What to Expect When You’re Growing a Person, Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this series, check it out. In it I go over the most common pregnancy symptoms you may experience, and just how normal they are, no matter how severe you feel they are.

I’ll just jump right in and go over some other symptoms of pregnancy that are a little more strange but totally normal.

Changes in Vision

This is something I’ve read about and have heard other moms say they’ve experienced, but haven’t personally experienced it. It is said to be normal that your vision could change – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot – and you may need to get temporary contacts or glasses to help you get through.

Gag Reflex

During pregnancy, your gag reflex will be on constant high alert. It will tell you about every tiny thing that your body want anywhere near it. So not fun.

Teeth and Gums

Bleeding gums is apparently a thing we just have to deal with. Joy. Some women will also have an increase of gingivitis due to pregnancy. My only advice is to do what you can to take care of your teeth. I know all too well that your increased gag reflex will make all things tooth and mouth care much more difficult.

Swelling

I’m so sorry moms who have swelling. I don’t know why, exactly, water retention happens to some women and not others, but unfortunately it does. Elevate swollen areas or soak them in an Epsom salt bath (using warm, not hot, water if doing full body). If these don’t work, ask your doctor for advice.

Sweating

I have read on some of my pregnancy apps that women are sweating profusely now they are expecting. Sadly, it’s normal. Feeling overly hot is to be expected  when you are growing a person, so sweating would understandable follow. Keep a fan with you, especially as the warmer months are coming, and drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. You’ll get through it, I promise.

Hair and Nails

They will grow. Like crazy. Some women may not have this, which is definitely in the range of normal, but most women will have hair growing fast, everywhere, and you won’t know what to do with it all. Do your best with body hair, if you care about that. Just know that doctors and nurses have seen it all, so don’t worry about cleaning up before appointments.

Breast/Nipple Pain and Changes

I’m going to start by saying that not every woman experiences any pain or changes in appearance to their breasts or nipples. But don’t be surprised if you notice a change in breast size, nipple size, nipple color, or vein appearance. These changes are happening to prepare your body for breastfeeding and reacting to the changes in hormones throughout your body.

And for all of us experiencing pain or tenderness in breasts and nipples, just hang in there. Get a good bra – it really is even more important now than any other time (except while breastfeeding). The right bra will help ease some of that pain and discomfort. Especially with nipple pain. I’ve found, with my own nipple pain, that a good stretchy bra will eliminate some of the rubbing that often happens with traditional underwire bras.

Skin Changes

One important thing to note – NOT EVERYONE WILL GET GLOWING SKIN! Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about how your skin could change during pregnancy. Acne, stretch marks, coloration, oh my! You could have clearer skin or acne all over now that you’re creating a person. Some women get stretch marks, some don’t. And stretch marks can show up at any stage of the pregnancy, on any part of the body you see expanding: breasts, stomach, sides, bum, thighs. And finally, your skin could look more beautiful (hence the “glow”) or you could just look sickly and pale the whole time. Sadly, I think it’s something that you need to push through until you aren’t pregnant anymore. Those darn hormones coursing through your body really do muck things up all over the place.

Headaches

This is something I find absolutely fascinating about pregnancy. Before getting pregnant both times I experienced regular migraines. But during each one they have almost completely stopped. My midwife told me it’s normal for headaches to stop during pregnancy. And vice versa – those who don’t typically experience headaches can get them more often during pregnancy. Yay, hormones! Sadly, Acetaminophen (or Tylenol) has recently been changed to a Category C medication for pregnancy. [Category C medications – not enough research has been done to determine if these drugs are safe.] So now we are at a complete loss as to what we should take to ease that horrible pain. If you get headaches and you need relief, ask your doctor what to do if you aren’t comfortable taking Acetaminophen.

Congestion and Allergies

Again, thank you hormones. A lot of women experience an increase of congestion overall in their pregnancy. Some women, myself included, can have a change in allergies when they become pregnant. During my pregnancy with Sweet Girl I had allergies for the first time in my life. And then they went away after she was born. So strange. Now, because I know absolutely nothing about allergies on the whole, and have no clue what would be safe to take during pregnancy, talk to your doctor. They will have some medication options to help ease up those allergy symptoms.

Lightning Crotch

Ok, partners – if you’ve been reading this post to see what to expect in your pregnant other half, you are probably feeling uncomfortable with a name like lightning crotch. Well, get over it. If we’re feeling it, you can read and talk about it. Lightning crotch is the nickname given to a sudden and often sharp pain deep in the pelvis or vaginal area. The severity varies but most women find that it’s quite painful and feels like they’re being ‘punched in the crotch’. I’ve never felt it myself (I know, lucky me) so I don’t know when it is typical to experience this, but I would imagine that any time during pregnancy is fair game. Though, I think I’ve read other moms say, for the most part, they get it in the second and third trimesters. I also don’t know if there is a way to make it go away or ease the pain. I’m so sorry, suffering mamas.

 

I know I’m probably forgetting a lot of other common pregnancy symptoms, so if I haven’t included one please let me know. I want these posts to be as informative as possible for mamas who are nervous about this strange and exciting time of life. Stay tuned, also, for my final post in this series. I want to talk about two symptoms of pregnancy that could be normal, but could also be a sign of something much more serious – bleeding or spotting, and cramping.

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