My New Heartbeat: Weird Science: Pregnancy Distorts Our Bodies

KatieNEWPhotoby: Katie Saltz

Now in the late stages of my third pregnancy, I am familiar with all the aches and pains. Most people see weight gain as the biggest change…

… during pregnancy, but I think the wildest changes are what happens on the inside during these nine long months.

You know the scene in a monster movie where you see the man’s hands and feet start to stretch and his face sprouts hair everywhere and his shirt rips as his back arches to complete the werewolf transformation?

Pregnancy is kind of like that. But in super slow motion.

Here are my observations about crazy bodily changes in pregnancy.


You grow a completely new organ.

It’s not enough to grow a person. You have to grow a food source for that person as well.

The placenta grows along with the baby, then you birth it and it gets thrown away (or turned into placenta pills, if that’s your thing.)


Your bones get loose.

The hormone relaxin loosens all the joints in your body. Good news for your pubic bone during labor, bad news for joint pain the rest of your gestation period.


Your organs get squished.

As your baby grows, your uterus takes up more and more space. I can see my other organs all elbowing each other for space, shouting “We were here first! Back off, man.”

Unfortunately, your bladder will lose this fight.


You have 50% more blood.

Fifty percent. That’s a lot of blood.

What does all this extra blood do? It causes nosebleeds, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and all sorts of fun stuff.

Of course, it also creates that famous “glow” so I guess it isn’t all bad.


The list above doesn’t even cover postpartum body changes, which I won’t go into because I don’t want to bum out all my fellow expectant mothers.

But rest assured, while pregnancy is magical and life-changing and a total miracle, it’s also pretty freaky when you consider all the facts.