So you’ve heard all the horror stories of what happens to your body when you’re pregnant, or different things you feel. Tired, nauseous, morning sickness, hangry? They’re all part and parcel with pregnancy, but there are many many more ‘delights’ to look forward to when pregnant, that aren’t really talked about.
So here are 13 of the lesser known pregnancy side effects, just known these are all part of a healthy pregnancy!
1. Dark and Protruding Nipples
That’s right. Your areolas will likely get darker and bigger, and the sweat glands will begin to bump up in preparation for lubrication for when you’re breastfeeding. It is completely normal, but perhaps don’t go out too often braless an and in a tight white top!
Extra saliva? That’s a weird one.
No one really knows why you produce extra saliva when pregnant (not everyone, of course), it could be that when nauseas, people produce extra saliva as a bodily warning mechanism before throwing up.
It’s perfectly normal. Unless of course, you’re not pregnant. Then you’d better get yourself checked for rabies!
3. Congestion Ahead
Nasal congestion is another ‘not so talked about’ pregnancy side effect. It’s the estrogen that causes the mucous membranes in your nose to swell, so congestion or even nosebleeds could be a result.
This can also affect your sleep (or that of your partner) in the way of snoring.
4. My Heart Burns
The release of progesterone when pregnant will help you relax your uterus so you can push your baby out easier, however it can also do so in the lower esophageal sphincter, meaning acids from your stomach can creep back up into your esophagus.
5. Leg Cramping
When your nose is clear and your heartburn eases, and you finally get to sleep, be prepared to be abruptly awoken by painful leg cramps. No one knows exactly why they happen, but when they do, be sure to quickly stretch out your leg, and lift your toes as if you’re trying to touch your shin with them. To prevent leg cramps, start (or continue) a daily yoga practice, paying special attention to stretching and lengthening the leg muscles. The movement plus deep breathing is excellent preparation for labor!
6. Restless Leg Syndrome
This tends to happen at night in the lower legs and can be somewhat countered by stretching, massage, and acupuncture. Keeping a food journal is another good idea that some mothers partake in, to see if it is something that they are eating which is causing the problem. One of the best ways to prevent it is regular Epsom salt baths. The benefits of epsom salts are numerous and it can help cure more than just restless leg syndrome.
Your metabolism will be raging, along with your hormones, and as a result, your blood flow will increase. This will result in sweat.
The “glow” of pregnancy is usually caused by this, giving your cheeks a rosy tone.
8. Possibility of Teenage-esque Acne
These hormones we’re talking about can also stimulate your sebaceous glands… end result: pimples. Also, you can’t use any of the conventional treatments whilst pregnant of course.
Shoes feeling a little tight there?
“Well, it’s from a couple of things, relaxin is one because it’s relaxing the ligaments in your body – including your feet – so they spread out. Your body is also retaining fluids and, to over simplify it, those fluids tend to pool at the bottom of your body (namely your feet) so they puff up.” //pregnantchicken.com
Want to hear something really strange? This foot expansion could be permanent. If you do find this happening, or your hands or even face is swelling, just check in with your doctor to make sure it’s nothing more serious.
10. Bleeding Gums
A fairly common pregnancy side effect, and no cause for alarm. But to ease it and make sure your mouth is all good, avoid sweets, visit your dentist (whilst avoiding dental x rays) and always rinse out your mouth if you throw up due to morning sickness.
11. Skin Irritation
Usually blamed on the result of skin stretching and estrogen, and it’s quite common. The best way to treat it is to have cooler showers and moisturize.
12. Hound like smell sense
“Heightened sense of smell is a charming pregnancy symptom that many think is cute, unless of course it’s you experiencing it and you’re sitting next to a co-worker that smells like B.O. doused in a cologne called “Repulsion”.” // pregnantchicken.com
Caused by marvellous estrogen, this can really affect your gag reflex and make morning sickness worse.
13. Pigment Change
Melanin cells can be affected by hormones, producing more pigment which means darker freckles and possibly your linea nigra.
“This hyperpigmentation tends to be more noticeable in women with darker complexions but it typically fades after you give birth.” // pregnantchicken.com
How early can you have morning sickness? Read our article to find out.
For more articles on pregnancy health read our other articles: