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Pregnancy

      Pregnancy body changes

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      Pregnancy body changes

      Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, how your body changes during pregnancy is pretty amazing. And you’re the incredible force behind it all. 

      Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it’s also a time filled with questions about what’s ‘normal’ as your pregnancy progresses.

      Here at C&G baby club, we’re committed to supporting you as a parent, free of judgement. That’s why we’re leaving no stone unturned as we explore some of the pregnancy body changes you might experience.

      Read on for a wealth of information and the support you need to embrace your body at every stage of your pregnancy.

      Struggling with body image while pregnant


      Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of excitement. Struggling with body image whilst pregnant is a source of stress you really don’t need.

      Pregnancy body insecurities are real. Between the pregnancy stretch marks and the pregnancy weight gain, ‘blooming’ is the last thing many women feel. If you’re feeling anxious about how your body is changing, you’re not alone.

      A 2019 study by the Mental Health Foundation found that many women are left feeling negative about their body image as a result of pregnancy1. With the added pressures of social media projecting images of perfect postpartum bodies, it’s not surprising that expectant mothers are struggling with body image while pregnant.

      We want you to know that you’re amazing. You have the right to feel confident about yourself and your body not just during pregnancy, but after you’ve given birth, too. If you start to feel overwhelmed by your feelings around your body image, get in touch with your midwife or health professional and talk things through.

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      Itchy skin in pregnancy - is it normal?


      Itchy skin in pregnancy is not only normal, it’s common. It could be down to the changing hormone levels in your body, and also the fact that the skin across your tummy stretches as your baby grows, causing it to itch2.

      In order to soothe itchy skin in pregnancy, try having a cool bath and dressing in loose clothing. It’s also a good idea to avoid perfumed lotions and body products as these may irritate the skin.

      In a small number of women, itchy skin in pregnancy can be a symptom of a liver condition known as intrahepatic cholestasis. Always contact your midwife or GP if you notice your body itching during the night in pregnancy and if it’s more pronounced on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet2.

      Skin tags in pregnancy


      Skin tags are more likely to occur in pregnant women as a result of your changing hormones3.

      Whilst they’re harmless, they can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance, which is the last thing you should be feeling as you prepare to bring a new baby into the world. Try to remember that as your skin flexes to accommodate your growing baby, your skin is nothing short of heroic during pregnancy, and it’s very natural for some changes to occure.

      Pregnancy hair loss and hair growth


      Pregnancy hair growth is often a welcome benefit of pregnancy, with some women experiencing thicker and shinier hair4. On the other hand, it might be that you’re concerned about pregnancy hair loss. If this is the case, have a chat with your GP to rule out a vitamin deficiency5.

      Some women experience an increased body hair growth on other parts of their body during pregnancy, including on the face6. Try not to worry, this isn’t uncommon and it’s very likely that things will return to the way they were after you’ve had your baby. 

      Breast changes during pregnancy


      Sore boobs, itchy boobs, bigger boobs - breast changes in pregnancy can be numerous. They’re often one of the first tell-tale signs that you’re expecting a baby.

      Breast changes during pregnancy are very common and not usually something to worry about. However, it’s important to be ‘breast aware’ at all times, pregnancy included. Because your body is changing so much, it can be trickier than usual to know what’s ‘normal’. Being familiar with some of the common changes during pregnancy is a good move. If you’re worried about any of the changes to your breasts during pregnancy, it’s always best to consult your doctor for advice.Breast changes during pregnancy are very common and not usually something to worry about. However, it’s important to be ‘breast aware’ at all times, pregnancy included. Because your body is changing so much, it can be trickier than usual to know what’s ‘normal’. Being familiar with some of the common changes during pregnancy is a good move. If you’re worried about any of the changes to your breasts during pregnancy, it’s always best to consult your doctor for advice.

      Sore boobs in pregnancy


      During your pregnancy, you may experience sore and tender breasts. They may feel fuller, heavier and have a tingly sensation7. Sore boobs in pregnancy are usually nothing to worry about, and you’ll probably find that things settle down after the first trimester.

      Sore boobs in pregnancy could be down to any number of things. For example, your breasts getting bigger, the changing hormone levels your body is going through, and a change to the milk ducts as your body gets ready to produce milk for your baby8.

      When do your boobs start growing in pregnancy?

      Your breasts may get bigger in size, perhaps by a couple of cup sizes or more. On the other hand, you might notice very little change at all8. It’s possible that your breasts could start to get bigger very early on in your pregnancy. In fact this is often one of the first tell-tale signs that you’re pregnant9.

      Every pregnancy is unique, there’s no hard and fast rule here. Have confidence in your body and embrace each day as it comes.

      Pregnancy body temperature changes


      It’s not unusual to feel a little hotter than usual during your pregnancy. This is thought to be down to a change in - you guessed it - your hormones. They can play havoc with your pregnancy body temperature. In addition, the blood supply to your skin increases during pregnancy, so if you find yourself sweating more than usual that’s probably why10.

      Drink plenty of fluids and perhaps take a dip in a cool bath or a refreshing shower to cool yourself down, particularly if you're pregnant during the summer months.

      Stronger body odour during early pregnancy


      Some women report experiencing a stronger body odour during pregnancy. When you consider the increased blood supply to your skin and an increased likelihood of sweating, a change to the way you smell isn’t so strange.

      If this is one of those pregnancy body insecurities you’re having trouble with, use it to your advantage. Take long and regular showers, and treat yourself to some new clothing that’s loose and made of natural fabric.

      Is it normal to have cramps in early pregnancy?


      Having cramps at any point in your pregnancy can be unsettling, but rest assured that it’s usually nothing to worry about. Remember, your body is doing incredible things. This can lead to some aches, pains and general discomfort.

      As your baby develops and your bump gets bigger, you might experience some abdominal cramps. This could be down to your ligaments stretching or even trapped wind or constipation11.

      You could try changing the position you’re in or taking a bit of time out for a well-deserved rest. But don’t be afraid to follow your instincts. If you’re worried, don’t hesitate to seek advice from your GP or midwife to put your mind at ease. 

      Is it normal to feel sick at night during pregnancy

      Yes. In fact, 8 out of 10 women experience nausea at some point in their pregnancy12.

      You’d be forgiven for thinking that morning sickness needs a new name. It can affect you morning, noon and night. Whilst you probably won’t be short of people telling you to get a good night's sleep before your baby arrives, that’s easier said than done when you’re feeling sick and nauseous at nighttime.

      In most cases, the nausea subsides at around weeks 16-20 of your pregnancy and isn’t harmful to your baby13. If you find that you’re vomiting regularly and are unable to keep fluids and food down, speak to your midwife or GP.

      Take a look at how we’re committed to #LoveDon'tJudge


      At C&G baby club, we love, we don’t judge. For us, parenting is all about doing what comes naturally to you and following your instincts. Explore some of our other articles that will help you do just that as we #LoveDontJudge, together.

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      Explore our wonderful community hub of parents and families who are doing things the right way - their way. You’ll find top tips to help you do what’s right for you, and a wealth of information to help you find the confidence to just be yourself.

      Learn more about how we’re calling time on parental judgement.

      Learn more

      #LoveDontJudge. A community calling time on parental judgement


      The C&G baby club community are embracing everything love and calling time on all forms of judgement.

      Discover how other families and the media are supporting our #LoveDontJudge campaign.

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