Good, Bad And Ugly Pregnancy Symptoms

You go through tons of changes when you're knocked up, but not all body changes during pregnancy make you want to start cursing like a sailor. From a healthier mane to softer ligaments, uncover six body changes you can blame on pregnancy hormones.

Pregnant woman

Good: Bigger boobs

You — and probably everyone around you — have noticed your rack has grown during the course of your pregnancy. You can go ahead and thank those hormonal changes you spent cursing during your first trimester of pregnancy as the source for the swell. Estrogen levels also play a key role in developing the milk ducts that are making your breasts bigger, confirming that not all body changes during pregnancy are bad or ugly.

Bad: Increased likelihood of injury

In order for your belly to expand to accommodate your growing fetus, the levels of the hormone progesterone have to escalate to cause your ligaments and joints to loosen and stretch — which is also how you're going to squeeze a baby the size of a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon. These pregnancy hormones also allow the uterus to grow with your pea in the pod as well, but be warned; it also puts you at a greater risk of sprains and strains so exercise with caution.

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Ugly: Morning sickness

While the news you're expecting can be elating, you may be quickly kicked off of cloud nine once the morning sickness kicks in. During the first trimester, a rapid increase in the hormone estrogen may be responsible for your urge to hurl. But, the surge in these vomit-inducing hormone levels are necessary to help your baby-to-be to stay healthy and grow.

Good: Stronger hair and nails

Thanks to hormone changes, many mommies-to-be celebrate thicker, faster-growing locks, although not always limited to your head. Luckily most unwanted hair can be safely removed with threading or waxing, and return to normal postpartum. Your nails may also get a boost, growing faster and stronger as increased hormone levels course through your veins, and can be maintained through a diet rich in zinc and B vitamin biotin, so long as you have the thumbs up from your physician.

Bad: Blurred vision

While your vision may have been 20/20 before you were expecting, body changes during pregnancy may include impaired vision, especially nearsightedness. Frequently, pregnant women complain of blurriness and contact lenses discomfort, even when preeclampsia or gestational diabetes is not present. The good news is your vision is likely to return to its pre-pregnancy state postpartum.

Ugly: Stretch marks

As your skin stretches to accommodate your growing baby and enlarged breasts, telltale pinkish-purple lines may appear on your stomach and breasts, thanks to the effects hormonal changes during pregnancy can have on the skin's elasticity. As many as 90 percent of women acquire stretch marks by the final trimester of pregnancy, but they often fade and shrink as you regain your pre-pregnancy figure.

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Although six body changes you can blame on pregnancy hormones can be a pain, they're a necessary part of maintaining a healthy pregnancy. "Pregnancy is an intricate process in which the hormones that maintain a pregnancy also cause body changes, making everything either bigger, thicker, rounder or more relaxed," explains Wendie Trubow, M.D., Visions HealthCare. "Ultimately, these changes allow the developed fetus to pass through the birth canal." So, push up those giant breasts, fluff up that healthy head of hair and focus on the sexiest benefits of becoming a mommy-to-be!

Get more tips on surviving pregnancy

Learn to love your pregnant body
Feeling fat during pregnancy — dealing with body issues
Cutting your hair while pregnant


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