So you’re pregnant! You’re probably familiar with many symptoms of pregnancy, from all the obsessive reading/surfing websites, television shows, and talking with your girlfriends. Morning sickness, fatigue, cravings, lots of bathroom trips – these are the symptoms we expect. But what about the…other ones? The ones that have us texting our mama friends and asking is this normal?? How come no one told me about this?? Here are five weird pregnancy symptoms that you might not know about.
Don’t be alarmed if you wake up to a puddle of saliva on your pillow, or find yourself swallowing a lot of spit. All those hormones in your body also trigger an overproduction of saliva. While this typically dissipates after the first trimester, it can come and go during pregnancy. If you find it adds to your nausea, you can relieve this weird pregnancy symptom by sucking on a mint or sipping water.
Most women have heard that the hair on their head will become thicker, shinier, and wonderful during pregnancy. This weird pregnancy symptom is, again, due to hormonal changes. The hair on your head doesn’t fall out as fast as it normally does, causing that thick head of hair. However, those hormones also cause hair to grow in… other places, including your upper lip, breasts (around the nipples), stomach, and chin. Tweezing is safe, but if it really makes you self-conscious, talk with your provider about safe ways to remove hair, especially in sensitive areas.
The Gas You Pass
Progesterone, one of the central hormones in maintaining your pregnancy, increases during this time. One of its side effects is relaxing smooth muscle throughout your body – which includes the intestines. This means digestion slows down, increasing gas production. As pregnancy progresses, your growing uterus puts pressure on the abdomen, also increasing gas. Relaxed muscles can also make it harder to control the release of gas, creating potentially explosive (pun intended) situations. To help minimize your gas, take note of foods that trigger you. Common gassy foods include beans and whole grains. Avoiding fatty or greasy foods and carbonated drinks, drinking plenty of water, and getting regular exercise can all help reduce gas.
You won’t have your period, but don’t get rid of those panty liners so fast. Leukorrhea is thin, whitish discharge that occurs throughout pregnancy, usually increasing as time goes on. It occurs because your body’s increased estrogen production also increases blood flow to your pelvic area, amping up the mucous membranes causing a very weird pregnancy symptom. This discharge is normal, and helps protect the vagina from infection. If it becomes thick or smells bad, call your midwife or doctor.
Itchy skin (especially on the belly as it grows), the linea nigra (the dark line along the center of your belly), chloasma (the “mask of pregnancy”) and skin tags are some of the things that can happen with your skin during this time. Hormones can trigger the production of melanin, causing this weird pregnancy symptom which gives skin its color, resulting in dark blotches on your face (chloasma). This normally goes away or fades after delivery. Skin tags are caused by excessive growth of the outer layer of your skin, again, thanks to hormonal changes. They usually develop on areas that are moist or frequently rubbed, like the torso, under your breasts, or your neck. After birth, if they bother you, you can see a dermatologist to have them removed.
Have you experienced any other weird pregnancy symptoms? What was your weirdest?