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Pregnancy and childbirth

Understanding body changes during pregnancy

During pregnancy, you will experience significant physical and emotional changes as your body prepares to provide for your baby’s growth and development.

Early changes

Increasing hormone levels, particularly progesterone and estrogen, cause early changes because your body is:

  • Preparing the uterus to carry the baby
  • Increasing blood circulation to aid in the distribution of nutrients and trigger the growth of your baby’s organs, bone and tissue
  • Promoting the production of breast milk

Weight gain

Weight gain and altered body shape are the result of:

  • Increased breast tissue
  • Increased blood and water volume as well as uterus growth
  • Placenta and amniotic fluid

Gaining the right amount of pregnancy weight is a good sign that your baby is growing at a healthy rate. The amount of weight gain varies depending upon the individual. You should discuss appropriate weight gain with your doctor.

See your doctor

If you’re pregnant, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately to discuss your prenatal care. If you’re expecting to be expecting, a pre-pregnancy exam that focuses on the key factors necessary for a healthy pregnancy is recommended by The American College of OB/GYN.

Your obstetrician can help guide you through the journey to parenthood.