10 Strange pregnancy changes you might not have known about
No, you're not the only one going through these changes!
Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. No duh, you’re probably thinking. But besides the well-known changes like the baby belly and morning sickness, there are a few changes that aren’t as well-documented as others, as compiled by Yahoo.
1. “Woah! What’s that smell?”
During your first trimester, you might notice that you’re more sensitive to smells. Some can even drive you crazy and aggravate your morning sickness. The good news is that this sensitivity should fade after the first trimester. “Evolutionarily, we think this provided women with the ability to be extra sensitive to potential toxins,” OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Lang explained to Yahoo.
2. *Sniff! Sniff!* (rhinitis of pregnancy)
If you find yourself with a runny nose during pregnancy, that’s totally normal. The higher amount of blood in your body during pregnancy can cause swelling in your nose’s blood vessels, causing congestion. According to BabyCenter, up to 30% of pregnant women suffer from stuffy noses without having any allergies or infections like the common cold. This can start during your second month and usually worsens as your pregnancy progresses, easing up only after you’ve given birth.
3. “Do I taste blood?” (pregnancy gingivitis)
You might notice that your gums become swollen and tender, and bleed when flossed or brushed. Bleeding gums affect around half of expectant moms, whose hormonal changes make their mouths more sensitive to bacteria in plaque. Make sure to practice good oral hygiene and don’t be afraid to go to the dentist.
4. “Call me insatiable”
A lot of women experience a boosted sex drive, probably due to the crazy hormonal changes you’re experiencing—specifically elevated testosterone and progesterone levels. You become more sensitive to touch—this could be painful for others, but could spell pleasure for some lucky women.
Every woman is different, though. Some women may be so debilitated by their morning sickness that just thinking of sex makes their head hurt, while others feel hungry for sex all the time. Whatever it is that you feel, make sure to communicate with your partner.
5. “Boy! It burns!”
While progesterone could have a positive effect on your sex life, it could also wreak havoc on your digestive system. According to health, the hormone relaxes the stomach valve responsible for keeping acid out of the esophagus. As your uterus grows and crowds the stomach, acid is forced into the esophagus, causing heartburn. A high-fiber diet of alkaline foods can help, as well as prebiotics and probiotics.
6. “Is that a new mole?”
During pregnancy, your high estrogen and progesterone levels stimulate your body’s melanin production, causing more pigmentation. Thus, moles and freckles can become darker. Some even become bigger. Make sure to wear sunscreen, as your skin also becomes more susceptible to damage. (READ: Is your sunscreen safe for your pregnancy? Here are 6 pointers to help you stay protected) If you notice any unusual changes, consult a doctor.
7. “Is that a mustache?”
Crazy pregnancy hormones can make some women have thinner hair, while others have thicker, shinier hair. You’ll also probably see more hair on your body, from your arms and legs to your bellybutton, nipples, and even your face.
8. “I can see clearly now…”
During pregnancy, your body experiences changes in your hormone levels, metabolism, blood circulation, and fluid retention—all these can affect your vision. This is why it’s not a good idea to get a new pair of glasses or contact lenses. Usually, the vision changes that come with pregnancy are temporary, and will reverse a few months after delivery, according to BabyCenter. However, if you’re lucky, pregnancy could permanently change your vision for the better; Yahoo cited the case of a mom whose lifelong astigmatism disappeared after pregnancy. Lucky woman!
9. “Momnesia is real!”
If you find yourself more scatter-brained or forgetful during pregnancy, don’t beat yourself up. It happens to the best of us. Pregnancy doesn’t physically change your brain, but it does make you more stressed and tired, which can make you less sharp than usual. You’ll also be more preoccupied with preparing for the baby, and the raging hormones could also affect your brain circuits. Take care of yourself by sticking to a regular sleep schedule and get well-rested.
10. “I had the craziest dream last night…”
Plenty of women experience more vivid dreams during pregnancy. What’s causing this isn’t too clear—it could be hormones, but it could also because of your altered sleeping patterns. According to Parents.com, pregnant women experience more interrupted sleep, and when they wake up during REM sleep or just afterwards, they’re more likely to remember their dreams. Your anxieties and hopes about motherhood and pregnancy could also be reflected in your dreams.