Pregnancy causes numerous physical, emotional and lifestyle changes. Many changes begin occurring right after you become pregnant, alerting you to the possibility of impending motherhood. New sensations, including your expanding body and possible mood swings, can make you feel like a stranger in your own body. Even the responses of others may surprise and overwhelm you during your nine months of pregnancy. Knowing what to expect during this exciting phase of your life helps you prepare for these changes.
Early changes that you may experience include spotting or slight bleeding. Caused by the embryo implanting into the wall of your uterus, implantation bleeding normally occurs about six to 12 days after you get pregnant. Expect your regular periods to disappear until after the birth of your baby. You may also experience some breast tenderness and swelling within the first few weeks of your pregnancy. Feelings of fatigue and tiredness may also occur within the first week or two. Although not a conclusive method for determining pregnancy, these early symptoms may cause you to run out and get a pregnancy test to confirm your suspicions.
Expect some aches and discomforts throughout your pregnancy. Many women experience recurrent backaches that may begin in early pregnancy and continue through delivery. Rising hormones can increase your risk of headaches during the early phase of your pregnancy. Expect to make frequent trips to the restroom while you await the birth of your baby. Changing hormones, as well as the increasing pressure of your growing uterus, may make you feel a frequent urge to urinate.
Others will begin to notice your changing body as your pregnancy progresses. Looking in your bathroom mirror, you may notice an increased darkening of the skin around your nipples. Your breasts will increase in size as they prepare to feed your baby. In addition to larger breasts, expect to your lower abdomen to begin protruding as your baby grows. Maternity clothes can accommodate your increasing waistline and create a comfortable alternative to tight pants and skirts.
Many women experience mood swings during pregnancy. Expect to feel moodier during the first and last months of your pregnancy experience. You may also experience difficulty concentrating and focusing your attention. Many women notice an increase in feelings of forgetfulness during this time.
Reactions from Others
As the new life inside you changes your body and emotions, it also affects others around you. Although you may know what type of reactions to expect from close friends and relatives, strangers may surprise you with their blunt comments and questions. Expect people to ask you for your due date when your pregnancy starts to show. You may get more attention than you want, especially from others who ask to touch your abdomen or feel your baby moving.