Pregnancy is an exciting time in many women’s lives. The moment you find out you are going to be a mom is both frightening and overwhelmingly joyful. At this point, the only thing that is for certain is that you are growing a little human inside of you that will be welcomed to the world in about nine months. This is great news! What is not so great is the massive variety of experiences women have during pregnancy, it is not a one size fits all. Find comfort in the fact that many women are very willing to discuss their experiences and support you through this journey. Depending on your preparation style, knowing the symptoms may give you a sense of control. That was at least how I felt most prepared for my pregnancy. If you feel like you can relate to my thought process, keep reading. We will be diving into the sneaky symptoms you may experience during pregnancy, but are not often discussed.
1. Boob Leakage: I am sure you have been warned plenty of the leakage to come after your baby arrives, but for some women this can begin much sooner. This was the case for me. I began leaking early in my second trimester, and it took a while for me to realize it was indeed coming from my breast and not just water spillage from my water bottle. This leakage is colostrum and according to my Doctor, is completely normal. What may be cause for concern is a green or red coloration to it, so make sure you consult with your doctor if you experience any kind of leakage.
2. Joint Pain: Although it may be well known that the hormone Relaxin leads to pelvic pain from the loosening of ligaments and joints, I think it’s important to warn women about the additional pain they will undergo if they were flexible before pregnancy. Again, this was the case for me. As a former cheerleader and someone who was naturally flexible, I thought this flexibility was going to be beneficial for birth. While it does help, I did not expect the trouble I was going to have with walking and keeping active. Physical activities came with a lot of pain the next day. My hips would lock in certain positions and it was painful to move. Fortunately, I had a very easy pregnancy, and this was the worst part of it, which was not that bad when looking at the bigger picture. Physical Therapy is a huge help, lukewarm baths work wonders, and taking it easy on the tougher days is essential.
3. Feet Growth: Yes, ma’am, your feet will be growing in more ways than you thought. Not only will your feet swell, but they can actually grow in size. In some cases, they will not go back to the pre-pregnancy size. In other words, if shoes start feeling tight, you might want to move up a size and keep them for the future.
4. Skin Tags: Skin tags are a little growths that can appear literally anywhere you have skin. During pregnancy, they can pop up at any point. In my experience, they sprouted on my armpit, tummy, and back of the neck. They were tiny, but they can really range in size. You may be tempted to try to cut or clip it off, but make sure to check in with your doctor. They can give you the best recommendation on removing them or living with them.
5. Nose Congestion: This is a symptom that is also heavily discussed. However, the severity of it is what I feel is under-discussed. It can become so severe that breathing through your mouth is just about the only way to get the necessary oxygen. Additionally, bloody noses and tearing are very common. The best option to ease this symptom is a saline nasal spray. You want to avoid other nasal sprays because the ingredients which are used have been correlated to decreased breast milk production. If you find yourself experiencing this symptom, bring it up to your Doctor and they can provide you with a personalized recommendation.
6. Nose Growth: SPEAKING of noses, your nose is likely to grow throughout pregnancy. Between the fluid retention and inflammation of facial tissue, there is going to be nose growth. It may not be super apparent, but when you look back at pictures and compare them to even your postpartum face or pictures, you will be able to tell if your nose grew.
7. Flatulence: EXTREME GAS coming your way. This is a very common symptom of pregnancy and can range on smells and intensity. While it is not the most situationally appropriate symptom, rest assured that it is only temporary.
8. Dark Spots….Areas: Dark spots are commonly discussed as a pregnancy symptom, but mostly in regards to the “mask” you will get around your face asnd the darkening of your linea alba (the line that separates your abs and runs down your belly). HOWEVER, there are many other parts of your body which will experience a darkening due to your hormone overdrive. Some examples include your armpits, neck, elbows, area around your nipples, and your vagina. This symptom is reversable and everything should return to normal after pregnancy and nursing.
I would like to clarify that this article is written for women who want an insight into the symptoms they may experience but are not often discussed. These symptoms are strictly from women’s personal experiences. Nothing listed is a diagnosis or medical advice of any kind. If you experience any of these symptoms make sure to bring it up to your doctor as it is vital that they have all details surrounding your pregnancy.