10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Pregnant
The pregnancy glow. An adorable baby bump. A time of pure bliss growing a baby. Pregnancy is indeed a beautiful time of transformation. And while we hear about a few of the most common symptoms like morning sickness and the extra weight gain, it is less common to hear about several other things that are equally unpleasant or at least downright unexpected. Unless you’re prepared for them, uncommon pregnancy symptoms and discomforts can catch you by surprise. Let’s expose the ten things no one tells you about pregnancy.
1. Morning sickness actually means all-day sickness
Nausea and/or vomiting is one of the hardest parts of pregnancy. This “morning sickness,” as it’s referred to, is quite the misnomer. That is because symptoms can strike at any moment day or night, especially in that first trimester of pregnancy.
About 70% of pregnant women will experience morning sickness which may include being nauseous, vomiting or a combination of the two. For most women, symptoms dissipate after the first trimester, but for a small percentage it may persist throughout pregnancy. Eating more small meals throughout the day instead of three big ones, sipping ginger tea, and trying acupressure are among the sucessful treatments that women have tried to help alleviate morning sickness, and maybe one will work for you if you experience this.
2. You Are Not Really Eating For Two
Although pregnant women need to consume more calories than the average woman, it’s a common misconception that this means eating enough food for two.
According to AmericanPregnancy Association, it’s true that nutrient needs increase in pregnancy, but energy requirements only increase by an average of 300 calories per day in the second trimester (and about 400 in the third trimester).
The first trimester does not require any extra calories. Many women don’t realize this and may eat more than necessary, leading to extra weight gain, and in some cases increasing the risk for gestational diabetes.
3. You Will Be More Emotional
Pregnancy hormones ramping up production can often leads to mood swings and crying spells. So, if you are feeling extra emotional after watching a sentimental commercial or a random act of kindness, know it is common. Progesterone and estrogen levels in the body play a significant role here and can contribute to a range of emotions, including the difficulties that come with growing a new baby.
However, if you are feeling more down than usual, it is equally important to speak to your healthcare provider. Depression can strike during at time of life including pregnancy. Also, women who experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy are more likely to experience it postpartum.
4. Expect Some Joint Pain
Another pregnancy symptom that you don’t hear much about is the physical aches and pains your body experiences as your due date approaches. However, this is quite common and expected with a growing belly and more weight to balance. The pregnancy hormones, relaxin and progesterone contribute to joint ligaments loosing up in preparation for birth.
5. And Some Bloody Noses
Bloody noses are among those rarely talked-about pregnancy side effects that may alarm you but is typically no big deal. With the extra blood volume being produced during pregnancy, nosebleeds can be common. The chances may even be higher during the winter months with little moisture in the air. Invest in a humidifier to help reduce your changes or suffering from a dry or bloody nose.
6. This is When the Sleep Struggles Begin
During the first trimester, it is common to lack energy as your pregnancy hormones kick in and contribute to fatigue. However, what we rarely hear about is the sleep struggle that comes during the third trimester. Later in your pregnancy, it can become increasingly challenging to get comfortable at night. Yes, you have a bigger belly to accommodate, but there is also more pressure on your bladder, which means more trips to the bathroom late into the night. It seems this is our body’s way of preparing us for the months ahead with a newborn.
7. That Fabulous Pregnancy Hair Growth Can Lead to Postpartum Shedding
One of the most fascinating parts of pregnancy is that despite all those pregnancy symptoms that might get you down, most women also experience a pregnancy glow — feeling well and full of energy. This also often includes beautiful lustrous locks due to a higher production of estrogen that keeps your hair from shedding.
The downside of this? After birth, those estrogen levels decrease which leads to significant hair shedding or postpartum hair loss which peaks at about 4 months postpartum. It’s just something to note when you find extra hair coming out in the shower, in your brush and on your clothes.
8. Diastasis Recti will be your most-Googled Condition
You might hear moms talking about ways to lose the “mom pooch” or belly bulge after pregnancy, but do you know what that really stems from? Diastasis Recti. It is the separation of the abs that can occur during pregnancy as your uterus grows and muscles stretch to make room for baby. Most women often don’t hear about this until they experience the struggles that come with it, such as a bulging belly, weak abdominal muscles or lower back pain. The postpartum time after pregnancy can bring on many challenges, so it’s important to talk to your provider or physical therapist for treatment options.
9. Maternity clothes are a must
Most people assume maternity clothes are nice to have, but not a true necessity during pregnancy. Nonetheless, I learned the hard way that a few maternity clothes are indeed essential for boosting your mood and staying comfortable throughout your pregnancy. Pregnancy is full of highs and lows, so feeling good about yourself physically and mentally during those nine months is important for your overall health.
Invest in a good pair of maternity leggings that don’t constrict your body and bring you long use those months after birth when your weight may fluctuate. We also recommend you spring for the maternity jeans, which you will wear more than you think.
10. You might not enjoy every moment
It’s true that pregnancy is an amazing experience for most women. The excitement of growing a family and feeling baby move inside you are all beautiful.
However, that does not mean that every moment throughout pregnancy will be pure bliss. Growing a baby can include uncomfortable and challenging symptoms. Beyond the physical changes, you are also grappling with the emotional effects.
Give yourself grace during this time and know it’s okay and all leading to that human you’re growing inside you.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. If you think you pregnant and experiencing any unusual symptoms, consult with your healthcare provider immediately.