Ah, pregnancy – one of the most symptomatic experiences this world has to offer. For better or for worse (a little of both, I think), pregnancy overhauls a woman's body, mind, and spirit. Sure, there are expected symptoms that accompany carrying new life, like swollen ankles, back pain, hormonal changes, and emotional sensitivity. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there.
When pregnancy is at the helm of an expectant woman's life, it remodels everything. Like an overbearing mother-in-law, it doesn’t stop butting in where we think it should. It has to have a say in everything.
From small, unexpected symptoms like excessive drooling, to more serious symptoms like varicose veins or pregnancy-specific rashes, pregnancy can bring with it seemingly unrelated friends. It’s good to know the names and natures of these uninvited guests so that a mom-to-be isn’t anxious about them if they unexpectedly show up to her pregnancy party.
Let’s visit 15 pregnancy symptoms that are rare, often overlooked, or considered non-pregnancy symptoms. As though a mom-to-be needed pregnancy to be a little more detailed and complicated! Knowledge is power, as they say – let’s work those muscles. Knowing the odd-ball symptoms is both interesting and helpful should an expectant lady or a loved one come across them in the future.
For any mom-to-be who might run into some unruly skin tags or find herself suffering with nosebleeds, she’ll be glad she read this article today. Here are 15 pregnancy symptoms most women probably didn’t know were part of this experience.
15 Vivid Nightmares
Some people say that pregnancy is a nightmare, but this isn’t what they meant! Apparently, in addition to wreaking havoc during your day, your increased and changing hormonal patterns are also busy at night.
Your hormones spend their nights crafting vivid nightmares – or dreams in general – that might shock you with their intensity. Maybe they’re trying to prepare you for the nights when your children won’t let you sleep?
If you sit up out of a dead sleep in a cold sweat and wonder what the hell is wrong with you to create a dream like that, be comforted in knowing those aren’t your thoughts! Those are the creations of the hormones we’ve all come to know and hate. Don’t be so surprised – we always knew they were little monsters.
14 Sensitivity To Colors
Though vivid nightmares are pretty compelling, this is arguably one of the most interesting symptoms of pregnancy. We’ve always known that colors have subtle effects on our moods (blue promotes relaxation, blah, blah), but a physical reaction to colors is almost like gaining another sense – like you can hear all the nasty things those colors are whispering that we never could.
Basically, just like an expectant mother is made nauseous by smells, a mother can also be tossed into the throes of nausea by colors. It’s wild, but conceivable – you know how a certain color of orange or a mucky green can trigger a negative response? Sorry, am I flaring up your sensitivity to colors? That wasn’t the goal, but now we know that you’re one of the rare supermoms, detecting malice in colors before unnoticed! Go get ‘em.
13 There Could Be Nosebleeds
Remember that time you thought the one good thing about pregnancy is the absence of your period for close to a year? The joke is on us, it seems (isn’t it always?), because now blood unexpectedly comes out our noses!
This isn’t super common, but it’s a sensible symptom; your body ramps up its blood supply during pregnancy to manage all of its new responsibilities. This, of course, increases the pressure in your blood vessels, which sometimes erupt, causing occasional nosebleeds. I hope you didn’t get rid of all of your tampons – now you need two at a time!
Obviously, if you experience excessive nosebleeds, you should consider consulting a doctor. Here’s hoping for a pregnancy without nosebleeds!
12 Voice Changes
You aren’t even surprised, are you? You’re thinking, with all of the hormonal changes I’m experiencing, of course my voice changes.
During pregnancy, some women find themselves communicating with lower or raspier voices. Perhaps that’s the “mom” voice that makes children tremble where they stand. Yes, I can hear the authority already. Without a lower tone, how would your growing baby know to fear your wrath when they don’t clean their room 5 years from now? This is necessary.
Or, perhaps more likely, women need this lower octave to get their husbands in gear during pregnancy. Boy, do they need it.
Most women seem to have a positive response to the voice change, reporting that their partners like it. In that case, may your voice get as low as you used to be able to bend!
11 Snoring The Night Away
Aww, did you think vivid nightmares were going to be the only things haunting during the nights of your pregnancy? Did you think snoring was going to miss this opportunity? Nah, he’s too aggressive for that.
Interestingly, one of the causes for the pregnancy snoring is the same cause of the nosebleeds: swollen vessels! Who knew pregnancy was going to maliciously target your nose like this? I don’t know what your nose did to the baby, but it’s all coming back around now!
Snoring can also be caused by the additional weight you’re carrying during pregnancy or from congestion in general (we’ll talk about that later!). If snoring substantially affects your ability to sleep, don’t hesitate to let your doctor know what’s going on.
10 Lots Of Drooling
The baby isn’t the only one drooling, it seems.
Similar to the increase in blood flow, mucus production increases during pregnancy to bolster immune system protection (you have precious cargo to protect). And you guessed it: this increase in mucus means you’ve suddenly become a drooler.
Now, don’t expect to start foaming at the mouth, because this isn’t rabies (disappointing, I know), but don’t be surprised if you find yourself losing control of your saliva! It’s not exactly the symptom advertised with pregnancy, but don’t be discouraged – you can drool and still glow just the same! Glowing drool? Now that would be a symptom.
Maybe you’ll have an extra dose of patience for baby when he’s drooling all over everything soon. You know how it is when you just can’t help yourself!
9 Pregnancy-Specific Rashes
Changes in skin are expected during pregnancy – we’ve accepted that this is simply an element of pregnancy. There are skin eruptions that are not simple symptoms of pregnancy that should just be endured. Here’s a list of some pregnancy-specific rashes that should be presented to your doctor:
- Herpes Gestationis
- Impetigo Herpetiformis
- Papular Dermatitis of Pregnancy
- Prurigo Gestationis
These skin disorders can be serious to you and your baby, so if you discover a condition that doesn’t seem like the usual red, blotchy rash or acne that is normal with pregnancy, don’t hesitate to have your doctor examine your skin. You can research these pregnancy-specific rashes so you know what to look for!
Just as the body is typically incredible, it is especially so during pregnancy; while remarkable developments occur within the body, some (often, not so great) developments also occur on the outside!
8 Higher Incidences Of Cavities
Maybe this is why people say raising children can be like pulling teeth!
During pregnancy, a woman’s hormones change (earth-shattering news, huh? Stay tuned for more shocking facts!) in a way that alters the way her body responds to plaque. Further, morning sickness can exasperate that change by exposing her teeth to stomach acid at a frequency much higher than normal.
Beyond cavities, oral health in general can suffer during pregnancy. This can manifest itself in swelling or bothersome inflammation (we’ll talk about those gems later). So when your child whines during the inevitable tooth-pulling stage, you tell him that mommy already played her part.
Of course, fitting a dentist appointment in during pregnancy is generally recommended. So, whip out that doctor appointment schedule you’ve been forced to create and add another engagement to it!
7 Skin Tags
Assumed to be a reaction to increased and changing hormonal conditions – just like every other change the body undergoes, it seems – skin tags often develop in expectant mothers throughout the second trimester.
Most skin tags we’re familiar with remain for years, but these pregnancy skin tags might fall off after the baby is born and hormones readjust. However, some moms have dermatologists snip or burn them off, while other mothers carry them around until they’re good and ready to flee the nest. Motherhood really does require patience, doesn’t it?
This is probably one of the more benign and less frustrating symptoms of pregnancy – there is definitely an extensive list of pregnancy symptoms to be much more frustrated with! But hang in there – see what I did there?
6 Increased Sweating
You’re probably not surprised to find this symptom listed, but you might have been surprised if you were at your usual dinner get together, looking at your damp clothing and wondering if you’re allergic to something you ate because this just doesn’t seem right!
A powerful combination of hormonal surges, increased metabolism, and an overall increase in body temperature (your body is working hard in there) have your sweat glands busy. And, even though you know it’s coming, you might find yourself shocked at just how warm your body keeps getting!
But here is the good news: this dramatic increase in sweating is normal and expected and you are indisputably hotter than ever! But don’t break out into dancing celebration over it – you know what that will do to you.
5 Eyesight Changes
Eyesight changes can mean a lot of things: blurry vision in one eye, blurry vision in both eyes, or a seemingly sudden straining to focus on words (such as this article). Changes in sight can be alarming, so it’s good to be reading that this is a normal symptom of pregnancy.
As your body adjusts to an alignment much different than the one it had before pregnancy, the nerves involved in managing your eyesight can be affected. And you know it doesn’t take much to get your nerves going!
Of course, if you experience dramatic or handicapping eyesight changes, or experience troubled eyesight for a prolonged time, don’t hesitate to let your doctor know. You might also consider an appointment with a chiropractor in the event your body simply needs some help in adjusting your alignment.
4 Varicose Veins
Ah, those bad words we all hate to read. You might remember looking at your grandmother’s legs as a child and wondering what the hell grandma does in her free time to get all those marks on her. Now you know.
We all end up walking around with spider veins – those thin capillaries that burst within our legs just under the skin, creating hairline marks almost invisible unless you’re looking for them (like we all do). Varicose veins are something, more, though.
The added pressure, weight, and overall strain on the mother’s body – especially the bottom half – can sometimes result in the development of varicose veins. The veins bulge, becoming clearly visible through the skin. Not to nauseate you, but the best description is like a snake lying just under the skin. Sorry.
While much of pregnancy’s mark leaves or lightens over time, varicose veins might require medical attention to adequately deal with them. If you find yourself with the snake, don’t panic; notify your doctor and plan your extermination.
3 Change in Allergies
No, your current feeling that you’re allergic to your husband isn’t the change we’re talking about, though that could be brought on by your pregnancy!
Interestingly, changes in allergies during pregnancy go both ways; allergy sufferers might find 9 months of relief from allergies, while others might find themselves finally understanding what all that allergy fuss is about.
Until you read this article, you might have thought you were undoubtedly suffering from a cold or flu. Your sniffles, though, might be caused by these strange allergies. Because there are all those restrictions on over-the-counter allergy medication during pregnancy, it’s good to consult your doctor and research what other options might be available to you. It’s definitely a question they’re used to hearing asked!
2 Hair Loss
In addition to your man making you want to pull your hair out, your body has taken the same attitude – this hair is coming out.
During pregnancy, an increased number of hair follicles go into “resting” phase, which is a normal phase of hair growth. This results in hair loss at a level higher than you’re used to. We’re all familiar with staring blankly at the hair brush, wondering how we have any hair on our heads after all of that came out, but this is even beyond that.
You might find yourself constantly pulling hairs off of your clothing or thinking, “wow, my hair looks thin today.” This is normal (even if it is frustrating). The increased rate of hair loss is nothing so dramatic that you should fear baldness, and none of it is permanent. So, rest assured: you will indeed have more hair than baby when she arrives!
1 Bleeding Gums
Very similar to the cavities we talked about earlier is pregnancy gingivitis. That scary word means that your gums are more likely during pregnancy to become red, swollen, and easily bothered, which results in frequent bleeding.
Beyond simple inflammation – which is caused by the increased blood flow and hormonal surges during pregnancy – mothers’ mouths are also less effective in fighting the bacteria in plaque. This combination fosters gums that seem to fill your mouth with that metal taste much more often than you would prefer!
As before, it’s best to squeeze a dentist appointment in there.
Just when you thought you knew what to expect during pregnancy, this list of unexpected symptoms gets added to the pile! But now you know, and you’ll be glad you do.
Sources: My Natural Baby Birth, Fox News, & Pregnancy Corner