Everyone knows that when you get pregnant, your belly gets bigger. Or, at least I hope everyone knows this. (If you don't, oh it will get big and round!) Most people also know it affects your boobs, too. They get bigger but that also means they might sag. Still, for eternally-flat girls like me, getting boobs for the first time is pretty awesome.

However, what not everyone knows is all the other things that pregnancy can change with your body, some temporary, some not.

Your feet might grow: Thanks to the chemical "relaxin" that helps your joints loosen up so your hips can spread to make room for baby, your feet can also spread out in every direction. Add in water retention and sometimes even swelling, and it's common that pregnant gals need to buy some comfy shoes, and may never be able to go back to their old shoes. Excuse to shop?

butt in jeansYou might get a new butt: When you change the hips, the pelvis, and even the sacrum, your butt changes, too. With the widening of hips and sometimes the sagging of the pelvic floor, which pulls the sacrum (your tailbone) inward, a lot of women complain that they "lost" their butt. You can do squats and exercises to help build more muscle, but you have a new butt. Sorry.

Prepare for some differences in your hair and nails: Usually pregnant women luck out and your hormone levels make your hair fall out less so it's thicker. Often it can change in texture for the better, and your nails can grow faster and even stronger. But ... your perm can also fall out, you may need to change shampoos if your hair is dryer/oiler than usual, and for some women, this period sucks for their hair. You can also grow hair in places you really would prefer you didn't.

Your skin and veins change: With all the extra blood in your body, and the extra pressure on some parts, veins can pop up visibly everywhere. Even spider veins. That extra blood can also give you a flushed, rosy look or a "glow," but the hormones might make you break out like the night before your senior prom. Ugh. You can also get sunburned more easily, may get dark spots on your skin, or a dark line up the middle of your tummy.

You may notice something different with your nose and mouth: Increased blood flow to your sinuses can cause some congestion and even have you end up with totally random nosebleeds. This can be why your gums bleed too, but hormones can also loosen your teeth a little or put you at higher risk for cavities. It's recommended to have three dental appointments during pregnancy, since dental problems are linked to premature labor.

Your eyes can change: The increased blood flow and pressure and hormones can change your eyes' shape, temporarily or permanently. You might need to wear glasses instead of contacts while pregnant, even while breastfeeding, and may need a new prescription later on.

What I'm left thinking is that we seriously do NOT get enough credit for putting our bodies through this crap, and we have a lot of reasons why we deserve to be pampered, bitchy, and eat chocolate. It's practically puberty all over again!

What else changed about your body during pregnancy?

 

Image via Dyanna/Flickr; allygirl520/Flickr; kafka4prez/Flickr; BozDoz/Flickr; manduhsaurus/Flickr; net_efekt/Flickr