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Changes Pregnant Mothers Need To Know About

Pregnant women can’t help but be surprised when the body shows many changes during pregnancy, including in the body’s daily routine. So, what changes should you expect? Let Diag help you prepare for pregnancy.

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How Does Your Body Change During Pregnancy?

Acne

During pregnancy, pregnant women can be prone to acne due to hormonal imbalances. Due to the increased production of certain hormones, a pregnant woman can produce excess sebum, the skin’s natural oil, causing acne and enlarged pores.

Acne can occur in all pregnant women (even mothers with little or no history), and those with acne during menstruation are more likely to have acne during pregnancy. However, mothers should not worry too much because acne appears mainly in the first 3 months of pregnancy.

When this stage is over, the hormones will be balanced again and the acne will disappear on its own. Pregnant women can use prescription drugs but need to consult a doctor. In addition, mothers need to combine natural, safe, and suitable skin care methods.

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Melasma, Spots And Hyperpigmentation

Melasma, dark skin is no longer a strange sign for pregnant women. Due to hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, blood flow leads to the formation of melanin pigments, causing spots to appear and patches of melasma on the skin.

In addition, moles or freckles from before pregnancy also become darker.

Breast Size Change And Darkening

Pregnant women can notice marked changes in the breasts due to increased hormones during pregnancy. Common symptoms include:

– Breasts and nipples are sore and larger: Mothers will feel the most tenderness in the first trimester (the first 3 months of pregnancy). Entering the second trimester, the breasts will continue to grow, but tightness will decrease.

– Darker color of nipples and areolas: In the second trimester, the mother’s areola will appear as tiny papules, also known as Montgomery’s granules (which usually disappear on their own after childbirth)

– Stretch marks: When the breasts expand and rapidly increase in size, the skin stretches. Pregnant women at this time may experience itchy, dry skin. Therefore, cream is necessary for the mother’s skin during pregnancy, not only in the breasts but also around the abdomen, to limit stretch marks.

– Breast secretes colostrum: From the 6th month of pregnancy, colostrum will be secreted from the nipple, although some pregnant women will not experience this. This does not affect the mother’s ability to breastfeed.

Weight Gain

During pregnancy, the mother is likely to gain weight and this can cause a “crisis” for some mothers because the weight jumps too quickly or the body is heavier than before. Therefore, expectant mothers should follow the instructions of the doctor to gain weight slowly and avoid stretch marks from the skin stretching too quickly or other changes to the body.

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The milestones for the ideal weight gain based on the trimester:

– 1st trimester (first 3 months): From 0.4kg/month, equivalent to 1.2kg/3 months.

– 2nd trimester (second 3 months): From 0.45kg/week, equivalent to 5kg/3 months.

– 3rd trimester (final 3 months): From 0.5kg/week, equivalent to 6kg/3 months.

During the 9 months/40 weeks of pregnancy, pregnant women need to gain about 12kg. Depending on the physical condition of each mother, the optimal amount of weight to gain will be different.

Irritability During Pregnancy

Hormonal changes can lead to some women experiencing mood swings or even anger during pregnancy. Having to deal with the everyday pressures of life while getting used to unprecedented changes in the body can cause stress.

There are often external pressures during pregnancy. They can come from compliments and expectations about the “perfect” baby that is about to be born to criticisms about the mother’s body or that the mother is still not trying hard enough to take good care of her baby. Gradually, mothers may create for themselves an inferiority complex or fear that their children will not be born as expected.

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Irritability during pregnancy over a long period has a high risk of affecting the fetus in the womb because, in just a few seconds, the chemicals released from the mother’s emotions will be transmitted through the blood to the placenta. Long-term irritability can cause issues like difficulty in giving birth, premature birth, or low birth weight and affect the baby’s personality.

In more severe cases, the mother can become depressed and develop negative or even suicidal thoughts. Such a condition can put her in dangerous situations or may lead to her not taking care of herself and the fetus, and feelings of isolation because of the loss of connection between mother and child.

How Does Lifestyle Change During Pregnancy?

Frequent Urination

When a woman becomes pregnant, right from the first trimester, she will urinate more because of hormonal imbalances. As the size of the uterus grows, it puts pressure on her bladder and reduces urine capacity.

Frequent urination is a normal sign in pregnant women. However, if you have pain or discomfort while urinating, you should immediately notify your doctor to receive appropriate treatment because this may signify a urinary tract infection.

Nausea, Sickness, and Stomach Upsets

Nausea and morning sickness are the most common symptoms of pregnancy. With a large amount of progesterone released, the digestive system’s muscles relax, falling into a “resting” state which leads to food in the stomach being pushed up into the esophagus, causing a feeling of gas or nausea.

In addition, pregnant women also experience indigestion because progesterone slows down digestion, causing a feeling of gas and bloating due to undigested food.

Nausea and morning sickness usually occur in the early stages of pregnancy, but some pregnant women still have morning sickness at 16-18 weeks. If the mother is experiencing severe morning sickness at this stage, leading to a deficiency of vitamins and minerals, they need to see a doctor and pay special attention to their lifestyle.

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Changes in Taste

Changing tastes during pregnancy not only makes expectant mothers’ cravings unpredictable but also can be a source of headaches for husbands as they are unsure how to “please” their wives. The cause of changes in appetite during pregnancy can come from hormone changes (hCG), causing mothers to have both an increased appetite and a loss of appetite within a short time.

The hormone gonadotropin released during pregnancy reduces the stomach’s ability to secrete acid, decreasing the mother’s ability to digest. The lack of stomach acid can cause cravings for sour foods. Besides, pregnant women also become more sensitive to the smells of foods with strong flavors, such as fish sauce or coffee.

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Constipation

During pregnancy, there are many possible causes of constipation, such as:

– High levels of progesterone cause the intestines to fall into a “resting” state, working more slowly and making the digestive process slower.

– The growing uterus puts pressure on the nerves.

– The fetus grows large and shrinks the space of the digestive tract.

– The pregnant woman becomes dehydrated or sedentary.

– Excessive supplementation of compounds beneficial to the fetus, such as calcium and iron.

Constipation, if not treated, can cause hemorrhoids in pregnant women or threaten the lives of mother and child as it can cause miscarriage, premature birth, or a malnourished fetus.

Changes during pregnancy significantly impact a woman’s psyche, body, and daily routine. Pregnant mothers and fathers should pay attention and learn thoroughly about health during pregnancy, combining a healthy living regimen with periodic examinations and tests alongside proper love and care to ensure a happy delivery for mother and child.

* This article is written in consultation with Diag’s medical experts. However, the above information is for reference only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Before taking any action based on the information provided, please get advice from a medical professional.

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