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10 Physical Things That Completely Change During Pregnancy (And 10 That Don't)

Pregnancy is a time when change is a constant. Most women feel like all parts of their bodies are changing and they have a point. So many things change physically, from hair thickness and quality to the positioning of internal organs to the shape of the feet. This isn't even counting the dimensions of the chest and "the bump." While most physical things do change and some physical things change completely, there are things about being a woman that stay the same.

During pregnancy, most women become very conscious of shifts in how they feel, because of the blend of major and minor physical changes that they are experiencing. Pregnancy symptoms may cause wonder, or worry, or a bit of both. This is why so many moms-to-be read up on pregnancy. They want to figure out what's normal and what isn't. While every woman has her own individual experience of pregnancy, there are some changes that happen to every pregnant woman.

While tons of great information about pregnancy is posted right here at this website, women who have pregnancy symptoms which really concern them should always talk to their doctors. A doctor, such as an ob-gyn, will have the answers, thanks to years of education, training, and experience.

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20 Congestion Is More Common (Completely Change)

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Getting stuffed up during pregnancy is annoying and it's not uncommon. It's a change that many expectant moms go through. Congestion that happens during pregnancy is known as Pregnancy Rhinitis. It causes nasal passage linings to swell up and make extra mucous. The big issue is that women may have trouble finding ways to treat this common pregnancy issue that are totally safe for their unborn babies.

Many women choose nasal irrigation, which is the process of cleansing the nasal passages with water and saline. If you're stuffy, nasal irrigation may do the trick. Some women get nasal sprays by prescription.

19 The Pelvic Bone Separates (Completely Change)

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During pregnancy, the front and back joints of your pelvis will widen and loosen, thanks to a hormone known as relaxin. When the pelvic joints change during pregnancy, they lose some stability and the muscles around the joints don't work as efficiently as usual. These changes, along with the weight of a growing fetus, make the pelvis unstable. Some women experience pelvic discomfort as a result.

To soothe any discomfort, go for warm baths or warm showers. You may also benefit from wearing a garment that provides pelvic support - this garment will stop your uterus from pushing downward, onto your pelvis. Chilling out with prenatal yoga may also help you to feel better.

18 Feet Get Wider And Longer (Completely Change)

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If you're noticing that your feet seem larger during pregnancy, you're not alone. The same hormone that loosens and widens the pelvic joints impacts the feet and makes them spread. This hormone affects the bones in the feet. To stay as comfortable as possible, wear shoes that fit your pregnant feet, rather than your non-pregnant feet. You may want to skip the high heels, too. Some celebs, such as Blake Lively, stick with their high heels during pregnancy, but flat shoes that fit well and provide a lot of stability and support are safer and more practical than sky-high Jimmy Choos or Louboutins.

17 Your Chest Will Become More Prominent (Completely Change)

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The expansion of your "twins" may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view. If you're already well-endowed, you may find that your larger chest is a bit much. If you have always wished for more on top, pregnancy will be a good time to live the dream.

If you want to dress to minimize your chest, go for darker tops and supportive undergarments with full coverage. If you want to flaunt your fuller chest, wear a form-fitting maternity T over something saucy from Victoria's Secret. Your twins are growing to make room for the growth of mammary glands and milk ducts.

16 Your Downstairs Area May Change Colour (Completely Change)

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This doesn't happen to everyone, but (suffice it to say) it can be a shock when it does happen. Some pregnancy changes affect every woman, but this one is different. It may happen to you or not. If you find that what's usually a pinkish hue is now purple or blue, you are experiencing a pregnancy symptom known as Chadwick's Sign. Some women who don't know that they're pregnant realize that they might be pregnant because of this pronounced color change. This color change usually manifests six to eight weeks, post-conception. It's caused by a boost in blood flow to the downstairs region.

15 You'll Get A Bit Hairier (Completely Change)

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More body hair during pregnancy is very common. Body hair usually grows in fuller and thicker. This change is due to an increase in male hormones. These masculine hormones are known as androgens. Women make androgens, just like guys do. During pregnancy, female production of androgens goes up and that explains the extra hairiness. You may notice more hair on your face, or hair on your belly, back or chest. If you want to get rid of the extra hair, you may want to shave it off, or tweeze it away, or thread it away. Waxing is safe, but most experts recommend avoiding bikini waxes during the last trimester.

14 You May Get A Dark Line On Your Belly (Completely Change)

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The dark line on the belly which develops during pregnancy is known as the linea nigra, or pregnancy line. This pregnancy symptom is natural and nothing to worry about. While the reason why the linea nigra develops is unknown, some experts believe that it's related to shifts in hormones due to pregnancy. It might be triggered by a hormone that stimulates melanocyte. This hormone is produced by the placenta. While you can't stop this line from developing, you can put worries about it out of your mind. It's harmless. After your baby is born, the line should fade quite a bit. Some women don't get these pregnancy lines.

13 Stretch Marks May Become A Reality (Completely Change)

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No one, male or female, really wants stretch marks. They are just something that happens sometimes. During pregnancy, they may appear, because the skin is being stretched due to pregnancy weight gain. Stretch marks are striations and they are easier to prevent than to eradicate.

While there is no fail-safe prevention method, a lot of women swear by rubbing natural oils into their baby bumps and massaging the same oils into other areas that are prone to stretch marks. Bio-Oil is very popular with pregnant celebs.  It may be possible to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks with laser treatments, but this will have to wait until after your baby is born.

12 The Heart Works Harder (Completely Change)

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During pregnancy, your heart will pump at a quicker rate due to increased blood volume. It's possible for a pregnant woman's heart rate to go up by ten or twenty beats a minute. Since your heart will be working harder while you grow a baby, there is some risk of abnormal heart rhythms, such as heart palpitations. Some expectant moms feel their hearts pound sometimes.

If you have any heart symptoms that worry you, talk to your doctor. In general, that heart-pounding feeling is really pretty normal. Regular exercise during pregnancy will help you to handle pregnancy downsides. Also, regular exercise will be good for your baby's heart.

11 Hair Grows In Thicker (Completely Change)

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Want glorious, thick and shiny hair? If you're not pregnant, maybe you should think about getting pregnant! It's not just body hair that grows in greater abundance during pregnancy. The hair on the head also thrives. Lots of moms-to-be notice differences in hair growth. Some also notice differences in hair textures.

As a general rule, these changes are positive ones. It's quite possible to have great hair while you're pregnant. Sadly, the changes won't last. Your hair may get a bit thinner and grow a bit more slowly after your baby is born. However, you'll be too distracted by your adorable newborn to really notice.

10 You Can Still Exercise (Don't Change)

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It's not all doom and gloom when it comes to pregnancy changes. Some of the changes, such as better hair, are good ones. Also, there are things about being a woman that don't change during pregnancy. For example, you'll still be able to exercise. You should go for gentler forms of exercise, but there are plenty of exciting options, from prenatal yoga to swimming to moderate hikes and beyond. When you exercise, you'll find it easier to roll with the changes that pregnancy brings, because exercise will elevate your mood. It'll also be good for your health and the health of your unborn baby.

9 You Can Get Close To Your Partner (Don't Change)

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You can enjoy romantic times with your partner while you're pregnant, until the final weeks before labor and delivery. By the end of your pregnancy, you may not be much in the mood anyway. You'll have other things on your mind. Before then, it is safe to get close to a partner. Whether you feel like it or not is up to you. You'll have your high-energy days, and those sorts of days are good for connecting in an intimate way. Some pregnant women have higher drives than usual, while others would rather relax on the couch or eat something that are craving. Just listen to your body.

8 You Can Still Enjoy Food (Don't Change)

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While you shouldn't go for all-out "Mukbang" eating during pregnancy (Mukbang is eating  large quantities of food on camera, in front of a live and interactive audience), you should indulge in good food, just like you did before you became pregnant. You're eating for two, although this doesn't mean that you have to gorge all of the time.

Occasional junk food is probably an inevitability because pregnancy cravings are often for the bad stuff. Overall, you should focus on eating clean food that's delicious. There are pregnancy Mukbang videos out there. You might not want to mimic that style of overeating, but you might find these videos strangely compelling.

7 You Can Do Beauty Stuff That's Fun (Don't Change)

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If you love makeup, be sure to enjoy makeup while pregnant. Stick with your usual flick of liquid eyeliner and slick of lip gloss or change things up to flatter your fuller facial contours. Yes, your face will be fuller while you're expecting. This can be beautiful. If you don't like the fullness, do a little Kardashian-style contouring. There are so many fun tricks to try. A bold lip might draw the eye away from fuller facial contours. A bit of bronzer will add radiance when you're feeling tired. If you want to hide dark circles (pregnancy is tiring), use a good concealer, such as the celeb cult favorite, Touche Eclat by Yves St. Laurent.

6 You Can Relax In A Very Warm Bath (Don't Change)

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Are you afraid of taking baths while you're pregnant? If so, you should know that it's ok to take hot baths, provided the water isn't super-hot! Your body temperature shouldn't exceed 102.2 F for over ten minutes. As long as you keep this rule in mind, you'll be ready to relax by lolling in the tub.

If you worry about the temperature, go for a warm bath. It'll still feel good and its more moderate temperature won't worry you. Baths are an amazing way to relax and recharge. Your bath time routine doesn't need to change during pregnancy, but you should be mindful of the water temperature.

5 You Can Still Enjoy Fashion (Don't Change)

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Sure, your body looks different, but it's beautiful. Pregnant woman are growing babies and lots of people appreciate their curves. Why not appreciate your own? To feel great, indulge in fashion, just like you usually do. You don't have to give up your fashionista ways just because you are expecting a baby.

Maternity wear has come a long, long way. There are amazing choices for pregnant women at a whole bunch of price points. TopShop has very cute maternity clothes that don't cost too much. They aren't the cheapest clothes, but they're stylish and quite affordable. The Gap and Old Navy also offer maternity clothes that don't cost a fortune.

4 You Can Keep Working If You Want To (Don't Change)

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I worked until six months pregnant or so, but everyone is different. If you're into your career, you may want to keep working right up until labor. Some women have easier pregnancies than others, so a lot depends on how you feel. Of course, you may also have financial pressures and work obligations that you need to meet. Knowing your rights when it comes to maternity leave is really important. If you have an employment contract, read it over carefully. Understand what's expected on both sides while you are expecting. Try not to do too much. You need to baby yourself.

3 You'll Have Good Days And Bad Days (Don't Change)

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Before you became pregnant, you had your good days and bad days. It'll be the same when you're pregnant. You may find that you're moodier sometimes, because of pregnancy symptoms and hormone fluctuations. Planning relaxing downtime is so important. Use your downtime to recharge and re-balance. There's never been a more important time to take the very best care of yourself. A lot of stress on your part isn't going to be good for your baby, so try to keep your stress levels low. This won't always be possible, but it's a worthy goal to shoot for while you're expecting.

2 You Can Still Take Your Vitamins (Don't Change)

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You should definitely take vitamins when you're expecting. Prenatal vitamins should replace your typical multi-vitamin. You should avoid herbal supplements, as some of them just aren't safe for pregnant women. When it comes to choosing a good prenatal vitamin, you should select the one that your doctor recommends. Lots of women continue taking these vitamins after they give birth, to help with postnatal recovery. If you're interested in doing this, talk to your doctor about it. Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid and lots of other nutrients that are great for mother and baby. They are important parts of pregnancy routines.

1 Most Changes Are Temporary Ones (Don't Change)

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Pregnancy changes can be jarring, especially with a first baby, but most changes are not destined to last. Keep this in mind if you're feeling uncomfortable, whether you're dealing with morning sickness, having trouble sleeping near the end of your pregnancy or whatever. I had heartburn during pregnancy and I've rarely had it since. It was definitely a pregnancy symptom that was temporary. After your baby is born, you'll begin to feel like your old self again. Plus, you'll have a precious baby to love. All of your pregnancy symptoms will be well worth it, so keep your eye on the prize.

References: Parents.com, Babycenter.com, En.wikipedia.org, Sharecare.com, Whattoexpect.com, Babycenter.com

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