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What Pregnancy Does To A Woman's Body

The health implications pregnancy comes with.

BY Beryl Karimi-La Patrona

Jan 26, 2023, 10:03 AM

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Pregnancy is a time for transformation. Accommodating a child is no mean feat; it is one journey that changes a woman's body forever. 

When people think of pregnancy they imagine morning sickness, labour, and nausea but there are far, far worse things that happen to women when they decide to create life.

Here are a few highlights of what it means to carry a baby and the ways it alters your body forever.

Weight Gain. 

As your baby grows, you start gaining weight gradually to accommodate it. Most women usually gain 10 to 12 kgs during pregnancy because the body has to create more tissue to produce milk after childbirth.

This weight is also accentuated by the fluids in the uterus that keep the baby safe and while this is a pregnancy thing, a lot of women never lose that weight. It stays with them forever. 

This weight could lead to conditions such as gestational diabetes if not managed well and even when it is managed, it is one of the reasons that cause women emotional grief as they adapt to the new body. 

Hair Loss

Women experience thinning hair or hair loss during pregnancy or in the months immediately following birth due to hormonal shifts and the stress that is imposed by the pregnancy on the body.

This condition affects 40 to 50% of pregnant mothers and the other percentage too might shed off all their hair that wasn't lost during the pregnancy.

To mitigate this, doctors usually recommend supplements to replenish what the baby is taking from you because as destiny would have it, the baby gets its nutrients through the mother. 

Teeth loss.

High levels of hormones during pregnancy loosen the bones that hold your teeth in place.

The shift in hormones also exposes women to tooth decay and gingivitis which are accelerated more by the fact that women tend to eat more during pregnancy to ward off nausea. 

A woman who is not having enough nutrients also loses teeth because the baby replenishes itself with the calcium in her bones and to avoid this you have to be on a good diet and supplements.

Doctors also recommend thorough oral hygiene during pregnancy to reduce your chances of tooth decay.

Stretch Marks.

The body stretches itself to accommodate the growing baby. The shift in weight and the stretching is the major cause of stretch marks during pregnancy and this is something that women never come back from. 

There isn't a known cure for stretch marks yet, but with proper oiling, during pregnancy and exercises, you can protect your skin from stretching too much. 

Brittle Bones.

Pregnancy-related osteoporosis is a condition where a woman's bones break easily during pregnancy, or in the weeks after having a child. 

Women lose calcium during pregnancy and breastfeeding and that calcium loss makes bones, especially those that are located around the vertebrae more fragile than they should be.

This condition is particularly more evident in teenage mothers than older mothers because teenage mothers usually get pregnant at a time when their body hasn't finished growing their bone mass

Memory Loss. 

Pregnancy brain also known as mummy brain is a common phenomenon that is reported by 50 to 80% of women who have carried a pregnancy to term.

It manifests itself in the form of a brain fog that causes women to have trouble focusing or remembering certain things and be easily forgetful. 

You could forget your phone number, your appointments, and what you had gone to get into the supermarket when you walked in, and in more severe conditions you could end up forgetting your baby in someone's arms and walking without it at home.

Doctors recommend regular sleep schedules to mitigate this because it is an absolute horror in women's lives and one that you could never come back from if it is severe.

Read More: 4 Things You Didn't Know About Pregnancy