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Body changes in pregnancy

Advice on the body changes you may experience during pregnancy, with information on diet, weight, hormones and health problems.
Enormous physical, hormonal and emotional changes take place during pregnancy over a relatively short period of time. The body has to adapt to carrying up to 20lb of baby, waters and placenta, which can impose physical strain on all the organs and tissues. Most of this weight will be carried infront causing your centre of gravity to change.

Aches and pains are common during pregnancy, as the body changes shape to accommodate the increasing size and weight of the uterus. This involves considerable changes to posture.

If the mother has existing back problems, or strains in her body from past accidents or trauma, it may be more difficult for her to accommodate these changes, and she may suffer more discomfort as a result.

The ligaments of the whole body soften during pregnancy due to the action of hormones. This allows the bones of the pelvis to separate slightly during the delivery to facilitate the passage of the baby?s head through the pelvis. Unfortunately this softening affects the whole body and makes it more vulnerable to strain during the pregnancy.

Postural changes may cause backache, neckache, headaches, aching legs and undue fatigue. Postural changes through the lower ribs and spine can impede the action of the diaphragm and make breathing difficult.

Tension within the pelvis or diaphragm area can increase resistance to the return of venous blood to the heart from the lower half of the body. This can cause or aggravate varicose veins in the legs, and haemorrhoids.

As the baby grows and takes up more space within the abdomen there is less space to move about, and your baby will find a preferred position. The mother?s posture has to adapt to accommodate the position of the baby, and if this conflicts with her own postural needs it may cause undue aches and pains. This is the reason that one pregnancy may be much more uncomfortable to carry than another.

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19 weeks & 6 days pregnant- having a baby girl, love feeling her kick crave dry crackers & custard slices
i dont have much of a bump, it grows by the day now. I have gone up 3 cup sizes and found my firs lot of stretch marks on my boobs yesterday, i am not impressed.
up to now i dont believe in the 'pregnancy glow'
i have felt like crap and sick all the way through
i love my little girl & would not change being pregnant :)
by stacykaye 26th Nov 2010, 5:12pm
is a spray tan in pregnancy bad for the baby
by kieran77 12th Aug 2010, 10:20am
I am 33 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I had some bleeding from weeks 9-14 but nothing major, just brown spotting. When I was 26 weeks pregnant my hip started hurting. I now have a walking stick and am on codydramol, but apart from that feel quite well. The pain is bearable and I can only advise other women to invest in a V shaped pillow for bedtime as they make you more comfortable.

I have found that heartburn starts getting worse around 29 weeks and have now accepted that because of the hip, I will more than likely have a caesarean birth so have prepared a caesarean birth plan. Even if you're planning a vaginal birth, it will be worth doing this even if you're not planning a caesarean as you may need an emergency one.

If you have hip pain, do push for your doctor to diagnose the problem as I think I have Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), but no one will diagnose it. I had to fight for a physio appointment and was offered a rheumatology appointment one week before my baby is due which is pretty useless.

A very warm bath is the only thing that relieves the pain, but I try and use moisturising bubble bath as my skin has been incredibly dry.

Just remember, every pregnancy is different and whatever complications you have, they are more than likely temporary and they are not your unborn baby's fault. I can't wait to meet my little one and am convinced the constant pain is worth it.

Well done all you pregnant ladies as it certainly isn't easy! xxx
by JosieLee 10th Feb 2010, 4:59am
Hello :) I'm roughly about 6 weeks preggo with my first bambino and I had truely no idea what to expect in pregnancy, and I was a bit of a hypochondriac for the first few weeks and went to the doctor 3 times and did endless research on the internet, and here it is, my own little summary for all you other expectant ladies who just need some sort of clarification.

My 4th week of pregnancy I had stomach cramping, which I thought might have been my period (finally!) but nah, just as long as its not outrageous, unbelievable and unbearable type of period pain accompanied with bleeding (light or heavy) then this experience is normal. This cramping feeling is the embryo embedding or attaching itself to your uterus/lining of your womb, think of it as your baby getting nice and settled for the next few months :). I had this cramping feeling for about 2-3 days. I was lucky that it coincided with my days off work, and if you are in that position too, my advice is lay a hot water bottle quite low down on the abdomen ( not on your actual stomach), drink plenty of tea, and if possible, sleep it off. If its a complete nuisance and your at work, there are heat pads for period pains which can be purchased at your local Boots or drug stores at a reasonable price, their quite discreet and will help substancialy.

Onto the 5th-6th week and it actually feels like someones tried to bite my nipple off, and sore is an understatement. Although the comment before mine suggests wearing a bra to bed for more comfort, I say no bra to bed has worked better for myself, especially if majority of your bra's are lacy/slightly raunchy or a bit more fashionable than comfortable like mine, I find my bra's at the moment just irritate me(literally).

And in the same week, I'm finding that my appetite is a little shakey, I'll put this down to so many doctors and websites dictating what I can and can't eat and making me really think about what I shovel into my mouth. If you find that you don't particularly want any food, then dry and drink as many fluids as you can, some squash or water, tea, that way you still have some nutritional intake, some is better than none.

I'll keep you poster fans, and I really hope that I am some help x
by ErinErinErin 27th Jan 2010, 9:43am
I just wanted to let people know how my pregnancy is going, hopefully to put some minds at ease!

I am 18 weeks 4 days pregnant. At the beginning of my pregnancy (5-7 weeks) I had stomach cramps that felt like normal period pain - apparently this is the embreyo attaching itself to the lining of the womb and is quite normal. After a few weeks that disappeared and I got very sore breasts to replace it! My boyfriend hugging me hurt if he squeezed me too hard and sleeping without a bra was an absolute killer. I have since bought sports bras which have helped no end.

I was lucky and didn't suffer any morning sickness, however I did find that I would be hungry and as soon as food was in front of me I didn't want to eat it. Meat was especially bad and all I really felt like eating was food full of carbohydrates. This has now stopped and my appetite is back to normal, if slightly bigger than before.

I've been suffering from back pain since about week 8, however I have had problems with my cocyx in the past so this may be the reason. I've found laying on my back makes it a lot worse when I try and sit up. I've found laying on my side with a pillow in between my knees is the most comfortable sleeping position. I'd been very sleepy a lot of the time until a few weeks ago.

Most of my symptoms have completely disappeared now (tiredness, sore boobs, random pains in my stomach, hormone attacks etc) but I did feel movement for the first time about four days ago. It felt like popcorn popping in my stomach - it was much lower down than other things I've felt and thought could have been quickening - I can assure you when you feel baby moving you'll know what it is straight away!

I'd had a little bit of a belly (I was previously size 4-6 for tops) but woke up two days ago to find I look pregnant! It came out of nowhere and can't possibly be all baby bump, but I'm thinking all my organs must be heading northwards to make room!

Congratulations to you all - enjoy it! I worried a lot during the first few weeks but since I've started letting my body do what it wants and not worried about it I feel absolutely great!
by jopey 11th Jan 2010, 3:14pm
I am currently 7 weeks pregnant. I dont really have many pregnancy symptoms. I havent been sick. I am concerned that my breasts have not changed size and dont feel tender. I did have to urinate alot over the past couple of weeks but dont see to as much now. I have been feeling more tired. Does any one know if this is normal?
by Shell2009 6th Dec 2009, 5:59pm
Hey, im 11 weeks and 3 days, and i have been suffering from lower back ache. Its awfull!! Im a part time care assistant and i help to clean someones house, i notice my back hurts more when i do the 2 hours of cleaning! My hubby thinks i should pack in the cleaning job. But i would feel guilty, and feel as though im letting them down!! Any advice?? Do you think my hubby is right?!?!
by roobaby 6th Dec 2009, 5:58pm
im 16 weeks & im worried about having the amniocentesis test. do u think i should have it or not? some people say yes & others r saying no. i really dont know wot to do???
by collette30 16th Nov 2009, 10:09am
I'm 5 months pregnant and had no morning sickness, no tiredness, no cravings yet...i'm loving it.
by TracyA 12th Nov 2009, 9:33am
I have had problems with Sciatica in the past, sometimes somthing as little as mopping my floor & twisting wrong can leave me with a lot of pain & unable to move around a lot. I have not had any trouble with it since becoming pregnant as I have been carfull not to strain my back. I am only 11 weeks pregnant at the moment, but I am worried that in later pregnancy my Sciatica could become a problem. Does anyone else suffer with Sciatica?
by WeeGem 24th Aug 2009, 9:10am
hi there.did a home test 3wks ago which came back negative.2day i find out i could be 6-8wks pregnant.am a bit confused.well,more than a bit if im honest.im getting married in a couple of months and had my first dress fitting last week.what now!have told noone anything and will keep that way for as long as poss,but iv put weight on already,no other symptoms.dont think it'll be too long before people start guessing though.dont want to be walking down the aisle looking like a hippo!
by moosh 10th Aug 2009, 9:22am
Hi, I'm at the end of my 8th week un-officially n 6 weeks officially , im showing already is this normal, or is it that i have alot of water inside me, this is my first baby. I haven't suffered morning sickness as yet and i dont crave anything does this seem quite normal too ?
by lizmoore1 28th Jul 2009, 12:48pm
I am 13 weeks and 5 days pregnant i have being reading everyones comments and i am not really showing yet and my boobs are not really sore all the time only sometimes just wanted to know if this is normal i have had 3 miscarriages in the past but they have being at 6 weeks and this pregnancy is ok now
by suzanne2 22nd Jul 2009, 9:36am
im 13 weeks pregnant this will be my third i have two girls im throwing up all the time an feel very tired but all the aches an pains are worth it when your holding your little baby in your arms
by lisa1981 10th Jun 2009, 10:01am
Hi i'm 10 weeks pregnant with my first, went for a scan yesterday and saw the little heart beating which has put my mind at rest. I'm sick day and night and very tired hopfully this will pass in the coming weeks fingers crossed.
by KDawn 18th May 2009, 9:38am
I am 32 and a half weeks pregnant and I am ready 2 have it
by adcrazy 16th Mar 2009, 9:20am
I am just over 18 weeks pregnant and to my knowledge I have not felt the baby moved or gained any weight. I was in hospital last week with bleeding and they did a scan and showed the baby with it's hand up to it's mouth but I am worried something is wrong. This is my first pregnancy.
by Kazjam 5th Mar 2009, 9:17am
im 17 week and having 3 babies and i feel really aweful sometimes im hungry and not or i feel like gettin sick so ya
by jessii 23rd Feb 2009, 1:01pm
im 21 and 7 wks pregnant.. im tired sick and feel awful.
by xmandyxo 17th Feb 2009, 9:43am
Well im 19 and i feel nautious and im losin weight not gaining it
by ajane189 28th Jan 2009, 9:01am
im 14 years old im 1 week pregnant and i wanted to know if my body will change alot after i have the baby
by marivette 19th Jan 2009, 9:51am
Hi! I'm in my fifth week and am always hungry. It is my first bay and feel like I'm already showing and everybody at work says that I am... I wear scrubs and they are really baggy usally and are getting snug... Congrates to every one
by HeavensGift 12th Jan 2009, 10:34am
Hey, im 16 weeks pregnant with my first and i am getting weird feelings in my stomach not sure if it is the baby? I also have a noticable bump already.
by JaymCcormick 7th Jan 2009, 8:50am
hi! I am 8 weeks pregnant and this is my third child. I am always hungry, but now it's getting difficult to eat anything, but I have already gained weight and have a slight buldge! I am also always sooooooo tired and feel so worn down...I remember feeling that way with my other 2 pregnancy's , but this time it feels so extreme, everything makes me sick, but I stay hungry?/ I'm pretty sure it's normal! Congrats to everyone!!
by MB0105 5th Jan 2009, 9:18am
hi im 7 weeks pregnant and is it normal to be hungary all the time!!! i have put on weight for sure! i have been feeling sick more in the evenings but not been sick. when will my bump show. cuz im a curvy size 14 and just wondering. iv started to feel lightheaded and dizzy.
by pip08 2nd Dec 2008, 8:57am
hi every 1 i am on my 13th week of my pregnancy this is my 3rd pregnancy n im finding it really hard 2 eat atall i feel really really neuseas all the time n im worried this will effect my baby as im not eating hardley anything i was nothing like this on my other 2 pregnancys as any one any advice thanks nicol xx
by nic244 11th Nov 2008, 9:50am
im 31 nearly 32 weeks pregnant nd i found out wen i was 3 weeks nd was showing a little then but that was expected as i was only a size 7 b4 i fell and i felt my baby move at 16 weeks nd 5 days =)
by chook 11th Nov 2008, 9:50am
Hi everyone -i have just found out im 5 weeks pregnant and would like to know when i need to see my gp.And how soon can the heart beat be heard for the first time
by 2987ever 3rd Nov 2008, 10:12am
I have just found out that i am pregnant (about 4 weeks) but cant help worrying because i have become pregnant just 2 months after a miscarraige. I am having all the normal symptoms in pregnancy but am just a little worried about the slight pain i have in my abdomen. Reading about this says it is quite normal as every thing is adjusting but i never had this last time so it would be nice to be reassured that this is a normal symptom and there is nothing to worry about!
by SHAZZA1 9th Oct 2008, 9:22am
Is it normal to get bigger around the bum and thighs during pregnancy? I've noticed that my usual pre-pregnancy trousers don't stand a chance of ever getting above my thighs these days.
by slmartin78 17th Sep 2008, 8:49am
i had my period last week but it was a day late and only lasted for 3 days, iv been feeling tired and very hormonal recently, can i be pregnant?
by loopylaura 5th Sep 2008, 9:00am
I'm 17 weeks pregnant and started to show quite early, i had a little bump by 10 weeks (but i'm a size 8 so usually shows early) and my 'big' noticabe bump was around from 14 weeks. With my first baby, i didn't have a noticable bump until 20 weeks. I started feeling flutters at 16 weeks and they have got a tad stronger this weeks - so exciting! Everyone is different though :-)
by harveyandbump 28th Aug 2008, 5:20pm
I started feeling what I think was the baby moving last week (I am 14 weeks and 5 days). Just felt like a little fluttering on the left side of my abdomen while I was lying in bed. Thought that this was unlikely because it's so early but my mum reckons it happened at about the same time with her and so did my pal. Think that anything up to 20 weeks or so is perfectly normal.
by ElFidela 4th Aug 2008, 9:07am
hiya im nine weeks pregnant now!! i had alot of problems at the start of my pregnancy the hospital thought it wasnt in the right place!! scary but had the all clear now my boobs are really sore too i had a good couple of weeks of sickness but havnt had anything for the last week now!! ive felt really dizzy though and im soooooooo shattered all the time and hungry!! i also feel like im showing already but no one else can see it!!
good luck to everyone else
by Kaleah 4th Aug 2008, 9:06am
when will i be able to feel my baby moving?? i am 12 weeks
by lottie1990 27th May 2008, 8:37am
hi im 19 weeks pregnant. i started showing at about 8 weeks, but as im a small size 8 this was to be expected i guess. my boobs are massive and the morning sickness has stopped. i felt my baby move three weeks ago for the first time and this reasurred me so much. good luck to evr1. x
by natalie8712 25th Feb 2008, 8:38am
i am 10 weeks pregnant and still feeling sick all day long! my breasts are massive and sore and i'm starving hungry all the time! i have put weight on all over but have no sign of a bump yet! i'm a curvy size 14, and my stomach isn't very toned - will my bump manage to peep through my fat tum at this early stage?
by kcutajar 15th Feb 2008, 9:22am
as a first time expectant, it's good to hear/see that all the questions I always 'toss and turn' about at night, is what everyone else out there is asking themselves. I am 13 weeks and there is no sign of any pregnancy, that I even question whether I am indeed expecting or it's in the mind. is it because of my petite body?? I haven't seen my baby yet, though I have a week to go, perharps this will answer all my questions. You all have just put my mind at ease. Tnx
by Tato 21st Jan 2008, 3:29pm
im worried too about my lack of symptoms etc. im 11 weeks and im not showing at all. i have a little belly but suspiciously always seems to appear after ive eaten! ive had no morning sickness either- dont know whether thats good or bad..
for everyone on here, by what week did you start to show. i.e you looked in the mirror and could see a little bump?

by ladymystikal 17th Dec 2007, 12:56pm
i am 8 weeks pregnant with our first baby and have already put on weight!!! I am wanting to go the gym but am worried if i will hurt our baby! I feel hungry all the time but eat lots of fruit and vegetables and pasta. Im also very tired all the time, breasts are killing me!!!!! and are massive!! i also get morning sickness that last all day!!!!! Plus im from Australia and over here working and miss home terribly!!!!!!!!!!!
by Danielle9 5th Dec 2007, 3:31pm
I am almost 18 weeks pregnant now. I am a little concrened that when I weigh myself I do not appear to have put any weight on, although I am beginning to show a little. Can anyone tell me is this normal ? Please advise.
by t3brmgirlie 21st Nov 2007, 10:18am
is it normal not to get nausea in pregnancy as 6 weeks and not had any yet!!!
by kelli 12th Jul 2007, 12:45pm
It is my first baby and went to the doctor last week he confirmed im 7weeks .already my breasts are painfaul and has enlarged.pains in my abdomen and sometimes have nausea..This is my first pregnancy i dont know what to expect.i read magazines and reseach on the internet.to gain little knowledge about growing baby.
by IRO 19th Jun 2007, 8:43am
I have 2months to go and still have no strech marks! Is there something wrong with me or are they comming soon?
by tinkypooh 22nd May 2007, 4:30pm
Krissy,

i know exactly what you're going through. I am now 7 weeks pregnant having had a miscarriage back in July. I am very worried about what might happen especially since my breasts are also now less tender than they were last week. I do, however, have some feelings of nausea, whcih i didn't have at all last time, so I'm clutching onto the hope that that's a good sign. I haven't yet been able to see my GP, who is an obstetric specialist because he's been on holiday, but I will be going to see him as soon as he's back to work so that I can get some reassurance. Let's hope it's good new for both of us - for now I think we should just try and keep thinking positive thoughts. Good luck - Natasha
by natashap 4th Dec 2006, 12:24pm
This is my first pregnancy. Well actually to get technical this is my second, i had a miscarriage right before i got pregnant for this one. My doctor told me to wait for my period to come but it never did. So i started feeling like i was pregnant again. I took a home pregnancy test and it had came back positive. So it would show that i got pregnant right directly after my last miscarriage. Now the main reason why i am writing this is because i am so nervous that something is going to happen to my baby. I am 9 weeks pregnant and i had an ultrasound at 7 weeks to find out exactly how far along i am. I am concerned because being in my third month a couple of my prenancy symptoms have kinf of subsided. One would be the nausea, it is almost like i dont get it any more. I never vomitted either just had really bad nausea. Then the other one is that my breasts arent as sore that they were before. I dont know if anything is wrong. I dont want anything to be wrong. But if someone can reassure me that would be great. I have been reading up on missed miscarriages, and im afraid that since i had a miscarriage before, then i might have another one. Oh and did i mention that in my ultrasound i got to see the baby moving around, and the heart beat, it was oh so cute. And the heart beat was measured at 136 bpm. I am so excited, i just hope someone can help me and reassure me that everything will be fine. The next time i go to the doctors i am supposed to get to hear the heart beat, and im affraid that im not going to be able to. So someone please help me and reassure me that everything will be ok.
by Krissy 15th Nov 2006, 9:58am

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