Pregnancy and your unexpected return to adolescence

By Jacqueline Lagana

Did you know one in three women will experience unexpected changes during pregnancy. Previously, we discussed Pregnancy Brain and this week we will look at what could be called “your unexpected return to adolescence”.

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A Return to Adolescence

And you thought your teenage years were behind you. Now you are starting to notice acne, hair growth in new places and mood swings.  What’s going on?

The cause:
In pregnancy while there are increases in several other culprit hormones, estrogen and progesterone are the two main hormones that increase up to 30 times higher than your body’s normal range. These high levels of hormones can create all sorts of physical and emotional changes. It is not uncommon to display a range of emotions, including happiness, tearfulness, stress, or feeling overwhelmed, or all of the above in the span of just a few minutes. Some of the physical changes that women may notice are acne appearing and/or new hair growth that may be seen on the belly, breasts and face.

The relief:
Feeling a range of emotions is normal. People who are not pregnant think pregnant women are happy all the time, but pregnant women feel sad, scared, guilty and even angry at times. All of these emotions are normal when you seem to have less control over your changing life and body. As for the new hair growth and acne, they will lessen after birth.

When to worry:
If these negative thoughts or feelings worsen, interfere with your daily activities, or last more than two weeks, contact your provider and create a plan that will ensure that you have the support you need.

Next week we will look at the third surprise, growing pains.