or either spontaneous or elective abortion. During this time, the mothers body goes through immense changes involving all organ systems to sustain the growing foetus.

WHAT CAUSES A PREGNANT WOMAN TO HAVE NAUSEA AND VOMITING?

Nausea and vomiting commonly known as morning sickness is caused by pregnancy increased levels of oestrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin, two hormones that help maintain the pregnancy. Many pregnant women have it to some degree in their first trimester.
Nausea and vomiting may be relieved by changing diet or patterns of eating, for example drinking and eating small portions frequently and eating before you get too hungry. Sometimes nausea and vomiting are so intense or persistent that dehydration, weight loss or other problems develop, including a disorder called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Women with this condition need to be treated with pills that relieve nausea or be hospitalised to be given fluids intravenously.

WHAT CAUSES BREASTS CHANGES DURING PREGNANCY?

The hormones in your body change to prepare for breastfeeding. As this occurs, your breast may feel tender and swollen. You might notice small bumps forming in the area around your nipples. Your breasts will continue to grow and change throughout your pregnancy. They may feel even bigger and fuller later.

WHY DO PREGNANT WOMEN FEEL TIRED MOST OF THE TIME?

It is normal to feel tired, or even exhausted during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Hormonal changes at this time can make you feel tired. The only answer is to rest as much as possible.

I ALWAYS FEEL DIZZY, WHAT MIGHT BE THE CAUSE?

Your body is working overtime to make extra blood to support your baby. This can cause you to feel dizzy. Hunger or stress can cause this symptom as well.

WHAT CAUSES SKIN CHANGES DURING PREGNANCY?

For many women, pregnancy brings glowing skin, rosy cheeks, and shiny hair. Others, however, can experience skin changes that are not so attractive including acne, dark spots and stretch marks. Brownish pigment may appear on the skin of the forehead, cheeks, and neck. The skin surrounding the areolar may also darken. A dark line called linea nigra commonly appears down the middle of the abdomen. These changes occur because the placenta produces a hormone that stimulates melanocytes, the cells that make dark brown skin pigment. Although most women expect to have stretch marks on their belly during pregnancy, many are surprised to also find these stretch marks on their breasts, buttocks, and thighs. In fact, these marks can happen anywhere there is rapid growth and stretching of the skin.

NOW THAT I AM PREGNANT, I FREQUENTLY USE THE TOILET TO PASS URINE. IS IT NORMAL?

This is normal, and it is because of your growing uterus that pushes on your bladder. At the later stage of pregnancy, you may even leak a little urine when coughing or sneezing.

I AM PREGNANT AND IT’S SO DIFFICULT TO PASS STOOLS, WHAT CAUSES THIS?

Constipation is very common in pregnancy. It means your stool is very hard and may be uncomfortable or painful to pass. You may be using the toilet less often than usual. This is caused by pregnancy hormones that make your stools move slowly through your gut. Your growing baby and womb put extra pressure on your intestines.

WHAT CAUSES HEARTBURN DURING PREGNANCY?

The muscles that break down food become more relaxed during pregnancy. Hormone changes also slow down the process of breaking down food. Food stays in your stomach longer to give your body more time to absorb nutrients. All these causes heartburn.

WHAT CAUSES A WOMAN TO BE MOODY WHEN PREGNANT?

Significant changes in your hormone levels can affect your level of neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that regulate mood. Increased levels of hormones a pregnant woman experiences can cause them to feel tearful and easily irritated. It is important to understand the normal physiological changes occurring in pregnancy as this will help differentiate from adaptations that are abnormal.

You may also be interested in:

Understanding Haemophilia - featured-image

April 30, 2024

Understanding Haemophilia