We know the body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, from extreme hormonal surges to food cravings. We can often envision the belly getting larger, and have seen what a fetus looks like in an X-ray; however, we might not often think of what happens to a woman’s internal organs during pregnancy.
The below gif, created by the Museum of Science & Industry Chicago, depicts how the organs move around as the baby grows in the womb. While seemingly horrifying in fast-motion, remember that this occurs over the course of nine months, so the changes are much more gradual and subtle. The organs must slowly make room for the baby as it grows, rearranging the stomach, liver, intestines, and placing some pressure on the bladder. The uterus enlarges and pushes up out of the pelvic cavity, which jump starts the displacement of the organs. By the second trimester, the uterus will be pushed near the rib cage.
In addition to organs being moved around in the abdomen, other bodily changes that occur include an increased heart rate and blood volume, a lowered functioning capacity of lungs (making pregnant women feel out of breath), and more work for the kidneys to process the waste from both fetus and mother. Even the skin can change, ranging from stretch marks to estrogen-caused spider veins.