Six bodily changes to expect when pregnant

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If you have just missed your flow and you are wondering some bodily changes you would battle with in the next nine months, below are some that medical experts have listed.
          Body aches
As your uterus expands, you may feel aches and pains in the back, abdomen, groin area, and thighs. Many women also have backaches and aching near the pelvic bone due to the pressure of the baby’s head, increased weight, and loosening joints. Some pregnant women complain of pain that runs from the lower back, down the back of one leg, to the knee or foot. This is called sciatica (SYE-AT-ick-uh). It is thought to occur when the uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
         Breast changes
A woman’s breasts increase in size and fullness during pregnancy. As the due date approaches, hormone changes will cause your breasts to get even bigger to prepare for breastfeeding. They may feel full, heavy or tender.
In the third trimester, some pregnant women begin to leak colostrums from their breasts. Colostrums are the first milk that your breasts produce for the baby. It is a thick, yellowish fluid containing antibodies that protect newborns from infection.
           Constipation
Many pregnant women complain of constipation. Signs of constipation include having hard, dry stools; fewer than three bowel movements per week, and painful bowel movements.
Higher levels of hormones due to pregnancy slow down digestion and relax muscles in the bowels leaving many women constipated. Plus, the pressure of the expanding uterus on the bowels can contribute to constipation.
               Dizziness
Many pregnant women complain of dizziness and light-headedness throughout their pregnancies. Fainting is rare but does happen even in some healthy pregnant women. There are many reasons for these symptoms. The growth of more blood vessels in early pregnancy, the pressure of the expanding uterus on blood vessels, and the body’s increased need for food all can make a pregnant woman feel lightheaded and dizzy.

      Fatigue, sleep problems
During your pregnancy, you might feel tired even after you’ve had a lot of sleep. Many women find they’re exhausted in the first trimester. Don’t worry, this is normal! This is your body’s way of telling you that you need more rest. In the second trimester, tiredness is usually replaced with a feeling of well being and energy. But in the third trimester, exhaustion often sets in again. As you get larger, sleeping may become more difficult. The baby’s movements, bathroom runs, and an increase in the body’s metabolism might interrupt or disturb your sleep. Leg cramping can also interfere with a good night’s sleep.
        Heartburn and indigestion
Hormones and the pressure of the growing uterus cause indigestion and heartburn. Pregnancy hormones slow down the muscles of the digestive tract. So food tends to move more slowly and digestion is sluggish. This causes many pregnant women to feel bloated.
Hormones also relax the valve that separates the oesophagus from the stomach. This allows food and acids to come back up from the stomach to the oesophagus. The food and acid causes the burning feeling of heartburn. As your baby gets bigger, the uterus pushes on the stomach making heartburn more common in later pregnancy.

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