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Physical Changes During Pregnancy

Your body goes through enormous physical changes during pregnancy. Some of these physical changes may cause aches and pains as well as discomfort. Luckily there are a few tips and tricks that can hopefully make going through such physical changes easier. Read on to learn more.

Weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable. Most women experience a weight gain of around 15-25%. During your pregnancy, you will experience a forward shift in your centre of gravity as you gain weight in your abdomen and in your breasts. This weight gain also means an increased burden for your joints, ligaments and tendons. Weight gain overloads your buttock muscles as well as your calves, sometimes causing them to become stiff. This often leads to cramping. Improving your circulation by regular exercise can help prevent it.
As your baby grows, the strain put on your neck and upper back also increase. This can cause biomechanics changes affecting the balance and stability of the body. This is usually reflected in pain in the back as well as headaches. Regular exercise, including special pre-natal yoga, may help sooth or even prevent the discomfort caused by the weight gain.

During your pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin which aids labor by loosening your pelvis (both joints and ligaments!). However, this inadvertently also increases the risk of injuries by giving you a false sense of flexibility in other parts of your body. Again, regular exercise to strengthen your muscles may help prevent it. It is also advisable for you to take it easy during your workout and to not push yourself as hard. Unfortunately, as your pelvic floor muscles prepare for labor, it also often results in incontinence. Remind yourself that this is normal, and this is often temporary. Try engaging in pelvic floor exercises that strengthen the muscles that can help prevent incontinence.

You may experience constipation due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Staying hydrated whilst having a high-fiber diet can help prevent it. Another complaint brought on by hormonal changes is sweating and feeling hotter than usual. Unfortunately, there is no prevention to the discomfort caused. However, wearing breathable cotton clothing may help. Frequent need to urinate is another inevitable change that you will experience throughout your pregnancy. This is because your growing baby is asserting pressure to your bladder. To prevent it disrupting your sleep, try avoiding drinks 1 hour before your bedtime. Emptying your bladder properly can also help. Many pregnant women do this by rocking backward and forwards whilst urinating.

Feeling faint is yet another common complaint amongst pregnant women. Try slowing down your daily movement – always rise slowly. Grab a seat when you feel faint and lie on your side if the feeling does not pass.

We understand that the journey to becoming a mother is often a difficult and harrowing one. SOLDIER ON and stay positive. Always talk to your family, friends and doctor about your problems.

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