Pregnancy is either a beautiful, special moment in a woman’s life or a house-of-horrors tale about your rapidly changing body, depending on who you speak to. Here’s a look at some of the good, the bad, and the ugly changes your body will spring on you as you prepare to bring your little one into the world.
A truly obscene sex drive
It’s like your body doesn’t know you’re already pregnant. Increased blood flow and hormone production will have people asking what’s really behind that pregnancy glow. Sex is perfectly safe throughout pregnancy, so don’t be afraid of indulging whatever your hormone-addled brain can dream of. Bonus points: you may have pretty vivid dreams and the occasional nighttime orgasm.
Beautiful lustrous hair. Everywhere
You’ll have a swishing head full of glossy locks and strong, healthy nails. Be prepared to sprout extra hair on your belly, face, and nipples, too. Don’t fret if you’re rivaling your partner for the hairiest chest; it’ll likely disappear after the baby’s birth.
Someone will suggest your irritability is due to your hormones. You’ll respectfully disagree. Then, you’ll want to personally scalp them and keep their remains in your nursery as a warning to anyone else with so much as a peep about your mood.
The carnival of hormones inside your body can bring about some extreme mood changes but be also prepared for losing your cognitive faculties. You may forget things and “space out” once in a while.
Some women feel that picking out just the perfect shade of paint for the baby’s room is life and death. While this “nesting instinct” usually kicks in during the third trimester, be prepared for an overall sense of domesticity to suddenly grace your life. Go with it. You’re preparing to be a mother, after all.
Some women light up from within while pregnant. Most, however, find their complexions become a lot spottier, darker, or rougher. Acne, hyper-pigmentation, and all-around sensitive skin let you know your body is working hard to keep up with all the changes. So slather on the sunscreen and be patient – most skin changes are reversible after birth.
Increased joint mobility
While pregnant, you may get a distinct impression that you’re expanding to fill the entire known universe. Thanks to the hilariously named hormone “relaxin,” which ensures your body’s ligaments are nice and loose come birth. It also ensures that you sometimes resemble a (glowing!) boneless chicken and need to take extra care not to overexert your pelvis, back, and knees.
Flatulence and burping
It’s a feat to keep your dignity while waddling around with a gut the size of a beach ball, even more so if you’ve started experiencing extra gas. The baby takes up a lot of room, specifically the room you previously used to properly digest your food. Heartburn is also common as the baby gets bigger. Combat this with smaller meals and more fiber in your diet.
Sand starts to look appealing
“Pica” is the term for wanting to eat things that are not strictly foodstuffs. Chalk, ice, and dirt are top of the menu for mother-to-be cravings. If you urge to eat something bizarre, it’s likely a mineral deficiency – perhaps zinc, iron, or copper. Don’t be bashful about mentioning this to your doctor.
In the 9 months it takes you to make your pregnancy journey, you’ll encounter the opinions and advice of a whole range of people. Be wary of those who would tell you that pregnancy and birth are hallowed events, the likes of which would make a heart-warming family movie. Likewise, don’t be put off by gross-out tell-it-like-it-is mommy bloggers who want to catalog how your body will alarm and disgust you.
Instead, relax. An attitude of acceptance and a good sense of humor will put you in good stead as you navigate the sometimes-grueling challenges of pregnancy.