When women have been trying to have a baby for a long time, it takes a toll. Not only physically — believe it or not, there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing — but mentally as well. They start seeing symptoms everywhere! Even when they're only a couple of days past their ovulation date — or suspected ovulation date — they start talking almost about feeling the baby move. Yeah, okay! There probably isn't even a baby yet, as implantation bleeding probably still has to happen so, no implanted embryo, no symptoms.
Still, it is funny to see how women get so consumed on pregnancy symptoms — myself included! — and how if they happen to have a cold, they automatically think they must be with child. Well, it might sound crazy of them to think that, but there are a lot of bizarre pregnancy symptoms that people don't usually hear of. Aside from the traditional missed period and weird cravings, newly pregnant women can experience a wide variety of extremely unexpected symptoms.
So read ahead, hopeful pregnant lady, that bleeding nose or all that extra saliva might mean the eggo is preggo! Check out these and other unexpected pregnancy symptoms.
Think you're just having the sniffles? Think again. It might be your little embryo talking! Some pregnant women experience more sneezing than usual while they're with child, so be prepared to carry a box of tissues everywhere you go — as if the swollen feet weren't enough.
Even though every tiny little symptom can seem daunting when you're pregnant, rest assured that sneezing is only annoying, but not at all risky for little jr. in there. According to Healthline, sneezing alone cannot hurt your baby, but watch out for other symptoms because you might not be dealing with harmless sniffles but with illnesses like asthma or the flu.
Definitely stop yourself from sending your OB that text at 3 a.m. because you're going through boxes and boxes of tissues, but if you're having difficulty breathing, a fever, or any other symptom, feel free to text them like crazy.
If you're having belly pain while you sneeze, don't worry, that is also perfectly normal — annoying as anything, but normal after all. Belly pain is known as round ligament pain, and coughing or sneezing usually puts more pressure on the ligament, which results in pain. To avoid pain, and sneezing all the time, try natural remedies like a neti pot, a humidifier, an air purifier or saline nasal spray.
19 Yellow From Down Under
If you've ever been pregnant, you know that it's a very wet 40 weeks, at least for your undies. If it's not sweat from walking around with an extra body attached to your midsection — or even just from going to the couch from the bed after a quick pit stop in the bathroom — it's the dang discharge that no one seems to want to talk about.
According to Healthline, pregnancy discharge is very common, particularly during the first trimester. It comes out as white or pale yellow sticky mucus caused by your wild new set of growing hormones and extra blood flow in the downstairs area.
It might be annoying to feel like you just peed yourself — although some of those time you might actually have peed yourself, but more on that later — but pregnancy discharge actually has a reason to exist, unlike cockroaches. Discharge is there to prevent infections and soften the walls.
While discharge is normal, there are certain things that are definitely not normal. If you notice it smells, turns into a green-yellowish color, becomes very thick or watery, burns or itches, definitely contact your doctor!
18 Unexpected Leaks
Pee is basically what starts this whole pregnancy thing — I mean, not really, I'm well aware of how babies are made — but pee always goes hand in hand with pregnancy because it's exactly what you use to find out if you have an actual baby inside of you or just a burrito baby.
But you must know that your pregnancy test and those annoying little cups at your doctor's office to check for protein are not the only time you'll face the P word during your pregnancy. When your undies are not wet from all the discharge or the sweat, they are most likely wet from a little pee that you involuntarily leaked.
It doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing, if you're in public or home alone, if you're meeting friends or the President of the United States, if you're at your best friend's wedding or binge-eating ice cream while re-watching The Office. Pee leaks don't discriminate.
If you really think about it, they totally make sense. You drink more water and you have a tiny human treating your bladder like a chew toy.
Fortunately, there is something you can do about it. You won't believe this, but according to Parenting, the only thing you need to do to stop leaking is use the bathroom! The less you have to hold it in, the more chance of success at actually holding it in. Amazing, right?
17 Excessive Gas
Remember whoopee cushions? Well, I hope you remember them fondly because during pregnancy you will basically turn into one — although not as red and not as plasticky, so thank goodness for that.
For the next 40 weeks, you can expect the unpleasant sound — and more often than not, smell — of passing gas to be stuck to you like a leech. A leech that is slowly but surely stripping you away from your friendships and that last little shred of dignity that you hold on to so dearly after your pants burst open from behind at 16 weeks while shopping at Target.
While it is definitely one of the most annoying pregnancy symptoms, and one of the hardest to control, according to Parenting it has a perfectly normal explanation.
As your belly grows more and more and all that progesterone runs around your body, your intestines get sluggish, resulting in constipation and hence making you unable to control it.
As if gas weren't enough, it is usually accompanied by bloating — which is probably why you think you're already showing at like 6 weeks. The good news is that there are things you could do to minimize both the bloating and the gas. Try treating your constipation to alleviate things. Also, avoid foods that make you gassy, like beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and any fizzy drinks.
16 Metal Taste In Your Mouth
This is one of the weirdest pregnancy symptoms I've ever heard of, but it's totally true! Aside from my extremely tender chest, the only other symptom I had with both my pregnancies even before I took a pregnancy test was the metal taste in my mouth.
Have you ever bit or licked a key? If you haven't, don't do it, it's gross — do you have any idea where your keys have been? Exactly, those are a lot of nasty little germs you don't want. But if you were as fearless as a child as I was, then you might remember biting a key and getting a weird taste of metal. That is exactly what this feels like.
According to Healthline, the metal taste comes from a change in taste — probably the same reason why your former beef-loving self can't bring herself to the meat aisle at the grocery store.
If you don't particularly enjoy the taste of loose change in your mouth, you can neutralize it by eating things like saltines, sugarless gum, spicy foods, and drinking cold liquids. All of these should help you feel like your normal self again — at least taste wise!
15 Stuffy Nose
If you're lucky enough, a stuffy nose will only happen in the morning, when you wake up feeling like you have the nastiest cold and can't breath and there is no amount of tissues that will help. But if you're not as lucky, your nose might feel stuffy all day long — and we all know that being pregnant makes days, hours, minutes, and even seconds go by as slowly as a sloth.
The reason why you feel like you need an oxygen tank with you at all times is — you guessed it — hormones! The increase in hormones and blood production are the reason why you produce more mucous than you can keep up with, according to Kidspot.
To avoid wiping your nose so much that it starts bleeding, try using a saline nasal spray, drinking enough liquids — fun side effect, this will also have you running to the bathroom every 2 minutes sharp — and making sure you run a humidifier, at least at night. This should help minimize the symptoms and keep you from feeling like an 87-year-old woman with bad lungs. This can be especially troubling if you already have another child because it can keep you from being able to keep up with them.
If your spouse or partner has ever told you that you snore and you've refused to believe it, this time it will be true. I was one of those who refused to believe that any type of noise could come out of me while I was asleep until, you know, my sneaky husband actually recorded me while I pleasantly snored away.
What?! That surely couldn't be real life. I was a dame, a princess disguised as a commoner, a glitzy unicorn full of rainbows and sparkles. Oh, yeah, I was also pregnant. Baby-to-be had turned my glitter and sparkles into snoring and farting without even realizing it. Thanks a lot, little one! Hey, at least they came out cute and funny, so it was all worth it.
Anyway, back to the snoring. It's not you that sounds like a chainsaw. I mean, it technically is you but you can always blame it on the hormones that keep your mucous membranes so swollen that there's no other way for you to breath at night.
Since you can't really use your congested nose for breathing, you use your mouth instead and, well, snoring happens.
But tell Randy not all is lost, you can do some things to minimize the snoring, according to Parenting.com. Sleeping on your side, using a humidifier and saline nasal drops before going to bed will all help. Now it's Randy's turn to do something about his snoring, too!
13 Sweating Up A Storm
I've always been known to sweat. Seriously, I sweat from places that should never even sweat — hello, back-there crack! My son, poor thing inherited my sweat glands, calls it "sticky undies," so you can imagine how bad it is. I didn't think it could get worse than that, but it somehow did.
With my daughter it made sense because she was born in the middle of August — only the hottest month ever on the Northern Hemisphere. But with my son it was just so weird because he was born early January. And there I was, on Christmas dinner, wearing a tankini because I just couldn't handle the heat.
Once upon a time I used to care what other people thought of me, but when you're 38 weeks pregnant and sweating from your eyelids while getting an extra serving of mashed potatoes, you wear that tankini proudly — even in front of your annoying sister-in-law. But see, I wasn't making it up. I wasn't showing off my pregnant belly on Christmas just for the sake of it, there was a reason for my overproduction of sweat and that was my very hardworking metabolism.
All the extra blood pumping through my body warmed my skin, making it sweat just by existing. While Parenting.com recommends wearing layers, avoiding synthetic fabrics, and drinking fluids, I recommend tankinis. Seriously.
You know how you're not supposed to drink when you're pregnant? At least not drink like a fish, whatever that means. Well, another fun thing about pregnancy is that you get to be sober and hungover at the same time. Isn't that amazing?
Headaches are a common symptom of pregnancy. According to AmericanPregnancy.org, you can — once again — thank your hormones and extra blood volume for feeling like they're poking you on the head with a butter knife.
Of course, you can also blame your newfound enemies on stress. Whether you're worried about work, your relationship, your family, or the fact that it won't be long before you have to push basically a watermelon out of your lady bits, stress can definitely contribute to the headaches. So try thinking happy thoughts, get a relaxing foot massage, and think about all the possibilities that come with an epidural during childbirth.
Since there aren't many pills you can safely take during pregnancy to help with the headaches, the best thing you can do is try to avoid them. Good posture is essential during your third trimester. Make sure you get
plenty some rest — easier said than done when you have other kiddos to take care of. Exercise as advised by your OB and eat a balanced diet — at some point you'll have to get your hands off those Twinkies, Susan.
Relieve your headaches without the help of modern medicine, by applying warm or cold compresses, getting a shoulder and neck massage, taking a warm shower, and resting in a dark place.
11 Unable To Go
You don't know constipation until you've been pregnant and constipated. Seriously. Even if you're only a few weeks pregnant, every time you push you feel like the baby is going to come out the wrong end. There's only one way to describe it: it sucks.
You feel bloated and like you're ready to go, but then you sit on the toilet for hours on end — thank goodness for Candy Crush — with nothing but a few farts that only make you get your hopes up.
As everything else with pregnancy, constipation happens because of a surge in hormones and, believe it or not, prenatal vitamins are partly to blame.
Also, according to Healthline, your digestive system naturally slows down when you're pregnant in order to give your body more time to absorb nutrients for the little baby you have stomping on your bladder.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to stop/prevent constipation, and that includes adding more fiber to your diet, drinking a loooooot of water, and get a good sweat sesh in, as approved by your doctor. If things get really rough, though, there are some stool softeners that are pregnancy safe — yay for stool softeners! Just talk to your doctor about it, they should be able to help.
10 Sensitive Teeth And Swollen Gums
Another fun symptom to add to the old bag of tricks! Isn't pregnancy so much fun and an amazing time for any woman? Sensitive teeth and swollen gums are two symptoms that you just don't understand how they relate to the pregnancy. I mean, the baby is in your belly, what does that even have to do with your teeth? Well, everything, apparently.
Some people have had gingivitis before, which is an inflammation of the gums that cause them to bleed, but it's specially fun when you have pregnancy gingivitis. The increased blood flow and, again, the hormonal changes, make your gums more susceptible to gingivitis, which cause them to be swollen, sensitive and irritable.
The bad news is that your teeth will hurt if your coffee is too hot, the worse news is that you can't even drink coffee — or is that the good news?
It's very important to have excellent dental hygiene during pregnancy as to avoid gingivitis and other periodontal infections, as you're more susceptible to them during your second trimester, according to AmericanPregnancy.org.
So don't forget to floss, brush using a soft toothbrush, and pay a visit to your dentist if you feel any discomfort because, believe it or not, periodontitis — what happens after gingivitis if untreated — can lead to preterm labor. Who knew?!
9 Cold And Flu-Like Symptoms
You know how you feel like you've just been run over by a truck when you have the flu or even a cold? Well, you might not have the flu at all, you might have a baby in your belly instead.
Headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, nasal congestion and backaches are some of the symptoms moms-to-be have reported during early pregnancy, leading them to think they were coming down with the flu but they never got a fever or really got sick.
The problem with those symptoms, along with nausea and vomiting, is that they can be signs of a cold, the flu or pregnancy. So, how to be sure? Well, obviously your belly will start growing, but that won't happen for a few more months when you're still early. But it's safe to say that if you don't have a fever or a cough, there might be someone making themselves comfortable in. your uterus.
To make symptom-spotting even more fun, according to Livestrong.com, both conditions — the flu and pregnancy — can happen at the same time, making your symptoms possibly the actual flu, without it meaning that you're not pregnant.
Does that make sense? To be safe, if you've been trying to conceive and have weird symptoms, take a home pregnancy test!
8 Mood Swings
Some days you're up, some days you're down, that's just life. But in pregnancy, time doesn't seem to be measure in days, but in hours, sometimes in minutes, even. One minute you're totally fine and having a blast at your best friend's wedding, and the next minute you're crying over cake that is chocolate and not chocolate with sprinkles — a girl needs her sprinkles, dangit!
The good side of pregnancy is that you don't get your period for 40 weeks — maybe even longer if you breastfeed — yay! The bad side is that you still get PMS, and not just once a month, but basically all the tixme. You're whiny and needy and hungry and achy all the time.
So stock up on the tissues, grab a few tons of your favorite snacks, and instruct your friends and family to only talk to you when you talk to them. Once my husband dared to say good morning and I basically chewed his head off for thinking it was a good morning. The nerve.
As with your mood, you can expect your libido to go up and down, from hot to cold. Some days you'll feel like a regular performer, and other days you'll feel like a bloated dragon who should live in a castle tower in a far away land.
Once you find out you're pregnant, just apologize to everyone in advance.
7 Extra Saliva
If you think you're spitting when you talk more than you usually do, you're not imagining things, you probably are actually being a regular alpaca. But don't worry, as with almost everything else in pregnancy, the spitting is hardly your fault.
Spitting is actually due to producing extra saliva — something that makes morning sickness and nausea actually worse because your mouth feels clammy and yucky.
According to Kidspot, the excess saliva and accompanied drooling is associated to morning sickness and nausea, so it's basically a vicious, wet circle.
Good news, though! The drooling and spitting won't last forever, they usually subside around weeks 12 to 14, when your nausea and morning sickness start settling down. In the meantime, eating crackers and saltines definitely help. Drinking more water is also recommended, and don't forget to brush your teeth multiple times a day! It will help with the symptom and keep your mouth minty fresh.
Something else resulting from the excess saliva? Pregnancy heartburn — which definitely has nothing to do with how much hair your baby is gonna have. You can drink milk or take antacids to help out with that.
6 Skin Changes
Forget about the pregnancy glow — which in my experience is nothing more than an excess of skin oil that appears overnight as soon as you pee on a stick. With pregnancy you'll find an array of fun things happening with your skin, like the linea nigra – a dark line that forms from your belly button to your lady bits.
According to Parenting.com, noticing anything from dark patches on your face spider veins on your legs, arms, chest and neck, and skin tags on your neck and armpits is totally normal during pregnancy.
So you may have glowing skin, but also patchy and veiny skin, and that's totally normal. Don't feel bad if you're not the Gisele Bundchen of pregnant ladies.
The good news is that most of your skin changes will disappear or substantially fade postpartum. Still, to avoid getting the dark parches — which are caused by an increased production of melatonin during pregnancy — use sunblock daily, even when it's rainy or cloudy. Skin tags probably won't go away on their own, but they're easy to take care of by a dermatologist if they bother you.
5 Another Chest Change
Your girls' accessories won't be the same during pregnancy. It doesn't matter what they looked like to begin with, they will most certainly end up looking like very round, very big, and slightly overcooked pancakes.
Not only will they be bigger and darker, you will also most likely end up developing little bumps all around them that secrete liquid — think of them like tiny, mini pimples that you shouldn't try to pop because ouch.
In reality, those bumps are glands, and they are there to help your skin keep hydrated when expanding because, trust me on this one, it will expand to unsuspected sizes.
Some say that the size change in your lady bits has to do with helping your newborn breastfeed, according to Parenting.com, but don't worry if for some reason they don't seem big enough, you probably won't have any issues breastfeeding.
Talk to a lactation consultant if you want to breastfeed! As for if things go back to normal? The size usually does. The color might not quite, they might stay a little bit darker than they used to be, but they'll go back for the most part. Definitely avoid topless sunbathing because that definitely won't help.
4 Big Feet (Sorry About Your Old Shoes)
If you have a pair of shoes that you love you better wear it while you can, before your feet look like they're pregnant, too! While for some women the size increase only lasts for a little while, or during pregnancy, for other, less fortunate lot, it might never go back. I've been pregnant twice and the only thing that still fits my feet from my pre-kids days are a few sneakers — not that I would want to wear stilettos or high heels while chasing a toddler around, but still, it would be nice to fit in them *sniffs*
Your new big feet are most likely the result of liquid retention, meaning they are swollen beyond belief. Did you know that all that excess liquid can result in up to one more shoe size? Yeah, you read that right. So better start prepping for next 9 months with some comfy slippers and a-size-too-big sneakers.
According to Parenting.com, you shouldn't try to squeeze your little tamale feet in your old shoes, because, well, what if you can't get them out after? But also because comfort is key when you're pregnant.
The last thing you need is for your shoe laces to leave marks on your skin! Invest in some comfortable shoes to use during your pregnancy and after. Happy feet are worth the splurge!
With great pregnancies come great nosebleeds as well. As with everything nose-related, during pregnancy there's a chance your pesky hormones play tricks on you and make your nose feel irritated and dry, causing it to bleed.
Aside from that, when you're pregnant your circulatory system expands to make baby comfortable in your womb. The expansion means more blood created and more blood circulating, which puts you at an increased risk for nosebleeds.
While rarely a cause for concern, nosebleeds are definitely uncomfortable, especially since they always seem to come at the worst possible times, like when you're meeting someone for the first time, or giving an important argument at work, or while you're sleeping and you wake up to what looks like a murder scene on your white cotton sheets.
Still, you wouldn't want to get nosebleeds to often. AmericanPregnancy.org recommends that you only wipe your nose gently, if needed. Use a humidifier, especially during the cold months.
This is one symptom that can really throw a wrench in a mom-to-be's day, so hopefully for the moms who it does affect it won't happen too often. But if you do notice yourself getting a bunch of nosebleeds, it could be time for a bit of celebration too: a bun's in the oven!
2 Vivid Dreams
I've always had vivid dreams and nightmares, somehow I have great memory even when I'm deep asleep. I distinctly remember one particularly haunting one from when I was around 5 years old. This green guy with skin like a crater was trying to attack my family. Definitely not something you want to have to deal with for 40 weeks! So when I read about vivid dreams being a symptom of pregnancy I got understandably worried.
According to Kidspot, it is also the hormones to blame for the dreams. AmericanPregnancy.org also attributes them to your emotional state.
If you pair all that with multiple restroom wake-ups throughout the night to relieve your exploding bladder, chances are you will remember your dreams and nightmares more vividly than you would on a regular day.
Vivid dreams are not just nightmares, they are also dreams that you remember more clearly, that are more intense, or that are anxiety-driven. I remember that one dream I had about having twins (I didn't) and naming one of them Grape but needing to find a name for the other one. Talk about anxiety!
Fortunately, this symptom isn't dangerous at all. No reason to alarm yourself, just enjoy the craziness. Maybe even write a book!
Hiccups are one of those things that you would never, ever think are related to pregnancy. Like, why? Chances are you'll notice other symptoms of pregnancy before realizing hiccups might actually be related to it as well.
While no one really knows what hiccups are, according to MomLovesBest.com we do know they are caused when your diaphragm tenses up involuntarily.
When you're pregnant, hiccups may make an appearance more often than not because they are closely related to other pregnancy symptoms like feeling stressed, feeling sick, having indigestion, or being short of breath.
It is sort of an unreliable symptom, so don't crack open that new box of pregnancy tests just because you have a case of the hiccups. But if you notice them in conjunction with other symptoms, your eggo might be preggo, sister.
For some pregnant women, hiccups are here to stay. They find themselves hiccuping every day or multiple times each day or for long periods, something we all know to be annoying AF. For others, it's not as bad. Nausea and indigestion goes hand in hand with hiccups, so the longer you have those during your pregnancy, the longer you can expect your hiccups to last. Yay for good news! /sarcasm.
If you are not a big fan of hiccups, you can try a couple of things to relax your diaphragm: drink water, fight indigestion by lying down, and do breathing exercises. Hopefully that will help!
References: Healthline.com, Healthine.com, Parenting.com, Kidspot.com.au, AmericanPregnancy.org, WhatToExpect.com, AmericanPregnancy.org, Livestrong.com, Kidspot.com.au, AmericanPregnancy.org, MomLovesBest.com