Until now I am so amazed what hormonal revolution can do to a pregnant woman's body. Every change on a woman's body (except for the big bump :) ) is practically caused by sudden spike of hormones. I do make sure to mention to my OB whatever strange thing I experience to know if it is something expected or something that we need to look at. I would also normally search the internet about these things to see what other experts say and to know first hand info from other pregnant women. What I have been learning is just fascinating. How the body works 24/7 to prepare everything for the new life that's about to be welcomed by the world, is something more than wonderful.
Although many of the effects of this hormonal changes is something that doesn't help a pregnant woman makes her life easier (I, for one!!), just knowing that all these things are just secondary to a more ethereal purpose, I think it helps one to endure all these effects.
Some of the effects of these hormonal changes are the following: (Some I've read and some I've personally experience)
1. Mood changes - this is very common to most pregnant women... so hubbies, just be more patient to your loving pregnant wives as this is something beyond their control.
2. Nausea and vomiting - one of the very common pregnancy symptoms as well. Although there is nothing in concrete that can explain the nausea and vomiting, many experts contribute this to nothing else but hormones.
3. Fatigue - as the body works 24/7 to accommodate all these changes(no wonder about the fatigue), the body also produces more hormones particularly progesterone which is primarily produced by the placenta. I've read that a body of a woman is working as hard as the body a non-pregnant woman climbing a mountain... isn't that fascinating?
4. Acidity - progesterone helps inhibit the smooth muscle in the uterus from contracting and decrease prostaglandin formation, both of which allow the fetus to grow with the expanding uterus. Bad thing is this same progesterone also affects other part of the body that causes acid reflux and heartburn.
5. Pain on hips - progesterone is also responsible for softening cartilages in the bones particularly in the hips that causes pain for pregnant women
6. Darker spots on the skin - what else to blame? hormones! dark areas becoming darker... horrible. Estrogens and progesterone stimulate melanin cells in the skin to produce more pigment.
7. Breakouts! - What else can I say... becoming an adolescent once again.
8. Linea Negra - This is what they call the normally white line running from the navel to the pubic bone. Many times, it is not noticeable but during pregnancy, this line becomes darker... this is the least to worry about though, as it is not seen and will probably be gone after giving birth.
9. Spider veins - Those much-discussed pregnancy hormones, along with the increased blood volume cause those tiny, squiggly red or purple capillaries just below the surface of the skin to branch out and become more visible during pregnancy.
10. More hair - to some women, too many production of hormones not only increases the amount of hair on their head, but also generates extra hair on the face, breasts, back, stomach and arms... ugh hideous!
And there are more! more changes due to these hormones. I am complaining yes. But I do understand that all these changes (both good and not-so-good) are needed to produce a healthy baby. This must be understood and accepted by pregnant women so as not to feel bad about all these changes in their body and start to hate it. At this point there's really not much to do. I do admit that there are some times that I worry about these changes and I feel ugly... but my supporting husband really helps. He has always seen me as a beautiful woman. His words and his eyes tells me so. And being the woman that's carrying his child, I've never been more beautiful to him than before. So during those depressing times, (that obviously is brought by this raging hormones), I just look at my husband and I feel prettier than ever and more excited about this wonderful gift in my tummy.