5 Pregnancy Symptoms You May Not Expect

Image via Devan McGuiness
Image via Devan McGuiness

We've all heard of the common pregnancy symptoms that plague many women during the duration of their pregnancy. From morning sickness to sore hips, when we see the pregnancy test turn positive, we're likely wondering when we're going to be hit with those common, but annoying symptoms that often come along with the joys of growing another human.

There are some other symptoms you could experience at any point in your pregnancy (or not) that are also common, but not as widely known. 

I've experienced a whole slew of symptoms in this pregnancy — more than my previous three full-time pregnancies. It's funny because I always hear doctors and experts say that “each pregnancy is different,” but I never really “got it” until this time around because my others had all been so similar. I've experienced everything from hyperemesis gravidarum to varicose veins (in my feet!) and all the fun things in between like achy hips, cravings, aversions, and fatigue. These are all symptoms that we hear about a lot in terms of pregnancy, and so I wasn't at all surprised when they came into play because I was aware of the possibility.

Some symptoms are more common than others, and some just seem to get more play when we talk about pregnancy. There are some other symptoms you could experience at any point in your pregnancy (or not) that are also common, but not as widely known.  They may sound strange because we've not been so conditioned to expect them, but if you find your pregnancy test turn positive, here are some strange pregnancy symptoms that you may not expect.

Image: Flickr/ bar
Image: Flickr/ bar

Muscle cramps

If you've never had a muscle cramp in pregnancy, you're a lucky lady! They hurt more than they should and can leave you stopped in your tracks until they go away. I've experienced them in my feet and lower calves this pregnancy, and each time, I hope to never feel it again. According to the Mayo Clinic, leg cramps typically affect the calves and feet and “are common during pregnancy, often striking at night during the second and third trimester.” 

Image: Flickr/Micah Sittig
Image: Flickr/Micah Sittig


Like I said, we've all heard of morning sickness in the first trimester — where you feel nauseated and/or end up vomiting at some point. For me, I had it bad enough to be classified as HG, and it's a symptom I am still managing at 32-weeks-pregnant, but for some women, they get a different, yet similar symptom–diarrhea. According to What to Expect.com, this is caused early during the first trimester by the fluctuating hormones, similar to nausea and vomiting, and may also be a result of “all that good-for-you food you're now eating, the extra water you're drinking, or even the pregnancy workouts you've begun.”

Image: adapted from Flickr/ andrewrennie
Image: adapted from Flickr/ andrewrennie

Swollen Lips and Face

I have heard of the puffy fingers and feet in pregnancy, but apparently, puffy lips can be added to the list of pregnancy symptoms as well. I'd not heard of it until both Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson cited pregnancy as the cause for their fuller lips during pregnancy. Bethenney Frankel's face showed a lot of swelling while pregnant with Brynn – so for some moms, swelling isn't limited to feet and hands. 

Image: Flickr/A Guy Taking Pictures
Image: Flickr/A Guy Taking Pictures

Extra saliva

Not a fun symptom to have, I'd imagine. Although it's not one I've personally experienced, I have heard of others who complained of this. According to Just the Facts Baby,  excess saliva during pregnancy could be a result of hormones or may be a side effect of the morning sickness symptom or heartburn. 


Image: Flickr/Wolfgang Lonien
Image: Flickr/Wolfgang Lonien

Extra hair growth

My hair tends to grow really slow during pregnancy, and I can get away with not taking care of my legs for much longer than I could when I am not pregnant. For some women, the opposite tends to happen to their hair when they're pregnant — it grows faster and in different places. For some, their hair on their head and legs grow faster, but for others, hair begins to pop up on their face, stomach, and other places on the body. So, have no fear ladies, if you're sporting a pregnancy goatee, that extra hair growth, which is caused again by hormones, can be expected to fall out once the baby has been born. 

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5 Pregnancy Symptoms You May Not Expect

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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  1. Lindsey says:

    I actually discovered that after my pregnancy, I lost some hair….not on my head but on my legs. The backs of my calves have very little hair on them anymore. I’m definitely not complaining, I just found it very odd! Also, I used to have a pretty noticeable “happy trail” on my tummy before I was pregnant and it became less noticeable after my pregnancy. So I guess the minor stretch marks are a trade off for the less hairy spots…!! 🙂

  2. cherieanna says:

    I too had the extra saliva with my third pregnancy and it made me feel more sick if I swallowed it….bleh

  3. Amber says:

    I had the extra saliva with my last two pregnancies. With my daughter which was my second it went away at 3 1/2 moths but with my son my last pregnancy it lasted until the day after I gave birth. I hated it that was the worst my mouth would fill with saliva and if I swallowed it I would throw up so walked round spitting or sipping/nibbling all day. I am so glad that is over

  4. Grace says:

    im about 34 weeks along and my baby likes to kick down, which has been normal for the past 2 months but as of yesterday she started this new thing where she has her head in my pelvice and she pushes her head into my cervix really hard, is that normal at my stage?

    • Amber says:

      Happened to me with all three of my pregnancies. With my last child I could feel his head on the left side of my pelvic bone pushing and told the nurse which had me roll on my side so he could change positions. He finally got his head to the birth canal and was born.

    • Sounds normal to me. I remember telling the doctor at one point that I was afraid a baby was doing to fall out – it was low and painful. I’d talk to your doctor if you’re feeling very concerned but it sounds like baby is just scooting down to get ready for her eventual arrival.


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