Your Body in Pregnancy

Your uterus continues to grow larger and is moving upward. You are noticeably loosing your waistline now! Skin and muscles may give way much faster if you’ve had previous pregnancies; meaning you’ll feel bigger faster. Some women can get by for a while by not buttoning or zipping their pants up all the way or by using rubber bands to avoid wearing maternity clothes until later on. You can even wear your partner’s clothes, but soon enough you’ll want to go shopping for some real maternity clothes, because you’re going to get much bigger before your baby’s arrival. You’ll enjoy your pregnancy more if you wear looser-fitting clothes that provide room to grow. Many women look forward to wearing maternity clothes, so they can show their pregnancy off to the world, even if maternity clothes aren’t quite necessary yet.

Around this time, you may start feeling “round ligament pain”. This discomfort is typically described as a brief pulling or sharp pain on one side of your lower abdomen or the other. Sometimes it may feel more like a longer-lasting abdominal achiness. As your uterus grows during pregnancy, it puts strain on the round ligaments, which are located on each side of your uterus. The ligaments support your growing uterus and may cause you pain as your uterus gets bigger and stretches. The round ligaments also stretch and even thicken during pregnancy. The most common causes of round ligament pain are: changing positions or turning your body quickly, coughing, rolling over in bed or having a more active day than normal. If you feel a sharp, stabbing pain, changing positions may bring immediate relief. You can also try lying on the side that is sore. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and relaxation. If you’re feeling a dull achiness, you may want to try a soak in a warm (but not too warm) bath. If your pain persists after you rest or take a bath, or if it gets worse, you should report it to your doctor or midwife.

Pregnancy can make moles, freckles and skin tags change and grow. They may appear for the first time during pregnancy and existing ones may get larger and darken. Birthmarks or brown spots may become browner now. This is completely normal. Most moles are totally harmless, but in some cases they can become cancerous. If you are concerned about any moles that have grown, raised from your skin or have an irregular border, you should contact your doctor or midwife (or a dermatologist).

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