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Due to the increased levels of pregnancy hormones, digestion is slowed and muscles in the bowel tend to relax. This leads to constipation, and a sense of having to go to the bathroom but not being able to.


Hemorrhoids are swollen and bulging veins in the rectum that are caused by increased blood volume and uterine pressure. Up to 50 percent of pregnant women get these, and they tend to resolve themselves after delivery.

Stretch marks

As a woman’s body literally expands to accommodate the baby, it is common that stretch marks that resemble red, pink, or brown scars form. They generally appear on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and breasts.

Skin changes

From the beginning of pregnancy until the end, skin discoloration is a common bodily change. A woman’s nipples generally become darker and browner, and many women also develop something called linea nigra, which is a dark line on the skin running from the belly button down to the pubic hairline.

Some women also experience patches of darker skin usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip, which are called melasma or chloasma. These tend to be more common in darker-skinned women.

Increased urinary frequency and leaking

With the pressure of the baby pushing down on the bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor, the need to urinate increases. Additionally, this can cause accidental urine leakages during coughing or sneezing. This usually subsides after birth, but can sometimes take a few kegel exercises to get back to normal again.

As stated before, this is not an exhaustive list, but will give you an idea of what to expect. Of course, if you feel that anything is out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to contact a physician.

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