8 Magical Things Your Body Does When Pregnant

Pregnancy brings forth a myriad of magical transformations. Despite feeling more intuitive than ever, pregnancy has me feeling the best I've felt in years. It's truly miraculous what the body does to grow another human.

Here are some of the most miraculous things that a woman's body goes through during pregnancy.

1. Pregnancy remodels your brain and its gray matter:

Research has shown that pregnancy can lead to structural changes in the brain, including alterations in gray matter volume and density. These changes are believed to be related to the adaptation of the maternal brain to support caregiving behaviors and the emotional bonding between mother and child.

2. You and the baby swap cells, and their cells may help repair things in your body:

Fetal cells have been found in maternal tissues, and maternal cells have been found in fetal tissues, suggesting a bidirectional exchange of cells between the mother and the developing baby. This phenomenon, known as fetal-maternal microchimerism, may play a role in immune modulation and tissue repair in the mother's body.

3. Your heart literally grows in size:

During pregnancy, the heart undergoes physiological changes to accommodate the increased demands placed on it by the growing fetus. The heart enlarges both in size and in the thickness of its muscular walls to pump more blood efficiently to support the mother and the developing baby.

4. You grow an entirely new organ called the placenta:

The placenta, a temporary organ in the uterus during pregnancy, acts as a vital link between mother and baby, providing nutrients and oxygen to the fetus while removing waste products, essential for the baby's growth and development.

5. Your rib cage grows in circumference:

As the uterus expands to accommodate the growing fetus, the rib cage may also expand slightly to make room for the expanding uterus. This can lead to increased pressure on the rib cage and surrounding muscles, contributing to pregnancy-related back pain for some women.

6. The amount of blood in your body doubles:

During pregnancy, blood volume can increase by up to 50% or more to support the growing fetus and placenta. This expansion ensures enough oxygen and nutrients reach the fetus, aids the placenta's function, and prepares the body for childbirth, crucial for the baby's health and development.

7.  Your uterus can increase in size by approximately 20 times:

The uterus undergoes significant growth and expansion during pregnancy to accommodate the developing fetus and placenta. After childbirth, the uterus undergoes involution, gradually returning to its pre-pregnancy size and shape. Depending on breastfeeding status, typically within six to eight weeks, the uterus resumes its normal function, preparing for potential future pregnancies.

8. Hormones increase to a level that is equal to taking approximately 100 birth control pills a day:

During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels rise significantly to support fetal growth and maintain pregnancy. They aid in various aspects of pregnancy, including uterine and mammary gland growth, while also preventing premature labor. Postpartum, their decline contributes to lactation initiation and the return of the menstrual cycle, emphasizing their importance for maternal and fetal well-being.

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