If we go by Hollywood standards, being pregnant should be all about having an adorably cute baby bump, oozing forth with glowing beauty and ‘accidentally’ getting paint on your cheek while painting the perfect nursery. But that’s a far cry from the truth as it can get, because apart from being packed with stress, pregnancy is actually a woman’s initiation into 40 weeks of embarrassment and awkwardness.
That’s true – all through those 9 months of pregnancy you will find yourself losing your dignity in the most insane ways. But worry not as this initiation to a world full of embarrassments will definitely come in handy when you have a toddler who is ever-ready to humiliate you in public.
Yes, pregnancy is a life-changing experience, but honestly speaking, no one really warned you about those leaky books, excess wind and a whole lot more. Here’s a look into 7 of the most embarrassing problems you will face during pregnancy:
7 Excess Gas Escaping at the Wrong Time
If anything, pregnancy happens to be one of the most flatulent times in a woman’s life. During those 9 long and hard months, your insides are going to be shoved, softened, squeezed and stepped on by your growing baby. All of this is going to lead to a few digestive problems for sure. Yes, from time to time, you will produce the sort of foul odors that are going to put Pumba from The Lion King to shame.
The worst part is that there’s no way you will be able to control the gas or that you will only experience it in private. Your muscles are not going to hold it in, so you can rest-assured that you will drop those bombs all over your workplace, public transport and restaurants. Just about every pregnant woman out there gets gassy because of a hormonal surge that can slow down their gastrointestinal tract.
Because of this, you may not be able to keep ‘things’ to yourself because you won’t be able to exercise the same control over your muscles while pregnant. When you’re not pregnant, you obviously know it’s coming, thereby being able to keep it to yourself. On the other hand, during pregnancy, you’re going to think to yourself, “Oh God, I just farted in front of my colleagues. How do I face them?”
So what do I do?
Although this problem can’t be erased, you can easily reduce your gassiness with changes to your diet and a bit of exercise. Exercise will make it possible for food to move through faster in your GI tract. Also, avoid foods like broccoli, dried fruits, carbonated drinks and beans that are more likely to produce gas.
6 Itchy Breasts and Nipples
Just so you don’t miss out on your ever-changing body, your skin is going to start itching to alert you to the bits that are growing. It’s basically just a friendly reminder that your body is changing and growing – you know, just to make sure that you know what’s going on. While an itchy bump may infuriate you, those itchy nipples are just going to force themselves into the ‘highly embarrassing’ category. Why? Because you’re going to find it very hard to stop yourself from itching them!
As your pregnancy progresses, you’re going to find your poor, swelling, tender nipples begging for a scratch. With time, you’ll find yourself walking down the road trying to itch them in a covert manner by rubbing them with your wrists; your colleagues will witness you jamming pens down your bra just so you can satisfy that darn itch. To relieve the itchy feeling, just moisturize your skin with virgin coconut oil. It contains antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that are definitely going to help you out.
You will also have leaking breasts
Those of you who thought this would only happen once the baby made an arrival, well, you need to think again. Why so? Because your body is going to start producing colostrum by 16 weeks, which means that you are probably going to be able to squeeze a few drops out of your breasts by then. On the other hand, if you aren’t lucky enough, it just might come out all by itself and leak down your shirt.
5 Incontinence – Leaking Urine
Have you heard stories of pregnant women sneezing and ‘accidentally’ emptying their bladders at parties or while hanging out with friends and/or family members? Well, those are true because pregnancy DOES lead to incontinence. Yes, when you get pregnant, you may find yourself experiencing stress incontinence or involuntary leakage of urine because of a laugh, cough or sneeze. It may be just a few drops, but it can get outright embarrassing in public!
In the last few months of pregnancy, it will be fairly usual for you to wet yourself slightly each time you laugh, cough or sneeze. Incontinence during pregnancy is basically caused by the weight of your bump as well as the relaxing effect the hormone called progesterone. For a majority of women (about 90%), this tends to disappear once they’ve had the baby, but for the rest, it may take a few weeks after delivery to settle down.
Help me out!
Well, there are quite a few things that you can do to prevent yourself from leaking urine every now and then. To begin with, start performing pelvic floor exercises. These are fairly easy to perform - just imagine yourself stopping yourself from peeing or clenching a tampon. However, for these to work, it’s necessary for you to do them frequently.
Apart from that, make sure that you wear panty liners to catch leaks and go to the bathroom every two hours if possible even if you feel like you don’t have to go. This is going to help you make it less likely to leak and even if you do, the panty liner will save you from sheer embarrassment.
4 Increased Vaginal Odor
The fun seems unending, right? Particularly towards the end of your pregnancy, there’s a good chance that you’ll start smelling your vagina. There may be different reasons for this, umm, ‘smelly’ occurrence – it could be because you have more mucus, but the good thing is that nobody will be able to tell. Your scent hasn’t become stronger – it’s just your sense of smell that has heightened.
When you’re wondering if the guy sitting next to you on the bus can smell all that yucky vaginal discharge – worry not, because he can’t. However, this does lead us to the fact that your vaginal discharge may change in appearance, color and quantity during pregnancy, and with it, your sense of smell is going to heighten as well.
So, it’s just going to be your hunting nose that should be blamed and you can rest-assured that the rest of the world has not and will not smell your vaginal odor. But as time passes by, it’s highly recommended for you to tell your doctor about any new noticeable vaginal odors just to make sure that you aren’t suffering from a yeast infection.
What else can cause these smells?
In case you test negative for bacterial infections, yeast infection and STDs, it may just be the hormonal changes that are triggering the smell. Apart from that, chances are that these smells will go away after your baby’s delivery. While it’s there, try to stay dry, wear cotton underwear and change them frequently to feel less self-conscious.
3 Random and Severe Nausea
This may or may not happen to you – but it could, so don’t overlook this issue. At times, women are so prone to nausea that they’ll throw up anywhere, and without much warning. If this is the sort of issue you’re facing, make sure you find the nearest bathroom or trash can the moment you catch a whiff of something that sets you off .
Even if it entails having to dash out of the room unexpectedly, or you may end up having to, let’s say, throw up on the floor or on your friend’s shoes. Doesn’t sound like too much fun, right?
According to research, although around 85% of women have a bit of nausea during pregnancy, some expectant women tend to feel overly queasy around the clock. Although the causes of this severe nausea aren’t really known, it’s believed by experts that it’s associated with the high levels of the pregnancy hormones progesterone and estrogen that are known to hit women the hardest in the first trimester.
Is there relief?
There’s no silver bullet that can help all women treat their morning sickness, so you may have to try different things to see what works for you. To curb your early morning queasies, try to nibble on something bland and light before getting out of bed, like saltines. Apart from that, suck on ginger candy or eat a light snack at bedtime to that your tummy doesn’t become unsettled and empty overnight.
As for throwing up in public, keep plastic bags with you together with plenty of breath mints so you can be prepared in case a wave of nausea strikes.
2 The Pain of Constipation
Are you spending way too much time in the bathroom? Well, rest-assured that it isn’t just you. Research suggests that most pregnant women have constipation at some point during their pregnancy. Soon after conception, all those pregnancy hormones are going to slow down your digestive tract (in an effort to let your body absorb more nutrients), thereby making it harder for even the tiniest of meals to be processed.
Now there are quite a few things that you can do to get things moving. To begin with, it‘s highly recommended for you to up your fiber intake. Apart from that, you should also start eating more fresh fruit, beans, veggies and even grains. Believe it or not, but even small changes like these can make a world of a difference in terms of preventing and even curing constipation during pregnancy.
Constipation is a rather serious issue and you may find it a bit embarrassing to talk to your doctor about it. So if you truly want to keep things moving, just make these small changes to your diet and you’ll be good.
Is there anything else that I can do?
Of course! You should switch to a high-fiber cereal and make sure that you drink as much water as possible. Apart from that, you could also try drinking prune juice to avoid and treat constipation. Also, ask your doctor if you can take a fiber supplement which is safe during pregnancy. Although constipation is a rather uncomfortable problem, it’s necessary for you to bear in mind that it is rarely ever dangerous.
1 Excessive Sweating and Hair Growth
Pregnancy is a time marked by overheating, breathlessness and increased sweating. For this reason, you can expect sweat patches to be as much a part of your maternity wardrobe as stretchy jeans. The one thing for sure is that you’re going to sweat almost constantly during pregnancy, and it is going to intensify each time you climb the stairs, walk briskly to catch the bus and even when you speak on the phone.
Apart from the impact that all this sweating is going to have on your personal odor, the most embarrassing bit is going to be the ‘sweat stache’ you will be wearing. For those who don’t know, a sweat stache is a moustache made entirely of sweat and can get rather embarrassing.
The hormone surge that you will have during pregnancy will also lead to increased hair growth – another rather embarrassing problem. Yes, you’re totally going to fall in love with that extra thick and glossy mane of yours, but you aren’t going to like it when your sideburns grow out of control and you have hair growing under your chin.
Is all this sweating and hair growth normal?
The increased hormones in your body are the reason why you will start feeling extra-hot and sweaty during pregnancy and have extra hair too. When it comes to sweating, it’s just an effort from your body to keep itself cool and there really isn’t a thing for you to worry about. If you’re too worried, just get yourself checked for an infection or hyperthyroidism although these are less likely.