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Expect the Unexpected: How Your Body Changes During Pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Are you ready to experience all of the joy this period brings, like feeling your baby kick in your belly, shopping for new baby items, and celebrating your new arrival with family and friends?

“Pregnancy can be a happy time but as any woman who has been pregnant knows, it often comes with some uncomfortable or strange changes to your body, besides just the growth of your belly,” said Lydia Hostetler, DO, a gynecologist and obstetrician with Banner Health Clinic in Greeley, Colorado.

Dr. Hostetler explains some unexpected ways your body may change during pregnancy to help you prepare for this special period.

Q: Are My Feet Getting Bigger?

A: Foot size can change as a result of weight gain and pregnancy-related swelling. Also, the hormones that cause laxity in your joints during pregnancy can widen and lengthen your feet. These changes may or may not reverse after delivery.

Q: Is My Sense of Smell Getting Stronger?

A: When you’re pregnant, the circulation of estrogen in your body increases, which can cause a more sensitive reaction to smells. The heightened sense of smell happens most often in the first trimester.

Q: Why Has My Belly Button Gone From an “Innie” to an “Outie?”

A: As your uterus grows and protrudes, it can push your belly button forward, creating an “outie.” The stretching your belly goes through to accommodate the growing baby can also change the shape of your belly button.

Q: I’m Having Trouble Sleeping - Is This Related to Pregnancy?

A: Yes, it’s quite possible. Difficulty sleeping in pregnancy can be caused by hormonal changes and other pregnancy-related side effects including heartburn, back pain, discomfort from the increased size of your belly, frequent urination, anxiety, and vivid dreams.

Q: What Other Unexpected Symptoms Might I Experience During Pregnancy?

A: Symptoms you may not have been told about include: constipation, swelling of the veins in your legs and vulva, stuffy nose, increased gas and flatulence, bleeding gums and nose, increased libido, increased hair growth, and itchy skin.

Sometimes during pregnancy, the hormones that help you take care of the human you’re growing can wreak havoc on your body. The good news is that the side effects of pregnancy are usually temporary and subside once you have your baby.

If your pregnancy symptoms are getting the best of you, consult with your doctor about possible symptom relief options. Visit bannerhealth.com to make an appointment with a Banner Health OBGYN near you.

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