We all know about the usual pregnancy symptoms people can get- big boobs, sensitive nipples, stretch marks, increased or decreased sex drive, and so on, but no one every told us about these crazy symptoms! Share any crazy symptoms you have had in your pregnancy!
- “Pregnancy mask”
No, it’s not a Halloween mask or your “pregnancy glow.” It’s dark and blotchy patches that have suddenly appeared on your forehead, around your lips, and cheeks! This is called chloasma or melasma and happens to many expectant mothers. This occurs due to the rise in estrogen stimulating excess melanin productions, or hyperpigmentation. It usually goes away after delivery, but be sure to wear sunscreen in the meantime because the sun can make it worse!
- My belly is so itchy!
Mild itching is a pretty common symptom caused by your skin stretching, increased blood supply to your skin, and irritants to your now sensitive skin- such as perfume and tight clothes. Try applying lotion, shea butter, or coconut oil to the area. Take a cool bath. Wear natural material.
Rarely, severe itching in the third trimester is caused by Obstetric Cholestatsis (OC) or Intrahepatic Cholestatsis of Pregnancy (ICP), which is a potentially serious liver disorder. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have severe, intense itching all over your body.
- I feel like I should be wearing diapers!
Yup, peeing yourself when sneezing, coughing, or laughing is unfortunately pretty common. This is due to hormonal changes and extra pressure sitting on your bladder (that tiny baby isn’t so light to your bladder!). How can you manage this? Use the bathroom more often. Do your lovely Kegal exercises. Wear a panty-liner. Maybe bring an extra pair of undies with you when you go out.
- I’ve got, um, swelling “Down There”.
Another fun symptom you may have is a swollen vulva! It could be caused by a higher blood supply in the area or the increase of hormones. Sometimes, it’s due to vulvar varicosities (or varicose veins in the vaginal area). Talk to your doctor to make sure it isn’t due to something else.
How can you manage if there is discomfort? Try a female jockstrap (yup- you read that right). Change positions frequently. Apply a cold compress. Sleep with a pillow between your legs. Elevate your pelvis.
- I swear it was real!
Have you recently had a dream that was so real you could have sworn it really did happen? (Like dreaming your partner did something and waking up super mad at them for the rest of the day. Haha- we’ve been there!). Thank you once again to our lovely hormones for such vivid dreams. The increase in hormones, which impact your emotions and anxiety (bring on the water works during that cat commercial), also impact how your brain processes information. Therefore, your dreams may become more vivid and frequent. Also, disruption in your normal REM sleep patterns can result in frequent and vivid dreams- and remembering them!
- Excuse me!
Notice the need to pass gas more often? Thank you progesterone. This hormone is produced in higher amounts while pregnant and is responsible for relaxing muscles in your body. And it doesn’t discriminate on which muscles. So it relaxes your gastrointestinal tract and slows down digestion. In comes gas and bloating!
Is there any relief? You can try adjusting your diet, eat smaller meals, sit up while eating or drinking, and wear loose, comfortable clothes.
- I sound like a chainsaw at night!
Snoring is common during pregnancy. It’s a result of hormones causing nasal congestion and weight gain resulting in extra tissue around the neck.
- Help! My boobs are leaking!!!
This doesn’t happen to everyone, but some women do start producing and releasing colostrum (the thick, creamy good food for baby right after birth). This has no indication on your milk production or success of breastfeeding. But it may be time to break out the breastpads!
- My nipples are HUGE and so dark!
Your nipples and areolas (colored circles around your nipple) will grow, get darker, and get stretchier (if you’re going to breastfeed: be amazed at how far your baby can pull that nipple!) All normal! It’s that hyperpigmentation again from hormones. Biologically, it aids baby in finding your breast to breastfeed (the darker bull’s eye) and to nurse. When a baby nurses, he/she isn’t just sucking on the nipple, but putting most of the areola in the mouth with the nipple reaching to the back of the mouth towards the throat.
- Where’s the shower?
Sweating in various place – neck, underarms, back, legs, between the legs, EVERYWHERE – is a common occurrence in pregnancy all due to increase in blood flow, metabolism, and hormonal surges.
- All of this extra skin is…growing?!
Skin tags happen due to a hyperactive growth of skin from increased hormones. It usually occurs in areas where the skin is rubbed, for instance under arms, between neck folds, under bra lines, etc. They may go away after birth or you may have to see a dermatologist to have them removed.
- My favorite shoes don’t fit!
Feet growth could be temporary and go back to normal after birth or this could be your new normal. The hormone Relaxin is released during pregnancy to help soften the cervix and relaxes joints in the pelvic area during childbirth. It also relaxes muscles and allows ligaments to stretch throughout the body. So besides swelling in the feet, Relaxin causes the bones in your feet to spread and appear to “grow”.
- Yuck! I can’t get this taste out of my mouth!
A metallic or sour taste in your mouth, called Disgeusia, is pretty common in the first trimester. It tends to go away as your enter your second trimester. Try to eat or drink citrus fruit or swoosh around some saltwater.
- Brushing my teeth makes me want to throw up!
An increased gag reflex can make things such as brushing your teeth or swallowing your prenatal vitamins pretty difficult.
Some tips for brushing your teeth: Use a toddler toothbrush. Slow down. Take slow deep breaths
- Feel the burn!
We heard heartburn can be happen during pregnancy, but we didn’t how that it can be torturous! Progesterone is at it again, relaxing the valve that separates the esophagus from the stop and allowing gastric acids to find its way back up. How can you beat the burn? Eat less and more often. Eliminate triggering foods, such as spicy, greasy, and fatty foods. Wait an hour before lying down after eating. Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk. Drink warm water with honey.
Thank you hormones for all the wonderful things you do for us!