body changes, pregnancy by week, pregnancy weight, muscle tone, muscles, pregnancy changes

What are the major body changes during pregnancy?

Your body naturally undergoes an immense physical change throughout the nine months of pregnancy. The most evident change is the substantial weight gain, usually anywhere from twenty to forty pounds.  The uterus can expand up to 1000 times which leads to the visible ‘waddling’ way of walking during the last trimester. The growth of the uterus causes the body to respond with a shift in the center of gravity. The center of gravity is shifted back over the pelvis in response, preventing you from falling, and serving as the body's safety mechanism.

Why do my muscles feel achy?

As this center of gravity shifts higher and your weight increases, there is an increased strain on the muscles and ligaments supporting the vertebral column. The change in the uterus leads to the change in the center of gravity, which leads to an increased strain on the back muscles, causing the lower back pain experienced by most pregnant women.

Why do I feel unsteady?

This musculoskeletal change means pregnant women face difficulty with balance. There is an increase in the curvature of the shoulders causing a hunchback appearance and/or a rounding of the shoulders. There is also an increase in the loosening of ligaments throughout the body, causing a decreased stability of the joints.

Since these changes cause balance to be compromised, be careful when choosing exercise and activity, and make sure not to do anything that adds to the strain on your lower back.

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