The nine months of pregnancy can transform a woman’s body in some weird and wonderful (and also not-so-wonderful) ways. Some of these changes happen on the inside and can’t be seen, but many of them can radically alter a carrying mom’s outward appearance.
Aside from the most obvious physical change — a growing baby bump — a woman can look forward to lustrous locks and a radiant glow. Yay! Less fun, however, are the varicose veins, various skin conditions, and sweaty foreheads.
While some of these changes can be temporary, pregnancy can also impact a mom’s body in more permanent ways, and certain parts of her body will never look the same again. Fortunately, for most women, it’s a small price to pay for the joy a new baby will bring to her life.
20 Enjoy That Pregnancy Glow
An influx of hormones can do weird things to the body, and it can also do wonderful things, like creating that famous pregnancy glow. Hormones cause glands to produce more oil, plus increased circulation in the body might also help to create that brighter, fuller face.
19 Forever: Your Stretch Marks May Never Go Away
Skin stretches during pregnancy to accommodate the growing bump, and this can cause purplish or pink streak-like lines to develop on the tummy, upper thighs and chest. While stretch marks will fade into white-colored scars, after baby arrives, they might not go away completely. Wear them with pride.
18 Forever: Tooth Loss Is Real Thing
The American Journal of Public Health has found a correlation between having more children and tooth loss. Women with one child, according to the study, lost an average of two teeth, while moms with more kids lost an average of seven. Potentially, it’s linked to an increase in gum disease during pregnancy.
17 The Hips Don’t Lie
In order for baby to arrive in the world safely, she’s going to need a little more room to do it, which is why a woman’s pelvic bone structure changes during pregnancy. This causes widening of the hips and helps create that awkward kind of pregnancy waddle.
16 Brownish Patches Of Skin On The Face
Melasma, also known as the “mask of pregnancy,” are blotchy, brown patches of skin on the forehead, upper lip and cheeks, and the condition affects about 50 to 75 percent of expectant mothers. The good news is that skin will likely return to normal after baby arrives.
15 An Innie Might Become An Outie
With all of that expanding pressure inside your abdomen, even the most inverted belly button can pop out and become and outie. There’s nothing that can be done to prevent it, but thankfully it’s harmless, and your belly button should return to its usual position soon after delivery.
14 Forever: Bra Size May Never Be The Same Again
Expect to see some big changes in your girls during pregnancy. As your bump grows, so will your chest, and pigmentation around the area might also change and get darker. Breastfeeding will, again, alter their size and shape and once that ceases, it’s anyone’s guess what you’ll be left with.
13 A Dark Line May Develop On The Belly
The linea negra is a dark line that develops in the middle of the abdomen during pregnancy, and it runs from the belly button to the pelvis. It's thought that this line might have always been present, but it darkens during pregnancy thanks to changing hormones.
12 Breakouts Are A Common Side-Effect
Many women develop acne during their first and second trimesters due to an increase in hormones. These hormones, called androgens, cause skin glands to produce more oils, which clog the pores and cause breakouts. Thankfully, this kind of acne is usually temporary, so look forward to your skin clearing once hormones are back to normal.
11 Varicose Veins Are Not Fun
Bulging veins can develop in the legs during pregnancy and they can be pretty uncomfortable. They can be caused by baby putting pressure on and obstructing the circulation between your legs and heart. Plus hormones soften the walls of your veins, making it harder for them to work properly.
10 A Woman’s Spine Curves More Than Usual
As a women’s belly grows out in front, her spine will extend backwards in response, to stop her from tipping over. A curvy spine in pregnancy is called lordosis, and it’s the body’s cool way of redefining a new center of gravity. The downside is that can it can cause back ache.
9 Spider Veins On The Face And Neck
These tiny vessels look like the legs of a spider, and can often develop in early pregnancy on the face, neck, or arms. They are linked to increased levels of estrogen in the first trimester and are totally harmless. About a quarter of women develop spider veins in pregnancy.
8 You Look Like You’ve Swallowed A Beach Ball
The most obvious change to a mom’s appearance during pregnancy is, of the course, her growing belly. And boy, can that thing grow. Every woman carries differently, and while some are blessed with cute little bumps, other mammas have to deal with some serious expansion. It’s all worth it in the end, though.
7 Pay Attention To Bleeding Gums
Pregnancy gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that is caused by hormonal changes that make gums more sensitive to bacteria in the mouth. An estimated half of pregnant women get to deal with bleeding gums, but it’s worth seeking medical help if it becomes severe. It's a happy time, so don't hide those smiles.
6 Forever: Feet Can Grow An Entire Shoe Size
Everything seems to swell during pregnancy, including feet. But extra fluid retention isn't the only reason feet can go up a size. The hormone relaxin loosens the ligaments in the feet, causing the bones to spread out. Get used to wearing a bigger size, because those big feet are here to stay.
5 Look Forward to Good Hair Days
A fabulous head of hair is one of the best side effects of pregnancy. During your second trimester, your hair looks healthier and thicker, and this is thanks to the higher levels of oestrogen in the body. You’re not growing more hair, you’re just shedding less, creating a fuller texture. Enjoy.
4 Nails Will Look Less On Point
Pregnancy hormones mean that nails will grow faster, and for some women, they grow stronger. Other moms, however, experience brittle nails that easily split and break. These changes are temporary, just be sure to give them some extra care in the meantime, and don’t hold back on the moisturiser.
3 Forever: A Pregnancy Pouch That Just Won’t Shift
Loose abdominal muscles, plus extra skin and mass, create a saggy pouch where your tummy once was. For some lucky women, the baby weight seems to just fall off, but the reality for most moms, who don’t follow a careful eating plan or spend hours toning up in the gym, that little pouch is there to stay.
2 Pregnancy Makes You Sweat
Those pesky pregnancy hormones have a lot to answer for, and that includes excess sweat. Thanks to hormones, a pregnant woman’s brain perceives the ambient to temperature to be higher than it is, triggering the body’s sweating reflex. All that extra weight doesn’t help the problem either.
1 Forever: Your Nether-regions Will Never Be The Same
Your lady bits go through a pretty tough time of it in childbirth and the truth is, they may never return to pre-birth shape, and that’s ok. Regular pelvic floor exercises can help tone and tighten the muscles around the area, but if you’re worried, seek advice from a physician.
Sources: BabyCentre UK; American Pregnancy Org; NHS UK; What To Expect; babyMed