Pregnancy, this is how your body changes

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How the body changes in pregnancy

There are those who can not wait to have a nice baby bump and those who do not live very well the growth of that belly that even comes to prevent you from seeing your feet. Whatever the attitude, belly, breasts and hips which increase (and navel which at some point becomes protruding) are the main changes in the body in pregnancy.

In this article

  • How to dress in pregnancy
  • How does the skin of the face in pregnancy change
  • Stretch marks
  • What happens to the body in pregnancy
  • How the uterus changes in pregnancy

How to dress in pregnancy

The changes in the shape of the body are temporary - with a little attention to diet and physical movement after childbirth you can get back "in shape" without particular problems - but in the meantime to be indulged with appropriate clothing: comfortable without giving up style and elegance.

"We do not recommend only garments that are too tight and belts, which can hinder blood circulation already slowed by pregnancy" says the freelance midwife Elisa Magonio. And also pay attention to the type of fabric: «Since the skin is very delicate in this period, it is better to choose breathable and lightly colored fabrics. Cotton is fine, especially for underwear ». To keep track of changes in silhouette it may be a good idea to take or have a profile photo taken each month, perhaps leaving your belly uncovered.

How does the skin of the face in pregnancy change

It is one of the most unpleasant "side effects" of pregnancy, affecting approximately 15-50% of pregnant women. We are talking about chloasma gravidarum (or pregnancy mask), the appearance of dark spots on the skin of the face, arranged symmetrically on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.

The cause? The over-production of melanin, the pigment responsible for tanning, probably due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, as well as genetic aspects: chloasma, in fact, it is more common in women with dark complexions. "But exposure to the sun also plays a fundamental part, because it further stimulates the accumulation of melanin" he stresses the dermatologist Angelo Marzano, of the Dermatological Clinic of the University of our city. Not surprisingly, sun protection - with very high protection sun creams, but also with wide-brimmed hats and dark glasses - is the main prevention strategy. In many cases, the spots tend to disappear or at least diminish after childbirth. If this does not happen, you can contact a dermatologist, who will recommend the most appropriate treatment, such as depigmenting creams based on azelaic acid, retinoic acid and hydroquinone or, if they do not work, chemical peels, dermabrasion or laser. These last strategies, however, are not always decisive and can sometimes make the situation worse.

The linea nigra

The tummy may also darken in pregnancy, particularly along a strip that goes from the navel down, but sometimes it also extends above the navel. We speak of linea nigra and, like chloasma, it is more common in women with dark skin. It usually begins to show in the second trimester and tends to disappear on its own a few months after giving birth.

Read also: Pregnancy, your changing body

Stretch marks

Another great aesthetic enemy of pregnant women is the stretch marks, those streaks at first pink or purple, then whitish, which tend to appear on the breasts, hips and abdomen as they grow. I'm scars which are produced as a result of inflammation of the elastic component of the dermis, one of the layers of the skin. They are formed when the skin undergoes important tensions, aided, in pregnancy, also by hormonal variations. Among the risk factors are: age (younger women are more at risk), overweight or obesity, a high birth weight of the baby and the fact of having already seen them appear during puberty.

There are no completely effective prevention strategies:

  • watching out for weight gain and eating a healthy diet can help, but they don't work miracles.
  • The same goes for creams: by applying them consistently they can lend a hand, also as a result of the massage, but you shouldn't expect who knows what. By the way, you don't need to spend a fortune on creams: a good product with moisturizing active ingredients, such as Vitamin E, and firming agents, such as boswelic acid or Centella asiatica extract.

"Erasing" stretch marks is not easy: you can try some aesthetic medicine treatments, such as lasers and chemical peels. "But it is good to know - warns the dermatologist - that the results are not 100% sure and you risk incurring considerable costs in the face of scarce benefits".

Tattoos and piercings

Can I get tattoos and piercings during pregnancy?

  1. Experts agree: better to postpone them until after giving birth or, better, weaning.
  2. During pregnancy, the skin is more sensitive: even if you use inks with natural pigments or nickel-free piercings, there is always the risk of skin reactions. Ditto for the decorations with henna.
  3. In both cases there is a risk of infections. Even if they are treatable, why risk it if it can be postponed?
  4. The existing ones generally do not give problems. With the passing of the months, a possible belly piercing could be annoying: then it is better to remove it and put it back after the birth.

Baby bump in pregnancy, month after month

go to the gallery

Month after month, how does the baby bump grow during pregnancy? We have collected the images from the first to the ninth month in a photo gallery.

What happens to the body in pregnancy

I changes month by month at first they are imperceptible, then they manifest themselves overwhelmingly. 

  • In the first 3 months, the body does not change visibly, it does not put on weight, but the expectant mother can experience specific symptoms such as nausea, increased hunger, sleep, breast tenderness, small cramps in the uterus.
  • In the second trimester, most women feel more energetic, they begin to eat more especially if they previously suffered from nausea, the expanding uterus begins to show and the belly is slightly hinted.
  • In the third trimester the body changes completely: the maximum weight gain occurs in this period. The abdomen is lowered due to the rotation of the fetus in the cephalic position, and it is ready for birth. The navel sometimes becomes convex - sticking out - due to the expanding abdomen. The posture of the body changes as the pregnancy progresses: the pelvis tilts and the back arches to maintain balance, which can promote back pain. Finally, the feet also swell and it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes, paying attention to the size.

How the uterus changes in pregnancy

Over the course of nine months, the uterus can expand up to at 20 times its normal size.

  • body
  • baby bump
  • pregnancy weight
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