You are pregnant. Congratulations! There are so many beautiful things about pregnancy. Watching your body change and develop to make space for this new little person, feeling those movements and kicks, experiencing that ‘glow’. Well, like a coin, there are two sides to things… especially pregnancy!
I am sure we are familiar with the side effects of pregnancy that everyone talks about. Morning sickness, food cravings or aversions, and of course those backaches and the lovely pregnancy waddle. What about all the other side-effects from pregnancy that maybe aren’t as common or just not talked about?
Fatigue: We aren’t just talking about feeling a little more tired once in a while. We are talking about exhausted, needing naps, bedtime at 5 pm kind of fatigue!
Breast changes: It is very common to have sore, tender, and swollen breasts during pregnancy. Many women may also experience the darkening of their areola.
Melasma: AKA the “mask of pregnancy” is the darkening of skin pigmentation commonly seen in pregnancy. This often appears as brown or gray patches typically around the cheeks, nose, and forehead.
Shortness of breath: This can worsen as your pregnancy progresses. As your baby grows your body shifts and changes to make space. This can result in decreased lung capacity as your baby pushes against your lungs!
Troubles Sleeping: Hormones, temperature fluctuations, heartburn, body aches, the baby having a dance party at midnight… These can all contribute to you having trouble getting a good night’s sleep.
Lightning Crotch (no we didn’t make this up): These are sharp, severe, and short-lasting shooting pains in your pelvic area. The exact cause isn’t clear but some theories include baby putting pressure or kicking on nerves in your pelvis, therefore, triggering the pain.
Bleeding Gums: It is not uncommon to develop tender, swollen, and red gums during pregnancy. They become more prone to bleeding and irritation- a likely side effect of hormonal fluctuations.
Hair Changes: Many women will report changes to their hair during pregnancy. This can range from growing faster, more smooth and shiny, drier, change in texture, or even in places where it wasn’t before like facial hair!
Heartburn: This is a very common complaint in pregnancy. The combination of changing hormones and a growing baby pushing on your stomach can make heartburn very common… and uncomfortable!
Swelling: Mama… during pregnancy things will swell! Our bodies will naturally hold on to more water causing our tissues to become swollen. This is seen mostly in our fingers, ankles, and feet. The best way to manage this is to try light compression stockings and sit back and get those feet elevated.
PUPPP Rash: pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPPP rash appear as raised, itchy red rash seen mostly on the stomach during pregnancy but can spread to other parts of the body.
There is no way to know what symptoms you will experience in your pregnancy. Every person and every pregnancy is beautiful and unique. If you are pregnant and experiencing any symptom that is a concern to you please reach out to your health care provider. You got this Mama!