During pregnancy, swelling can occur from accumulation of additional blood and fluid. The growing baby requires this extra fluid so as to help soften the body while the baby becomes larger and needs room to expand. This typical swelling is called edema and usually happens in the extremities.
Leg Cramps and Backaches
During the early stages of pregnancy, both pre-menstrual and while the uterus is growing, women may experience bloating, cramping, and backaches. This can make sleeping on a flat surface far more uncomfortable, especially if there is added weight from pregnancy.
Shortness of Breath
It becomes more difficult to breathe deeply during the last trimester of pregnancy because the growing baby pushes the uterus against the diaphragm. The diaphragm can move up to 4 centimeters from its original position during this time. The lungs also become somewhat compressed from this diaphragm shift.
Increased Heart Rate
Resting heart rate speeds up during pregnancy due to an increased amount of blood. The amount of blood pumped by the heart typically increases by about 30% to 50%. This means the average resting heartbeats per minute goes from 70 to about 80 or 90 beats per minute.
During the first or second trimester of pregnancy, 25–50% of women begin experiencing mild heartburn. This typically continues throughout the pregnancy, and though it is usually intermittent, a small number of cases report more troublesome and severe heartburn.
The growing size of the uterus causes pressure on the bladder, leading to increased frequency of urination. The kidneys also produce 25% more urine from the extra blood flow in the body. This typically peaks between 9–16 weeks into pregnancy.
Feeling Anxious, Nervous and Stressed
Beyond physical changes, there are a lot of legitimate worries around being pregnant and having a child. Will the baby be healthy? How will their siblings react? Will you be a good parent? While these are all valid concerns, helping to alleviate some of the physical symptoms surrounding pregnancy with proper sleep can help provide a sense of ease.