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4 Body Changes During Pregnancy—Besides Your Growing Belly

The pregnancy physicians and midwives at Gainesville's All About Women share some amazing ways your body adapts to pregnancy.

The miraculous process of growing a baby produces some pretty big changes in a woman’s body, most notably the growing size of her tummy. But there are some other pretty amazing changes a pregnant woman’s body undergoes that aren’t quite so obvious, though you may start to wonder what exactly happened to some standard bodily functions like breathing.

Here are four fascinating ways your body changes during pregnancy that you should know about:

1) Your Blood Volume Increases- A Lot!

Almost as soon as you conceive, your body begins to produce more blood. This extra blood is needed to carry oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Over the course of your pregnancy, your blood volume will increase by 30 to 50 percent, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Your heart will pump blood faster and harder to keep up with all that extra blood your producing at the beginning of your pregnancy, and this extra work can cause those common first trimester symptoms of fatigue, dizziness and headaches. While you’ll continue to make more blood volume throughout your pregnancy, production will slow by the end of your first trimester.

This increased blood and blood flow can cause some noticeable annoyances during pregnancy, such as:

  • Congestion, and nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Spider veins and varicose veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Puffy face

2) Your Digestive Tract Slows Down

In an effort to ensure that your baby gets as many nutrients that pass through your body as possible, and because your uterus is pushing your other organs out of the way, your body slows down its digestive system during pregnancy. While this is both utterly amazing and great for baby, it can sometimes cause problems for mom, specifically heartburn and constipation. Your body also processes urine more slowly. That, combined with the additional weight of your uterus on your bladder makes you more susceptible to urinary tract infections. Making sure that you drink a lot of water, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and exercise daily can help with some of these problems.

3)Your Lungs Expand

Your body needs to carry oxygen to your baby, as well as remove that extra carbon dioxide. To account for these needs, your lungs become more efficient—increasing in capacity and taking in 30 to 40 percent more air with each breath. You may feel short of breath due to a squashed diaphragm and breathe faster than usual. Despite these feelings, you’ll still be getting plenty of oxygen for you and baby thanks to your lungs’ super efficiency and extra capacity, which will stretch your rib cage two to three inches during pregnancy!

4) Your Ligaments Get Loose

During pregnancy, the ligaments that support your abdomen loosen up, as do the joints in the in your pelvis. While necessary preparation for childbirth, this overall loosening of your ligaments and joints can cause some discomfort for mom- round ligament pain is a common complaint for pregnant women and back pain can also cause problems. Appropriate exercise may help relieve these pains; ask your doctor if you’re having back pain.

Confident Care For Women in North Central Florida

At All About Women, our physicians and midwives are here to help you understand and troubleshoot all the changes of pregnancy. Contact our Lake City or Gainesville office today to schedule your first appointment. Or, continue reading on our Knowledge Center to learn more about the joys and challenges of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

Contact us
‹ All About Women OB/GYN Knowledge Center
6440 W Newberry Road, Suite 111
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 331-3332
Lake City
4447 NW American Lane, Suite 102
Lake City, FL 32055
(386) 754-1744

Gainesville and Lake City OB/GYN Care

OB/GYN doctors at All About Women, Obstetrics & Gynecology offer personalized, technologically advanced obstetrics and gynecology services from Board Certified OB/GYB physicians. Besides expert women's healthcare, permanent birth control and prenatal care, OB/GYN doctors also offers advanced hysterectomy surgery in and around the Gainesville area.

Women's Health Care in Alachua & Columbia Counties

With offices in Gainesville and Lake City, Florida, All About Women, M.D. provides expert OB/GYN services covering the entire range of women's healthcare needs. Our OB/GYN physicians and nurse midwives provide expert care during pregnancy as well as state of the art in-office treatments for gynecologic disorders including Novasure endometrial ablation to treat/stop heavy menstrual bleeding.

Personalized & Expert Prenatal Care

Gainesville obstetricians at All About Women, M.D. help ensure pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible by offering the best prenatal care available. And for those having difficulty getting pregnant, AAW obstetricians and gynecologists offer couples the best infertility help and treatment available.

Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery: daVinci Surgical System

Clinic founder Dr. Anthony Agrios, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist also specializes in the daVinci Robotic surgery system, a minimally invasive option commonly used for a hysterectomy and other procedures. Instead of creating several small incisions like traditional surgical methods, OB/GYN surgeons simply open one incision with the daVinci system to complete the procedure. Not only do patients experience less pain and blood loss, they recover and get back to normal much faster.

Pregnancy & Prenatal Care: Creative Pregnancy Announcement : Fruits for Pregnant Women

OB/GYN Tips: Choosing an OB/GYN : Robotic Hysterectomy

Infertility & Reproduction Health: Infertility Treatment : Permanent Birth Control

Women's Health: Preventive Care : Well Women Care : Mammogram Screenings : Abnormal Periods

Gainesville Maternity Care


FL OBGYN   Services
All About Women
Gainesville and Lake City, Florida Obstetrics & Gynecology

Offices conveniently located in the heart of North Florida (Alachua County & Columbia County). Serving women of all ages and backgrounds
in and around Ocala, Williston, Chiefland, Perry, Live Oak, Lake City, Starke, Palatka and Gainesville.