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Body Changes During Pregnancy: What Mothers Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 19, 2022

Body Changes During Pregnancy: What Mothers Need to Know

Mothers go through a lot of body changes during pregnancy. These changes happen because the body is getting ready to accommodate a growing fetus, and is also preparing for birth after 9 months.

But what changes should mothers expect once they get pregnant?

Common Body Changes During Pregnancy

Here are some of the things that can occur to a woman’s body once she gets pregnant:

The uterus grows bigger

During pregnancy, a woman’s uterus, also called the womb, grows bigger in order to have space for the baby. As the uterus grows bigger, it can apply pressure on some of the organs such as the stomach and bladder. This may cause the stomach to feel tight, and in the case of pressure on the bladder, this makes women want to go to the bathroom more often.

Larger breasts

By the second trimester, you might notice your breasts start to get larger. This is your body’s way of preparing you for breastfeeding.

Stretch Marks

Another of the common body changes during pregnancy is having stretch marks in different parts of your body. This happens because during pregnancy, the hormonal changes can soften the fibers of your skin. This makes your skin more prone to developing stretch marks.

It might be worrying to see stretch marks pop up, but there’s no need to worry. Over time, stretch marks do fade, and you can use creams or ointments that can help speed up the process a bit1.


Some women tend to feel fatigued during their pregnancy2. This is a fairly common experience, and is an effect of all the hormonal changes that are happening during pregnancy. This is why pregnant women need to get enough rest, eat right, and avoid being too stressed out.


It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to also experience constipation as one of the body changes during pregnancy. Again, this is a result of hormones that cause bowel movement to slow down, which can sometimes lead to constipation.

Having a diet full of fiber and drinking enough water should be able to help prevent this from happening.


Some pregnant women can experience swelling of their face, hands, and feet during pregnancy3. This happens because a pregnant woman’s body tends to hold more water than usual. A good way to remedy this would be to stay hydrated, avoid eating too much salty foods, and elevate the swollen body part.

Thicker hair and stronger fingernails

One interesting body change during pregnancy is having thicker hair and stronger fingernails. Mothers might notice that while they’re pregnant, their hair tends to not fall out, and even grows thicker. Their fingernails also feel tougher and stronger, though there are cases wherein the opposite happens4.

These changes are also the result of hormones that are produced during pregnancy.

Weight gain

Weight gain is fairly normal during pregnancy. This is especially true during the final months of pregnancy. Aside from the weight of the baby, the added weight also comes from amniotic fluid as well as blood that is required by the baby to grow healthy.

But don’t fret, pregnancy weight gain can be lost, and in fact, breastfeeding is an effective way of losing weight after giving birth.

Mood swings

Again, this is a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy. Some women might feel more emotional, while some might have more ups and downs in terms of their emotions.

Some even feel insecure because of the various changes happening to their body. Either way, these feelings are valid and perfectly normal. Don’t forget that if you feel helpless or overwhelmed, you can seek help from a mental health expert. Always consult your doctor.

Learn more about Being Pregnant here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 19, 2022

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