How your body changes during pregnancy

During pregnancy your body changes to accommodate your growing baby. However, bump aside, there are some other changes you may experience when you’re pregnant that are completely natural, although unsettling if you aren’t prepared.




You’ve probably heard of the pregnancy ‘glow’, which is one of the many effects that can come from hormonal changes and your skin stretching. During pregnancy, women have increased blood volume to provide extra blood flow to the uterus and other organs, which brings more blood to the skin’s capillaries, along with increasing oil gland secretion.


You may experience some changes in the colour of your skin [1] too, perhaps on your face, lower abdomen or nipples, as pregnancy hormones cause the body to make more pigment. Acne is also fairly common as are moles or freckles increasing in size. Most of these skin changes should go away after your baby is born. However, if you are concerned, always speak to your midwife or GP.



Many women will notice changes in the texture and growth of their hair during pregnancy [2]. Hormones can make it grow faster and fall out less and changes in its texture can make hair drier or oilier. After labour, you may feel as if your hair is falling out; however this is usually just the extra hair you may have grown during pregnancy.



Nails can also change during pregnancy, with hormones making them grow faster and become stronger. Although, some women may find their nails break and split more during pregnancy than they usually do. As with skin changes, any differences in hair and nail growth should return to normal once baby is born.



Just as you may have to put your usual clothing to the back of the wardrobe while you’re pregnant, you may find your shoes no longer fit too. With extra fluid in the body many women find they have swollen feet, which results in needing to wear a bigger shoe size for a while.