Pregnancy is one of the most amazing experiences that a mom will go through to bring her children into this world. Throughout your pregnancy, your body goes through remarkable changes to accommodate your growing baby. As your body changes you may experience some rather strange things that most women don’t discuss unless they have a close friend that is expecting too.
Mom’s often share only the fun things that they experience during the 9 months that they are expecting their baby. Most women are excited if they are lucky and get the pregnancy glow that every always talks about. But not everyone gets to experience it. During my own pregnancies, I always enjoyed going to the doctor to hear baby’s heartbeat, ultrasounds, growing belly, the first flutters to the frequent movement that you feel, rubbing your belly to comfort your baby, baby hiccups, and meeting your baby for the first time.
Those not so fun times that a mother goes through during her pregnancy is not always talked about. As a new mom, I am sure that you are googling everything that happens to your body, even the not so fun topics that we will be discussing below. But know that all the not so fun things will be a distant memory once you meet your precious baby.
During the third trimester, some pregnant moms experience hemorrhoids. Pregnancy can change your bowel movements, especially during the third trimester. As your baby begins running out of room, it puts more pressure on your organs resulting in a slower digestive system. A slow digestive system can back you up and make it difficult to have a bowel movement.
As you bear down and push to have a bowel movement, thanks to constipation during pregnancy, or when you are delivering your baby, the veins around your anus start to swell. Hemorrhoids are often a pain in the ass (literally), cause your anus to itch, or you may notice that part of the lining of your anus is hanging out of your bum. If you haven’t ever had hemorrhoids, it can cause you to have a panic attack.
Take a deep breath and relax. Hemorrhoids are treatable and tend to go away once your baby is born. To prevent hemorrhoids, it is important that you eat a diet rich in fiber and drink plenty of water. This will help keep your bowel movements regular. If you get a case of the hemorrhoids, please don’t suffer in silence. Speak up to your doctor or pick up preparation-h to help reduce the symptoms and shrink the swollen tissue.
During the second and third trimester, your body is working hard in preparation for delivery. You may notice that your boobs start leaking and it is nothing to be alarmed over. Your body is just testing to make sure it is ready for your baby to come, even if you aren’t planning on breastfeeding.
Your body makes colostrum, which is what your baby gets for a few days before your milk comes in. It is rich in protein and full of antibodies to help protect your baby from germs infecting their mucous membranes.
Normally, if your boobs leak colostrum, it is only a few drops at a time. I remember when I was pregnant with my oldest, I would wake up at night with a wet shirt. During the day it wasn’t an issue, but I was prepared and kept breast pads on hand to use if needed.
If you plan on breastfeeding your baby, you need to keep breast pads on hand to prevent leaky boobs. This will prevent you from walking around with a wet shirt. My boobs would leak milk if I heard another baby crying, at night especially when my kids started sleeping through the night, during let down, or when it was close to feeding time. Over time, your body will adapt to your baby’s needs and your milk production won’t be as crazy as it was during the first 6 to 8 weeks.
All Day Sickness and It Isn’t Doesn’t Only Happen in the First Trimester
Whoever decided to call it morning sickness, lied to us. I remember that I was constantly nauseated with all three of my pregnancies. Sometimes it would hit like a ton of bricks in the morning. But more often than not, I would get queasy throughout the day.
Dealing with morning sickness can be a pain especially when you are trying to go to work and not spend all day in the bathroom. Over the course of three pregnancies, I had to experiment and figure out how to manage the all-day sickness. You can try eating a few crackers before getting out of bed in the morning, keep sour candy nearby, chew mint gum, increase your protein intake, sniff a lemon or lemon oil, nibble on some ginger or drink ginger ale, and as a last resort call your doctor. Your doctor can prescribe nausea medication to help ease your symptoms so that you can keep food down.
Pregnancy rhinitis is a common ailment during pregnancy. Women that typically have problems with seasonal allergies or asthma, usually experience this ailment and it generally lasts the entire pregnancy. Once you deliver the baby, the symptoms usually disappear.
Talk to your doctor if you notice constant congestion for several weeks to rule out an infection or alternative cause for your symptoms. Here is a list of symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis:
- congestion which often causes difficulty breathing and sleeping at night
- runny nose
- postnasal drip
- swollen mucous membranes
- sinus infections
- ear infections
- fluid in the ears (serous otitis media)
Do Your Shoes Feel Tight?
During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone that relaxes the ligaments in your pelvis to make way for your baby to enter into the world. This hormone also causes the ligaments in your feet to relax too and you may notice that shoes that you used to wear before you got pregnant may no longer fit properly. It is true that your feet tend to get wider and flatten out during each pregnancy.
Plus, during pregnancy, most women tend to notice swelling in their feet. Some women may not even realize how much swelling is present until after they give birth. When you are pregnant, your body has to carry more weight which also puts more strain on your feet. Many women surveyed during a study, said their feet grew one size. Changes in your feet can lead to long term problems such as arthritis in your feet, knees, and hips. If you notice that your feet are flattened out, it is best to see a podiatrist to prevent future problems.
Enjoy Your Beautiful Hair
Have you noticed your thick, luscious hair since you got pregnant? Pregnancy doesn’t cause your hair to get thicker even though you could swear that it is. During pregnancy, your hair grows differently causing all the new growth to elongate and they stay attached to your scalp longer. I hate to break it to you but your hair will begin falling out in huge clumps around 4 months postpartum.
Before getting pregnant, you probably were able to squeeze your butt cheeks when you felt a wave of gas come over you. Forget being able to do that when you are pregnant. Your gas is likely to be stinky, louder, and more frequent. Don’t forget about burping either. The gas has to get out one way or another.
Pregnancy can do a number on your bones and joints if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet or a supplement. As your baby grows, they leach the vitamins and minerals from your bones and joints so that your baby gets the right amount.
Before you begin to try to get pregnant, I highly recommend that you make an appointment with your doctor for a well-check and have the doctor run routine lab work. You need to request that your doctor check your Vitamin D and calcium levels. If your levels are low, you should hold off on getting pregnant until they are in the normal range. Getting pregnant when your numbers are low could result in weak or you could lose a significant amount of bone density.
Heightened Sense of Smell
When my mom was pregnant with my twin sisters, I remember her telling me that she smelt gasoline in the garage. Turns out that she was right and the suburban had a small gas leak. If it wasn’t for her heightened sense of smell during pregnancy, it might have gone unnoticed for several months.
During pregnancy, you will likely find that your sense of smell is similar to a bloodhound. Depending on the smell, it could trigger cravings or adverse smells could send you running to the bathroom. You can’t walk around with your nose pinned shut with a clothespin or cut your nose off so I recommend that you make adjustments based on your sense of smell. For example, if cooking hamburger meat smells awful to you, ask your spouse to help or skip it altogether.
Did I Just Pee My Pants?
As your baby grows and uterus, your bladder causes more direct pressure on your bladder making you more susceptible to peeing your pants. During each on of my pregnancy, sneezing usually set off a small waterfall in my pants. If I was at work or in public, you might have seen me crossing my legs and trying to prevent bladder leakage every time I sneezed. I even kept an extra pair of clothes in a bag in the car just in case I had an accident at work.
The best way to prevent bladder leakage or peeing a little bit every time you cough, sneeze, or even laugh, is to start doing kegals throughout the day to improve your muscle tone. You can also wear bladder leakage protection to absorb bladder leakage.
Turn Into a Drool Factory
Pregnancy does weird things to your body and drooling is one of them. I remember waking up in the morning with a wet spot on my pillow. It isn’t uncommon during pregnancy for your body may produce extra saliva. But don’t worry, it isn’t a cause for concern.
Discharge during pregnancy is normal and it isn’t anything to worry about as long as it is thin, white, milky, and has a slight odor. If you notice that it is excessive, I suggest using panty liners to protect your underwear from becoming excessively moist. Warm and moist environments can become a breeding ground for yeast and/or bacteria.
Never wear tampons, use douche, or automatically assume you have an infection. If you suspect a yeast or bacterial infection, it is better to contact your doctor and avoid over the counter treatments that can upset your natural flora. Make an appointment immediately if you notice foul-smelling discharge, yellowish-green discharge, itching, or redness.
Break Out Like a Teenager
During our teenage years, it is normal to have problems with acne. Pregnancy changes your hormones and it causes your sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum. An overproduction of sebum and stubborn skin cells that don’t naturally shed. The dead skin cells cause clogged pores, trapping the sebum in the hair follicle. The trapped sebum and natural bacteria around the hair follicle begin to multiply.
As the bacteria multiply, your skin will begin to turn red and inflamed until a pimple forms. It is important that if you are struggling with acne, talk to your OB/GYN before you use acne products. Some acne products are harmful to your unborn baby.
The blood volume increases during pregnancy. Due to your heavy belly, the blood flow to your legs can greatly decrease. As your uterus grows, it can add additional pressure to the inferior vena cava, the main vein that carries blood from your legs to your feet and back up to your heart. For the most part, varicose veins aren’t harmful but if you are concerned you should mention it to your OB/GYN at your next appointment. You can follow the suggestions here to help prevent varicose veins. Don’t worry, most varicose veins go away once you deliver the baby.
During pregnancy, our bodies work hard to grow and protect our baby. Most moms talk about the joyous milestones during their pregnancy and tend to shy away from these weird things that your body does during pregnancy. If you have any of these weird ailments, please don’t hesitate to talk to your OB/GYN or midwife.