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Body truths you face when you're pregnant

From shiny, thicker-than-usual hair to an unexpected bout of back pimples, here are just a handful of the surprising changes your body may go through when you fall pregnant.

The human body is capable of incredibly astounding things. While we all know the female body possesses the innate ability to grow and deliver a child, it also endures a series of sometimes special, other times strange changes along the way. Here are five ways our bodies may respond to pregnancy - and some are more welcome than others.
Stretchmarks
The rapid rate that your body grows during pregnancy can, quite commonly, leave your skin with stretchmarks.
“I didn't notice that I had stretch marks when I was pregnant,” a Weekly reader , who wants to remain anonymous, remembers. “It wasn't until the baby was born and the skin settled that I was left with wound-like stretch marks.”
“I got a stress rash when my daughter was born so little hives [known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, or PUPPS] were inside the stretch marks making it so itchy."
One of our readers shares a picture of her stretchmarks.
Thicker (and shinier) hair
It's not all bad body news come pregnancy; once you’re over the nasty first trimester, you'll find that your locks are all lustrous and shiny. And it’s proven by science; apparently the hormones secreted by your body will cause your hair to grow faster and fall out less.
Fiona, mother of three, 48, says: “I had luscious locks with shiny Californian waves from week 12 to about two weeks after the birth – and then it all started to fall out.”
Pregnancy acne
Some women will have glowing skin throughout their pregnancy, while others may be left with painful patches of acne across their body thanks to an increase in their body’s androgen hormone.
“After my first trimester, I noticed that my shoulders and lower back started to develop small pimples and blackheads. These quickly turned into large clusters of pimples that were painful and sore to touch,” Tegan, 29, remembers.
“The size of the pimples increased and at times it was painful to lay in bed on my back or side due to the irritation of my skin.”
Pregnancy acne is brought on by increased levels of the hormone androgen.
Constipation
Constipation impacts an estimated 25 per cent of pregnant women in Australia, particularly in the first trimester.
This is down to an increase of the hormone progesterone that your body produces during pregnancy; it relaxes your body’s muscles, meaning food passes through the intestines at a slower pace.
Severe nausea
Morning sickness is one thing, but suffering from a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum is, sadly, worse. This is an extreme form of nausea, which can last up to 15 weeks.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, suffered hyperemesis gravidarum when she was pregnant with her children George and Charlotte. Fortunately, this is a rare condition, only affecting one-three per cent of pregnant women.
The Duchess of Cambridge endured hyperemesis gravidarum, a rare condition that only 1-3 per cent of people are diagnosed with.

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