Dealing With the Hormonal Effects of Pregnancy

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When you’re pregnant, you’re first clue might be something as bizarre as hating music in the car when you lived for your tunes a month a go. You might start sweating at random times or feel like hitting your partner for even suggesting you’re acting oddly. Once you’re pregnant – and sometimes even before – the hormones take over and you’re not your same old self.

Pregnancy hormones can do strange things to your mood, mind and body. The least of which is allowing your body to transform into a human baby factory. But of course, the transformation is totally worth it – even if flaky skin, migraine headaches and nausea come with the territory.

Hormones and Your Body

The changes to your body are much more evident than the changes to your mood or mind. You can see when your belly starts to swell and you’ll definitely notice when you’re breasts start leaking. Hormones are the driving force behind pregnancy, and as your body grows another, strange things are bound to happen. For example:

You get hairy

Hormones tell your body to hang on to all of your hair – and that’s not just the hair on your head. Hair everywhere on your body comes in thicker and stays there. Your hair might also change colors or even textures. Some people develop wavy hair (on their head) who have had stick straight hair their whole lives. Others swear their leg hair was blonde before it started growing in black.

You get acne

You might get to flashback to high school thanks to surging hormones. Acne can start flaring up, and this isn’t the kind that can be dealt with easily. Acne might appear on your face, your back, your chest, and anywhere else it feels like popping up. Keep that skin clean and clear, but the acne will last as long as it wants to – it’s just part of the deal.

Your skin changes colour

You might be one of the lucky girls who develop a “mask of pregnancy” when the skin on your face becomes darker in places. You’ll almost certainly develop a linea nigra, or dark line, down your belly. And your nipples will likely get darker, too. In fact, if you’re hoping to become pregnant – this is one of the first changes of pregnancy. Your nipples might be a better test than an EPT.

Your skin gets dry…and oily

Your face is oily as all get out, but your hands are cracking they are so dry. Your skin goes haywire thanks to hormones, so it’s all you can do to slather cream on one part of your body and dab off extra oil from another.

Hormones and Your Mood

When hormones take over, your mood is the easiest victim. You might relish your thickening waistline on Monday only to sob when you can’t button your old jeans anymore on Tuesday. When asked what’s wrong by a baffled partner, you probably don’t have an answer – but it’s now clearly his fault. Hormones wreak havoc on your mood making you happy one minute, anxious the next, and completely overwhelmed in the third.

The best way to deal with mood swings thanks to hormones is control your mood through outside sources. Exercise, healthy diet, plenty of rest and regular stress relief will help to keep you balanced – inside and out.

Hormones and Your Mind

The hardest effect to deal with is the loss of your brain power thanks to hormones. Your mind, which was previously yours to control is taken over by the power of procreation. You can’t think straight and you forget things at the least opportune time. At first you might blame stress or even a bad breakfast, but after days of forgetting to buy milk and showing up at work in your house slippers, you can safely thank hormones for destroying your sanity as well.

In the case of your mind, you can’t change the root cause, but you can try and mitigate the damage. Lay out clothing the night before and make plenty of lists to help your rewired brain remember what to do. Call and leave yourself messages instead of being confident you’ll remember something easy – you won’t. Get in the habit of protecting yourself against your memory loss and strange thoughts – this is one of the lasting changes of motherhood. Only soon it won’t be hormones to blame – it will be your kids.

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