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Head to toe

Pregnancy is a head-to-toe experience in which everything from your vision to your ankles feels its effects. External changes HAIR One of our favorite pregnancy perks is the gorgeous, thick hair that graces the heads of many moms-to-be. (Enjoy the volume now—the extra hair will likely fall out postpartum.) BELLY Obviously there are some changes...

Pregnancy is a head-to-toe experience in which everything from your vision to your ankles feels its effects.
External changes
HAIR
One of our favorite pregnancy perks is the gorgeous, thick hair that graces the heads of many moms-to-be. (Enjoy the volume now—the extra hair will likely fall out postpartum.)
BELLY
Obviously there are some changes here! Your belly will stretch, itch and amaze you.
FACE
Acne, redness and dark coloration on the face (aka the “mask of pregnancy”) are all typical amongst the expecting.
BREASTS
Your girls are tender and enhanced in size, and the veins inside them are more visible thanks to increased blood flow.
BUTT
It isn’t fair, but expanding hips and a little extra padding in the derriere are par for the course.
HANDS
Itchy, red palms are another weird prenatal symptom. Hands often swell later in pregnancy too.
LEGS
That tingly almost painful feeling in your legs that keeps you up at night is probably restless leg syndrome—just one more strange thing that plagues moms-to-be.
FEET
Nope, it’s not your imagination: Your feet are actually getting bigger. Go ahead and buy shoes a half-size up as there’s a good chance the swap is permanent.
ANKLES
Our least favorite pregnancy side effect is swollen ankles, an all-too-common occurrence in late pregnancy.
Internal changes
NOSE
Twenty to 30 percent of expectant moms suffer from rhinitis of pregnancy: congestion that isn’t caused by allergies or a viral infection.
EYES
A slight change in vision isn’t all that rare. In fact, fluid retention and hormonal changes can cause eyesight to seem blurrier and eyes to feel dry and itchy.
MOUTH
An increase in acidic saliva augments tooth decay in pregnant women, and gums may be sensitive and bleed easily while brushing.
RIB CAGE
Your enlarging uterus pushes up on your rib cage and diaphragm, causing a slight shortness of breath.
HEART
Blood volume expands 25 to 40 percent during the average pregnancy, forcing your heart to work harder with each beat.
LEGS
As your growing uterus presses on the veins in your pelvis, pressure in the veins that bring blood up from your legs increases, resulting in the pesky varicose veins that color the legs of many moms-to-be.
CERVIX/VAGINA
Increased blood flow will cause your vaginal and cervical tissue to darken as early as the sixth gestational week.
UTERUS
The biggest change takes place in your uterus. Not only does it become up to 20 times heavier than its original weight, it also changes position as it increases in size, expanding further into your abdomen and higher into your rib cage.
Changes, changes everywhere
These common body changes aren’t limited to just one area—they can pop up pretty much anywhere you have skin.
STRETCHMARKS
While your stomach is most likely to show areas of seriously stretched skin, it isn’t uncommon for stretch marks to also appear on your breasts, backside and upper thighs. (Not to worry: They fade to an unnoticeable silvery color in time.)
SKINTAGS
Extra little flaps of skin might show up on areas of your body that experience lots of friction. (Many expectant women find them under their arms.) They can be easily removed if they don’t go away on their own post delivery.
HEATRASH
An increase of eccrine perspiration (the kind that comes from sweat glands all over your body and plays a part in heat regulation) sometimes causes heat rash in pregnancy. The upside? Apocrine perspiration (the kind of perspiration responsible for body odor) diminishes during pregnancy, so at least you won’t smell as sweaty as you feel.

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