For women, comfort is a term they haven't fully understood since they put on their first training bra. The high heels alone are proof that we all suffer a little bit every day. But when a woman gets pregnant, she will feel uncomfortable even more often. Both physically and socially, there are moments throughout the nine months of pregnancy when things can only be called awkward and uncomfortable.
From when a woman is trying to keep her situation on the down low and keep her friends from guessing there is a bun in the oven to when her water breaks and leaves her pants wet, a woman will feel uncomfortable in relating to friends and walking around. Her body feels uncomfortable as the shape changes, and she will have to navigate a world full of awkward situations.
There is the weird reality of announcing the pregnancy news, and all the embarrassing questions that come up in the doctor's office. The maternity clothes, even, can cause some awkwardness, not to mention all the troubles a pregnant woman faces when she is trying to find a comfortable way to lay in bed.
Here are 15 of the most uncomfortable situations a pregnant woman experiences.
15 When She's Keeping It Secret
One of the first uncomfortable situations happen at the very beginning of pregnancy, when a fetus is forming and a woman is excited to have a bun in the oven but not yet ready to share the news. Many times she is caught trying to keep her secret while she is suffering from symptoms like morning sickness, gas and bloating.
On ladies night, she has to figure out how to pretend to sip her wine so her girlfriends don't guess what is going on. At work, she has to discreetly gag at the smell of the cologne of the guy in the next cubicle. She has to pop breath mints as she leaves the bathroom after she vomits in the bathroom.
Sooner or later someone will catch on, and they will confront the woman. She'll try to get out of it, and that's another uncomfortable moment. But pretty soon she will 'fess up and that leads up to the next uncomfortable situation.
14 During The Big Reveal
Many women work for months to plan out how they will reveal their pregnancy to the world. Usually that entails at least one face-to-face announcement and — these days — an announcement on social media.
That face-to-face event can be awkward. Women have to figure out the perfect event, a family get-together, where there isn't another big celebration going on (because stealing someone else's thunder is not cool). And then there is the moment you have to speak up. Tapping the glass can be intimidating, and so can stepping up to the mike.
Then once the news is out, there are plenty of other uncomfortable moments. The mother-in-law's reaction can be over-the-top excited or straight up disdain, for example. The announcement could be greeted with silence or an uproar. It could be interesting.
13 At The Doctor's Office
Let's face it — the doctor's office is usually filled with uncomfortable moments. It's important for a woman to be honest with her healthcare provider. She should feel comfortable asking every question that she has. Whether she is concerned about the smell down there or the burping she experiences, the doctor is the person that knows the good, the bad and the ugly. But we admit, asking those questions can be terribly awkward.
Very few women are comfortable talking about their bodies, and during pregnancy there are even more strange situations that can come up. After stepping on the scale at the beginning of the appointment, then having to get a pap smear or a cervix check, the situation can be about as uncomfortable as possible, so why not add a very personal and disgusting question on to it?
For the most part, the doctor has probably heard it before, but that isn't any comfort to the patient asking it.
12 When She First Wears Maternity Clothes
Some women can't wait to step into maternity clothes — after all, who doesn't appreciate the opportunity to shop. But for just about everybody, that first couple weeks or months in maternity clothes is some of the most uncomfortable you can imagine.
First, there is the physicality of it. The stretchy stuff that is supposed to go over the belly doesn't do much in the second trimester, when the baby belly is still small. It can be a case of constantly trying to hike up the jeans. And the bra can be spilling out, so you have to constantly adjust that too.
And it's also pretty awkward-looking for a while. When the bump is small, it can look like a woman is just putting on a little weight, and no woman wants that to be what anyone is thinking. Usually in the third trimester, it's pretty obvious there is a baby under there, but at first it can be pretty awkward.
Even the Kardashians had plenty of maternity wear fails, so it's easy to imagine how uncomfortable it can be for any pregnant woman to figure out maternity clothes.
11 When She Lets It Rip
There are plenty gross symptoms that can come with pregnancy, and many are private and stay that way. But sometimes it's hard to keep everything to yourself, especially when it comes to the gas that builds up all over — and it comes out in all kinds of interesting and unexpected places and ways.
Some women have it come out up top through burping, and others feel it below when they, well, toot. That can cause all kind of uncomfortable situations. It's one thing if it happens in the comfort of her own home, even if there is company over. But if it happens at work in a big meeting or at a fancy restaurant, it can be pretty embarrassing.
A woman may be uncomfortable trying to hold it in, but if she can't she will feel even more uncomfortable when her body betrays her and the noise — and smell — give everyone a reminder of the bun in the oven.
10 When A Stranger Pats
Pregnant women have to put up with a lot of awkward situations with other people, but the worst usually involve strangers. There is something about pregnancy that makes some people believe that they have the right to be involved in other people's business. Just about anyone feels like they can share their opinions or ask invasive questions — and they even feel open enough to give the baby belly a pat.
Many people don't feel comfortable being touched by their best friends, yet they have to endure the pats of the strangers they encounter every day. And while they are rubbing, they can ask everything from how the baby was conceived to whether or not the woman will have an epidural or breastfeed.
Strangers love to share their own experiences — even if it is a birth story that will bring on nightmares — and they often have no problem judging a woman for her parenting decisions. That's when it can get even more awkward.
9 At The Baby Shower
Raise your hand if you enjoy baby shower games. We didn't think so. And no one hates them more than the mom-to-be, who usually has to reveal personal information like her due date and her husband's circumcision just so her friends and co-workers can fill out their baby shower bingo form.
As grateful as she is for gifts, at a baby shower, she can open up some really strange items that can make her blush — from a nursing bra to lanolin for when her breasts get sore to some truly horrendous baby clothes. And she has to act all happy and sweet, even when she is exhausted and disgusted that people didn't read the registry.
Then there are the questions that her aunt will ask and the repeated stories of the day she was born and all the terror she caused and how this baby will be payback. It can be torture to get through the uncomfortable moments at the baby shower.
8 When She Puts On Her Shoes
Toward the end of a pregnancy, just about everything can be uncomfortable, including putting on shoes. In the summer, a pregnant woman may feel like she is going to die in the heat, but at least she can slip on flip flops and go about her day. If she has to do socks and shoes, it can take hours.
The struggle can be real. Just reaching down can be difficult, and too many women have been caught out at work or at the mall with too entirely different shoes because the mom-to-be can't see down because of her baby belly.
There can also be troubles in getting the feet in due to all the swelling that can happen, especially in the third trimester. If a woman kicks off her heels and hides her feet under her desk at work, she may struggle to get those shoes back on at the end of the day. And then things can get even more uncomfortable.
7 At The Gender Reveal
Gender reveal parties are a big thing these days, but if you think about it, they are very uncomfortable occasions. The worst part is that just about everyone who arrives at the festivities has a preference. They may not want to admit it, and they would eventually be happy with either a boy or a girl, but many have an idea going in as to which they would cheer a little more for — from the mom and dad to the sister and best friend and even toddler cousin.
Then, many parties start off with having people guess which they think the baby will be — and at that point, many people, especially, women, will turn to the mom-to-be and give her a good look up and down. If she carries in front, it must be a boy, they say. It's a daughter; she stole her beauty. Really? The sizing up of the mom to put in a guess is uncomfortable, to say the least.
And then there is the moment when the gender is revealed, which can be awkward in its own right. Inevitably, though, someone will be disappointed, but they can't let that show. If the mom and dad revealed a preference different than the results, then they have a lot of uncomfortable explaining to do, and it's just a big weird mess.
6 When She Has To Pick Something Up
Along those same lines, it can be very hard to just pick something up off the floor when you are pregnant. Bending down can be a chore when there is a big belly in the middle, and it can make it hard to see something too. One of the worst nightmares of every pregnant woman is to drop a pen at work or drop a credit card or something at the mall.
To deal with the belly, a woman may have to contort and maybe bend sideways. She may get creative and use her toes — it's got all the ingredients to make for a very entertaining situation for every passerby and very embarrassing for the mom-to-be.
It can get to the point where a woman will leave a pile of pennies on the ground and just pretend that she didn't notice, and she may even think about doing the same if she drops a $20 bill.
5 When She Tries To Eat
It can be pretty difficult to get through the day, as a pregnant woman. From the very beginning, she will be starving, as all of her food immediately converts to food for the baby. But at the same time, it can be very uncomfortable to eat.
First, it can be difficult to figure out what you want, unless a really strong craving comes. And usually with the strongest cravings, it can be a little awkward to order the strange, specific pairings. And then there are all the worries about the ingredients that can be bad for the baby, including soft cheeses and deli meat.
Toward the end of pregnancy, especially, it can be hard to eat more than a few bites because the baby is taking up so much of the space in the abdomen that there isn't enough room for the stomach. She may feel too uncomfortable to eat, so she has to divide her day into several small meals or snacks instead of big meals.
4 When She Goes To Bed
At the end of pregnancy, a woman can feel pretty uncomfortable at every point in the day. She doesn't even escape it at night, when she has to deal with her big round belly and getting comfortable in the bed.
The only way to get through is by using about a dozen pillows, including one to support the belly and a couple in between the knees. Any woman who prefers to sleep on her back or her belly is miserable at this point because a pregnant woman has to sleep on her side.
And the heartburn that makes it hard to eat also makes it hard to sleep. Some women have to prop themselves up big time to keep their heads above their stomachs to keep the acids more at bay.
Add in all the times she has to hoist herself out of bed to get to the bathroom, and you have the makings for an uncomfortable night.
3 At The Maternity Shoot
By the maternity photo shoot, a woman is well into her third trimester and not too far from delivery. Just about everything hurts everyday, but no one wants that to be a part of the photos that that they will look back on decades later. Instead, the mom-to-be has to paste on a smile and get through it.
The photographer may have an image in mind, and they will pose her while paying no attention to her aching back. She may torture herself with cute shoes despite her swollen feet, and she'll work hard to not waddle during a few, slow action shots.
No matter how uncomfortable she is, a woman wants to look serene and beautiful and happy in her maternity shots, and that can make it even more awkward. But most maternity photographers know how to get a good shot in even the most uncomfortable circumstances, so there should be at least one gorgeous photo from the session.
2 When She Is Overdue
In the third trimester, many women can't wait to reach that light at the end of the tunnel — their due date. They think that the day means that soon her pregnancy will end and she will get to meet her little sweet baby. There will be no more belly to tote around and to mark them for the pats and prying of strangers. And all of the aches and pains that their bodies have experienced for months will finally be over.
But when the due date has come and gone without a baby's birth, all those uncomfortable feelings get even worse. The belly keeps growing; the back keeps hurting; the feet keep swelling (although, if the swelling goes up quickly, see a doctor in case you have preeclampsia).
Overdue pregnant women also have to deal with co-workers and friends throwing out, "You still haven't had that baby yet?" every day until the moment comes. Things go from uncomfortable to miserable after you pass the due date.
1 When Her Water Breaks
Every pregnant woman worries about a dramatic splash when her labor begins. That is very rarely the case, but it can be pretty uncomfortable when the water breaks. Most women have contractions first, and they can even go through the entire labor and delivery without the water breaking, although that is also rare. Usually it happens sometime in between. And there have been plenty of women who have had their water broken by doctors, and it splashes them in the face.
Most of the time, the water breaks and it may seem like a lot comes out, but most of the amniotic fluid stays in place, with the baby's head acting kind of as a cork. If the head moves a little bit, a little more water comes out. That can go on for hours, and it's a bit weird and uncomfortable feeling like the warm splash or leak every once in a while. That's why it's a good reason for a woman whose water has broken to sit on a towel on the way to the hospital.
Things get a lot more uncomfortable during labor and delivery. We can think of a few more choice words to describe those pains and situations, so we will leave it at that for today. Once thing is for certain, uncomfortable can sometimes be the least of a woman's worries during pregnancy and childbirth, but there are plenty of moments that meet that description or beyond.