PLAYING: How Your Body Changes During Pregnancy

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How Your Body Changes During Pregnancy

Now you’ve confirmed that you’re pregnant, what can you expect next? Many changes are taking place, preparing you to carry your growing baby and give birth. See below what’s happening inside you and some tips for loving your mother-to-be-body.

3 mins to read Feb 21, 2024

Good hair days

Your hair may be stronger, more beautiful and you may even notice it grows faster during pregnancy. Make the most of it!

Some women may find that their hair texture changes and is drier or oilier. Some may also experience hair loss during or after pregnancy but rest assured that this hair loss should grow back.


Glow… or no

Some women glow. Others get dry or greasy skin. There’s no real rule. If you have dry skin, it may become more sensitive; greasy skin may break out. And as the hormone that regulates pigmentation increases, your skin will darken more quickly and brown spots could appear.

  • Keep your skin clean and moisturised.
  • Drink at least 2-3 litres of water a day (~9-10 cups).
  • Protect yourself against the sun and use sunscreen.


Up the cup

Your breasts may feel sensitive or even painful during your pregnancy – don’t worry, this is completely normal as the volume of your breasts doubles. Your nipples will also become harder and larger in preparation for breastfeeding. These changes are caused by the hormonal changes that come hand in hand with pregnancy.


Stretch marks

Stretch marks are very common in pregnancy, they are lines that form on the skin when the skin stretches too quickly.  They can affect one or multiple areas of your body.  Gradual weight gain is your best chance of minimal stretching of the skin but unfortunately there is no guarantee.  While there are many creams, oils and ointments out there that claim to help, there is no clear scientific evidence to support them. Moisturise your breasts and belly daily with creams based on natural oils.

Room in your womb

Your uterus will expand during your pregnancy to fit your baby. After the birth however, it will shrink to its former size. As the uterus expands, it puts pressure on your bladder. You may need to urinate more often. If you feel a tugging feeling in the lower abdomen, don’t worry: it’s probably just the ligaments expanding. Later in your pregnancy, you may feel a little out of breath, constipated or queasy as your uterus presses against your lungs, intestines and other organs. If you have any concerns about any of these changes you should discuss it with your doctor.

The thin brown line

You may notice a brown line on your abdomen, between the navel and the pubic bone, known as linea nigra or the pregnancy line. This is due to pregnancy hormones that can affect melanin levels (which affects skin colour) and tone. It will most likely disappear after your pregnancy as your hormones settle back down.

Childbearing hips

At the end of your pregnancy, your body releases a hormone to help your pelvis enlarge. As your ligaments stretch, you may feel pain in your lower abdomen or back and for some this can be the first sign of labour. If you are experiencing any discomfort that you are concerned about, always consult your doctor about it.

  • Try to rest.
  • Watch your posture – when sitting, sit well back in your chair to support yourself; wear comfortable footwear when standing.

Other physical changes that you may experience can include:

  • Visible veins – due to the extra pressure on them during pregnancy.
  • Swelling in ankles, feet and hands – due to increased volume of circulating blood during pregnancy.
  • Haemorrhoids – due to extra pressure on the bowels during pregnancy.

These changes can be all part and parcel of your pregnancy, and will subside in time after your baby is born. If you have any concerns at all, speak to your healthcare professional.