Your body is feverishly working overtime to grow a person, and that is an amazing thing. However, I would venture to say that women who have experienced the “gross” aspects of pregnancy may beg to differ on just how miraculous a case of hemorrhoids feels. While not every woman may experience all of the vile and somewhat disgusting aspects of being pregnant, they will likely suffer at least one of these maladies.
There are a myriad of transformations that take place in our bodies when we're pregnant and growing another human being. Some of these things are completely internal and happen without anyone else being aware, but there are also outward changes that occur when we're expecting.
We plan to be beautifully glowing dainty creatures, appearing as though we have just descended from the heavens, soft spoken and demure, a sight to behold…if this is what you’re expecting, you're going to need to read this article-twice.
So here they are- “The 7 Grossest Things That Will Happen to Your Body During Pregnancy” and consider yourselves warned, there is no way to sugar coat what we are about to tell you…
7 The Bearded Lady
As it turns out most women don’t share that when they were pregnant they could’ve worked for the carnival. I am not just talking about a stray whisker here and there, for many women (and brunettes seem to suffer the most from this pregnancy related malady), they could have a pretty full beard and if not, a nice set of side burns anyway.
The mass amount of hair growth is caused by the dramatic increase in hormone production in your body. While all women can appreciate the miracle of their body having the ability to internally sustain another human life, actually growing a human being, no woman wants to have a set of “mutt n’ chops” that could rival Elvis (imagine1970’s Elvis).
Darkening and thickening of your facial hair isn't an uncommon side effect of pregnancy
And this doesn’t even cover the hair growth in your “nether region”. For those of you who groom your “nether region” to some degree (and if you don’t that’s totally ok too, freedom of choice) - well, good luck.
Once your baby begins to really grow you can no longer see your “nether region” to groom it (and I wouldn’t recommend “going in blind”). So you have two choices- you can either let it grow and embrace the au naturel jungle look of your nethers (and you won’t be able to see it anyway) or you can seek professional help to clean things up a bit, so to speak.
6 What the Hell?
One of the many gross things that will happen to your body during pregnancy is that you will begin to sweat- a lot and all of the time. Your body will go from being a somewhat climate controlled environment to becoming a human bun baking oven, putting off enough heat to sustain a small house in the frozen tundra. If the normal body temperature is thought to be 98.6 degrees, that increases exponentially for a pregnant woman.
The profuse sweating that you might be plagued with during pregnancy will likely be worst during the first and third trimesters of your pregnancy. These seem to be the times when your hormones are going through the most significant changes. And the sweat that you experience during these times will likely be far more than what you might be used to, even following a good workout.
You might feel greasy all the time, but just know that you're not the only one
Not only will your pits be sweaty, but you also may experience profuse back sweat as well as an abundance of sweat in your “nether region” as well.
So be prepared to become a shiny-faced, sweaty she beast. On the upside if you’re pregnant during the winter months, you won’t need a coat this season—your body will keep you plenty warm.
5 I Have a Pimple Where?
From time to time we all have a spot of acne that will pop up here and there particularly around our “time of the month” but the hormone fluctuations, the skin changes and the increased sweating that often take place during pregnancy can wreak havoc with our once clear and dewy complexions, and the breakouts aren’t always on our faces.
The blemishes (pimples, zits, etc.-there is no pleasant name for them) that women get during pregnancy can be well…gross. They tend be of colossal proportions and nearly impossible to cover up with a dab of make- up. These breakouts tend to also happen on our necks, shoulders and backs and often leave small crater like scars.
Don't let pregnancy acne keep you down, many woman have it and it goes away
So don’t be surprised if you find that your face looks worse now than it did in your adolescent days. Just be extra kind to your skin during this time. It is best to avoid over washing, when you wash your face more than you should you will strip your skin of the natural oils needed to bring balance to your complexion. Remember less is more, and that applies to skin care during pregnancy as well.
Perhaps instead of washing your face, maybe just do a rinse or two with lukewarm water. While it may seem counter-productive you should use an oil- free moisturizer following a wash or rinse. And always use sunscreen!
4 Morning Sickness My A**
I am not certain who coined the term “morning sickness”? While it may be true that pregnancy induced nausea is often more common during the morning hours, many women know all too well that sometimes the tortuous nausea and/or vomiting may occur during any time of the day or night.
The changes and fluctuations in hormones, of course are thought to be one of the primary causes of the nausea and/or vomiting that plague many pregnant women. The hormones also cause a relaxation in the digestive tract which can also trigger nausea. There are other contributing factors as well such as stress, fatigue and even genetics may play a role.
There isn’t much that can be done to entirely eliminate morning sickness (with the exception of prescribed medications which tend to only be used in extreme cases of hyperemesis gravidarum) but there are a few tips which can help ease the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.
Whoever came up with the term 'Morning Sickness' was obviously never pregnant
In the early days, don’t stress over making sure you are covering each of the food groups every day. If you are struggling with extreme nausea, eat what sounds good to you, whenever you feel like you can tolerate it. There will be plenty of time to get in your fruit and vegetable requirements. Also, stay hydrated as best you can. Even if you are unable to “keep food down”, keep an eye are your urine for signs of potential dehydration such as darkness in color or strong smell.
Learn to graze, eating several small meals a day, including having a snack high in carbohydrates and protein prior to going to bed in the evenings. This is thought to help with the nausea that strikes first thing in the morning. Many women state that having an empty tummy can be a serious trigger for their pregnancy nausea. Make sure you avoid foods high in grease or fat content, as these may also cause you tummy trouble.
Time to think outside of the box (or the toilet bowl) so to speak.
Some non-traditional avenues to try include acupuncture (which can also be helpful for other physical/emotional ailments as well, so it is likely a win-win). Sea-bands are also popular with pregnant woman who have tried other tips and tricks to no avail. Try ginger also. Have a snack with ginger, even if it’s a ginger snap cookie. There is also a ginger gum on the market as well.
Lastly, try prenatal yoga. Although it may not be a cure for your pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting, it will increase you strength and flexibility as well as helping you become more relaxed.
Your prenatal vitamin is important, so perhaps try taking your prenatal vitamin at whatever time during the day you are feeling your best and think you might be safe from “tossing your cookies” so that your body might have a chance to absorb all of the nutrients your vitamin has to offer your hard working mommy-to-be body.
3 I Can’t Poop…and All I Do is Pee…
This one is a double whammy. Not only will the pregnancy hormones likely constipate you and cause you to be miserable from time to time, later in your pregnancy particularly, you may struggle with bladder control. Once again, pregnancy hormones are working their magic and have turned your bowels into veritable sloths, slowing them down considerably from your norm.
And as time passes and your baby grows, your expanding uterus also hinders the movement of your bowels. There is no getting around this gross downside of being pregnant unfortunately, and you will likely just have to deal with the discomfort of constipation. However, here are a few helpful hints that might help your body do its natural thing.
The first thing you will need to do is add some roughage to your diet. You might find fruits and vegetables unappealing in your early days of nausea and/or vomiting, but the sooner you feel that you're able to add these foods to your diet, likely the better off you'll be.
Most likely you'll be given a stool softener to make your first stool easier to pass
Stay hydrated. Make sure that you are drinking enough water each day. It is a great idea to drink eight-eight ounce glasses per day for maximum movement of your bowels as well as your overall health and well being.
Get moving even when your bowels won’t. Exercise is vital to stay healthy period but exercise, including brisk walking, is also good medicine for helping your bowels pick up speed. Hang in there- the constipation won’t last forever.
When you go #2 for the first time, relax and let it happen
And now onto the bladder…this common complaint is almost the exact opposite of the trouble with our bowels. Our bowels slow way down during pregnancy, but our bladders seem to be in overdrive and constantly needing to be relieved.
Early in pregnancy you'll likely notice that you're having to urinate more. As soon as things begin moving around in order to create more space for your baby, this will create pressure on your bladder. As your baby grows and your belly expands, keep in mind that this only creates more pressure on your bladder.
Not only will you likely have the urge to pee more often, your bladder control may occasionally buckle under the pressure of your baby and you may find yourself needing clean panties whenever you cough or sneeze because you have peed your pants. So, keep in mind that this is normal and it might not be a bad idea to carry of change of clothes with you, at least a pair of panties tucked discreetly inside your bag.
2 What is Happening to My Bum?!
Hemorrhoids are a less than pleasant phenomenon that can occur during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids are a mass of swollen veins and tissue at the opening of or in the…umm…anus and rectum (My apologies, but I couldn’t get around that one).
This is often caused by the increased blood flow to the “nether region” or pressure during pregnancy. Constipation is thought to be a significant contributing factor as well. Hemorrhoids are typically worse in the third trimester of pregnancy. Hemorrhoids can cause you either mild discomfort or can also cause severe pain and even rectal (eww…) bleeding particularly during a bowel movement.
If you don't push properly during labor you can get some pretty terrible hemorrhoids
There isn’t much that a woman can do to prevent hemorrhoids, although doing everything possible to avoid constipation, such as eating a well balanced diet with a good amount of fiber and staying hydrated, is highly recommended as is staying well hydrated every day. You may also want to ask your doctor about taking a stool softener to help as well.
There are a few things you can do to find relief should you develop hemorrhoids. First, should you become constipated, do your best to not strain to have a bowel movement. Ice packs may help as well as soaking in the tub for 10-15 minutes at a time. Lastly do your Kegel exercises! These exercises will help strengthen your rectal muscles (as well as your pelvic floor muscles which will aid in the impending delivery of your baby).
1 Bigfoot Syndrome
It is no secret that parts of our bodies may “spread” throughout the course of pregnancy. Hips become wider, and often times, an expectant mothers face will even become more broad, particularly her nose but many women experience their feet spreading and actually becoming bigger than they were pre-pregnancy, and this point doesn’t really even cover the swelling the might develop during the last trimester of your pregnancy.
(*Note-If you should have significant swelling in your feet, ankles or any other part of your body, you might need to contact your doctor/midwife as this can sometimes be indicative of a more serious pregnancy complication called pre-eclampsia).
When a woman’s feet spread and become larger, it is often significant enough that her shoe size may increase an entire size. So, ladies, don’t fret when you are outgrowing not only your clothes, but your favorite shoes as well.
With pregnancy you take the good and the bad, because the end result is so worth it
These points may sound like a check list for misery and torture. Nine months of vomiting, acne, swelling and peeing your pants-what could be more fun, right? While your pregnancy might not be all beauty and bliss the bottom line is this- when you hold your baby for the first time and those sweet little eyes look at you, for however brief, that moment in time erases everything you just went through.
Every physical malady you have suffered in the last forty plus weeks will be a distant memory and it will likely be the happiest moment of your life up to that point.
So take it all in stride and try not to freak out, it will all be worth it in the end!