Pregnancy is one of the most fascinating things for anyone interested in science and the human body. It is amazing how your baby grows just as it is supposed to with everything in its place. Not to mention the female body's ability to be an incubator for this to happen and to deliver a baby. Amazing!
Here are some facts you won't know about your pregnancy!
1. You can produce up to an extra 9L of blood while you are pregnant! WOW! That’s a lot of extra volume for the heart to pump around your body. Along with the extra weight of your baby and your baby bump sitting higher into your diaphragm (the muscle that helps you breathe) no wonder your puffed walking up a flight of stairs.
2. You usually have a higher heart rate and blood pressure to push all that extra blood around your body especially from the second trimester onwards.
3. Your centre of gravity shifts forwards due to your baby bump which can give you extra lordosis (curve in your lower back) hence the need to be extra aware of your posture. This is one reason why you can get lower back pain when you're pregnant.
4. Your hormones are going crazy! Which you probably already know. But more specifically Progesterone can increase up to 100 times your usual level, along with increases in Oestrogen and Relaxin. Progesterone helps your immune system accept the fetus, it keep your uterus muscle relaxed and unfortunately it can be responsible for your extra hair growth. Oestrogen is super important in the development of your baby but can also change your skins pigment . Unfortunately both Progesterone and Oestrogen are responsible for the nausea and vomiting that you feel. Relaxin is the hormone responsible for the loosening of your ligaments and soft tissue within the body preparing you for labour.
5. You have a greater chance of swelling especially in your legs as your lymphatic fluid also increases. This is a great reason to relax and put your feet up. There are also heaps of great compression socks out there if you are really struggling.
And yes I give you permission to show this post to your hubby to get the above mentioned “feet up time”!
I'm Melanie, a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.
Like what you see? Subscribe today and get your FREE Pelvic Floor Test.