You probably know about morning sickness and swollen ankles—these are your garden-variety pregnancy ailments—but there are other symptoms no one seems to talk about. We’re breaking the taboo and rounding up some of more obscure pregnancy symptoms to help new mamas know they aren’t alone.
Weird Things to Expect During Pregnancy
- DRY, ITCHY SKIN is very common, especially around the abdomen and breasts (it’s not used to being stretched!). Avoid taking hot showers, use pregnancy-safe moisturizers or oils to soothe skin, and wear breathable clothing on warm days.
- SWELLING OR BLEEDING GUMS may occur due to increased pregnancy hormones. Make sure you brush and floss regularly, and visit your dentist early in your pregnancy for a checkup.
- SHORTNESS OF BREATH might occur as your uterus grows and pressure on your upper body increases. Try this: Stand up and raise your arms over your head. By lifting your ribcage, you’ll be able to breathe in more air. Try to keep your shoulders back so your chest area can open further, allowing more breathing space.
- A STUFFY NOSE is not uncommon. The increased hormones dry out the lining of your nose, making it inflamed and swollen. Try to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day to thin out mucous, and avoid using commercial nose sprays. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air.
- HEARTBURN can seem non-stop when you are expecting. Stay ahead of it by avoiding fried or spicy foods, eating small meals throughout the day rather than larger, less frequent meals, and rest/sleep with your upper body propped up to prevent stomach acids from rising.
- LEAKING COLOSTRUM (a thick, yellowish fluid containing valuable antibodies for your babe) from the nipples is normal and can happen as early as the second trimester. Wear nursing pads in your bra to protect your clothing from leaks.
- DIZZINESS is common during pregnancy—especially during the first trimester. You may be able to prevent or handle these episodes by eating regularly to keep your blood sugar stable, lying on your left side to improve circulation, and sitting down and practicing controlled breathing. You should also avoid becoming overheated.