10 Unexpected Pregnancy Symptoms You May Not Have Heard Of
Anyone who has been pregnant can tell you that growing life is a miracle but it can also be very draining on your body both emotionally and physically. Whilst we all know about the common symptoms of pregnancy that women experience including morning sickness, backaches, headaches, heartburn, constipation, weight gain, and fatigue, some symptoms are less well known. Below we’ve detailed 10 unexpected pregnancy symptoms you may not have heard of.
1. Increased body hair
Some women find that they grow more hair during pregnancy and not on their heads! Increased hair growth is due to the rapid increase in the estrogen hormone in your body.
New hair growth can happen on a pregnant woman’s stomach, arms, face, chest, upper and lower back, glutes shoulders and neck.
If you find that you are growing hair in unusual places don’t worry, it normally goes away after birth as your levels of estrogen decrease.
2. Your feet getting bigger (permanently)
Ever been told that you feet can grow during pregnancy? This is true and false. It’s not so much that your feet grow but that the ligaments, bones and tendons in your feet loosen and relax during pregnancy. This coupled with weight can cause a woman’s foot to become wider and stretch joints. All of this can mean that you may need to go up a shoe size permanently.
3. Change in taste
We’ve all heard about weird pregnancy cravings, but some people have a change of taste because of pregnancy hormones. Have a massive sweet tooth? You may soon see yourself putting down the chocolate and reaching for the hot chips (only on occasion of course)! Some pregnant women even have a permanent sour or metallic taste in their mouths, even when they aren’t eating.
4. Skin changes
Skin changes during pregnancy can be positive, negative or just plain odd during pregnancy. Once again this is all caused by hormonal changes.
Some pregnant women can develop dark irregular patches on their face. This is caused by increased female sex hormones that can produce more melanin when the skin is exposed to the sun. Others find that they have what is known as the ‘pregnancy glow’. In truth this is skin looking flushed due to increased progesterone, human chorionic gonadotropin and estrogen in the body, or at the end of your pregnancy just feeling hot!
5. Hiccupping baby
We all know that babies move around during pregnancy, with mum being the first to be able to feel movements, but did you know about how often babies hiccup?
When developing, baby’s make small movements with their diaphragms when they start to practice breathing. This process causes your little one to inhale amniotic fluid making the diaphragm contract, causing hiccups. You can tell the difference between moving around and hiccups in later pregnancy as hiccups are a smaller, more rhythmic movement.
6. The effect on your nipples
Forget changes in the size of your boobs, it’s your nipples that will cause you disbelief. As your pregnancy progresses, lots of mumma’s to be see changes in the size and colour of their nipples, with nipples getting larger and darker over time.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may start to see yellow discharge on your nipples or may even experience leakage. This is the first stage of milk being produced, known as colostrum. This isn’t anything to worry about, you just may want to start using nursing pads a little earlier than expected.
7. Big libido
During the first and second trimesters of your pregnancy you may find that you have an increase in libido, increased vaginal lubrication and a hypersensitive clitoris. Enjoy the time with your partner if you feel comfortable.
8. Pain and Cramps
As your baby grows it can cause you pain and cramps – and not just from kicking you!
Round Ligament Pain
As your baby grows it stretches your uterus and your round ligaments and this can be painful. Round ligament pain can feel achy, crampy, stabbing or sharp and can be felt on the sides of your lower abdomen. If you experience this pain, try and make your movements a little slower and talk to your care team about a belly band.
Leg and foot pain
Some pregnant women suffer from sudden sharp pain in their legs and feet – particularly in latter pregnancy. This is caused by muscles contracting when they shouldn’t and often occurs at night. If you experience this let your care team know as there are some treatments available that can help.
9. How intense baby brain can be
Baby brain refers to poor concentration, memory problems, and absent-mindedness during pregnancy. Research is mixed as to whether baby brain is real – but if you ask my husband he will tell you with a resounding yes that it exists. Finding keys or calculating simple addition can take a little extra time. Don’t feel down about it though – you are growing life and that takes a lot of energy! Baby brain tends to be more noticeable to those close to a pregnant woman and it isn’t likely to affect job performance.
10. Pregnancy discharge
Pregnancy discharge can be very different to when you aren’t pregnant, and you guessed it, it’s once again because of hormonal changes.
During early pregnancy women can experience spotting or sticky, pale yellow or white mucus. As your pregnancy advances, you may find discharge increases and that you might want to wear a panty liner, pad or maternity panties. Right at the end of your pregnancy (in the last week or so) you may see streaks of jelly like pink sticky mucus, this is a sign that you are losing your mucus plug and you might find you waters breaking or labour commencing shortly after. With the discharge at this time, some Mum's to be prefer to wear their Partum Panties disposable maternity underwear to absorb heavier discharge. As with all pregnancy symptoms, if anything doesn’t seem normal talk to your care team.
What symptoms did you have that you didn’t expect? Let us know!