Your Pregnant Body – 20 Things They Don’t Tell You



Ah yes, you’ve told people you’re pregnant and so the questions begin, “how do you feel?”, “are you tired?”, “do you have morning sickness?” , “are you hungry?”, etc.

Symptoms like fatigue, nausea, back and joint pain, constant peeing, constant hunger and being “emotional” (both good and bad) are all considered par for the course when it comes to pregnancy so no one is too surprised by them. However, there are many (many) more delights that can come along with a positive pregnancy test that people don’t talk about or show you in the movies.


Here are just 20 of the lesser known pregnancy side effects and symptoms to give you a bit of a heads up (or scare the crap out of you if you’re a teenager that wants to be on a reality show) so you know you’re not alone.

You may have all of them to which I can only say, “I’m sorry” and only assume that karma will reward you down the road because you hit a lottery of crap. Or you may have none, to which I say, “Lucky, whore” and seat you at the exquisite birth table that is currently occupied only by Gisele Bundchen – my patron saint of pregnancy (sorry, Saint Gerard Majella, you just don’t cut it with me as a pregnancy saint because you’re a virgin….and a man.)

So sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a faithful trip, that started in this uterus and quickly turned to shit. (Just kidding, but I love Gilligan’s Island).

Here we go:


1. You May Have Sore Boobs:

One of the first pregnancy symptoms that many women experience is sore boobs. Essentially your body sends a memo upstairs saying, “the eagle has landed” and your breasts turn to each other and say, “This is what we’ve been training for, man! Not getting out of traffic tickets. Not holding up tube tops. Not getting free drinks. It’s show time!” Then they flip the switch and start getting ready for milk production. Extra blood flow, fat production (hello awesome rack) and hormones all make for tender tatas especially in the first few weeks.


2. Your Nipples May Protrude and You Areolas May Darken:

Ah yes, creepy guys around the world just said, “nice” to this little extra feature.

Once again, your breasts are gung ho about the baby news so they want to make sure everything is ready to roll – they are like an enthusiastic grandmother stocking up on tinker toys – so they turn on the perma high beams and that can be uncomfortable.

Your areolas also tend to get darker, larger and jack up the little sweat gland bumps that will lube up the area when you’re breastfeeding.

While both have a bit of a ‘belch’ factor for some women, it’s completely normal so don’t sweat it too much and try to limit your braless, white t-shirt outings if you don’t want to cause traffic pile ups.


3. You May Have Extra Spit:

Why the extra saliva? Who knows.

It seems to affect quite a few women during pregnancy and no one seems to know why. Hormones seem to be blamed for the cause because it’s the go to reason for most things during pregnancy. Nausea also is a plausible reason as well because extra saliva is typically the body’s warning mechanism to tell you to get ready to barf.

Long and short of it is it doesn’t affect your pregnancy in any way so don’t worry about it because it’s perfectly normal.

Unless of course you’re not actually pregnant in which case both rabies and dementia can cause excess saliva. So, you know, check that shit out.


4. You May Be Constipated:

You have extra progesterone pumping through you right now and it’s pretty important – hence the name that means “pro gestating” – because it relaxes your uterus muscles so you don’t have early contractions (just to name one of its important jobs).

The downside is that it helps relax all your muscles so you get constipated easily.

“Wouldn’t relaxed muscles actually give me diarrhea?” you say. Oh contraire, my Petal. Your intestinal tract actually works very hard to move stuff through, so once they get a little lazy, shit stops moving. Literally. Shit stops moving.

Move more, drink water, eat small meals and increase your fibre intake seems to be the suggested course of action (and for more tips, check out our post on it here). You may as well commit this phrase to memory because it is pretty much the remedy suggested for EVERY. SINGLE. PREGNANCY AILMENT. ON THE PLANET.

Just don’t use laxatives (or at least talk to a medical provider before you do) because they can screw things up even more and there may be an easier fix before you go that route.

This is also a nice segue into our next delightful treat….


5. You Might Get Hemorrhoids:

Congratulations, you’re slowing turning inside out! Weeee!

Although it may seem like your body is dropping out of your ass, hemorrhoids are actually veins in and around your rectum becoming swollen and can affect up to 50% of pregnant women. Lucky! Lucky!

Your growing uterus and increased blood flow is usually the culprit, but both constipation and delivery can cause them as well. They can run the gamut from itching to downright painful, but thankfully they usually resolve themselves after pregnancy.

Lying down on your side also helps keep the pressure off that area, so cue up a good movie and put it in park for the sake of your ass.

And guess what? Drinking plenty of water and increasing your fiber intake helps. Who knew?!


6.  You May Be Congested:

Some women suffer from nasal congestion during their pregnancy and it can be a huge drag. Estrogen causes the mucous membranes in your nose to swell along with everything else, so it can cause congestion and even nosebleeds.

So pretty. Nothing quite like a pregnant woman walking around looking like she stepped out of a UFC Octagon.

Oh, I should also mention that this also may cause snoring when you sleep as well.

“Oh snap, is that a Victoria Secret model sleeping next to me or my pregnant wife?” is without question what your husband will be asking himself on a nightly basis… if he’s smart.


7. You May Have Heartburn:

Remember that awesome hormone, progesterone that relaxes your uterus so it doesn’t eject your baby like a 007 car? Well, it’s also relaxing a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter. This loosening can cause stomach acid to back up into your esophagus.

Whether it’s called acid indigestion, acid reflex or heartburn, it can feel like you’re gargling battery acid and it’s awful.

Thankfully this throat valve goes back to keeping the fires at bay once you’ve given birth. In the meantime, here are some remedies and meds that may help.


8. You Might Suffer From Leg Cramps:

“Arrrgh, son-of-a-bitch leg cramp!” is something you may utter when you’re pregnant. Most likely it will be when you finally get to sleep after your heartburn subsides and your nose clears.

No one knows what causes them.* The possible culprits are compressed blood vessels or just the pressure of carrying around more weight. Either way, they are painful and wrench you out of a glorious sleep like an air horn. Quickest trick to relieve them is to flex your foot upwards and straighten your leg like you’re going to touch your shin with your big toe.

* Yet there was a study to see if rats could tell the difference between Japanese and Dutch. Spoiler alert: they can but not when spoken backward.  Thanks, Science, you suck today.



9. You Might Get Restless Leg Syndrome:

Restless leg syndrome is not dangerous or a sign that anything is wrong, but it can be uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep.

No one really knows what causes the Jimmy legs (see rat study above), but it’s very common during pregnancy and it tends to happen at night affecting the lower legs between the knee and ankle, although, it can also occur in your feet and arms.

Stretching, warms baths, acupuncture and massage seem to be the suggested remedies, but also mention it to your healthcare provider because they may want to check your iron levels to make sure you aren’t sporting a deficiency.

Some women keep a food journal to see if something they eat (typically later in the day) is triggering the jumpy legs at night. It’s certainly worth a shot. I suppose you could take up clogging or Celtic dance too. Here are some more ideas and suggestions.


10. You Might Get Sweaty:

“Fire up the engines, we have a baby to make!” is what your body is telling your metabolism and hormones, which kicks up your blood flow, which makes you sweat like a whore in church.

Pregnancy “glow” is often caused by this internal furnace overdrive so hopefully your rosy cheeks and dewy complexion with distract from your wet pits and cleavage-stream. Hey, sometimes you gotta sweat like a pig to look like a fox, right?


11. You Might Break Out in Acne:

Not so fast my glowing, Angel. This can also turn ugly with acne because hormones can stimulate your sebaceous glands, which can then cause zits. The best part?! You can’t use a lot of the stuff that we use to treat them like Accutane, Retin-A, tetracycline, etc. because they can cause nasty birth defect. Thankfully, companies are starting to fill this gap and are creating pregnancy safe acne treatments so you don’t have to walk around like a teenager full of angst in a John Hughes film – “I love you, Jake!”


12. Your Feet Might Get Bigger:

Do your shoes feel tight? Do you have Fred Flinstone feet like I did during my pregnancies?

Well, it’s from a couple of things, relaxin is one because it’s relaxing the ligaments in your body – including your feet – so they spread out. Your body is also retaining fluids and, to over simplify it, those fluids tend to pool at the bottom of your body (namely your feet) so they puff up. Add a bunch on baby weight onto that and you’re sporting two loaves of bread baking out of your ballet flats.

Your feet make actually go up a size permanently because they may not snap back to their original shape after the baby comes. Okay, there are a couple of things that may not snap back to their original shape after the baby comes but we’re talking feet right now.

If you find your feet, hands and face swells suddenly though, go see your doctor because it can be a sign of preeclampsia and you don’t want that shit.


13. You Might Wet Your Pants:

Tee hee she has to pee! It’s fairly common knowledge that women have to pee a lot when they are pregnant. What they don’t always mention is that the control around peeing may be a little compromised as well.

Your bladder sits right under your uterus so as your baby grows, your bladder can’t always take the pressure (cue R. Kelly). The dam usually leaks from abdomen pressure, such as sneezing, coughing or exercising. Reason 4,357 not to do jumping jacks during allergy season I suppose.

This is one of the rare cases where “plenty of water” is not recommended as a remedy. Kegels are. They are the smug I-told-so exercises of pregnancy so get used to hearing about them.


14. Your Gums May Bleed:

Progesterone is the culprit again. Bleeding gums are a fairly common side effect of pregnancy and isn’t cause for concern.

It is recommended that you avoid sweets (fuck that noise), visit your dentist while you’re pregnant (tell them you’re pregnant so you don’t get an x-ray) and rinse your mouth with water after you throw up if you have morning sickness.

Why thank you! I would never have thought of ridding my mouth of the taste of vomit after I barfed! I wonder if they have any recommendation if I come upon hot garbage on the sidewalk? Do I eat it? Do I avoid it? What is a pregnant woman to do?


15. You Might Suffer From Itchy Skin:

Stretching and estrogen are often to blame for itchy skin and it’s really common during pregnancy.

It looks like the best way to treat is the same way you’d treat winter skin – lower the temperature in your shower, moisturize, and try not to use harsh soaps, etc.

That said, it’s worth mentioning itching to your caregiver – especially if your palms and feet are itchy – because they’ll probably want to make sure your liver is happy. More on Cholestasis here.


16. You Might Have a Keener Sense of Smell:

Can you smell fish? In the fridge? At your next door neighbour’s house?

A heightened sense of smell is a charming pregnancy symptom that many think is cute, unless of course it’s you experiencing it and you’re sitting next to a co-worker that smells like B.O. doused in a cologne called “Repulsion”.

It’s caused by estrogen and can really wreak havoc on your gag reflex exacerbating morning sickness (a.k.a. all day sickness).

Suggestions range from chewing gum to avoiding strong smells.

(Again, I hope money wasn’t spent on a study to see if “avoiding strong smells helped a heightened olfactory system”. Put that in the money pile from the Dutch rat study along with the “Is water wet?” study, and we could dig a hundred wells in the third world.)


17. You Might Have Bad Gas:

Er, remember how I said progesterone and relaxin slow everything down and loosen everything up? Mmmm, yeah. Well, that includes your gastrointestinal muscles, which slows down your digestion, which forms gas. Gas that could rival a basement full of college guys consuming beer and cabbage in burp form. And gas that could singe nose hair and kill canaries if it’s in fart form.

Whether it’s the roof or the basement, gas usually comes along for the ride on the pregnancy train. Toot! Toooooooot!




18. Your Skin Pigment May Change:

Hormones kick up your melanin cells and they produce more pigment which will darken your freckles, areolas and that charming line that runs down your belly called the linea nigra. It can also go a little nuts with the “tan dial” and cause random blotches on the skin called Chloasma.

This hyperpigmentation tends to be more noticeable in women with darker complexions but it typically fades after you give birth.


19. Your Vaginal Discharge May Change:

I believe scientists thought long and hard to come up with the most disgusting sounding name for the milky white vaginal discharge that often comes along with pregnancy, and I think they did it with the term “leukorrhea”. It’s a combination of the Latin terms for “light” and “flow”, but sounds like the noise a cat makes before throwing up morphed with the word “diarrhea”.

You don’t have to worry about it though – no matter how gross it sounds – and you have the extra estrogen in your body to thank for stimulating all the mucous membranes in your body.

Stay away from douches and vaginal wipes because it can throw off your PH balance and that can unleash a whole lot of nasty. Most sites suggest “clean” and “dry” with a panty liner back up, is the best line of defense, but I like to think we’ve all figured out that universal lady garden tip by now.


20. You Might Get Skin Tags:

I was going to cover off stretch marks for the last symptoms, but most of us know those battle scars can strike with pregnancy so I went with skin tags.

These are the little handles that your body makes so angels can hang on them while they kiss your baby goodnight.

Ha ha, alas no, they are delightful little skin growths that pop up in high friction areas like your armpits, neck and under your boobs. It’s your body going nuts with the baby news and producing extra random skin. Thanks Body, you’re like a crazy, elderly aunt that places hummel figurines all over her apartment in case Elvis comes over.

They are completely benign and will usually go away on their own. If not, you can just leave them (who cares) or have them removed.

Don’t you feel stunning now!?

Listen, human bodies are gross – just ask the old man cleaning out his ears with a paper clip at the mall – but rarely do they produce something as perfect and beautiful as a baby. And that’s the sickest part of all – it’s worth it.

So try to focus on the good parts of pregnancy and less on the crap, and if you’re feeling brave, you can check out the things that may happen after you give birth too.

After all, this too shall pass (gas). Brffpft!

Which ones did I miss? What else would you add?


Happily After Giving Birth – 10 Things They Don’t Tell You


Your Pregnant Body: 20 things they didn't tell you about what to expect. From pregnancy symptoms to side effects, here's a list of some advice and forewarning about changes your body will experience.

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  • sweaty hands and feet, sleeplessness (people LOVE telling me it’s my body preparing me to never sleep again once baby comes🙄), numb and painful hands at nighttime, excessive snoring, tight back muscles from holding up this belly. I actually feel really fortunate to have skipped the hemmoroids so far- but I haven’t given birth yet so there’s still time, right??
    I’ve definitely hit the point of pregnancy (38 weeks) where I am now really sick of women asking me how I feel. I know I should feel grateful that they care, but I’m just tired of telling them I’m tired!!!

  • Two that are common for me and aren’t mentioned here are terrible headaches and really greasy hair. Fortunately, the grease stays at my roots mostly, so the top layer of my hair disguises the grease hair underneath. The only thing that works to take it away is getting my hair dyed. Then it’s back to grease city a few days later and typically doesn’t go away until about 9 months post-partum.

  • This article is fantastic if for no other reason than it made me laugh out loud…multiple times! So basically everyone thinks I’m a mad woman at work. Thanks for the lightheartedness along with the facts, that’s why I read this site more than most others…

      • I have been nautiated badly daily for the past month or two and with this my arm Pitts are sweating bad I feel wet. I feel drained and sick but when I test it says no. I’m 28. I just wish I knew what was going on.

  • carpal tunnel in both hands, massive edema (note: elephant legs are not sexy-even at the zoo), difficulty breathing, shortness of breath thanks to the evil demon known as stairs, immobility, and prego brain. much praise to each and everyone of you!

  • Constant nasal congestion my entire pregnancy! Also, I’m covered in broken blood vessels. They look like little red freckles. Dr. said they are hormone related.

  • So with my first pregnancy I checked off EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON THIS LIST! BUT, I did not experience morning sickness, so I’ll take it. With my current (second) pregnancy I have not hit all the items yet, but I’m only 21 weeks. This article is hilarious! Love the humor in the ‘blessed’ experiences of pregnancy!

  • I LOVE this article! I was laughing so loud by myself in my living room that my dog came downstairs to see what was up. Thanks for taking a lighter approach to some the SUPER weird stuff women go trough during pregnancy.

  • I’m dying over here. By far the most entertaining article on pregnancy I have ever read. Thanks for sharing!

  • Number 16 was the one that really got me. Before I was pregnant I loved my husbands cologne and during my pregnancy I couldn’t breath if he even put on a drop of it. It got to the point where he had to where unscented deodorant and we switched to unscented laundry soap and fabric softener.

  • Loved this =D
    Though the rinsing with water after throwing up is INSTEAD of brushing- don’t want to scrub that acid into your teeth. Rinsing or chewing sugarless gum can help get that oral pH back to a normal range, wait at least 20min post-ralph to brush your teeth.

  • Plugged ears. My ears were plugged since I was 3 month pregnant. I could hear myself talking at times and had to ask my husband to speak louder. In front of strangers? I had to really focus on their voice.

    Odd things is my ears would only get plugged when I would stand or walk for around 20 min. Little by little they would start plugging up. If I lied down they would slowly get unplugged but it would take an hour or so. Sort of uncomfortable but annoying because NOTHING I tried helped. Chewing gum, yawning, swallowing, you name it, I tried it and nada. Nothing except lying down. Even mentioned it to my doctor but she never had a patient with that problem and suggested I see an ear, nose, throat doctor. Haha. Problem went away as soon as I gave birth!

  • Superfluous nipples. SO WEIRD. They look like little bumps so I suspect most women don’t think anything of them. I clued in when I realized they were in the same spot on either side of my body and looked it up. Apparently they’ve been known to lactate but mine never did, and they went away after I delivered.

  • Gall Stones! Never knew how common they are in pregnancies, but I literally thought I was having a heart attack my first few gallbladder attacks. It took weeks to figure out what was wrong, and I was/am to far along to have it out now and have to wait until after delivery to get it taken out. The attacks are worse than labor!!!

  • Pregnancy psychosis. Yes, yes, a blanket term, but work with me. I’m talking about the thermonuclear urge to crawl into a hole and pull it in after you. No friends, no social interaction beyond the hubby and kids. Everyone outside the circle of tolerance would grind on my last nerve and I could hardly get away fast enough. It had to be the most irrational sensation I’d ever dealt with. Fortunately, it was only evident in my fifth and final pregnancy and went away after bouncing baby boy was born. Miraclously, I didn’t burn any bridges, either. Everyone on the outside wrote it off as "poor thing is so uncomfortable." They had no idea of the crazy levels in my head.

      • I believed this article is written by you. It made me laugh so hard while i was reading it. I dont know whether i am pregnant or not, but i have missed period for almost two weeks now. And i got most of the symtoms same as on here, but when i took home pregnancy test, it was negative. Im waiting to see one more week if my period will come or else i will go see doctor. Again, the article is halirous and incredible. Thank you.

  • I wish I could post this list of comments in blogs when people say "Pregnancy isn’t a disease [so women don’t deserve special treatment at work, etc]." It’s not, but it can have so many (painful and medically expensive) side effects, and many more and much worse than on this list.

  • I ended up getting carpal tunnel in my 3rd trimester and had to wear wrist splints on both hands and sleep in some very inventive positions because the pain was so severe but good news is it went away after my daughter was born. And now I’m pregnant with twins so pretty sure I have that to look forward to again

  • To go along with #18 – you might get new moles or your current moles might get bigger. The first time around, I thought I had skin cancer till I talked to my Doctor.

  • Lightning crotch. I’m fairly certain it was from baby sitting on a nerve or something. Whatever it was, it made walking a literal pain in the vagina. My ex didn’t understand why I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything other than sit on my butt. It was much worse during my second pregnancy than my first and went away as soon as I had my kiddo…but still. :/

  • I loved this post so much that I had to put in my own two cents. =] But I couldn’t help but notice that nobody mentioned 1) pregnancy brain 2) the mood swings that turn for the worse when my significant other likes to push my buttons to the point that I turn into the spawn of the Devil and rage in relentless anger. And then after crying 20 rivers I have to work on building 20 bridges to get over that one minor incident that could have been settled with a simple adult conversation. But no-o, my hormones are controlling my anger management to the ground. And lastly, but not least 3) wisdom teeth wanting to make their big debut during the first trimester by causing so much pain that I can’t eat. Then the pain disappears at 12 weeks after I waited 3 weeks for Medicaid to approve my insurance and send my card to schedule an appointment with the Dentist for an emergency extraction that I thought I needed. When apparently, it’s the hormones to the blame for such a horrible prank in my gums. Yay pregnancy. But I still wouldn’t trade anything in the world to know that my little bundle of joy will be arriving in six more months!

  • Migraines. horrible horrible migraines. I get the painful ones once a week or so, and the vestibular ones, nearly daily (they make me really nauseated but dont hurt)

    • Hey Erin – just wondering what you did to relieve the migraines? I’ve been getting horrible ones for 10-12 years and controlled with meds… Now I’m pregnant and the doctor advised only Tylenol.. Which does nothing. Any suggestions?

  • I not sure what it is called but my ears become plugged. Super annoying I can’t hear a damn thing from about 20 weeks on for all three of my pregnancies. Grrrr.

  • Oh so true. My own daughter smelled like fish to me during my second pregnancy. It was not good.
    My vision changed to the point where I wasn’t comfortable driving at night. And my hips constantly popped out of their sockets. A chiropractor helped tons in my first pregnancy, but they would just slide right back out again during the second one. I don’t think they will ever be back to "normal".
    Good list!

  • don’t forget pregnancy carpal tunnel, which I’ve just learned is a thing. At 38 weeks I wake up every morning with stiff sore fingers ;-( I feel like a goddamned arthritic old lady!!

  • Ugh, I had most of these. And vision disturbances! Like fireworks in your eye. It can be a sign of pre-eclampsia or retinal detachment, so you should mention it to your doctor, but it’s also just another fun side effect.

  • Well 10/11 weeks into it and have lost half of my hair, and my scalp is always dry and itchy with all the hormones. My nose is constantly bleeding, go to blow it and get rewarded with clots of bloods, my ears feel like im constantly on a plane and the headaches and the dry morning sickness, this is the worse I have ever felt, oh and the vertigo ….. miserably sick I am 🙁

  • omg.. I love this … its funny the way things are put in here and helped me a little jus wish there was more on m damn indagetion havig a prefect baby girl that I know of m 5th child but first GIRL WOOOHOOFINALLLY any ways the indigestion is making me so miserable I as taking tums every night but had to up the anty and get prepcid complete and I have to take up to two on some days but allways have to take oneat night beforei o to bed my feonsa has pregnancy pains fo me and complains of heart burn I wish I had that instead I think indigestions 5xs worse had it with all my boys but Breanna its indigestion please HELP would love satgestions tks.. don’t want to keep taking medacines …:)

  • is there a healthy alternative to taking vitamins (that aren’t pills), i am a really bad pill drinker and every time i take or think about taking pills i gag, so i would like to know if there are alternatives such as fruits or veggies that provide the same benefits as the vitamins your gynae recommends you?? please help 🙁

    • Have you tried gummy prenatals? Target has some nice ‘raspberry lemonade’ ones. I have the same issue and found that they did the trick. Plus they give you a quick hit of something sweet(ish) which is an added benefit. 🙂

      PS: Sorry if this is an obvious reply.

  • Whew, you slay me! Good thing I took your advice and started doing my Kegels, cause if I hadn’t I would have peed.

  • This was hilarious. For about the first 15 weeks I suffered from TERRIBLE trapped gas. It was so painful and it always hit me around the same time every single day. I would come home from work at night and get on all 4s with my butt in the air to try to get it out… very attractive to my boyfriend. Probably my least favorite symptom has been the increase in discharge. It’s so disgusting to me & I’ve probably spent more money on panty liners than I will on diapers. And don’t get me started about the few days that I ran out of panty liners and didn’t make time to go get some more… I think I went through about 6 pairs of underwear a day.

    One other symptom that I didn’t see anyone else mention has happened to them but apparently can be common in pregnant women is sciatica. I’ve had it almost since the very beginning in the lower back right around my tail bone… probably started noticing it around 6 or 7 weeks. It’s so painful & I remember the last serving shift I worked (I waitressed til about 6.5 months & then switched to hosting til I went on leave) I was in so much pain walking around the restaurant that I was limping. One of the regulars even stopped me and asked if I was ok. I had to hold back tears and tell him I was doing swimmingly. It comes and goes but when it comes, it’s extremely hard to walk or do anything. I’ve been told it goes away after pregnancy so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

    • I am so sorry, that is the worst! I had sciatica with all 4 of my pregnancies but it was never diagnosed as such until my last one. I would lie on my side in a ball crying, it got so bad! But yes, it does indeed go away after baby arrives…I have never (and better freakin’ not!) experienced it again!

  • I am having trouble with some pregnancy ADD. I almost immediately started having headaches and trouble paying attention. I can’t stay focused on any task for more than 30 minutes, and sometimes not even that long. Things I used to love to do, i.e. crocheting, crafting, painting, reading; I can no longer sit still long enough to do. It’s really frustrating. I think it’s getting better, so I hope that it goes away soon. I’m 7 weeks preggo.

  • The thing that’s been the worst for me is pain during arousal and after orgasm. It causes cramps that can feel like labor pains. Google and my doctor both say this is common, but no one ever mentioned it to me! It sucks getting all these symptoms I didn’t know existed.

  • Two words: CARPAL TUNNEL. This is not a super common one, but it happens! Next to heartburn, it was the WORST pregnancy symptom I had, by far. It was terrible. It kept me up all night more times than any other symptom did. You’d think numbness means you don’t feel anything — WRONG. Numbness that developed into shooting pain and made it impossible to sleep was a nightly occurrence for me.

    Numbness of the arms and hands is common, but many times it develops into full-blown carpal tunnel, which is identifiable by numbness of the thumb, pointer and middle finger (most times), but not usually the ring and pinky finger. Addressing my baby shower invites took me a couple days and I only had 40 of them to do. I was only able to do a handful of them at a time before I had to take a break. It got progressively worse as my pregnancy went on. During the last week or so when she started dropping lower, it did lessen a little bit. But even once she was born, it took about a month for it to fully go away. Never had it in my life before I was pregnant. I still get the twinges every now and then, but it’s completely manageable now (and rare).

    Like I said, it’s not as common as most other pregnancy symptoms and one of the nurses that I saw during those 40 weeks didn’t even know it was possible. I educated her on that one.

  • When they say everything changes when you get pregnant… believe them. It all changes!

    My perfect well-aligned teeth shifted and wasted that $5000 my parents spent on braces in my youth. Now I get to pay that for myself putting my teeth back where they belong.

  • Someone mentioned minor spotting and bleeding earlier in the comments. I had it basically the entire first two trimesters and every time it was nothing. Of course you want to double check with your doctor, but it’s good to know that it can be normal. Sometimes when you are pregnant your cervix can become "friable" due to the hormones and anything including exercise or sex can cause it to bleed. The cervix isn’t compromised its just more sensitive.

    Boy was I shocked when a little tiny blister on my tongue kept growing and growing.
    I though "Great! Do I have an STD? I’m not cheating on my husband! Is he being shady?" LOL
    Turns out some women get pregnancy tumors, but usually on their gums. Mine was in the middle of my tongue and I felt like the whole world saw it when I talked.
    It kept growing, so an oral surgeon removed it with just local anesthetic.
    Pain was horrible after, but I managed to pull through without popping pills 🙂
    The crazy thing was that I would bite it (on accident obviously), and it would bleed like crazy.
    The last straw for me was when I bit off a chunk of it while trying to eat. Had it removed shortly after that! I was in my 3rd trimester and we felt that it was a good time to get rid of my "tongue friend." Gross!

  • Numbness and tingling under the boobs! Apparently, this is caused by the stretching and stuff your abdomen is doing. It’s pretty annoying and usually hits while I’m trying to fall asleep on my side, although it has started happening randomly throughout the day. The only relief is pressing on the area that is tingling, which it just seems inappropriate to walk around work with your hands up under your boobs.

    I’m not sure if there is a real (clinical) name for this, but someone on a babycenter forum called it electric boobs, which I think is an AWESOME name. So, that’s what it’s referred to as in my house.

    • I have this really badly and you’re totally right about walking around with your hands there. How weird would that be!? My doctor actually told me that it isn’t the muscles being stretched, but the nerves. Sometimes all the muscle and bone shifting can cause a nerve or two to stretch poorly and that’s what causes the horrible numb-tingling-achy feeling. She told me to try a heating pad when I lie down, and that definitely helps! But the worst thing is that the only way you can sleep is on your side, and that’s the position that seems to aggrevate it the most.

      • YES! it’s such a strange sensation but the only thing that makes it better is pressing on it. I don’t care that people look at me funny when I walk… Will try the heating pad tonight though!

  • My eye doctor told me that your vision can change during pregnancy (and usually goes back to normal afterwards). I always thought that was a weird one! Luckily I haven’t experienced it…

  • Low iron. Couple that with constipation from the iron in those pills they make you take, and you are in bad shape. I ended up chewing Flinstones because there was no iron and the vitamins were good without making me sick to my stomach. I was sick enough with general nausea and heartburn and smelling EVERYTHING that the normal tummy upset from vitamins was just too much for me. I looked like a ghost by the time I had my daughter, but at least I wasn’t sitting on the toilet while puking anymore….

    The ones I remember most from mine are the sore boobs (like "touch-them-and-IWILLSTABYOU") and the nose thing. Fried food was the worst. I would be walking outside and someone 20ft away walking the opposite direction with fries in a closed container would make me gag.

  • Pubis symphasis disorder…had it with both of mine. Terrible pain in the lady bits area because your pubic bone is separating more than it should. And of course, there is nothing that can be done to help with the pain except take Tylenol.

    • I have that too! But, I got prescribed a sacroiliac belt, that basically holds your pelvis back together, and it helps a lot. Not at first, when everything’s inflamed, but eventually- I wouldn’t walk without it. That and 100 kegels a day (I thought the physical therapist was kidding when she said that)…

  • This article literally made me laugh out loud. What a refreshingly hilarious take on all the "accompaniments" of budding motherhood. Believe me, at 30 weeks, I have suffered, or continue to suffer from nearly all of these maladies, and it is a great feeling to know that I am not the only one! Thank you for sharing, and for you and all the other great moms out there who know laughter is the best (and sometimes the only) medicine!

  • you are hilarious! I read this as we are starting to get ready to conceive and I wanted the good with the bad. Your comedic timing and sarcasm are in the perfect amount. I’m not even pregnant and I’m sitting here chuckling!

  • OMG! Luckily I don’t have most of these (yet). One thing I do have, though, that I wasn’t expecting – DREAMS! Every time I fall asleep I dream. And they’re not the usual dreams that are obviously influenced by what happened earlier that day, they are like little movies with fascinating three dimensional characters and top notch special effects. Sounds fun except that every time you wake up you’re still exhausted because you basically just spend 8 hours acting in the world’s most bizarre movie. Oh yeah, and they’re so realistic that the next day you keep saying "Earlier this week, I found out that I have the world’s fastest breast-stroke" until you realize that’s not a memory, it’s a dream remnant.

  • i just found this blog through pinterest and i have to say — you, my dear, are utterly hilarious. i’m not even pregnant and i sat here for the past 30 minutes reading your blog and cackling out loud like bellatrix lestrange. you’re my hero.

    • I could not agree with you more! I’m not pregnant, and usually reading stuff on pregnancy freaks me out!!! But she is so friggen hilarious I can’t stop reading! My husband keeps looking at me like I’m crazy for lol’ing at my computer screen.

  • I had PUPPPs and it was awful. I would scratch my belly, legs, feet and arms with a hairbrush. It doesn’t surprise me that my daughter wouldn’t let me brush her hair the first few years – she was probably traumatized from the noise! LOL

  • I had chronic nosebleeds with my first pregnancy. Like 5-6 a day. And not a little dribble, either. More like upon being seen by someone else, "Oh my gosh, who’s live did you just save?!"

    When I asked if there was anything that could be done about it, the doctor just smiled and said, "No." She blamed "being juicier" when you’re pregnant. Whatever. I just didn’t want to walk around looking like an extra in a low budget horror flick.

    • Yes!!! I was wondering if someone else would get to this. I had nosebleeds every day starting at 8 weeks during my first pregnancy. I read it was because of the increased blood volume and opened blood vessels during pregnancy. They lasted during breastfeeding for a few months. I only got a few bloody noses my second pregnancy. Annoying and confusing and sometimes embarrassing, but I’d take a bloody nose over nausea any day!

      The other thing I didn’t see: linea negra

  • If you have concerns about what you can/can’t do/take during pregnancy (you know, what acne medications are safe, and can you get that diagnostic x-ray), there’s a free service called the Texas Pregnancy Riskline that can help. They have lots of teratogen counselors that can help you know what you can take for certain things and what you need to avoid and such. They can tell you about medicines, herbals, cleaning supplies… whatever you may be worried about during pregnancy. I think they also can answer breastfeeding questions, but I’m not there yet! 1-800-733-4727.

  • I feel like one very often missed symptom in casual conversation is vaginal bleeding. The only thing you can find out about it online will scare the sht out of you b/c it always leads to something bad when you google it, when in fact, it can be entirely normal for some women (ahem* I apparently fall into this boat).

    So, as much as you always want to get serious bleeding checked out – especially if it coincides with cramping – try not to worry. This is not entirely uncommon.

  • Carpal tunnel. I now wear a very sexy brace at night, and my fingers are swollen, tingly and numb almost all day. Also insomnia. If I have to listen to someone else tell me it’s my body’s way of preparing me for the baby, I will probably punch them square in the throat. Since I got pregnant, I think I have actually slept a total of 7 nights. Now in my third trimester, some nights my restless legs keep me up, other nights it’s my aching back, or the baby has the hiccups or has decided to hold a dance party in my uterus. And some nights, I just cannot sleep. Lastly, the crazy dizzy spells (mine are caused by low blood pressure and standing too long. Not a good combo).

  • I had just about all of these. The sweating thing lasted all the way through breastfeeding. Grosssssss.

    One thing I learned about the heartburn is that it can mean your baby is going to have a lot of hair. I thought it was an old wives tale but then I read an article (have to go back and find it!) saying that the hormone that causes each is linked. I felt like I was gestating a dragon my heartburn was so bad (bad enough they prescribed me serious meds for it during pregnancy). My son was born with ridiculous amounts of hair which was a total surprise b/c my hubs and I were both bald babies. So just maybe your kid will have a heck ton of hair which can be super cute!

  • Restless leg syndrome is a good one for this list! My sister and I both have it during our pregnancies and we always thought it was just a genetic thing b/c our father has it. Good to know it’s just another weird pregnancy symptom… which is pretty much what I blame every weird new body event happening to me now on…

    LIKE… my eyelashes are falling out?? Probably b/c I’m having a boy and they are known for their gorgeous long eyelashes… HE’S STEALING MINE!!

  • You forgot log poops! When you’re not constipated, you can practice giving birth by breathing slowly and trying to remain calm while you push out a GIGANTIC poop that will likely clog the toilet at work. Oh, sorry, TMI.

  • Thank you for posting this! 19 out of 20 I had been warned of or read about previously – but you helped clarify the drool puddle I keep waking up to on my pillow!

  • I never knew my bladder could fall out (prolapse). Good excuse to go home early from work though! Also, symphysis pubic dysfunction which is when your ligaments down there get too relaxed too early and your pelvic bones knock together every time you move. Oh, the pain!! Obviously, I can’t wait for the pregnancy amnesia to set in!

    • SPD is a nightmare. It can kick in super early (mine started at month 3) and its a definite pain in the vagina. It makes getting up, laying down, and rolling over close to impossible for the whole pregnancy.

  • Yeah, definitely dysgeusia….it is awful. Also, hyperemesis (you know, when your "morning" sickness lasts your entire freaking pregnancy, aka Princess Kate Syndrome), carpul tunnel syndrome, and PUPPPs.

  • My dentist actually told me NOT to brush my teeth immediately after throwing up, as it grinds the acid into your teeth. She recommended rinsing with warm water and waiting a little while before brushing.

  • You forgot varicose veins in the vulva (it has a nice ring to it with all that alliteration, yes?!). Closely related to the dreaded Number 5 on your list but slightly different being that they are all about your lady garden instead of your butt. Very uncomfortable abd they made sex almost impossible during pregnancy (seriously…they pretty much close up any former opening…ewwwww). I got them with each of my three pregnancies and they rocked up earlier each time. Fortunately, with babies number one and two they disappeared within 24 hrs of birth (well, I think they did…you’re so damn swollen after giving birth, who the eff would know?!) and after baby number three they were gone within the week. Nasty little buggers and apparently lots of women get them even though NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT!!!!

  • I’d love to agree that the heartburn goes away when the baby’s out, but here I am 4 months post-delivery and I still feel that battery acid sting on a daily basis. Yowch.

    • So true. I find that eating little every 2 hours helps though. You might wanna try that out. Not eating like 4 hrs before sleeping helps too.

  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Basically, tendonitis of the thumb. For whatever reason, it can affect pregnant women, typically in the third trimester (which is exactly when I got it). It tend to affects women over 30 (which I am). And it tends to last for as long as you continue breastfeeding (I’m on month 7 of breastfeeding and my thumb still hurts daily). Dr’s advice? It’s an inflammation of the sheath that protects the tendons of your thumb, and it makes your thumb hurt when you move it, so, …. don’t use your thumb until the inflammation goes down? Thank you, Dr, that was not very helpful. More info can be found on the Mayo Clinic website:

    • I had no idea that was a thing! I thought I was just spending wayyyy too much time reading on my phone, even though it was my non-dominant hand that was hurting.
      Thanks for mentioning this 🙂 Good to know it was pregnancy/postpartum and not the beginning of some kind of long term problem!!

  • You forgot to mention dysgeusia. I had it. It was my least favorite pregnancy discomfort. Even when I wasn’t nauseated, I didn’t want to eat ’cause everything tasted bitter and metallic (kinda like when you eat bad pine nuts). No wonder I lost 25 pounds in the first 15 weeks. Glad it dissipated after that.

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