Friends and family seldom talk about pregnancy symptoms other than morning-sickness.
Here’s a list of perfectly-normal, annoying pregnancy symptoms you might experience.
If you are pregnant, or hoping to become pregnant, congratulations! This is such an exciting time in your life; enjoy every second.
Media, your friends, and family will likely focus on the amazing parts of being pregnant: your new ‘glow,’ your adorable growing belly, and the anticipation of a new bundle of delicious joy. No doubt, pregnancy is amazing in so many ways – not the least of which is a baby at the end. What most people don’t talk about is the uncomfortable, embarrassing and sometimes disturbing parts of pregnancy. Of course, as your friend and advisor, I will break some down here.
ALL DAY sickness
I hate the term morning sickness. What a load of bull. I wish I had just morning sickness. For me, pregnancy is 9 months of constant dizziness and nausea, slightly tempered by prescription medication. The one silver lining: I thankfully don’t gain excessive amounts of weight while pregnant, as I am unable to stomach much!
Your face may become furry
Unfortunately, pregnancy hormones run amuck, often leading to new hair growth. I will take thicker, longer hair on my head any day, but on my face? Not so much. Good news: after delivery most women shed these fuzzies, but you may need to put up with this increased fur till delivery.
Talk to your aesthetician about treatment options, as not every one is great in pregnancy.
Poops may hurt, or be liquid
Hormones are to blame here as well. Increased estrogen can lead some women to battle constipation that never dealt with before, or have chronic diarhea. Backed up? Try a high fiber diet (think lots of fruits and veg) and 1-2 litres of water a day.
Diarhea sufferers can benefit from fiber too. Exercise daily to get your bowels functioning well.
Discharge – lots of it
I bet you guessed the cause: those pesky hormones. Many women notice an increased amount of vaginal discharge before their period. Same idea here, albeit more. Many women need to wear panty liners or even pads for discharge during pregnancy. Keep those pads handy post delivery though; discharge can continue for months after birth.
Heartburn from hell
Heartburn is my least favourite thing about being pregnant. In my case, it starts early and comes on strong, way before my belly starts to grow.
Relaxin and progesterone also cause a relaxation of the sphincter (rubber band) that holds food in your stomach. No more downward dogs for me from about 10 weeks of pregnancy onwards. Try to eat smaller, more frequent meals, and try limiting spicy or acidic foods. Caffeine can make it a lot worse, so fight that exhaustion with rest and exercise and avoid that extra latte.
Do you typically blame your partner or dog on the gas in the room? You probably won’t be able to hide during pregnancy. Many pregnant women produce way more gas when pregnant, and increased pressure and relaxed muscles from progesterone and relaxin may make it more difficult to hold it in. Try to hold off on gassy foods like beans and broccoli (though these do help constipation!) Embrace it! It’s pretty funny, and (likely) won’t hurt anyone.
An odd pregnancy symptom that I got was a strange metallic taste in my mouth, pretty much as soon as I got pregnant. Seriously tasted like I was sucking on a penny. Super disgusting, and certainly didn’t help my wicked nausea. Now I don’t know for sure if other people could tell, but I was definitely self-conscious about my breath. Increased gas production can make you belch too. So keep your excellent dental hygiene up and drink plenty of water.
Your forest may grow and grow…
As the hair on your head grows lush and long, your lady bits will as well. Unfortunately, as your belly grows this will prove more difficulty to keep trimmed or tamed each week. Some take this stage as a way to go ‘au natural’; if this is you – more power to you. Others will enlist the help of your partner. Others will call their trusted aesthetician. Don’t worry – no matter what you chose, no one is looking down there during delivery… oh wait…
You may pee yourself
As the baby grows and puts more pressure on your uterus, and hormones sore, your bladder wall may get more relaxed, and leave you running to the washroom. Some women don’t make it. Another reason for your trusty panty liner and pelvic floor work!
Stabbing vaginal pain
Luckily, many pregnant women do not have this odd symptom of pregnancy. I, unfortunately, was not so lucky. My babies liked to position themselves low in my pelvis, so from about 30 weeks onward, I would feel intermittent lightning or stabbing type shocks near my cervix. Scary initially, I’ll tell you! I would be walking along, and ‘oh geez’, pain. My husband could even tell when it happened; it would stop me in my tracks. Not much you can do here but keep your pelvic floor tight and get some rest. At least your baby is thinking about making his or her way down.
One of my very first symptoms of pregnancy was the dreaded break out. It’s right back to teenage years for me in early pregnancy and this doesn’t settle for months. My recommendation: cleanse your face twice a day with mild cleanser like Cetaphil or SpectroJel and ask your doctor if you need topical creams or gels. Don’t pick or prod, if often exacerbates things.
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This may have painted a bleak picture for you. I’m sorry if I scared you. Why is pregnancy so yucky? Why so many discomforts? Perhaps it’s a way to prevent us all from having tens of kids? What I can tell you is as much as pregnancy symptoms can suck sometimes; at the end you wont regret a thing. And most of us forget all the little annoyances anyway, hormones erase those memories. Enjoy all the lovely pieces. Soon you’ll have more battles to wage, like getting consistent sleep. But a cuddle from a baby makes it so worth it!
Want a few things to read as prep before the baby arrives?
Pregnancy, Childbirth and The Newborn (4Th Edidtion): The Complete Guide (Penny Simkin, April Bolding and others)
This book is an excellent balance between evidence based medicine and real life anecdotal vignettes from mothers. They is no one way to parent and this book highlights the very many options that exist in every aspect of parenting.
The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-To-Be (Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash)
This book will get your partner ready too! It has a relaxed and conversational tone, and prepares you for the real experiences you will face with a new baby.
This book is written by trustworthy professionals, is clear and provides information in chronological order. Easy to follow and succinct, digestible information.
What was your worst pregnancy symptom? Share with us in the comments below and we may choose you to share you amazing story here!
For more odd or annoying pregnancy symptoms and what to do about them, check out:
Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.