Pregnancy Can Affect Health in Odd Ways


Beyond having a person living inside their body, pregnant women are faced with all kinds of different changes in the state of their health. From the mundane to the awfully strange, women deal with problems during their pregnancy they may not have been expecting while they are expecting. Swollen feet and aching backs are par for the course, but there are problems that can arise which are a little out of the ordinary.

When starting a pregnancy, women take all sorts of precautions concerning their health. They stop drinking, stop smoking and start taking prenatal vitamins. One aspect they may not pay attention to, however, is their dental health. Changing hormones can lead to different, increased blood flow, and the gums are quite susceptible. This can lead to bleeding gums, especially while brushing and flossing. While bloody gums may seem like a small problem, women should also get checked for periodontitis, which is connected to low birth weight and premature birth.

Along with increased blood production, women may face a perpetually stuffed-up nose. This is because the hormones that are producing the increased blood flow during pregnancy are also producing more mucous, leading women to have a stuffed-up nose, even if they do not necessarily have a cold. This can also bring a snoring problem where there was not one before. These problems can be fixed with nose drops and humidifiers, and is more of an annoyance to the expecting mother than it is a major health problem for the baby.

In fact, pregnancy hormones can take the blame for just about every pregnancy weirdness a person can name. Sweating a lot? The increased blood flow heats the body up. The expecting cannot stop drooling? It comes from hormones. Hormones can be the cause of any number of situations, including skin tags and changing nipples. A mother could even find her voice lowering some octaves during pregnancy. As the body goes into overdrive creating the things the baby needs, bodily changes in the mother occur. Not to worry, though, as these all return to normal after the birth of the baby.

Some problems, though, are a little disturbing. Expectant mothers may notice their heart skipping beats, or slight chest pain. These could be symptoms of preclampsia, or sudden elevation in blood pressure. If these issues are caught and looked at early, they can be controlled, and will most likely end up having no consequence on the pregnancy.

Finally, there are two problems which some women may find too embarrassing to talk about during their pregnancy. These are feminine odor and excess gas. As with everything, these issues also come down to hormones. During pregnancy, the body creates progesterone, which will cause the digestive system to slow down. Instead of using laxatives to fix the problem, women should just avoid fiber. Feminine odor can be caused by a pH imbalance, and while embarrassing, it is a harmless side effect of hormones, and can be controlled with any number of natural remedies.

Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman, but it can also be frightening. By staying informed and keeping in touch with their doctor, women can have their fears relaxed.

By Bryan Levy

Parenting Magazine
Mommy Edition