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From Producing More Estrogen To A Stronger Sense Of Smell, Here Are Some Facts About Pregnancy

There’s no greater evidence for the changes our bodies go through during pregnancy than our stomachs. But how much do you know about the weird and the wonderful changes that occur outside of the size of growing bellies? We’ve put together a list of things to possibly expect when you’re expecting, for those of you who think you know it all.

1. Fetal stem cells start to repair your body.

Instagram / @xlmedica

Even though stem cells have been traditionally associated with keeping the baby healthy through the umbilical cord, scientists have discovered more recently that it’s common for stem cells to travel all around the body. They can even go so far as the brain!

2. Your hair starts to get thicker and shinier.

Instagram / @cgsthestylist

Hair growth speeds up during pregnancy, so don’t be surprised if you find that your hair suddenly turns into bombshell babe-like tresses. You also don’t shed hair as much as what you normally would. You can thank estrogen for this.

3. Hair also starts to grow on other parts of your body.

Instagram / @lespapierssontpolitiques

It isn’t just the hair on your scalp that gets affected by pregnancy – so does the rest of your body hair! Testosterone levels increase during pregnancy, which can also make the body grow thick hair in places you may not have been expecting. Think: on your abdomen, face, chest, and back!

4. Cravings are a thing.

Instagram / @onegs_com

The reason why cravings happen is because all the pregnancy hormones can disrupt taste and smell receptors. That’s why it’s completely legit that your friend’s mom snacked on ice cream and ketchup when she was pregnant. Sometimes it’s worth paying attention to cravings though because they might indicate a nutrient deficiency.

5. You’ve got to start managing bad breath.

Instagram / @daisylife.in

Yep. You’ve gotta keep an eye out for pregnancy gingivitis! Pregnancy hormones can make the gums more susceptible to plaque, which then leads to inflammation and bleeding. It might be worth considering a dental checkup if you get pregnant.

6. You produce more estrogen in a day than you normally would in a year.

Instagram / @macarenapaz_xo

That’s right! You start to produce way more estrogen. Like, a lot. When you’re almost at full term, you can produce more estrogen in a day than what you would normally do over the course of three years. No wonder pregnant people get so affected by their hormone levels!

7. Heartburn becomes more common.

Instagram / @wellnessafrica

Since pregnant bodies produce more estrogen and progesterone, this relaxes the esophagus. It’s because of this relaxation that you can then experience acid reflux or heartburn. Oddly enough, it’s been found that people who suffer from heartburn during pregnancy are more likely to have given birth to babies with lots of hair!

8. You gain the ability to lactate.

Instagram / @lacta8

You don’t need to have had your baby to start lactating. To be honest, all you need is a bun in the oven, and to hear a baby start to cry. It’s that easy.

9. The vagina changes color.

Instagram / @hhadiio

And, in some cases, it’s a really dramatic change, too. While some people report it just simply turning a darker color, others have found theirs to turn purple, or even bluish. The medical term for this is known as the Chadwick Sign. Thankfully, this isn’t a permanent change – usually, everything goes back to normal after delivery.

10. Your sense of smell becomes stronger.

Instagram / @fonsecagarcia

In the first trimester, it’s pretty common for pregnant people to gain the superpower of a heightened sense of smell. And while that might be great if you’re surrounded by flowers, it might be less fabulous if, say, you’re stuck on a small bus with a bunch of sweaty, smelly bodies.

11. A chemical called relaxin softens your ligaments.

Instagram / @yinyang_gyal

Don’t worry, this is all 100 percent natural. It’s a special hormone that the body releases to make your pelvis more flexible during childbirth. Chances are, this is when you’ll find your yoga game is top notch. Just be careful not to break any bones!

12. Your sugar levels may go out of whack.

Instagram / @sugar_uykka

Granted, pregnant people are basically feeding and watering a tiny little body inside their own body. So for some people, they may find that their pancreas can’t keep up with providing the needed insulin for digestion. These people then have to manage gestational diabetes. Don’t worry, though, it’s usually not permanent and will disappear after giving birth.

13. It’s completely normal for your voice to change.

Instagram / @muresanozana

Considering that you’ve got all of this estrogen and progesterone whizzing around your body, it’s unsurprising that your voice might change! These hormones can cause swelling in your vocal cords, which is why you might lose some of your higher pitches, but find that you can hit lower ones.

14. Your heart grows bigger.

Instagram / @_igec

No, it’s not because you’ve got so much more love in your life now that you’re expecting a little bundle of joy. The heart has a lot more work to do, now that you’ve essentially become a life support system! So to compensate for that, the heart increases in size.

15. Your blood volume can increase by 40-50 percent.

Instagram / @aroundimages

Not only do you need a bigger heart for an impending baby, but you also need more blood to keep the little one satisfied! This is so that the fetus has enough oxygenated blood coming to it while it’s still developing.

16. Your uterus also expands.

Instagram / @fabulously_glam_event_decor

Or, basically, everything just seems to get bigger. The coolest thing, though, is your uterus goes from being around the size of a peach, to the equivalent of a watermelon.

17. Pregnancy is a good excuse to go shoe shopping.

Instagram / @cassyfremont

Yeah, even your feet aren’t exempt from the whole swelling process. Some people find that their feet can grow a full shoe size when they’re pregnant!

18. You’ll develop another organ.

Instagram / @rachelleskillingart

Science-fiction has absolutely nothing on actual real-life pregnancy. Believe it or not, the placenta is classified as an organ.

19. Melasma appears.

Instagram / @livethelime

What on earth is melasma, you ask? It’s also known as the “mask of pregnancy”, which causes dark splotches to appear on your face. Basically, it’s really common for people to see their skin darken when they’re pregnant: those extra pregnancy hormones can cause an increase in pigmentation.

20. You’ll become particularly orgasmic.

Instagram / @lavish__interiors

All the extra blood flow around the body means that you’ll get a real boost in your libido, and all you’ll wanna do is stay in bed. But you know what else? Chances are you’ll find that’ll change at the drop of a hat, and you’ll be ready to strike anyone who dares to even touch you. Why? Hormones, of course.

How many of these facts surprised you? Or, better yet, how many of these have you experienced when being pregnant? Tell us about it on our Facebook page – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

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Mother And Teen Daughter Endured Ten Years Of Separation, A Dramatic Border, And A Covid Hospitalization To Be Together

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Mother And Teen Daughter Endured Ten Years Of Separation, A Dramatic Border, And A Covid Hospitalization To Be Together

Separated from her mother for a decade, seventeen-year-old Cindy (who is only being identified by her first name) took a chance last month to see her. Despite her age, a raging pandemic, and the risks of crossing the Mexico–United States border she journeyed from Honduras to see her mother in New York. Her love for her mother was so deep, she was willing to risk everything.

In her mission, Cindy wound up in U.S. immigration facilities where she contracted Covid-19. After three days in a hospital bed in California, Cindy was finally able to contact her mother who had not learned of her daughter’s hospitalization.

Thanks to the help of a doctor who lent her their phone Cindy was able to make the call to her mother, Maria Ana.

“There are backlogs and delays in communication that are really unacceptable,” Maria Ana’s immigration lawyer Kate Goldfinch, who is also the president of the nonprofit Vecina, explained to NBC.

After learning about her daughter’s COVID-19 hospitalization, Maria Ana feared the worst. “Following weeks of anguish and uncertainty, Maria Ana spent most of her nights painting the bedroom she has fixed for Cindy, just ‘waiting for my girl,'” she explained to NBC.

Last Wednesday night, Maria Ana flew to San Diego to be with her daughter after she’d finally recovered from Covid.

At the emotional mother-daughter reunion, Maria Ana assured her daughter “no one else is going to hurt you.”

After Cindy crossed the border, she spent several days in a detention facility in Texas in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. According to NBC “On any given night, Cindy said, she would share two mattresses with about eight other girls. She could shower only every five days in one of the eight showers the facility had to serve 700 girls.”

“It was really bad,” Cindy told the outlet..

Cindy was among almost 13,350 unaccompanied children left in the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS. This last year has seen over 3,715 unaccompanied children at these facilities diagnosed with Covid-19. Worse, there are currently 528 unaccompanied children who have tested positive for Covid-19 and put in medical isolation.

Now, immigration advocates and families are pressing the U.S. government to pick up reunions of children and their families in the United States. Over 80 percent of unaccompanied minors currently in federal custody have family living in the states. According to Goldfinch, “40 percent have parents in the U.S.”

“So we would think that it would be fairly quick and simple to release a child to their own parent. But because of the chaos of the system, the reunification of these kids with their parents is really frustrating and backlogged,” Goldfinch explained, “most frustrating, of course, for the actual children and their parents.”

While Cindy was in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, no one managed to notify Ana Maria that her daughter was in the hospital according to Goldfinch

“I don’t know why my daughter has to be suffering this way, because it’s not fair. It’s something very sad for me,” Maria Ana explained to NBC

“I’ve already been through a lot,” Cindy went onto share. “But I hope it’s all worth it.”

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Women Are Sharing Their Most Brutal Pregnancy Symptoms

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Women Are Sharing Their Most Brutal Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy really does require a strong stomach.

Women in their first trimester of pregnancy experience extreme hormonal changes that can lead to some pretty bizarre symptoms. From extreme cravings, even for non-food items such as pica, to a heightened sense of smell, it often seems like a pregnant woman could be experiencing an actual possession.

Women on Reddit are sharing the most bizarre symptoms they wish people had given them a heads up about before they got pregnant.

Check them out below!

“Nosebleeds. Not currently pregnant, but when I was, I got nosebleeds every few days during the first and second trimesters.”- creativeandwonderful

“From my mom: I paralyzed her from the waist down for a few hours because I decided to take a nap on her spinal cord in the third trimester. The doctor’s response was ‘yeah you’ll be able to move again once they wake up.’ Pregnancy is pure body horror.”- AbsolXGuardian

That is awful. I’m glad it wasn’t permanent. I knew a mom of twins who had one of them move and dislocated some of her ribs. Just…holy cow. It’s scary to think about all the damage that tiny little being can do while inside you, not to mention when coming out. Then many years of them beating you up and wearing your body down. Thank goodness for those hormones that help you believe it’s all worth it.”- TCMueller

“This is mostly a 3rd trimester thing, but that when you are active and moving, it kinda rocks the baby to sleep.

But as soon as you lay down to go to sleep, baby wakes up and starts kicking and spinning.

Might not be super common (?), but I knew a lot of other mothers who complained about this, too.”- GingerMau

“Not a woman, but i wish i knew the warning signs of preeclampsia, Girlfriend was 7 months pregnant at the time, and had been complaining of generally not feeling good with a constant headache that would occasionally break for a bit, i came home from work(i work overnights) to her sleeping on the floor and i eventually got to bed but i woke up 3 hours later to hear a thud and she was having a seizure, turns out she went eclamptic, she ended up having a c section, daughter was in the nicu for a bit but both are doing great now. What really put things into how close my girlfriend was to dying was the doctors and nurses saying how few people they’ve seen go eclamptic and one of the nurses said shes only seen 3 cases in like 10 years and 2 of them died.”- LeButtSmasher

“How hungry you can be. All. The. Time. Especially twins.

Then how hungry you still are after baby comes.

Then his hungry you are while breast feeding.

And sometimes the weight doesnt go away. At least the kids dont care.”- kleigh1313

“I wish someone would have warned me about the constipation. Corollary: I wish someone would have warned me that ‘fiber supplement’ does not equal ‘stool softener.’ Today, we’re at 26 weeks gestation.”- InfernalWedgie

“Related– I did have a couple of friends warn me about constipation, but no one told me I would be as thirsty as I have been! I get constipated after any day where I didn’t drink a huge glass of water every single time I felt thirsty… but I’ve been constantly insanely thirsty since probably month 2. I’m drinking something like 8-10 12 oz glasses of water a day. And no, turns out it isn’t gestational diabetes… just pregnancy.

And lol, agreed on the fiber supplement– I’d say it was more of a gas multiplier than helpful. Real food fiber did better on that front (oatmeal, pears, prunes, sweet-potatoes. heck, even beans were better than the fiber supplement for me).”- badgersonice

“Your body produces a hormone called relaxin that helps loosen your pelvis in preparation for birth. Some women get waayyy too much too soon and it loosens everything to the point you lose mobility and every day all day is painful. Also your body pushes so hard during birth you can feel yourself shit your own asshole out.”- Jen_Itals

“During labor the “water breaking” is not one rush of liquid. it’s continuous and can occur for several hours. it’s horrendous and messy and incredibly awful to deal with. it feels like peeing but you have zero control over anything and if you tense up then everything is much more painful and weird feeling.

nobody ever told me that and i was VERY surprised to find out for myself.”-notgrass87

“YUP. Went to the hospital at 4CM, water broke the second I got into triage. Water continued to POUR out with every contraction until I laid down. An hour later, they decide to take me to L&D, I stand up, bam pouring buckets. Get to L&D, another big contraction and water pours out of me all over my poor nurses shoes. My god, I did not know my body could have that much liquid in it. It was insane. I was so embarrassed and kept saying sorry lol.”- The-Chonky-one

“To quote a doctor friend of mine: People don’t realize that it’s the worst day of their life for them, but for me it’s Tuesday. Stop worrying about embarrassing yourself.”- Klaus_Goldfish

“I had adult diapers given to me by my SIL (she had some unused ones left from her pregnancies). They are INCREDIBLY useful for if your water breaks, and after you give birth and there is blood, so much blood.”- CypripediumGuttatum

“I didn’t measure, but I’ve heard people describe it as 9 months of periods saved up and thought that was pretty accurate. I was more concerned by my 2nd degree tearing to be worried about the blood. They said if there were “clots” that was what to look out for (so if your placenta hadn’t all come out and could potentially rot inside you basically). There is no glamor and not much dignity in giving birth and the recovery. Good thing the babies are cute! 10/10 happy I did it once and would never do it again, props to the ladies that go for round 2+.”- CypripediumGuttatum

“Hair loss! After I had my kid I lost a ton of hair. I would pull fists full of hair during my showers. I thought there was something wrong with me because no one told me about this. Went to Google, totally normal and it happens to everyone. It grows back eventually and you’ll go through an awkward baby hair phase.”- sm1020

“Aahh something I actually know the science behind! So apparently when you’re pregnant, your head holds on to almost all of those dead hairs that your scalp would normally just get rid of everyday. We all lose some hair, but most of the time we don’t realize how much we lose, especially if you’re blessed with thick hair. So when you’re pregnant and your body is worrying about keeping baby safe and growing, it basically stops shedding dead hair, and then sheds it ALL AT ONCE right after baby is born. So you’re not actually losing more hair than normal, you’re just losing all of those dead hairs that you would have lost anyway over the course of your pregnancy. It takes some time to see that your hair is back to normal because your head is now growing all of those hairs back at once, but when all is said and done your hair isn’t any thinner than it was before baby! My hair stylist told me this when I started freaking out about my pregnancy and body changes. She saved a panic attack that day.”- aep17

“Tore up from the floor up” lololol. I’m 5 weeks postpartum and had my OB take a look today for any remaining stitches from my second degree tear. I tore alllll the way and I swore I could still feel some. She said that they were all gone, but then I went home and found a whole ass suture on my toilet paper. Took my first look down there and it looks like I was stitched up by Frankenstein. My taint straight up has a seam now.”- edgeofdoom

“My god, the pooping. I now I have a three month old, and while I can’t remember my first poop after delivery, I vividly remember crying on the toilet not being able to poop. And nobody warns you about the hemorrhoids. Mine were so big I couldn’t sit for two weeks, and poops came out in little nuggets. Sometimes I actually had to scoop it out. Going to the bathroom became an event. My husband said the sounds I made trying to poop were worse than what I did during labor.”- toot_toot_tootsie

“I had a total meltdown in the hospital because my entire extended family was on the phone with my mom asking to come over to visit. “They just want to see you because they love you!” Um, no they want to see a cute new baby while I’m still bleeding heavily and have to use a squirt bottle after I pee, so… no.”- killergiraffe

“This times 1,000. Mine was fine, but I follow a woman on Instagram who lost her daughter full term because the doctor didn’t induce. She had signs of cholestasis and wasn’t diagnosed for awhile, then went to the hospital for lessening movements, failed a NST and then HE SENT HER HOME.

Every time I read her story I am angry on her behalf. I know she’s said she felt uneasy, and the way doctors dismiss our concerns in general let alone while pregnant, I imagine she ignored her feelings because she trusted the doctor and didn’t want to be pushy. I’m a loud mouthed person and I still failed to assert my needs during my last pregnancy. I’m pro-medicine but people need to understand that there is a valid reason that people mistrust doctors. Please anybody reading this – advocate for yourself!!! Trust in modern medicine but if your instincts are telling you something is wrong, trust them.”- thatcondowasmylife

“L&D nurse here, and I just wanna say that while you can pass blood clots as big as a tennis ball, it’s not “normal.” We tell our patients if they pass blood clots bigger than an egg, they need to let their nurse or OB doctor know! Big clots like that can cause a patient to have a hemorrhage, and patients don’t realize this, but you can hemorrhage up to like 6 weeks postpartum! Also, if you’re bleeding heavily enough to have to change your pad hourly or more, please call your doctor. Your nurse will probably do a fundal massage a million times before you get discharged, and I always encourage my patients to learn how to do it because it helps ensure the uterus is doing what it should do!”- little_ginger1216

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