13 Harsh Truths No One Talks About When It Comes To Pregnancy—You’re Welcome!

Pregnancy is an amazing, miraculous experience, but it’s also filled with some weird and wacky things that you never saw coming… until now. Here are 13 surprising things that can happen during those nine months your body is busy growing a human being.

  1. Your boobs hurt like hell. This is actually one of the earliest signs that you’re pregnant. It’s caused by hormones that your body produces to get you ready for pregnancy. While not the worst symptom ever, it’s certainly not pleasant.
  2. You’ve got a sore butt. Hemorrhoids are horrible to deal with, but they’re quite a common occurrence during pregnancy. They’re veins around the rectum that swell up and they’re caused by the increased blood flow in your body when you’re housing two people.
  3. You could end up drooling. Some pregnant women experience an increased amount of saliva. The reason why this happens isn’t clear, but it seems to be down to those pesky pregnancy hormones again. Increased saliva can also lead to nausea, which is a double bonus. Ugh. Does pregnancy have to be nine months long?
  4. You can’t seem to go number two. You have more progesterone in your body when you’re pregnant, and it’s quite a cool hormone that does amazing things. What it does is relax your uterus so that you don’t have early contractions, but what’s not cool about this is that it relaxes your muscles so you become constipated because your intestines stop working hard and so they stop moving things along. Sigh.
  5. Your nose bleeds. This is a weird one, for sure. You can thank estrogen for it. Since estrogen makes mucous membranes swell, this can lead to irritating symptoms like feeling congested and having nosebleeds.
  6. You get leg cramps. These nasty things can wake you up during the night and really hurt. Compressed blood vessels or having more weight on you during pregnancy can both lead to leg cramps.
  7. Your feet swell. You might find you can’t slip into your pumps as gracefully as you used to. Two words: fluid retention. All the fluid your body’s accumulating tends to sink down to your feet and make them look like pillows.
  8. You feel extremely gassy. You might find that you burp and have gas more often and that’s totally normal. Yup, you can expect such symptoms during pregnancy because they’re normal due to increased progesterone levels.
  9. Your hair goes from thick to thin. It’s a myth that pregnancy is just dreadful. Some symptoms you might experience are actually great, like when you glow. In addition, some pregnant women have reported that they get thicker and fuller hair during their pregnancies. Sounds great, right? Well, that tends to change once the baby’s born, with women losing hair. It’s because hormone levels go back to normal. Luckily, your hair will go back to normal soon, too.
  10. You get out of breath easily.  During the later months of your pregnancy, it could happen that regular activities you used to do without a problem, like washing the dishes, cause you to feel breathless. Yikes. This is because the uterus grows up towards the diaphragm during this time of your pregnancy, which makes it difficult to take deep breaths.
  11. You get a mucus plug. A mucus plug is basically a blob of mucus that plugs the cervix to protect your baby during pregnancy. When you get closer to labor, it is naturally removed so that your unborn baby can pass through the cervix. This mucus can be a bit blood-stained, but it’s normal. You should let your doctor know about it, though.
  12. Your gums bleed. You might feel that your gums are a lot more tender or just swollen during your pregnancy.  They could even bleed. High levels of progesterone in the blood cause your gums to react to plaque more and boost blood flow to your mouth. Now you know.
  13. Your veins go nuts. Spider veins are common for women during pregnancy. They’re not actually varicose veins, though. Spider veins are purple or red in color and you will see them crop up on your legs. You have more blood volume and this is what puts pressure on your blood vessels so that veins swell up. At least now you know what to expect when you’re expecting!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.