12 Crazy Things That Happen to Your Body When You're Pregnant
The miracle of life, right?
Pregnancy is an awesome thing--you’re creating a human after all. It also, as it turns out, does a lot of weird things to your body. Here, 12 of the craziest.
You lose control of your bladder
Not only do you have to go, like, all the time. Sometimes, when you sneeze or cough or even laugh, a little pee will come out. Whoops!
You might leak milk before you have the baby
Known as early lactation, this happens in the last months or even weeks of pregnancy, when your body is reeeeally ready for the baby to come. It’s not cause for concern, though. Slip some disposable breast pads in your bra if you’re self-conscious.
You might go up a shoe size
This happens for two reasons: In addition to your body retaining more fluid during pregnancy, your uterus puts pressure on your veins as it expands, which messes with your body’s ability to successfully transport blood to your extremities. Don’t invest in 45 new pairs of shoes, though--many women return to their pre-baby size shortly after delivery.
Your skin might change color
In a phenomenon known as hyperpigmentation, pregnant bodies produce more melanin than usual, which could cause patches of skin discoloration--typically on your forehead and cheeks. Think of this as another reason to be hypervigilant about wearing sunscreen.
Your gums may bleed
Increased blood flow and hormonal changes might cause your gums to swell, become super sensitive and even bleed. (This could also lead to bloody noses.) Charming.
You might have crazy heartburn
We all have muscles at the top of our stomach that prevent acid from going up the esophagus, thus thwarting heartburn. Unfortunately, the hormones related to pregnancy can actually cause these muscles to relax, causing you to feel like you’re always about to burp. Some suggestions: avoid eating a few hours before bed and sleep with your head and chest in a slightly elevated position.
Your hair will get thicker
Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Thanks to all of the hormones in your body, your hair will most likely be at its most luscious while you’re pregnant. But don’t get too attached: It falls out after you have the baby. (Womp womp.)
You might get a weird line that runs down your stomach
Three out of four pregnant women develop a dark line that runs down their abdomen. This is called a linea nigra (black line), and it’s caused by, you guessed it, pregnancy hormones. It’s more prominent in women with darker skin tones, and almost always fades postpartum.
Your senses will be heightened
For better or worse, you’re probably going to smell and taste things really differently. So while you might not be able to even think about steak, your favorite ice cream flavor could taste better than ever. In other words: The whole pickle thing isn’t a myth.
You’ll be really itchy
Late in pregnancy, the skin on your stomach might start to itch uncontrollably. This is caused by a combination of super-dry skin (yay, hormones) and the fact that the baby growing causes your skin to stretch.
Your voice might change
As your body’s levels of estrogen and progesterone change, your vocal cords might swell, causing you to suddenly sound like a boy going through puberty.
Your skin will glow
It’s true, friends. There really is such a thing as a “pregnancy glow,” and it’s caused by increased blood flow. So despite your nausea and bleeding gums and strange, lined stomach, know that your skin looks fabulous.