Can you believe a woman can grow an entire human in just nine months? Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the female body undergoes major changes during this process. You may expect some of the changes that occur during this time, but others may seem unusual or even surprising. Whether you’re already a mom or hoping to be someday, pregnancy is a fascinating subject. Here are seven things you may not have known about pregnancy.
1. You Will Need Folic Acid
Although you may not have paid much attention to folic acid before now, considering there are other, better-known vitamins and minerals, this B vitamin, also referred to as folate, is necessary when it comes to growing a healthy baby. What is the difference between folate vs folic acid? Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate, a B vitamin found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It is recommended that you take a prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid before and during pregnancy to prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. While prenatal vitamins shouldn’t replace a well-balanced diet, taking them can give your body — and your baby — an added boost of vitamins and minerals.
2. You May Experience Pregnancy Brain
As your body undergoes all kinds of changes during pregnancy, it’s not surprising you might experience brain fog or moments of forgetfulness. Don’t worry; it won’t last forever, and it may not occur in every pregnancy. As with many other pregnancy symptoms, memory problems are often associated with hormones. In other words, if you find yourself forgetful and inattentive during pregnancy, don’t worry; you’re not going crazy. You are simply building a brain that is more prepared to deal with the demands of parenting.
3. Your Senses May Change
Due to pregnancy hormones, your favorite scents may suddenly make you feel sick while you’re expecting. Consequently, you may feel as if your nose is working overtime. Beginning in the first trimester, pregnant women often experience an increase in their sense of smell. It is still unclear whether increased HCG levels or estrogen levels are responsible for the condition. Unfortunately, increased sensitivity to odors may contribute to nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
4. You Might Develop Strange Cravings
Occasionally, pregnant women experience strange food cravings. It is unclear whether hormones are to blame or if your body is lacking in nutrients. Various factors can contribute to these cravings. It’s possible that some of the most common cravings are a sign of something deeper. Pickles are a popular food among pregnant women. This impulse could be caused by low sodium levels. Luckily, pickles are low in calories and will not make you gain weight if you crave them. If you’re craving something sweet, chocolate might be the answer. Your brain releases happy chemicals when you eat chocolate. You may also crave red meat if your body needs more protein or iron. If you’re going to eat red meat, opt for leaner cuts.
5. Your Skin Might Break Out
Were you anticipating that pregnancy glow but awoke to find your skin breaking out like a teenager? This is because pregnancy increases oil production, which can lead to an increase in acne. It is more likely that acne will develop during the first trimester of pregnancy. Pregnant women who suffer from breakouts during their menstrual cycle are more likely to suffer from them during pregnancy. You should see improvement in your acne problems as your hormones stabilize.
6. You May Be Gassier
You will experience an increase in gas throughout your pregnancy. The symptoms of gas can include bloating, burping, and farting frequently. Some women may find it embarrassing since it’s often a factor they cannot control during pregnancy simply because their muscles are weaker. Progesterone increases during pregnancy, causing gas accumulation. When you are pregnant, this hormone relaxes your muscles to prepare you for the birth of your baby, but it also slows your digestive system, which can cause bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort.
7. You Are Prone to Dental Issues
Oral hygiene is essential during pregnancy. It is possible to suffer from gingivitis, cavities, or bleeding gums due to a few different factors. Estrogen and progesterone increase during pregnancy, which can affect dental health and cause teeth to loosen. Due to the acidity of stomach acid, hyperemesis during pregnancy can also increase your risk of dental caries. Brushing your teeth is the last thing you want to do when you’re sick. You are more likely to develop dental problems if your routine oral hygiene is disrupted. Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining oral health during pregnancy.