20 Surprising Pregnancy Facts
Pregnant? Thinking of having a child?
Finding out we’re pregnant is a wonderful moment for any woman and their partner. But once the initial euphoria has subsided, the questions start to flood in:
What is being pregnant actually like?
Are there things I need to worry about, or know about?
Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to go through some major changes. While guys assume that a pregnant woman is just a lady who is a bit bigger than usual (and, of course, carrying their child), so much happens to a woman’s body that many men and women don’t know about.
As if we dealing with a developing person kicking and throwing punches around our belly wasn’t enough, there are also lots of unexpected side effects that come with being pregnant.
If you’ve never experienced pregnancy before and want to know more about what it entails, join Beauty and Tips as we take a look at these…
20 Very surprising things about pregnancy
Your Breasts Will Probably Hurt
One of the early signs that we’re pregnant is – to put it bluntly – sore boobs.
How come? A pregnant woman’s breasts start to hurt in preparation for what is to come. This means more milk production, more fat production, more blood flow – and weird behaviour from their hormones.
Basically, your breasts go on amber alert, your areoles go darker, and things start to hurt up there. So be prepared!
Don’t worry, though, breasts never usually become so sore that one has to resort to taking painkillers.
You’ll Probably Produce More Saliva Than Usual
Saliva is kinda gross, although it’s totally necessary to our survival. But just when you think you’re producing enough saliva as it is, along comes pregnancy and with it even more saliva. Just for kicks!
Well, actually, not just for kicks. While nobody truly knows why a pregnant woman may produce more saliva than normal, the finger of suspicion lies firmly and squarely with those pesky hormones.
Hormones are blamed for pretty much every wacky thing that happens to a pregnant woman’s body, although nausea is another possible reason why you might produce excess saliva. This is because your body produces more saliva to tell you that, hey, it’s time to be sick already!
The good news is that excess saliva is nothing to worry about.
Unless you’ve been bitten by a bat, of course.
You Might Not Be as Regular As Usual
In other words, you’ll be constipated. This is one of the very unpleasant pregnancy facts.
This is a really sucky symptom of being pregnant. But why should having a developing foetus inside us prevent us from going to the toilet as often as we usually do?
It’s down to the fact that your body starts to pump out more progesterone, which in turn relaxes your muscles. This in turn makes you constipated because muscles that are too chilled-out to do any work invariably prevent you from using the toilet as much as you’d like.
To get things moving while you’re pregnant, increase your fibre intake and drink lots of water.
Your Skin Might Itch
Ooh this is a bit of a nasty one because let’s face it – itchy skin is the worst. It’s just horrible! It’s not painful, but in some ways persistent itching is almost worse than pain.
The reason most pregnant women get itchy skin is down to oestrogen and stretching. Fortunately, there are things to treat it. You just need to keep moisturising regularly, and avoid hot showers. Also, try to avoid harsher soaps.
Basically, treat it the way you’d treat winter dry skin.
Um, You *Might* Get Haemorrhoids
Okay, we’re not saying that you WILL get haemorrhoids …
But there’s a chance that you might.
Haemorrhoids are nasty. In a sense, they’re basically a part of your body turning inside out. They feel like a bunch of grapes that hang from your anus, and they’re really sore to touch.
Oh, and it can make excreting really painful.
Basically, they’re NOT sexy at all!
The thing is that there chances of you getting haemorrhoids are 50/50. Which means there’s a good chance! Oh no!
And the thing with these bad boys is that, once you’ve got them, you’ve probably got them for life. Sure, they’ll pop back inside your anus from time to time – but they’ll also pop back out again!
(Oh, and they itch, too).
Your Vaginal Discharge Might Change
When you’re pregnant, you might notice that your vaginal discharge becomes kinda milky.
There’s actually a scientific name for this. It’s “leukorrhea.”
Try pronouncing that one – we dare you!
Sure enough, this vaginal discharge is as gross as it sounds, and it’s caused by the build up of oestrogen in your pregnant body.
As long as you stay away from vaginal wipes you’ll be A-okay in the long run.
You’ll Probably Have More Gas
This is another one of pregnancy facts. Nobody wants to tell a lady this but, due to the nature of this article, Beauty and Tips have to be the bad guys.
So, yes, you’ll probably be passing more wind when you’re pregnant.
Moving swiftly on …
You Might Have Heartburn
What causes heartburn in pregnant women? For the answer to this one, we have to turn to those pesky hormones again.
*shakes first and glares at them*
Progesterone – that pesky, gosh darn hormone that we’ve already mentioned – relaxed your uterus when your pregnant.
“Why would you do that, progesterone?!” you might be crying out.
But no – it’s cool that it does that. If it didn’t relax your uterus, your baby would fly out like it’s wearing a jet pack.
Anyway, when your uterus is relaxed, stomach acid floats up to your oesophagus.
And when this happens, you end up with heartburn.
Anyone who’s suffered from heartburn knows that it’s a horrible, weird feeling. The good news (in an article that’s clearly rich in bad news) is that heartburn among pregnant women tends to go away once you’ve given birth.
You Might Suffer From Restless Leg Syndrome
Just picturing restless leg syndrome is enough to make one do anything to avoid it. It’s a really odd thing that, although not dangerous, it’s, well, REALLY ODD.
Basically, your legs won’t stay still. It’s uncomfortable, and it can cause you to wake up from your sleep.
It’s super common among pregnant women, even if no one really knows why. Kinda weird, huh?
Things become truly problematic when restless leg syndrome starts to affect your feet and arms, too.
There are ways to cure it, and restless leg syndrome is the perfect excuse to have a massage. Warm baths are also said to help, as is stretching.
It also might be the case that you’re low in iron. As such, you’ll want to consume more iron via your diet.
Your Sense of Smell Might Get Stronger
This is another one of common pregnancy facts. Are you the type of person who’s really sensitive to smells?
Like, are you always asking “what’s that smell?”?
If so, be prepared because your sense of smell might get even bigger.
It’s not exactly a good thing, especially if the smells you’re smelling are disgusting.
Worse still, a heightened sense of smell can make you want to gag more.
You Might Start to Look Darker
While you won’t change colour completely (hopefully not anyway), you might experience hyper-pigmentation when you’re pregnant.
This basically means that your melanin cells go into overload and darkest your skin.
While this itself sounds a tad problematic, the worst thing is that it sometimes darkens patches of your skin rather than all your skin.
And that looks a bit odd.
Oh well, at least you’re introducing a new person into this world, right?
You Might Get BIGGER
This is one of the obvious pregnancy facts. We know what you’re thinking – “Of course I’ll get bigger – I’ll be pregnant!”
But we’re not talking about just your belly here. We’re talking about everything.
Ever notice how some pregnant women are bigger than others? Some truly expand and get enormous.
And this may happen to you.
We’re talking giant feet here.
The reason for this is that, because your body is retaining fluids, these fluids end up at the bottom of your body. As such, your feet in particular blow up.
However, there are also instances when pregnant women’s faces and hands actually swell suddenly. If this happens to you, you need to see a doctor pronto.
You Might Suffer From Leg Cramps
One of the most painful side effects of being pregnant are leg cramps.
Leg cramps are just ouch. The problem is that they tend to come at night, just after you’ve dropped off to sleep.
You know, just after you’ve spent the whole day dealing with darkening skin, a stronger sense of smell, trapped wind, heartburn, vaginal discharge.
Oh yeah, and turning into a giant.
Compressed blood vessels are rumoured to be behind leg cramps, but the truth is that the culprit has never been found. The likeliest explanation is that your legs have to deal with more weight now that you’re pregnant, and this can cause a bit pain.
Okay a lot of pain.
You Might Have an Acne Breakout
The thing with acne is that it always seems to come at the worst possible time.
First day of a new job.
This is because acne is often caused by stress. The more stressed you are, the more likely it is that you’ll break out in acne (especially if you’re prone to a breakout).
Another thing that causes acne? Pregnancy.
Yup, that’s right. As if having to deal with haemorrhoids, constipation and TURNING INTO A GIANT isn’t enough, you might also have to deal with acne.
Again, we can blame your hormones for this one. Basically, during pregnancy, hormones stimulate your sebaceous glands, which in turn causes spots to develop.
The biggest problem here is that you just have to roll with the punches because the stuff you normally use to treat acne contains BIRTH DEFECTS.
We can hear you screaming out of frustration from here.
The good news is that the companies who produce over-the-counter acne remedies are aware of this, and are busy developing products that are pregnancy-friendly.
Moreover, there are also plenty of natural remedies you can use in the meantime to treat your acne.
You Might Have Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums happen for a variety of reasons. Usually, our gums will bleed if we haven’t taken good care of our oral health, but pregnancy can also cause them.
How and why?
One word: Hormones.
Bleeding gums are actually one of the most common side effects of being pregnant, and you needn’t be concerned. However, if bleeding gums is your first side effect and you still don’t know you’re pregnant, visiting your dentist doesn’t mean he’ll be able to tell you you’re pregnant, ha!
If you do experience bleeding gums during pregnancy, it’s a good idea to avoid sweets. Brush your teeth properly, and swill your mouth out with water. Look after your oral health more than ever!
You Might Pee Your Pants
Um, did we just say that?!
We sure did!
Unfortunately, this is probably the most embarrassing side-effect of being pregnant.
And when your doctor congratulates you on being pregnant, no, he isn’t going to tell you that you might pee your pants.
The reason pregnant women pee their pants is because of the close proximity between the uterus and the bladder. Unable to cope with all that pressure, the bladder starts to leak.
Also, sneezing can cause leakage.
You Might Get Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion sucks, but it’s a common side effect of being pregnant for many women. Unfortunately, it’s just another thing we have to deal with.
It typically occurs during pregnancy because the oestrogen in your nose causes your mucous membranes to swell.
They swell so much that congestion occurs. In worst case scenarios, you might even experience a few nosebleeds.
As you can see, pregnancy is amazing and the end result is a gorgeous new baby that you get to welcome into this world. Before that, however, you’re going to have to deal with some pretty weird – and gross – things.
Do you know other pregnancy facts? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment below.