Pregnancy seems to be the breeding ground for advice. Everyone is ready to tell you about their experiences and what to expect. This often fills new moms with a sense of confidence knowing the awesome and, well, not so awesome side effects that can occur during pregnancy. However, there seem to be a few things that people leave out. While many of the side effects of pregnancy are not enjoyable, you will feel better knowing that other moms have experienced them too. Here are a few things no one tells you about pregnancy:
Your body’s reaction may not be “pretty.”
It’s not just weight gain, a belly and looking tired. The appearance of your skin can be affected during pregnancy. Melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy, can cause skin discoloration on your face. Acne is also a common side effect. And it doesn’t stop there! It is very common for pregnant women to get hemorrhoids during pregnancy and after giving birth. You will also most likely gain a dark line running down the center of your belly. Not to worry, these side effects will be a thing of the past once you’ve had your baby. As I have learned, pregnancy and giving birth means your body is constantly changing!
Your body may do things that seem “wrong.”
A huge misconception is that bleeding while pregnant most likely means that something is wrong. However, it is actually quite common. Always take precautions if you experience these side effects, but also take comfort knowing that everything can still be okay if you are bleeding while pregnant. You also may be sick at different times of the day, not just in the “morning.” Although this can be frustrating, it is completely normal. Stock up on ginger candy and ginger ale and hope for the phase to pass! Another common occurrence is “milking the bed.” Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Your body can start producing milk weeks before you give birth. As a result of not being able to actually nurse your baby, you may leak. These are all natural side effects that will eventually even out.
You may hate things that you normally love.
What once was your favorite drink or food may become your greatest enemy. My husband had to change his cologne which I had given to him and I loathed my favorite beverage: coffee. One of the things no one tells you about pregnancy is that while your body crave certain things, it can also be inconveniently repulsed by things you once craved daily. When you are pregnant, your opinion of the things you like and dislike is so strong that it can feel confusing. Take a deep breath, step away from what is currently repulsive or indulge in your new fixations. Your pregnant self will thank you!
Your body may not act how you want it to.
Many women experience a heightened rate of clumsiness when they are pregnant. Some of the symptoms that contribute to this could be dizziness, feeling off balance, or increased exhaustion. I think every mom I have spoken with experienced some sort of fall in their last trimester. What no one tells you about being pregnant is your change in size, especially during those last weeks, can cause you to misinterpret your spatial awareness. I personally dropped a plate filled with my dinner (which I was craving like crazy) not once, but twice while pregnant! If you’re feeling a little frazzled, don’t worry, we’ve all been there and lived to tell about it.
The fun doesn’t stop when you have the baby!
Another one of those things no one tells you about pregnancy is that some of the side effects can last after baby. Many women are shocked that they bleed heavily after giving birth…for a while. And it’s not just a couple of days; it can be up to six weeks! I was asked over and over again if I bled after having a C-section. The answer is yes, you bleed no matter which way you have that baby!
The last symptom is the craziest one I experienced.
I barely remember what it felt like being pregnant. Imagine all those symptoms, side effects, scary things, uncomfortable things, and – POOF – they are all gone from my memory. I look at pictures of myself while pregnant and I feel like it was a lifetime ago. Yes, the changes are never ending. Yes, they can be frustrating at times (cue the hormonal tears). But they are always minuscule moments in an incredible journey. Your time with these reactions will fly by, even if it doesn’t seem to when you’re in the midst of them.