Everyone loves to talk about the pregnancy glow or the first time they feel their baby kick, but let’s get down to it. There a lot of things that we don’t talk about that happens during pregnancy. Growing a baby is beautiful and great, but it’s also a little gross. Your body changes
1. Plantar Fasciitis
I’m pretty familiar with medical terms (I’m kind of a hypochondriac), and I had absolutely no idea what this was prior to experiencing it during pregnancy. Pregnancy and the weight gain from it can put a lot of stress on your feet and ankles. The plantar facia is a thick band in your under your foot that connects the heel to the toes. When there’s stress on that band, it causes it to inflame, thus resulting in pain, especially when you take a step (Plantar Fasciitis).
2. Vagina Swelling
With all that extra blood flow, excess hormones and fluid retention, I’m going to be honest-everything swells. I mean, EVERYTHING- nose, lips, breasts, ankles, feet, toes. And, yes, your vagina does, too. While on the topic, I should probably tell you it can also turn blue, too. Don’t worry- both of these things are normal and resolve after pregnancy.
3. Itchy Skin
Your belly stretches a lot, your body needs more water and your hormones are going crazy. This contributes to itchy skin, which may be even worse if you are prone to eczema. Cocoa butter, baby lotion, and oil are a godsend!
4. Sciatic Nerve Pain
You don’t have to be pregnant to have sciatic nerve pain or sciatica. This can happen at any stage of life, but it typically happens in the second or third trimester of pregnancy due to compression of the sciatic nerve. With the baby growing, and everything shifting, sciatica is very common. Anti-inflammatory medication, rest, stretches, and a chiropractor are the best way to treat this nagging pain!
5. Linea Negra
The linea nigra, is a dark line that runs up the middle of the abdomen. It can be a centimeter wide, and can start at the very bottom to the belly all the way to the top of the belly. It’s caused by hormones, and is typically seen on people with darker skin, due to having
6. The “Mask” of Pregnancy
As you may notice, your skin changes a lot during pregnancy, whether it’s acne, stretching, itching or even changing colors. Skin discoloration is also normal process during pregnancy. You may notice hyper pigmentation on your face, also known as the “mask of pregnancy”. The hormones in your body are producing more melanin, which causes this mask of pregnancy (melasma, also known as cholasma). Typically, the discoloration is in patches, and it fades a few months after delivery.
Obviously, you shouldn’t have alcohol, while pregnant, but did you know these other items cause heartburn and acid reflux to flare? Pregnancy causes extra progesterone to produce, which relaxes the valve from your stomach to your esophagus. This allows acid to pass, creating that terrible burn in your chest. If you are prone to acid reflux and heartburn, I would try to avoid these foods during pregnancy. And, especially avoid PIZZA! This was my weakness. I used to sleep sitting up, because I had such bad acid reflux, and I would literally choke in my sleep. If you get acid reflux, ask your doctor what you can take to alleviate it while pregnant!
Your insides are moving around, you’re taking iron, your body releases progesterone, which slows the digestive track, and your body needs more water than before. All this leads to constipation. Colace was recommended by my doctor during pregnancy and postpartum and helped, but always talk to your doctor before taking any medication. PS. If you are in the first trimester and also have nausea, whatever you do- don’t try liquid milk of magnesia.
With constipation, comes hemorrhoids. I am so, so sorry if you experience this. I’m especially sorry if you go through hemorrhoids after delivery. I’m pretty sure this scared me more than delivery. Again, that pesky progesterone is at play when it comes to this. Progesterone causes the walls of your veins to relax, thus allowing them to swell. When you are straining to have a bowl movement (thanks, constipation!), you are more likely to develop hemorrhoids. Try to sleep on your side, and try to find something to help alleviate the uncomfortableness (i.e. preparation H or stool softener).
10. You leak… from everywhere
Most people are under the impression that your breasts only leak after you’ve had your baby. That’s not always the case. Your breasts can actually leak during pregnancy (I’m actually speaking from experience). This isn’t the only part of your body that leaks. With extra blood flow, and the baby weight on your bladder, you may accidentally tinkle yourself when laughing, coughing or sneezing. Also, some women report producing extra cervical mucus during pregnancy. I’d suggest stocking up on nursing pads and menstrual pads!
Here are some items that I found useful during pregnancy:
If you already have children, what did you not know about during pregnancy? What would you recommend to pregnant women?
Like this post? Read Eleven Things No One Tells You About After Birth!
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