I absolutely loved being pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant, it was great. My skin was glowing, people were so friendly, I didn't really have much morning sickness, and I was excited that a baby was on the way. Then, the other shoe dropped. There are so many things I wish I would have known about while I was pregnant — peeing all the time, organ shifting and pooping. Now I'm here to tell you all about them so you know! I reached out to Dr. Lindsay Wardle from The Christ Hospital Physicians — Obstetrics & Gynecology to set the record straight.
When does organ shifting start?
At one point during my pregnancy, I remember feeling like my daughter was just going to jump right out of my body. My lungs felt like they were in my throat, and don't even get me started on my bladder. Organ shifting happens all throughout your pregnancy, but when does it start?
Dr. Wardle said, "Believe it or not, it starts almost immediately. Your bladder starts to feel the squeeze by 5-8 weeks, which is one of the reasons why it feels like you have to pee all the time. By the time the second trimester rolls around, all your organs are pushed up and your stomach rotates almost 45 degrees, which is why heartburn is so common. Even your lungs are getting pushed up by the third trimester, which is why shortness of breath becomes more common later in pregnancy."
Why do I have to pee all the time?
Peeing! It seems like peeing seriously happens every 15 minutes when you're pregnant — and sometimes you even pee your pants when you're pregnant! Dr. Wardle explained, "Along with the bladder getting squished by the developing fetus, you also have increased blood volume in your body, which makes your kidneys process more, resulting in more pee. The pelvic floor can also become weak with pregnancy, resulting in more stress urinary incontinence ("peeing your pants") — it commonly happens when you laugh, cough or sneeze."
In addition to peeing all the time, pooping is also an issue during pregnancy. The constipation is real, and the gas is no joke. Dr. Wardle said this happens because progesterone contributes significantly to constipation and gas in pregnancy. The developing fetus can also place pressure on your bowel, making it harder for waste to be eliminated. The iron in your prenatal vitamin can also contribute to constipation.
What's happening to my hair?
One of the best things for me during pregnancy was my glowing skin. My hair and skin looked amazing, but it didn't stay that way. After my delivery, I started losing my hair.
Turns out, it really wasn't hair loss. It's actually hair growth. Dr. Wardle said, "Not everyone experiences this, but for some people, pregnancy can increase hair growth. This is due to increased levels of estrogen and androgens. Some people may develop hormonal acne associated with pregnancy. Some women experience melasma on their face and/or darkening of skin/nipples/etc. during pregnancy. Some women will develop a Linea Nigra, a darkened vertical line from their belly button to their pubic bone.
"After delivery, a lot of women experience telogen effluvium, or shedding of hair, which is reversible and will recover with time, although for a lot of women can be very alarming and feel like the loss of a significant amount of hair. Continuing your prenatal vitamin and adding biotin can help."
Cheers to a great pregnancy!
Planning a pregnancy or looking for a new care team? The Christ Hospital supports you every step of the way with world-class providers, pregnancy updates in your patient portal, childbirth education, and our spectacular birthing centers in Liberty Township and Mt. Auburn.
Learn more about our pregnancy services.