As a past member of certain “mom” forums and birth boards, I’ve always seen moms speaking of their ailments and then following up with one of two questions: “Am I the only one?” or “Is this normal?”
Most of the time, the answers are “No, you’re not the only one,” and “Yes, it’s completely normal.” So why are these things happening and surprising the heck out of expectant first time [and sometimes not first time] moms? Because no one talks about it!
Let me tell you. The day I woke up to find two wet patches on my shirt and a soaked bed sheet strategically where my nipples were, I was worried, confused and then a little amused. But I wanted to know why no one ever told me something like that could happen during pregnancy! So here it is, my list of things that no one tells you about before you get pregnant!
The Things No One Tells You About Before You Get Pregnant
1. You may or may not have morning sickness. If you do, it won’t just be in the morning.
2. Morning sickness may very well last into the 2nd trimester or beyond. If it’s severe enough, you might have to be medicated so you can hold food down.
3. You don’t know fatigue, until you are pregnant. I think I slept through my first trimester (both times).
4. Get ready to be constipated, AND
5. Get ready to have unexplained diarrhea [both completely normal].
6. Being hormonal doesn’t just mean crying a lot. You will have the shortest fuse you’ve ever had in your life.
7. You will start feeling aches and pains early on–it’s usually your body just stretching.
8. You might have sciatica problems. If you do, it’s horrible! [1st time I did after 32 wks. 2nd time, since 20 wks and through the rest of the pregnancy]
9. You won’t sleep very well. In fact, you might get less sleep those last few weeks of pregnancy than you will having a newborn! Aches, baby shifting and kicking, braxton hicks, they’ll all keep you up.
10. You may start having carpal tunnel syndrome, and wake up with numb fingers and hands!
11. Your legs will start to cramp up mid second trimester. Hello charlie horses and calf knots! Ouch.
12. You will leak. Vaginal discharge increases significantly during pregnancy. You might want to wear panty liners. Don’t confuse this with leaking amniotic fluid. *If you suspect a leak of fluid, contact your OB-GYN.
13. Another reason for panty liners–you might pee your pants every time you cough, sneeze, or laugh too hard!
14. Being sick while pregnant sucks. There’s not many medications that are considered safe. Many medications have not been researched enough to know. Chicken soup and rest are your best friends.
15. You will probably get hemorrhoids.
16. You know that “glow” you’re supposed to get? Probably won’t happen. Replace that glow with lots of acne…everywhere. Only a lucky few skip the breakouts and have that glow.
17. How could I forget! You might leak from your breasts! It’s your body getting ready to produce breast milk. Just buy some breast pads. I prefer thinner ones like the ones by Lansinoh. Hated the Gerber ones!
18. Your feet might expand along with you belly! [I grew a 1/2 size with 1st pregnancy and almost another 1/2 size the 2nd pregnancy–I had to give away 6+ pairs of shoes that I’ll never fit into again!]
19. You might start having uncomfortable contractions mid-pregnancy called Braxton Hicks. Look it up so you’ll be familiar with the differences between BH and real contractions.
20. There’s a bunch of foods you’re not supposed to eat. For instance, soft cheeses, unpasteurized juices, deli meat [you can eat it if you cook it first] and sushi can all make you sick.
21. You will have some strange freakin’ dreams! You don’t even wanna know, trust me.
22. You will probably sweat. A LOT.
23. You will probably have a lot of gas. Pregnancy gas is the worst too!
24. Your hair will get healthier and thicker. And then fall out in clumps after the baby is born.
25. You will have a lot of blood work done throughout your pregnancy. [I’ve always had a fear of needles until I got pregnant. You learn get used to it!]
26. You thought leaking boobs was bad? Get ready for them to fill up with milk, become engorged and hurt A LOT soon after giving birth!
27. You may start getting headaches for no reason at all. *Always bring up to your doctor if you do. It can be an early sign of Pre-eclampsia.
28. You will probably go into a cleaning frenzy at some point towards the end of the pregnancy. And I mean a FRENZY!
29. Get ready to have total strangers talk to you and/or try to touch your belly. It’s perfectly okay to tell them to back off! Nicely, of course! Hah.
30. You will see some crazy things happen to your belly. It will go from being round one second, to having what looks like an elbow sticking out the next. You will see baby roll, kick, push, and you will feel like that baby is trying to claw its way out. It’s freaky but totally amazing!
And you know what? It is all worth it!
I am not a medical professional nor do I recommend you read this list of pregnancy ailments and assume any pains, headaches, excessive vaginal leakage or the like are normal during pregnancy and therefore do not require medical attention. Although these ailments are common, occasionally they will be due to an underlying, more serious medical issue. If you are at all concerned, seek your doctor’s medical advice.