By Kaitlin Stanford, TheBump.com
The lowdown on some surprisingly common — and totally gross — pregnancy symptoms nobody talks about.
You hear about the morning sickness, the wacky cravings, and even the swollen ankles before you get pregnant. But let’s be real, those symptoms are child’s play when it comes to what you’ll really have to deal with. We asked moms-to-be on TheBump.com to spill even the most TMI symptoms they wish they’d known were coming. (FYI: You may want to put down anything you may be munching on right…about…now.)
No. 1. You might grow a beard.
“I didn’t know my prenatal vitamins would make my facial hair grow out of control!” — megi616
Ok, so maybe we’re exaggerating a tad. You probably won’t be sporting a full-on beard (hopefully!), but facial hair growth in general is a very real pregnancy symptom — so be on guard. Your raging hormones can be blamed for this one, since they’re what’s causing your hair to grow at super-fast speeds and maybe even in some new (and embarrassing) places. But at the end of the day, it’s a small price to pay for baby; so buy a home waxing kit and remember, it will all end soon.
No. 2. A good poop could feel like a distant memory.
“I never thought I’d have constipation so severe that I feel like I did a major ab workout the day after ‘pushing.’ ” — HRMJPC
Sadly, constipation plagues many mamas throughout their pregnancies, since the flow of hormones can make your belly muscles relax, turning pooping into a rough process. Your uterus is also growing and putting added pressure on your bowels, which may be yet another factor why things aren’t quite in working order. Try to fight back by adding more fiber to your diet, drinking extra water, keeping active, staying on top of your prenatals, and living by this motto: “When you gotta go, you gotta go…”
No. 3. You’ll have insane gas you can’t even blame on the dog.
“My gas would make a trucker blush.” — 2becomes3
Let us just start with: It happens to the best of us. With that said, crazy pregnancy gas is, unfortunately, not always something you can avoid. With your body working double-time making hormones like progesterone and relaxin, muscle tissue around your bod will start to relax — especially around your GI tract. This causes the food you eat to move through your system more slowly, thereby causing you to bloat. Altogether, these factors can prove to be a pretty nasty combo. Our advice: Lay off the gassy foods for awhile, since they’ll just add to your troubles. Other than that, all you can do is grin and bear it — and hope that your partner’s a good sport.
No. 4: Two words: Uncontrollable drooling.
“No one told me about all the extra saliva that would wind up all over my pillow after waking up!” — B3Bride
Nighttime drooling certainly isn’t sexy, but hey, sometimes you just can’t avoid it. Nobody knows exactly why, but it’s pretty common for your hormones to cause your body to produce way more saliva than normal when you’re pregnant. This can definitely lead to some pretty gross situations on your pillow, but also be embarrassing during the daytime too — because yes, the drooling isn’t just a problem at night. So what can you do? Brush your teeth more often, swish around some minty mouthwash, and pop in a piece of sugar-free gum to try and get dry in the mouth.
No. 5. You’ll burp like a frat boy.
“I don’t just have little burps … I have full-on if-I-don’t-release-the-valve-I’m-gonna-hurl kind of belching.” — AndriaKay
If you’re burping like crazy these days, chances are it’s for the same reasons that you’re so gassy. Everything’s getting a bit crowded in there, making it hard to avoid some of the nasty side effects and discomfort. But at least baby doesn’t feel your pain. Yep, that’s right, even though you may be letting out teenage-boy-style burps, baby remains blissfully unaware of all your gas problems from inside your belly. Though you may not be able to get rid of the burping altogether, all you can do is steer clear of drinks with a lot of fizz (aka soda) and hope for the best.
No. 6. Grooming your lady bits could become the bane of your existence.
“No one told me that one day, you won’t be able to see your vagina, and therefore you won’t be able to give yourself a trim…and you’ll become a hairy beast.” — shanmoyer
Sad but true: With your belly growing by the minute, it’s inevitable that there will come a time when you won’t be able to see what’s going on down there — or tend to it. And this definitely presents problems when it comes to personal grooming, since (as we’ve already established) your body kicks things up a notch in the hair-growth department when you’re pregnant. If you’re going into panic mode about what someone might encounter if you don’t get things taken care of — stat, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope — it’s time to start shopping around town for a good waxer. Trust us, you’ll thank us later. (And we’re pretty sure your partner will too.)
No. 7: There will be discharge. And lots of it.
“Oh, the huge amounts of discharge … I was so not prepared to feel wet the entire third trimester.” — Cullum13
Gross, we know. But it’s the truth. Your bod is making way more estrogen now and causing more blood to flow down to your lady bits, which means excess discharge is bound to happen. And while it’s totally normal, it sure ain’t pretty. So if you haven’t already been introduced, it’s time to meet your new best friend: the pantiliner. You’re welcome.
No. 8. The term “lightning crotch” will become a painful reality.
“I refer to it as the Cooter Basher. It feels like someone came up to you and used your vag for batting practice.” — aliciamarie
Next to labor, you really haven’t felt true pain until you’ve been kicked in the vagina by your unborn baby. Of course, there are lots of different possibilities for why this might be happening to you, depending on what stage of pregnancy you’re at. It could be due to baby’s repositioning in your uterus, or maybe what you’re feeling will turn out to be some early Braxton Hicks contractions. Whatever the case, “lightning crotch” pretty much happens to all of us and isn’t necessarily a sign of anything bad. Consider it a rite of passage and try working on looking less shocked when it happens in public (because it will).
No. 9. Kindergarten wasn’t the last time you’ll pee your pants in public.
“I pee my pants every time I gag, cough, or sneeze.” — mrosekepple
It’s true, “snissing” as it’s affectionately known on TheBump.com message boards, is an annoying and sometimes embarrassing side effect in the later stages of pregnancy. Baby’s resting on a lot of internal organs in there, including your bladder, which is why your body can’t help but leak a little. But don’t worry, you won’t need to throw on a pair of Depends any time soon. A mini-pad or even a pantiliner should do the trick for now, along with a good sense of humor.
No. 10. Your vag will actually grow. (Yes, grow.)
“At the end of my pregnancy, my ‘girl parts’ swelled up so big I could barely move my legs around to walk.” — DoDoD
It’s a scary thought, but yes, your vag lips could likely get bigger — even swell a bit — as you near that nine-month mark. No, it’s not pretty (whoever said pregnancy was?), but it doesn’t happen to everyone and it shouldn’t last too long. In short: Your body’s producing more blood now that you’re pregnant, and trying to re-route most of it to your uterus so baby can get enough nourishment. Unfortunately, your vagina may bear the brunt of the increased bloodflow you’re getting down there, which is what’s leaving you feeling tender or sore.
For pregnancy and parenting advice, tools, photos, and more, visit TheBump.com.