Unpleasant Pregnancy Symptoms No One Really Wants to Talk About, But We Will
There is much to love about pregnancy. We talk about the glow that women get, the shiny hair, the general sense of hope and joy that growing a new life inspires. But not everything about pregnancy is fun. We’re familiar with the usual struggles: there is morning sickness, the challenges of weight gain, and the stress that carrying a baby puts on your body.
Today we’re talking about the reality of some of the less-than-fun pregnancy symptoms you may experience that aren’t as openly discussed. While you may not suffer all of these challenges, being prepared is an important part of dealing with the more unpleasant parts of pregnancy in the most positive ways possible.
So what are some things you may experience?
A change in your bathroom habits
Pregnancy is an amazing time for your body. So amazing that it can cause problems at the two opposing ends of the spectrum – constipation and diarrhea.
The same fluctuating hormones responsible for morning sickness can also cause upset stomach that leads to diarrhea early in pregnancy. On the flip side, the increased iron consumption thanks to prenatal vitamins and a slower digestive system can lead to constipation.
Making sure that you stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet may help to alleviate some of these symptoms. You can also talk to your doctor about safe stool softeners or other medications.
Both constipation and the increased pressure from your growing uterus can increase your chance of hemorrhoids. These are swollen, itchy varicose veins in the rectum that occur most commonly during the 3rd trimester.
While they can be very uncomfortable, they’re usually minor. You can relieve the itching and pain by using witch hazel pads. Also, avoid sitting or standing for extended periods of time to take the pressure off the rectal area. Ice packs or soaking in a warm tub of water for several minutes may also help. If the discomfort becomes too much it’s important to speak with your doctor.
Swelling in your face
You often hear about problems with ankle swelling during pregnancy, but many women also experience swelling in their face as well. Full lips may seem like a pregnancy bonus, but the swelling can cause pain and sensitivity as well. Nasal swelling and increased blood flow can also lead to congestion, runny nose, and sometimes snoring.
A humidifier or saline spray may help to alleviate some of the congestion. Moisturizer can also soothe skin that is tight or tender due to swelling.
Intense sensitivity to smells
You may find that your sense of smell seems heightened and that smells you used to be fine with suddenly make you feel nauseated. This may mean that your husband’s cologne is more than you can stand or that you’re taking the trash out a few times a day so that you don’t have to deal with the smell.
Keeping baking soda in areas that may have odors, like inside the fridge, can help. You can also work on finding aromas that you do like and have them on hand to counteract the less pleasant smells.
A change in taste
Foods that you once enjoyed may no longer taste the same to you, and this goes the same for foods you used to despise. It’s not unheard of for women to suddenly crave foods they once disliked or to now feel sick at that thought of eating a former favorite snack.
These changes may stay with you beyond pregnancy, or you may find that once the baby is delivered you have your former tastes back.
Changes to your nipples
Most women expect to experience breast growth and tenderness, but there may also be significant changes to your nipples. They may grow in size and the skin of your areola may darken significantly. They may also be very sensitive. Toward the end of your pregnancy you may also start leaking some breastmilk.
Finding the right bra to ensure your comfort is important. Lanolin can help if you experience itching or dryness.
Hair growth – everywhere
One of the great parts of pregnancy is the fuller hair on your head. But you may also get more hair on your face, your stomach, your nipples – basically all over. Luckily when the post-partum shedding kicks in most of this hair will also fall out. Until then, waxing and shaving can keep things at bay.
The good thing about all of these symptoms is that they’re typically minor and temporary. While they may cause you some discomfort or frustration, it’s likely that you won’t spend much time worrying about them once you are busy with your beautiful new baby.