Change The Way You Look At Pregnancy

A woman's body undergoes many transformations during the nine months of pregnancy. Some of these physical changes are visible, such as an expanding belly and weight gain, while others are well known, such as an enlarged uterus, morning sickness and backaches. 


Everyone expects pregnancy to bring an expanding waistline. But many women are surprised by the other body changes that pop up. Get the low-down on stretch marks, weight gain, heartburn and other "joys" of pregnancy.


Skin changes are very common during pregnancy, but the ones that tend to be the most bothersome to women are stretch marks, Trout said. These pinkish, purplish lines are typically seen on a woman's abdomen, breasts, backside or thighs, and they tend to itch, she said. 


Stretch marks are more likely to occur in women who are obese, have rapid weight gain during pregnancy, or have large fetuses, Trout said. They may be caused by a breakdown of collagen, or connective tissue that supports the skin, in areas where the skin has had rapid growth and stretched. 


Women who are expecting may often have a "pregnancy glow." A rosy complexion may occur because of increased blood circulation to the skin. But not everything is rosy when it comes to skin changes during pregnancy. Pigment changes, such as the "mask of pregnancy," also known as melasma or chloasma, are a common occurrence. 


These brownish patches of darkened skin may appear on the face around the eyes and over the cheeks and nose, due to an increase in melanin, a pigment that gives skin its color. 


Acne can also worsen during pregnancy or result in breakouts in women who had clear complexions prior to pregnancy. Hormonal shifts that cause the skin to secrete more oil are likely responsible for the flare-ups.