5 Common Pregnancy Symptoms Rarely Discussed
Pregnancy is certainly hard work. It's full of ups and downs, from crazy hormones to belly kicks. It is true that every pregnancy is different. Yet in the end, we all become moms and begin our journey into motherhood with its own set of challenges.
There are many pregnancy symptoms that are widely discussed. In fact, strangers will not think twice about asking about your nausea, food cravings, weight gain, and fatigue. But, what about those symptoms that aren't known to many? You know, those symptoms that happen to many of us but we choose to avoid discussing at length? They may even be symptoms that we attribute to other things. Read more for five of those symptoms:
1. Constant Nasal Congestion
You may experience nasal congestion, due to high levels of estrogen and progesterone, which increase blood flow to the body's mucous membranes, including the nose. This increase in blood flow causes the membranes to swell and often, leads to a stuffed up nose. The bad news is that nasal congestion tends to get worse towards the end of your pregnancy. The good news is that it will completely subside after you deliver your baby. Nasal congestion can be treated with natural remedies, such as a warm-mist humidifier or use of salt water treatments. Another option that should be discussed with your MD is saline spray.
During my first two pregnancies, I only experienced nasal congestion right before I went into labor. The third time, I dealt with it on and off from the middle of the second trimester. In the last few weeks, it got even worse and I was very ready for it to end.
Many woman experience nine months of constipation, due to increased iron from multivitamins and overall slowed digestion. You can combat constipation by drinking plenty of water, exercising, and eating a high fiber diet. You may also want to talk to your doctor about using a stool softener, if other remedies are not working.
3. Unexpected Hot Flashes
During one pregnancy, I suddenly started having extreme bouts of sweating and hot flashes at night. Hot flashes are due fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly a drop in estrogen levels. They can occur during the second and third trimester, but more frequently are present postpartum.
4. Giant Feet
Due to an increase in the hormone relaxin, which helps loosen ligaments in your pelvis, the joints in your feet may also loosen. This can cause a flattening of your feet, making them wider or longer. Some woman move up a few shoe sizes during pregnancy.
5. Skin Tags
According to WebMD, a skin tag is a small flap of tissue that hangs from the skin by a connecting stalk. These tags are not painful or dangerous. They are caused by hyperactive growth of a superficial layer of skin, which is why they are prevalent during pregnancy. Skin tags may fall off during or after pregnancy or they may need to be removed surgically following birth.
Just when I think I have a good handle on what to expect during pregnancy, I am hit with another odd symptom, reminding me that I have no control of what happens to my body right now. Instead of complaining about the downs, I celebrate each pregnancy week, knowing that in the end I will be rewarded with the greatest experience in life, the birth of my little one.
Have you experienced any of these or other pregnancy symptoms? How did you cope with your symptoms?