Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Love and affection during pregnancy

pregnant woman with her child
Maternity portrait with son, originally uploaded by pmaland.

Pregnancy is a period when women undergo many physical and psychological changes. The most noticeable change is weight gain. The enlarging uterus, the growing fetus, the placenta and liquor amnii, the acquisition of fat and water retention, all contribute to this increase in weight. The weight gain varies, and can be anywhere from 5 pounds (2.3 kg) to over 100 pounds (45 kg). Other physical changes during pregnancy include breasts increasing two cup sizes. Also areas of the body such as the forehead and cheeks become darker due to the increase of melanin being produced.

This period also develops an urge known as ‘nesting instinct’, an instinct or urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn. In human females, it occurs around the fifth month of pregnancy, but can occur as late as the eighth month, becoming the strongest just before the onset of labor. It shows up as a strong urge to clean and organize home. It is one reason why couples who are expecting a baby often reorganize, arrange, and clean the house and surroundings. This period also makes the women feel that they get all the love and affection, from husband or partner, children (if any), and all others in the family, and even friends.

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