We’ve all heard about the weird that happen when you’re pregnant, including the cravings, the fatigue, and nausea. But as anyone who’s been through pregnancy can tell you, there are a lot of other little (and big) changes that you might never have guessed beforehand. Here’s our top five that you’ll be happy you heard about.
1.You can’t remember a darn thing.
Maybe you’ve heard a friend use the excuse, “sorry, baby brain!” as a way of writing off the fact that she forgot your lunch date, or that lip gloss she was supposed to give back to you, or maybe something even bigger — (your birthday? nooo.)
Well, her claims may have some merit after all. According to scientific research, as many as 80% of women experience an impaired memory while they’re pregnant. Why? No one can say for sure, but it’s likely a cocktail of hormonal changes, sleep deprivation and stress about a new experience and preparations.
2. Your shoe size goes up.
Less exciting than the increase in your cup size, snug footwear is something to pay attention to. Be prepared to go up a half size (or more) the next time you hit the shoe store. Most women experience a lengthening of their feet is a result of the hormone relaxin, which your body secretes during pregnancy to prepare the ligaments and joints in your pelvis to loosen and allow your baby to pass through the birth canal. Unfortunately, relaxin isn’t selective to one area of the body, which means all your ligaments loosen — feet included. Because the feet are responsible for holding most your body weight, this usually equates the elongation of the feet and a flattening of the arch as the ligaments soften.
Certain yoga asanas can help you strengthen and maintain the integrity of your foot structure (and keep you relaxed and healthy) during pregnancy — with one important amendment…
3. You have to be more careful at yoga classes (or any exercise for that matter.)
Wow, since when could you reach past your toes like that? Since relaxin kicked in, the same hormone noted above that causes foot lengthening and pelvic opening. This can be exciting if you’ve been working on flexibility but be careful — it’s easier during this time to overextend and injure yourself. Though your ligaments are looser, your muscles and joint structures haven’t changed. Overstretching them can lead to soreness and even injury. Instructors in the know will recommend that you try to go to about 80% of your full stretching capacity. (More on pregnancy-related yoga tips here.)
4. You get the “down there” blues.
We’re not talking about libido here, ladies. Your female anatomy may quite literally turn blue (or purple). Due to an increased blood volume, which is said to double during pregnancy, along with the pressure of a growing baby pushing downward, you may notice some coloration changes and even an errant varicose vein or two. The good news: regular coloring usually returns after delivery.
5. Your hair will get more luxurious…everywhere.
Beautiful, lustrous hair without the salon price tag. What’s not to love? It’s a wonderful thing, but much like your other hormonal shifts, hair growth won’t discriminate between your head, armpit, legs or anywhere else. Yes, weird hairs can crop up, and it’s totally normal. Sometimes we’ve got to take the good with the unexpectedly hairy.
But back to the things that are exciting about pregnancy:
Let’s get back to learning about what is growing inside of you – like finding out your baby’s gender and hearing their first (and all other) heartbeats. You can do both with SneakPeek products, designed to help you easily connect with baby sooner, right from the comfort of your own home.
- SneakPeek® Test is the ONLY 99.6% effective gender DNA test that can be taken right at home — no doctors’ visit required. You can order yours starting as early as 9 weeks into pregnancy and get FastTrack results in your inbox in as little as 72 hours.
- SneakPeek® Fetal Doppler allows you to connect with baby anytime, anywhere. This user-friendly, handheld device is ultra-portable, making it easy to quickly check in with baby in between obgyn visits. You can even hook it up to FaceTime for remote sharing with family and friends. You can order your Fetal Doppler online now.