Body changes Pregnancy Physiological changes Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings about many changes in the life of the mother, as well as the lives around her.  As the months begin to pass and the new addition to the family grows into a healthy baby, the mother undergoes many important physiological changes in her body.  These changes begin at the moment of conception. 

As fertilization occurs, the egg must attach itself inside the uterine lining, causing spotting in some women.  The mother may not realize that fertilization has occurred, as there are no other symptoms for a few weeks.  Many women do not find out about their pregnancy until the end of their first trimester.  One simple telltale sign of pregnancy is the missed period.  Once a menstrual cycle has strayed from its normal schedule, a pregnancy test is normally one of the first actions a woman takes.  Others may feel nauseated, a symptom of pregnancy known as morning sickness. 

During the second trimester, mothers begin to undergo many food aversions or cravings.  Some may prefer protein-rich foods as others opt for snacks high in sugar content.  At this time it is important to eat nutrient-rich foods that help the development of the fetus, even during the tough times of morning sickness.  While these food cravings and aversions kick in and keep the mother nauseated all day long (in many cases), the ‘baby bump’ begins to show itself to the world.  Everyday jeans and shirts may begin to feel uncomfortable during the start of the second trimester.  Towards the end of the second trimester, the growing baby will cause discomfort during bedtime.  Mothers will no longer be able to sleep in their normal positions (unless their favorite position has always been sleeping on several pillows around their back, stomach, and legs!), and getting up in the morning will become a delightful chore.

The third trimester poses as the most difficult physiologically, as the baby has reached closer to his birth weight and balance becomes an issue for the mother.  The circumference around the baby bump may now be close to twice that of the original waistline.  Stretchmarks may have now appeared on the stomach and legs.  It is very important to remove any rings that are becoming tighter on the fingers, as swelling will occur more frequently now in the hands and feet, causing more difficulty in removal later on in the pregnancy.  As the feet swell, it is recommended that mothers keep their feet elevated to keep from over-swelling.  Always rest and exercise moderately as the due date approaches, as the growing baby bump can now cause easy falls due to imbalance. 

Once the due date approaches and the baby is born, these physiological changes will be the least of concern.  Many mothers only remember the joyful parts of pregnancy, as all these changes will eventually subside.  Once the beautiful bundle of joy arrives, nobody remembers the days of waddling through the supermarket like a penguin, or shooting pains from the widening of the hips.  All the changes were made to prepare for a healthy little baby!