Pregnancy can be a time for mom to admire all the changes her body is capable of making to accommodate her child. She will glow and look healthy and full, so much so that those around her may not realize some of the very gross things actually taking place as the pregnancy progresses.
Like most anything in life, pregnancy is a mix of the beautiful and the nasty, the best of times and the worst of what our bodies have to go through to grow a person. Due to hormone fluctuations and the overall effects of pregnancy on mom, she will soon realize that there is a whole lot of disgusting involved in gestating for nine months.
Not every mom experiences all of these issues, but most moms have no problem picking a few off the list that they were struck with during pregnancy. Some subside after the first trimester, and others don't even get started until mom is closer to the end of her pregnancy, but most of the problems on this list are not issues mom wants to discuss with others. In fact, some moms even go as far as to try to hide these problems from their partner.
While all of these can fall into the nasty or disgusting category, they are all also completely normal. Though mom has the right not to share these occurrences with others, she also shouldn't be ashamed of what she is experiencing. Pregnancy brings the good, the bad, and the gross.
15 Horrible Hemorrhoids
It's not really fair that mom has to gain a ton of weight and then push an eight pound baby out of her lady bits, all while possibly fighting a vicious case of hemorrhoids. That's right, these swollen veins in the rectum are more common when mom is pregnant, and they range from slightly uncomfortable to horribly painful.
Hemorrhoids usually spare mom until later in pregnancy, the last half being their favorite time to strike. Due to constipation that mom will likely struggle with while pregnant, the veins often bulge and swell because of the pushing mom has to do to pass stool.
There's also the added issue of a very heavy uterus bearing down and increased blood flow to the lower half of the body. Because of these problems, swelling in the rectum is common.
Luckily, there are some preventative measure that can be taken, such as staying hydrated, keeping the bottom clean, and exercising reasonably while pregnant. Once the hemorrhoids do strike, mom may want to keep them a secret, but she needs to at least tell her doctor. He can give her tips on treatments and staying comfortable while pregnant.
14 Sudden Nosebleeds
Snot coming from the nose is gross enough, and mom may find she has an increased amount of that during pregnancy. However, she will also likely deal with nosebleeds.
Blame all the extra blood in the body during pregnancy for this one. The vessels in mom's nose enlarge, and the extra blood puts enough pressure on them to cause them to burst. Mild nosebleeds are nothing to worry about, but they are unsightly and inconvenient.
Drinking extra fluids and using a humidifier may help mom cut down on how many nosebleeds she suffers from. However, if she does start bleeding, applying pressure to the nose and using ice can help stop the flow. Keeping Kleenex or a rag in mom's purse can help her avoid getting blood all over her clothes when these bleeds start.
If nosebleeds are extremely persistent and won't stop after 20 minutes of pressure is applied, mom should let her doctor know. More may have to be done about this gross pregnancy symptom.
13 Leaky Chest
Mom may not imagine her breasts leaking until the baby arrives, at which point it's natural for mom to produce milk that sometimes pours out into her bra. What mom should know is that breasts can start leaking fluid way before the baby arrives.
Mom's boobs are advanced planners, so they start making nutrient-rich colostrum in the early second trimester. For many women, there will be no sign of this substance until the baby arrives, but others will see, smell, and feel colostrum before they ever hold their little one in their arms.
Leaking breasts can be hidden by nursing bras stuffed with pads that will help mom save her clothes from destruction. However, it's harder to hide leaking from a partner. Oftentimes breasts that are stimulated will leak, and so intimacy is a time when those overactive producers will really shine. To be fair, most men are just happy to see boobs and not concerned about the sticky substance leaking from them.
12 Weird Food Cravings
While food aversions are a common problem for pregnant women, food cravings can also get out of control. Mom may crave foods she's never had a desire for before, or she may pair foods that don't go together at all. Some of these food combinations are so strange that mom prefers no one else know about them.
There's another kind of pregnancy craving that mom may want to hide, but she doesn't need to. In fact, if mom starts feeling a strong desire to eat clay, dirt, or other non-food items, she needs to let her doctor know immediately. Pica, a condition that affects a small amount of pregnant women, happens when mom starts craving non-food items.
Some of the things mom craves may be harmful for her or her child, and while there is no known cause for this condition, her doctor can run some tests and make sure she is getting minerals and vitamins she needs.
11 Yeast Infections
As if there's not enough going on down there, yeast infections are a real threat for pregnant women. The reason is an increase in the hormone estrogen, which will then cause an otherwise innocuous bacteria to grow to the point that it is out of balance.
Plus, moms usually complain of discharge and just overall moisture in the lady region during pregnancy, and this makes it easier for bacteria to grow.
The good news is yeast infections don't usually cause any lasting harm for a mom-to-be. They're uncomfortable, but otherwise they don't generally pose a huge threat to pregnant women. A child can be born with thrush if he passes through the vagina while mom has an infection, but thrush can be treated.
What is important is that mom receives a proper diagnosis to make sure what she is dealing with is a yeast infection and not something more serious. Talking to an OB is important when the itchy, burning symptoms start.
10 Bleeding Gums
Mom will probably feel like smiling from ear to ear when she finds out she is pregnant. However, she should know the state of her mouth may cause her to look more like she's been in a brawl than anything else.
Plaque has bacteria, and we always have a certain amount of plaque in our mouths. During pregnancy, hormonal changes make moms more likely to be susceptible to that bacteria, and many moms develop a form of gingivitis specific to pregnancy. Gums will likely bleed and ache, especially when mom tries to floss or brush.
It's never fun to have swollen, achy gums, but it's a small price to pay for a baby. Mom needs to continue taking good care of her teeth as well as seeing her dentist so he can remove plaque and keep some of the bacteria out of mom's mouth.
9 Varicose Veins
Our whole bodies go through so much when we're pregnant, but our legs have to literally hold up all the extra weight we carry. It's hard to fault them for having veins that break under the pressure.
Varicose veins occur because we have a ton of extra blood in our bodies when pregnant, yet it doesn't move as fast. This buildup in pressure in our legs can cause veins to enlarge and become visible underneath our skin. Though unsightly, they are usually harmless, though they may itch or put pressure on mom's legs.
After mom has the baby, varicose veins generally go away on their own. It may take up to a year, but they should eventually disappear. Until then, regular exercise, plenty of fluids, and support hose may help mom deal with the situation. Though mom may feel tempted to hide her legs due to varicose veins, she shouldn't be embarrassed. They happen, and mom will likely notice them more than anyone else.
8 Pregnancy Acne
It's odd to feel like an adolescent entering middle school while carrying a child, but many women do feel like their faces suffer a throwback to harder times. Acne, sometimes severe, can be an early symptom of pregnancy, and it may continue throughout the entire gestation period.
The surge in hormones we experience during pregnancy causes more oil to live on our skin. Half of women report suffering from acne during pregnancy, and women who have had acne in the past are more likely to deal with it during pregnancy. It's one of those fun symptoms that is literally written all over our faces.
Treating acne is also not a breeze while mom is pregnant. Many acne medications contain ingredients that can harm a baby, so mom will need to rely on washing her face to help reduce oil build up and looking for natural options.
7 Dry Skin
In the true contradictory fashion of pregnancy, not only do women deal with excess oil on their skin, but they also have to live with their skin drying out. Due to all the stretching that takes place during pregnancy, mom's skin will likely dry out, itch, develop red bumps, and possibly even become flaky.
Dry skin is reported to be a problem most on the stomach since that area of the body obviously stretches the most. Women may also have issues with their thighs and arms depending on where the extra weight settles on their bodies.
Moms who suffer with dry, itchy skin should moisturize using products that are safe for the baby. They also need to avoid products that dry out the skin and avoid super hot baths since they can leach moisture from the body. If dry skin starts causing rashes to develop, it's not a bad idea to call the doctor and see what else can be done.
6 Loud Snoring
The first time mom's partner tells her she is snoring, she may find it hard to believe. Many women don't snore, and then suddenly they become the quarter of pregnant women who do by the end of pregnancy.
Snoring tends to strike towards the last trimester, and there are a variety of valid reasons for why it happens to pregnant women. All of the excess blood in the body can cause nasal passages to swell, and mom may even be making more mucus which can cause cold-like symptoms. Estrogen takes the blame for that.
Weight gain is also a factor, and women who gain tons of weight or who were overweight to begin with are more likely to struggle with breathing during sleep, which causes snoring.
Snoring is usually a temporary problem, so no matter how much mom hates to hear about it the next morning, she can remind her partner that he can get ear plugs because she's doing the hard work of carrying the baby.
5 Major Gas
This problem is difficult to control and humiliating to deal with. Everything about how our bodies function during pregnancy sets us up for major gas attacks that we cannot control throughout pregnancy.
Hormones, again, play a factor since they slow down digestion. The slower our bodies digest our food, the more time there is for gas to be created. As pregnancy continues, just the fact that our middle is expanding, smashing parts of our digestive system, means digestion will move even slower.
While it's understandable for mom to remove herself from others when she feels gas coming on, she doesn't always have the chance. Pregnancy relaxes our muscles which is a good thing because it prepares our bodies for birth and helps the body accommodate the baby while mom is pregnant. It also makes it very hard to hold in gas. Even the most modest mom may find herself letting one rip in mixed company.
There's not much to be done, but mom may want to lay off the beans while pregnant for the sake of others.
4 Stretch Marks
Seasoned moms refer to these as tiger stripes, but newbies will look down at their stomach and only see the dreaded mark of pregnancy they hoped to avoid: stretch marks.
Stretch marks appear on the stomach around the third trimester, though mom may have the pleasure of finding them on her rear end, breasts, and thighs as well. Due to the rapid growth of the baby and mom towards the end of pregnancy, the elastic tissue under the skin changes, and mom will notice red or purple marks because of this.
Stretch marks don't happen to every pregnant woman, but they occur in many pregnancies and aren't avoidable. Though they look angry and dominant while mom is pregnant, they fade when the pregnancy is over. However, mom should not hope for them to completely disappear since the tissues change permanently and leave marks on mom for life.
3 Vomiting And Nausea
Some women suffer from morning sickness that lasts the first trimester while others deal with all day sickness that assaults them the entire pregnancy. Either way, it's common for mom to spend at least a portion of her pregnancy throwing up.
Vomiting is gross and smells horrible, but it is often the sign of a healthy pregnancy. The hormone, hCG, is supposed to be high during pregnancy, and a high level of hCG is often connected to mom throwing up. Food aversions also make vomit more possible, and mom may also throw up during labor. No one ever said pregnancy was easy.
Mom may be able to hide this symptom if she is sick at certain times of the day and knows when to be away from people. Carrying breath mints to help breath after vomiting is a good idea. Plus, mom should feel free to explain to those around her what is going on. Everyone gets sick at some point in life, so no one is unfamiliar with puke.
2 Extra Saliva
Women who feel like they are producing more saliva during pregnancy are not crazy. Ptyalism, the official name for excessive spit, occurs for many women who suffer from morning sickness, especially a severe kind of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Since there is no official reason for this issue, researchers speculate that hormones, of course, probably play a role. It's also theorized that women who are suffering from nausea don't swallow as much. That means saliva builds up in their mouths, and some moms have to spit it out because there is so much of it.
Excess saliva won't harm mom or the baby, but it can be extremely annoying. Women report extra spit making morning sickness even harder to handle. Plus, moms with excess spit may experience heartburn since they don't swallow as much so their esophagus is not coated against the acid coming up from their stomach.
1 Pit Stains
Women don't often discuss this, but sweating is a big part of being pregnant. In fact, excess sweat may take mom by surprise, and she may end up soaking her clothes in perspiration by the end of a day.
When mom imagines pregnancy, she should imagine her body always working. Metabolism and blood flow increase, and mom's temperature will likely even go up. All of this happens so the baby is properly provided for by mom's body, but it's a ton of work. Just like mom expects to sweat when she workouts, she can expect to sweat while pregnant because of everything her body has to do.
Fluctuating hormones also play a role in sweating, but as long as mom does not feel like she's overheating, this problem is more of an inconvenience than a danger. Moms who carry babies during the heat of summer may find they suffer from excess sweat even worse than other women.