Anatomical & psychological changes during pregnancy

Cardiovascular system

  • Blood volume increases
  • Plasma volume increases by 40-50 %
  • Red cell mass increases by 20-30 % → a decrease in hemoglobin
  • Cardiac output increases
  • Heart enlarges

Respiratory System

  • Oxygen consumption increases by 20 %
  • Breathing becomes deeper, even at rest
  • Respiration rate increase

Urinary System

  • Overall renal blood flow increase
  • Indentation of the bladder
  • Increase in urethral length
  • Most women experience urinary incontinence during pregnancy

Skin

  • Darkens or becomes pigmented
  • Stretching in the collagen layer (especially breasts, thighs, and abdomen)
  • Increased basal metabolic rate will increase

Gastrointestinal System

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite increases
  • 20 % increase in food consumption
  • Taste changes
  • An increase in thirst
  • Hemorrhoids and constipation (increased level of progesterone)
  • A decrease in emptying rate

Muscles and Bones

  • Modifications in the posture, gait and joint mobility
  • Connective tissue becomes more pliable (estrogen)
  • Lower backpain (enlarged uterus and changes posture)
  • Hormones relax and weaken the ligaments
  • Round and broad ligaments become more strained

© 2012 | Terveysnetti