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Body Changes During Pregnancy


Pregnancy is a time of change. It may be a time of joy or uncertainty. You go through many emotional and physical changes while pregnant. Knowing what to expect during pregnancy can help you manage symptoms and keep up with daily life.

Physical Changes

From hair loss to sudden nosebleeds, the physical changes of pregnancy can be unsettling. They can also be uncomfortable. Hormonal changes can lead to mild swelling, increased body weight and stretch marks. You may experience itchy skin and changes to your bowel habits. These are all considered normal pregnancy changes.


Vaginal discharge is normal during pregnancy. In some cases, you may want to talk to your health care provider about abnormal discharge. Leaking fluid could be a sign of labour starting. To learn more see Pregnancy: Vaginal Discharge and Leaking Fluid.

Speak to your health care provider if you experience other symptoms. These may include vaginal bleeding, fever, abnormal swelling and vision problems. See pregnancy-related problems to learn more.  

Emotional Changes

For some people, pregnancy can be an emotional rollercoaster. You may feel excited one day and overwhelmed the next. You may worry about childbirth or lifestyle changes. Feeling anxious about the changes a new baby will bring is common. These changes are normal and expected. If you suffer from symptoms of serious anxiety or depression that do not improve, talk to your health care provider. See Managing Emotional Changes During Pregnancy to learn more.

Pregnancy by Trimester

Pregnancy has 3 trimesters. The first trimester lasts from the first week to about week 14. The second trimester is approximately from weeks 15 to 27. The third trimester is from weeks 28 until birth.

Useful Resources

BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre

The BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre provides information on pregnancy by stage. You will find specific health information and what to expect for each stage of your pregnancy.

Baby's Best Chance

The Baby’s Best Chance handbook and website offers general information about pregnancy and parenting. It has a focus on ensuring the health and well-being of you and your baby. See Baby’s Best Chance.

Government of Canada

Health Canada has information about having a healthy pregnancy. You will find information on emotions, common complaints, healthy eating and physical activity during pregnancy, and more. See Guide to Healthy Pregnancy for more details.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

The The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) provides resources and information for both health care providers as well as the general public. Areas covered include obstetrical and gynaecologic care.

Last Updated: June 2021