Physiological & Psychological changes during pregnancy
Physiological changes represent a natural adaptation of a pregnant woman during her pregnancy to better assimilate the fetus or the expecting child. Therefore, these changes are considered normal, such as those related to cardiovascular, hematological, metabolic, renal, and respiratory characteristics. The body is supposed to adjust its physiological and homeopathic mechanisms (the body's ability to adjust the internal balance to maintain its physiological processes) to ensure that they are provided in an appropriate form for the fetus, such as high blood sugar and increased cardiac muscle productivity is extremely important.
· Hormonal changes: The pregnant mother is exposed to a temporary change that affects the endocrine system.
· Musculoskeletal changes: The pregnant body is subjected to a change in its position with the advancing age of the pregnancy, as the pelvic tilt and back curvature increase.
· Physical changes: Weight gain is one of the most visible changes in the pregnant mother. This increase results from the uterine growth, the fetus growth, the placenta, the amniotic fluid, the large size of the breasts, fluid retention, and increased body fat.
· Change in the size of the breasts: The size of the breasts increases in addition to the woman's torso during pregnancy, as they differ by one to two measurements, and may increase more than that in some cases.
· Changes related to the heart and blood vessels: The mother is considered the only provider of nutrients to her fetus. Therefore, the volume of blood and blood plasma increases by 40-50% throughout the pregnancy to match the biological changes that the mother faces. Low blood pressure also occurs in pregnant women, especially between 12-26 weeks, and it returns to high before delivery when it reaches the 36th week of pregnancy.
· Changes related to blood components: The number of red blood cells and white blood cells increases, while the number of platelets decreases. During the months of pregnancy, women are more likely to develop blood clots and clots in different areas of the body, especially in the first weeks after childbirth.
· Metabolic changes: The metabolic processes of both proteins and carbohydrates are affected and changed during pregnancy to become more compatible.
· Renal changes: The size of both the kidneys and ureters increases (the ureter dilatation) in the pregnant mother.
· Gastrointestinal changes: The symptoms of nausea and vomiting increase, which are supposed to disappear by the 14-16 weeks of pregnancy. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) increases with the progression of pregnancy.
· Respiratory changes: The hormonal changes accompanying pregnancy cause a change in the structure of the mucous blood vessels in the respiratory tract, resulting in swelling of the lining of the nose, pharynx, larynx, and trachea.
· Changes in the skin and color i.e., dark pigmentation in some areas of the body.
Pregnancy is one of the emotional experiences full of challenges, especially in the mother’s first pregnancy as the physiological changes accompanying pregnancy such as changing the features of the body and swelling in some cases, and the physiological and hormonal changes that follow make pregnancy a psychological event in which both spouses face a state of anticipation, anxiety, and expectations related to maternity and paternity and the challenges of their style of education.