We look at a pregnant woman and see the big baby bump and the pregnant glow on her face. But little do we give a thought to what goes on inside her body. A woman's body is a miraculous thing.
It undergoes an immense amount of changes physically, emotionally and mentally during pregnancy. Every part of the body is affected in some way - some more than the others.
You might think that the labor and child birth is the most difficult part of the whole process of pregnancy. But the truth is that even the 9 months of pregnancy causes a huge impact on your body as a pregnant woman.
The organs, both internal and external take a beating in the process. The organs, especially in the torso of the woman are squished and contorted beyond what you might think possible.
Today, we shall discuss about the changes that happen in the worst affected organs of a pregnant woman. We shall also talk about some tips that will help you manage the changes and these will also help you in recovery, once you are done with the pregnancy.
We shall also look at how these organs get back to their original position after the child birth.
The skin might not be an internal organ; but it is affected just as much by the pregnancy. Skin is the largest organ in the body and it is the only organ that is exposed to the external environment. Skin, in many cases, is the first organ to exhibit subtle changes when the pregnancy starts.
The skin is seen to be affected with the hormones in the body like when a woman has her periods. The hormones of the pregnancy too affect it immensely. The skin may break out or may even glow with the pregnancy.
The skin can also show pigmentation with pregnancy. Once the pregnancy is done, many women experience a break out of acne that is especially painful when deep seated. The skin also may sport scars or stretch marks as the pregnancy progresses.
Tip: Keeping the skin moisturized will go a long way to prevent stretch marks and acne breakouts during the pregnancy. Keep yourself well hydrated.
The Urinary Bladder
The urinary bladder is one of the most affected organs in the human body. Women who have been pregnant are all too familiar with the constant need to pee and having to run to the bath room every 10 minutes.
This is because the bladder is squeezed into a smaller space by your baby and the uterus. The lesser the space means that you can hold less amount of urine before you feel the need to pee.
Worse is the loss or poor bladder control. Towards the end of the pregnancy, the mother to be may pee a little with something as simple as a cough, sneeze or an especially forceful bout of laughter.
Tip: You might be tempted to drink less water to make sure that you don't have to pee all the time. But make sure that you do drink enough water to keep yourself and the baby well hydrated.
Intestines are a coiled network of fleshy tubes that lie just above the bladder and under the stomach. They are placed in a compact area in the abdomen. With the growth of the uterus, the intestines are squished towards the back and above. This squishing can lead to problems with the bowel moments.
Depending on the woman and her diet, she may face anything from constipation to diarrhoea.
Tip: Eat foods that contain a lot of roughage. This will help the bowels move properly. You may also have to take laxatives to relieve constipation. Always contact the doctor before taking any kind of drugs when pregnant.
Lungs are very important to any human being. But during the pregnancy, the lungs also is short of space due to the expanding uterus and the baby's movements. A short woman may have more problems, as she has less space in the torso. A pregnant woman may find herself out of breath with just a little exertion. Sleep apnoea or shortness of breath in the night is also common. Talk to the doctor about the problems.
Tip: Take enough rest and make sure that you do not over-exert yourself.
Stomach is the organ that holds and digests your food. Pregnancy can contract the stomach too. This lack of space will cause nausea and sickness. The sphincter muscles in the stomach become loose due to the pregnancy hormones. These cause the regurgitation, heart burn and even vomiting that comes with the morning sickness.
Tip: Eat less amounts of foods that may lead to a heart burn. Drink enough water to neutralize the acids of the stomach.
The kidneys are also short of space. But it is not the lack of space that causes the kidneys to have problems. The kidneys have to take the burden of filtering both your and your baby's wastes. The work increases and the kidneys go into an overdrive.
Tip: Drink a lot of water to keep your kidneys free of burden.
It is a no-brainer that the uterus undergoes a lot of changes as a result of pregnancy. It provides a home to your baby while it grows within you. The uterus is usually the size of your fist but by the time that your pregnancy ends, the uterus grows many times its original size. After the incredible feat of carrying your baby through the pregnancy, the uterus reverts back to its original size.
Tip: The uterus expanding and the contraction after the pregnancy will cause painful spasms. You can sip warm water to help relieve them.
The pancreas is one of the organs that has to get out of the way for the growing uterus. It has an added responsibility of breaking down of the sugars. In pregnancy, the women usually have high levels of blood sugars. If the pancreas fails to do its job efficiently, the pregnant woman may need to have insulin medications.
Tip: You may need to cut down on sugary and fatty foods when pregnant if you have high blood sugar.
Spine supports the whole body and helps maintain the upright posture. It also assists the brain by housing the spinal cord. It is needless to say that the spine is a very important part of the body. In day-to-day life, the spine shifts and also bears weight as we go through our work.
But the strain that is put on the spine during pregnancy is incredible. The weight of the baby and the other changes cause the torso to become very heavy. The spine is pulled forwards as a result. This is the reason behind a pregnant woman's constant complain of backache.
Tip: Mild exercises and yoga will help in reducing the pain. Always be mindful of your posture while standing, sitting or lying down. This will help in preventing any kind of damage to the spine.
You might think that the eyes are not affected by the pregnancy. Many women complain of changes in their vision when pregnant. This is due to the fact that the curvature of the lens of the eye changes very slightly during pregnancy. Mostly the changes correct themselves after the pregnancy. In other cases, the woman may have to go for an eye-wear or corrective treatments.
Tip: Perform exercises of the eyes to make sure that the lenses are flexible enough to revert back to their original form. Also, keep yourself hydrated.