15 Unexpected Changes Caused By Pregnancy Hormones

Mom will go through surprising changes during pregnancy. Of course, mom will expect to change shape and that her hips might spread a little. She may be surprised, though, to find out all the weird ways she'll physically change.

Sometimes moms are embarrassed about the changes they go through. New moms might not have heard about all of the changes on this list from their friends because their friends might not want to admit it or talk about it. Get prepared for what might come during pregnancy by checking out this list.

For most of these changes, mom’s hormones are to blame. The huge rush of hormones that mom experiences during pregnancy can wreak havoc on her and her beauty. For some of these changes, mom’s diet and choices could also have something to do with it.

Knowing that these unexpected changes during and after pregnancy are normal can help a new mom to deal with them. There are so many questions about mom’s changes that a mom can feel self conscious during the process. When mom knows she’s not alone she might not feel so inhuman with all these changes. Keep reading to find out what weird things mom can expect during pregnancy.

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15 Hair Falling Out

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Mom may have experienced a boost in shiny, luxurious hair during pregnancy. Unfortunately, her beautiful, thick hair won’t last long after she gives birth. Many women are surprised to find lots of hair falling out after pregnancy. The boost of estrogen during pregnancy keeps much of mom’s hair from falling out. Normally, mom would be losing some hair each day. With more hair staying on her scalp, it makes the new hair growing in give her a real boost and makes her hair a lot thicker. About 3 or 4 months after giving birth, her estrogen levels will return to normal and so will her hair cycles. This means that she’ll start losing some of that hair that was sticking around longer. By about 6 months postpartum she should be back to normal.

14 Down There Flare

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Mom may have experienced minor hemorrhoids before becoming pregnant. If she’s had other children, she might have some serious hemorrhoids. During pregnancy, its likely that she’ll have more problems than normal with hemorrhoids. Part of this is due to the increased hormones. The hormones may make the hemorrhoids more sensitive. Mom’s increased blood flow could do this too. Since hemorrhoids are blood vessels, the increased blood flow could make them more sensitive. Additional weight can make the problem worse as more weight is pushing down on the hemorrhoid. Lastly, constipation during pregnancy can put strain on them or even cause new ones to form. After pregnancy, mom may have new ones from childbirth or see flairs again as her body’s hormones take time to return to normal. After mom heals from pregnancy and her hormones return to normal, she shouldn’t have as many problems.

13 Weak Nails

Nail changes can happen during pregnancy and it's just one more thing that can be chalked up to hormones. Some women find that during pregnancy their nails become brittle and weak.

The tear and break easier than before. Some women, though, experience the opposite.

The boost in hormones (probably paired with a good prenatal vitamin and healthy diet) make their nails grow faster and stronger. Whether mom has strong or weak nails, its best to keep it simple during pregnancy. Nail polishes and removers contain harsh chemicals that mom will want to avoid during pregnancy. Some women won’t forgo a manicure and keep polishing away. There’s still debate over how much harm the chemicals in nail products can cause. This is partially because there’s still a lot to learn about how the baby develops during pregnancy. Some brands use fewer harsh chemicals than others.

12 Expanding Feet

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Mom might be surprised to find that her favorite shoes don’t fit anymore during pregnancy. Her body is producing a hormone called relaxin that will help her hips to spread so the baby can pass through the birth canal. This hormone doesn’t only affect the birth canal though. It will have and effect on all of her joints and ligaments.

For her feet, this means that they might spread and become bigger.

Mom’s increasing weight will be putting more pressure on her feet further making them expand more. As pregnancy continues, mom will probably also have swelling in her feet in ankles. While some swelling is normal, it makes it more difficult for mom to find shoes to fit. The good news is that for most women their feet will go back to normal after pregnancy. For some moms, though, they find that their shoe size has permanently gone up ½ a size to a full size.

11 Constipation

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Mom might be surprised that even though she’s eating a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies that she can still suffer from constipation. A healthy diet is the first step to battling this common pregnancy problem. The relaxin hormone that is working to open mom’s birth canal is also working to slow down her intestines. With mom’s intestines more relaxed, its harder for the food to move through. Plus, the growing baby puts increased pressure on the intestines and things start to get a little crammed in there. These two issues are something that mom can’t help. Iron supplements can also cause some moms to get a little backed up. Some prenatal vitamins have iron in them to help avoid anemia while mom increases her blood supply.

10 Increased Drive

Mom and her partner might be happily surprised to find out that she’s a little (or a lot) more frisky during pregnancy. The increased drive usually happens later in the first trimester and throughout the second trimester. Mom’s increased blood flow can help her enjoy this time even more. On top of that, lubrication increases during this time, again making it more enjoyable for mom. This is a great time for mom to connect with her partner.

Many changes will be happening in the upcoming months that can be difficult on the relationship.

Using this time to be physically close and open with each other can help to build the relationship and work through some initial difficulties. Plus, mom will be out of commission for a few weeks after giving birth so she and her partner might as well make the most of this fun time.

9 Bad Breath

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Bad breath can be on the prowl during pregnancy. It might happen for a variety of reasons according to BabyMed.com. The most common reason is the pesky pregnancy hormones yet again. The increasing hormones can cause an increase in dental plaque that will lead to bad breath.

Bad breath during pregnancy can also be a sign that mom isn’t getting enough calcium in her diet.

When a pregnant women doesn’t get enough calcium, her body will take it from her bones and teeth and give it to the developing baby. Morning sickness could be a culprit too. Throwing up could change the balance of bacteria in the mouth. Lastly, during pregnancy mom is going through a lot of changes. She may be eating differently (hopefully more healthy) and this change in diet could lead to changes in her breath.

8 Brain Fog

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Brain fog or baby brain is real and it happens during and after pregnancy. Mom’s brain might feel foggy for a variety of reasons during pregnancy. Her body is changing rapidly as it keeps up with the needs of the developing baby. Her changing hormones can also play a role in it. The hormones will likely make mom much more emotional than usual which can lead to unclear thinking. Mom might be experiencing extra stress and worry as she prepares for the changes coming in her life.

Brain fog usually continues and sometimes even gets worse once the baby arrives.

Mom’s hormones will eventually go back to normal after giving birth but she’ll find new stressors in her life. Lack of sleep can be a major cause of brain fog with a newborn. Mom might also find that she’s reaching for convenience foods more often which usually aren’t as healthy. This change in diet can contribute to brain fog too.

7 More Babies!

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Some women are surprised by how quickly they can become pregnant again after giving birth. There is no exact set time of when a woman can become pregnant but its not totally uncommon for siblings to be just 9 or 10 months apart from each other. Mom’s increased fertility will depend on a number of things. One major factor is if she is exclusively breastfeeding day and night or not.

Breastfeeding can act as a great contraceptive as long as mom is actually nursing the baby the whole time.

It becomes less effective if mom is stressed, sick or baby begins sleeping through the night or eating solid foods. Since mom won’t know exactly when she’ll begin ovulating again after giving birth it's important to take precautions to let her body heal and prepare for another pregnancy. Getting pregnant too soon after having a baby can increase the chances for miscarriage or preterm birth. Most doctors recommend waiting 12 to 18 months before trying to conceive again.

6 Night Sweats

After giving birth mom’s hormones are in flux. They were so high during pregnancy and now the body has the go ahead to start bringing the levels back down toward normal. Many new moms are surprised to wake up the first night or two after giving birth completely soaked.

The body will work to quickly push out the extra fluid it had during pregnancy and a great way to do that is to push it out directly through the pores.

Mom will be sopping wet and will probably want a new night gown on nights like this. During pregnancy, mom might also experience night sweats (though not as extreme as after giving birth). This is due to mom’s raging hormones and the increased temperature of her body. Some women continue to experience night sweats for a couple weeks after birth until their hormones have evened out.

5 Postpartum Lack Of Desire

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Mom and her partner may have enjoyed her increased drive during pregnancy. That is a great time to connect with each other because it often falls off or even disappears after pregnancy. Mom goes through a lot after pregnancy that can kill her drive. Mostly, she’s ultra focused on her baby and might have a difficult time giving attention to her significant other. Many partners report feeling somewhat ignored after the baby is born. Plus mom’s body went through a traumatic experience during labor and delivery. The changes that happened will take weeks or longer to heal and return to normal. Mom might find that she has a new “normal” down there and some women find this difficult to enjoy. On top of all these changes, mom’s body still has extra weight from pregnancy to lose. She might also experience permanent changes to her body like stretched out belly skin or stretch marks.

4 Bigger Hands

During pregnancy women's hands often get bigger. This could be for a couple of reasons. Increased blood flow can lead to some swelling of the fingers and hands. The hormone relaxin might also be to blame. Since relaxin helps mom’s body to open up and let the child pass through the birth canal, it will also work to relax all of her other joints and ligaments. Her hands might just spread out more.

Some women find that they can only wear a wedding ring or other rings for so many months during pregnancy.

As partners can feel uncomfortable about all these changes too it's important to explain why mom can no longer wear her wedding ring. Keep an eye on swelling before it gets too out of control and mom can’t get her jewelry off. Extreme or sudden swelling could be a sign of preeclampsia which can be dangerous for both mom and baby.

3 Thicker, Darker Hair....Everywhere

During pregnancy mom will likely notice that she has thicker, darker hair all over her body. The hair on her head will become thicker which is usually a good thing. The rest usually isn’t. Mom’s leg hair and swimsuit line will become thicker and darker and harder to get rid of.

She might notice this on her upper lip and around her eyebrows too.

Mom might even notice that her arm hair and hair on her face is growing much faster than normal too. It’s hard not to feel like a werewolf when this happens...especially if you’re pregnant during the summer. A good razor and waxing seems to only go so far as the hair follicles tend to become more noticeable too. The good news is that this will go back to normal after giving birth but breastfeeding might extend it a little bit.

2 Moles Changing

Mom might wonder when the changes will stop with her pregnant body. There are so many funny things that can happen to mom’s body that the list gets pretty long. Lots of moms are surprised to find that even moles changes during pregnancy. They can become darker or larger. This is just another thing that can be chalked up to good old hormones. Mom still needs to keep an eye on her changing moles to make sure that they are changing evenly. If a mole starts taking on an odd shape, if it changes in an uneven or irregular way then she should contact a dermatologist. Normal pregnancy changes will just make the mole larger or darker but the shape shouldn’t change. This will return to normal after pregnancy but breastfeeding might make it continue longer.

1 Skin - The Good, The Bad, And The Sag

Happy mother with newborn baby

Mom’s skin goes through so many changes during pregnancy. The boost in hormones make many women experience breakouts during pregnancy. These breakouts might not stay just on her face either. Mom might experience them on her back or anywhere on her body. She might even find she gets more ingrown hairs too. As the wives’ tale goes, if mom is expecting a girl her skin will be worse because the girl will steal her beauty. Mom might also experience stretch marks on her belly, hips or chest. Moisturizing can help with this and also help her skin to stretch and return to normal after birth. Mom might find that her skin still looks stretched out after she’s healed from giving birth. During pregnancy, the skin could stretch too far and leave it looking saggy.

References: Parents.com, KidsHealth.org, HealthLine.com, BabyMed.com,

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