You already know about pregnancy cravings, morning sickness, and even about getting stretch marks – but pregnancy involves so much more than what people normally talk about, and there can be some unpleasant symptoms. Once the first trimester symptoms begin, you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll experience the rest of the pregnancy.
No two pregnancies are exactly the same but if you’re a mom-to-be, you should be aware of some of the unpleasant pregnancy symptoms you can experience.
1. More Flatulence
Starting strong, the first unpleasant pregnancy symptom you won’t hear about is your body’s increasing ability to create gas. You have more progesterone in your body, which loosens gastrointestinal muscles. This causes your digestion to slow down, resulting in more gas. You’ll notice more gas in the afternoons and evenings.
Up to 30% of women experience snoring while they’re pregnant, and increased weight may partially be to blame. Your upper airways can become restricted while you sleep, leading to increased snoring. When you gain weight, fat is stored around the neck, which causes the upper airways to narrow. This new obstruction may cause snoring.
3. Your Breasts Can Leak
Some women experience thick, yellowish liquid leaking from their breasts before the baby comes. It’s called colostrum, and it helps protect your baby from infection and is the most nutrient-dense part of your breast milk. Just be aware that your breasts may leak at any time, including during sex.
As far as unpleasant pregnancy symptoms go, diarrhea is one rarely talked about. You may experience some new food sensitivities when you’re pregnant, causing diarrhea. If you find yourself dealing with this, try eating bland foods to calm your stomach. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
5. Urine Leaks
Many women experience more relaxed bladders during pregnancy. While this means you may feel the urge to go to the bathroom more frequently, it also leads to some impromptu urine leakage. This typically happens during laughing, coughing, or sneezing. To help, you can do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles.
6. Smelly Sweat
Your pregnant body will produce more sweat and heighten your sense of smell, which isn’t a great combination for you. The “pregnancy glow” you always hear about is your body increasing its sweat production. Your increasing hormones raise your metabolism and blood flow, which can cause you to sweat more than normal. Because of this, you may notice your smell more often now than you ever would have.
7. You’re Constipated
Constipation can make you feel very uncomfortable during pregnancy. It’s one of the common first trimester symptoms, as your pregnancy hormones increase. Progesterone causes the gastrointestinal muscles to relax, so food isn’t moving as quickly through your system.
To overcome constant constipation, a mom-to-be can increase fiber intake. Avoid refined grains (like breads and pastas) if you can, as they tend to make constipation worse. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, and exercise regularly to activate your bowel muscles. If you are struggling with constipation let your provider know.
8. More Dandruff than Normal
Your body experiences many changes during pregnancy. Many women can attest that their hair and scalp change, whether it becomes oilier or drier. Any difference in hormones can cause your scalp to become flakier than what you’re used to. Even if you didn’t used to have dry skin or dry scalp, you may experience it due to changing hormones.
9. You May Get Hemorrhoids
About 50% of pregnant women experience hemorrhoids. This is due to the veins around the rectum becoming red and swollen, sometimes due to strain from being constipated. You’re at greater risk for pregnancy hemorrhoids during the third trimester. To avoid these, eat lots of fiber and drink water to prevent constipation. You can also improve circulation by exercising. Just make sure your doctor is okay with it first.
10. Changing Vaginal Discharge
It’s normal to experience milky white-colored vaginal discharge during pregnancy. You may notice more discharge than usual as your cervix secretes more mucus. If you notice foul-smelling discharge or the color is greenish or yellowish, that may be a sign of infection. Please inform your provider if you are concerned.
11. Extra Saliva and Mucous
Many women experience an increase in saliva and nasal congestion when they get pregnant. Excess salivation is a common symptom of morning sickness and is thought to be one of the triggers for nausea. Increased progesterone also increases swelling of the nasal mucous, so it’s normal to start feeling stuffy around week 16.
Many positive things happen when you get pregnant: the excitement of carrying a child, and the anticipation for them to come. Just be aware you’ll experience some unpleasant pregnancy symptoms as well. As long as you know what to expect, you can have a comfortable and fulfilling pregnancy.
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