Pregnancy causes a variety of physiological changes in the body that affect numerous systems and organs. These adjustments are essential to promoting the health of both the mother and the growing fetus.
System of the respiratory: The respiratory system works harder during pregnancy. As the need for oxygen increases in both the mother and the fetus, breathing becomes more frequent. The diaphragm’s range of motion is also limited by the uterus’ growth, which also takes up a large section of the abdominal cavity.
Cardiovascular System: To guarantee a sufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus, the mother’s cardiovascular system has increased demands throughout pregnancy. As a result, the heart muscles get stronger and thicker, the heartbeat quickens, and more blood is pumped every minute.
Blood System Changes: During pregnancy, hematopoiesis, the process of producing blood cells, intensifies. Erythrocyte count, hemoglobin levels, plasma volume, and total blood volume all rise as a result. Red blood cells can grow by 15-20%, while blood volume can rise by 30-40% by the end of pregnancy.
Renal Function: As they assist in the elimination of waste products from both the mother and the fetus, the kidneys work more actively during pregnancy. Fetal metabolic products enter the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta and are then eliminated by the kidneys.
Genital Alterations: As a pregnant woman gets ready for childbirth and breastfeeding, her genital system experiences the most significant modifications. Frequently, the hue of the skin darkens in the vaginal region and along the midline of the abdomen. After giving birth, some women may experience “stretch marks” on the abdominal skin, which progressively turn into yellowish streaks. The nipple may produce colostrum, the first milk, when the mammary glands get larger, more elastic, and firm.
Nervous System Adaptations: The nervous system undergoes noticeable modifications throughout pregnancy. The cerebral cortex is less excitable in the beginning and especially near the end of pregnancy; it is at its most excitable during labor. Concurrently, the pregnant uterus’s receptors become more excitable. Initial changes in the nerve’s tone may cause a variety of symptoms, including altered taste and smell perception, nausea, and increased salivary production.
Understanding the physiological changes that take place throughout pregnancy aids in raising awareness of the amazing changes the mother’s body goes through to support the growth and development of the unborn child.