My mother said she glowed and my best friend said that pregnancy gave her beautiful hair and nails. So far pregnancy number two has given me bleeding gums and a lot of gas, which is a lot less endearing than luscious locks.
Swollen ankles and acid reflux aside, there were a bunch of pregnancy symptoms that I wasn’t expecting and, to be honest, made me slightly concerned. Through chats with other pregnant women, some late-night googling and very unofficial polls, I have discovered that these weird pregnancy symptoms are in fact, quite common.
Have you encountered any of these goodies during pregnancy?
1. Bleeding Gums
The first time I spit and saw blood, I panicked. I’ve since learned that swollen and sensitive gums are often part of the pregnancy package. I’ve tried to reduce blood and discomfort by switching to a soft toothbrush and brushing gently. This seems to reduce some of the redness.
2. Change in Shoe Size
During my last pregnancy, my feet swelled so much; they stretched one of my favourite pairs of shoes. Alas, now that my feet have returned to their previous size, I’ve had to retire these beauties for good. For other women, however, this shoe size increase is permanent. Quite a few women report their feet grow a full shoe size after pregnancy. On the bright side, these women have to go shoe shopping post-pregnancy which, let’s be honest, is never a bad thing.
3. Intense Itching
During my last pregnancy, I scratched till I bled, leaving scabs and permanent dark marks on my skin. This time, the itch is intense and I have to talk myself down from scratching my growing bum and belly raw. Skin stretches during pregnancy, estrogen increases and commands a greater blood supply, all of which are responsible for that unbearable itch. To curb the scratching, I make sure I moisturize the problem areas as often as possible.
4. Extra Gas
Bloating, cramping and the desire to break wind are totally normal symptoms of pregnancy. These symptoms often arrive at the most inopportune times like during a meeting or in a packed elevator. Increased progesterone causes intestines to slow down, which can also cause painful constipation. To help, I avoid carbonated beverages and am cutting down the cabbage and broccoli intake until after the baby is born.
5. Stuffed Nose
I’m not sick and it’s not allergies but I constantly seem to have a stuffed nose. I’ve been told this is, once again, due to hormones that make mucous membranes dry, swell and sometimes bleed. To combat these mean membranes, I drink lots of water and have turned on the humidifier in my bedroom.
6. Excess Saliva
I’ve drooled on myself (and possibly others) during the first trimester of pregnancy. Usually associated with morning sickness, this awful symptom disappeared as the second trimester arrived. To manage the built up saliva, I ate crackers, chewed gum and drank water with lemon. I still have friends so I guess it worked.
7. Out-of-Character Food Cravings
I’m generally a healthy person and eat a fairly balanced diet. Not so with this pregnancy. Baby number two has brought with it an aversion to anything green, grown in a garden or not covered with cheese. But I’m not alone. I have a friend who went from a devout vegetarian to crushing a beef burger with bacon in under a minute. Like everything else, this can be blamed on crazy hormones and I have decided to roll with this one. This symptom will just require a few extra hours on the treadmill postpartum. Until then, please pass the butter.
What’s been the weirdest pregnancy symptom you’ve had?
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