Weird and Wonderful Changes in Pregnancy

Pure north is experiencing a baby boom in its offices. Here, three staffers dish on their pregnancies

As a first time mothering expecting in late February, Brittany McKnight, an administrative coordinator at Pure North, has experienced some interesting hiccups along the way.

“I can’t eat red meat anymore,” says McKnight, explaining that she can’t tolerate its aroma. “I love a good steak now and then, so that was surprising.”

Then, she developed an irresistible attraction to sour candies. “I wasn’t expecting that,” she says with a laugh. “But I’ve heard it can happen.”

Indeed, pregnancy can unleash some weird and wonderful things, most of which are entirely normal. That isn’t surprising, considering all the changes a woman’s body goes through.

An entirely new organ — the placenta — is created in the earliest stages. Major hormonal changes take place, the mother’s blood volume doubles and her body switches to a constant anabolic state as it builds new cells.

Morning sickness is common, as are cravings. While some experts believe the latter are related to a woman’s nutritional needs and/or hormonal changes, others think they’re more psychological than physiological.

Some women don’t experience cravings or aversion to certain foods. “I’m unusual, I guess,” says Michelle Johnston, a registered nurse at Pure North. “I crave nothing and, other than a little morning sickness at the start, it’s all been pretty normal.”

She attributes that to her active, healthy lifestyle and Pure North’s supplements, which provide nutrients for everything from building strong bones to levelling mood swings.

“I also do lots of yoga and Pilates,” says Johnston. “I still experience a bit of fatigue, especially during a long workday, but nothing to worry about.”

Jessica Reid, a Pure North nurse practitioner, is expecting her second child in January. She follows her own professional advice, stressing the importance of taking folate in the months before conceiving, then following up with essential supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, important for both mother and child during pregnancy.

Likewise, Reid attributes much of her well-being to following the Pure North program. “Sure, we’re hungry all the time, there’s been some morning sickness,” she says with a smile.

Her pregnancy craving is a big glass of milk at the end of the day. She confides: “I actually love being pregnant. My favourite thing is to feel the baby kicking.”

Whether you glow or experience something you’ve never heard of before, pregnancy is unique for every woman.