Pregnancy is a beautiful and life-changing experience, but it is also a time of immense physical, emotional, and mental changes. While many people are aware of some of the common symptoms and experiences of pregnancy, such as morning sickness and fatigue, there are many aspects of being pregnant that are not commonly discussed.
Things They Don’t Tell You About Being Pregnant
While pregnancy can be a time of immense joy and excitement, it can also be challenging and overwhelming. By understanding some of the things that nobody tells you about being pregnant, you can be better prepared for the journey ahead and take steps to ensure a healthy and happy pregnancy. In order to help you navigate pregnancy as an individual and unique experience, Raleigh OB/GYN has put together a list of some of the things that often go undiscussed about being pregnant.
1. Your Body Will Change In Unexpected Ways
Some changes that your body will undergo while being pregnant are well-known, such as a growing belly and swollen ankles. Others may come as a surprise. Some unexpected ways your body can change during pregnancy include:
- Hair growth: Women may experience an increase in hair growth during pregnancy, while others may notice hair loss after giving birth.
- Skin changes: Pregnancy hormones can cause changes in your skin, such as acne, darkening of the skin, and stretch marks.
- Foot size: As the ligaments in your feet relax during pregnancy, some women may notice their shoe size increases.
- Nosebleeds: Increased blood volume and blood flow to the nasal passages can cause nosebleeds during pregnancy.
- Varicose veins: Hormonal changes and increased pressure on the veins can cause varicose veins, especially in the legs.
- Vision changes: Fluid retention and hormonal changes can affect the shape of your cornea, causing changes in your vision.
Just about every system in your body can undergo some sort of change, whether it is a subtle change, such as a slight increase in shoe size, or a more noticeable change, like nosebleeds.
2. You May Crave Non-Food Items
This one may leave you a little perplexed. Pica is when a woman craves substances with little or no nutritional value and may also involve non-food substances. The exact reason for pica while pregnant is unknown. However, according to the Journal of American Dietetic Association, there may be a connection to an iron deficiency. Some common pica cravings during pregnancy may include burnt matches, dirt, stones, ice, toothpaste, soap, sand, or coffee grounds. If you are pregnant and experiencing pica cravings, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.
3. Your Heart Can Actually Grow
One of the not-so-noticeable changes to your body while being pregnant is that your heart can grow. The American Heart Association suggests that cardiac output increases throughout pregnancy. In fact, a woman’s blood volume can increase between 30 and 50 percent in order to nourish her growing baby.
4. Your Sex Drive Can Change
It’s no secret that a woman’s body is undergoing many changes during pregnancy. With all of these changes, it is normal to notice an increase or decrease in your sex drive. Factors such as hormonal changes, mood, and energy levels all play a role in your libido and desire for intercourse. Some women experience an increased sex drive during their second trimester as their estrogen and progesterone levels continue rising.
Pregnancy is a unique and transformative experience that comes with its own set of challenges and surprises. At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we offer a full range of obstetrical care from preconception to delivery. For more information about being pregnant and what to expect, schedule an appointment with our team of dedicated providers.