16 Bizarre Things That Happen to Your Body When You're Pregnant
We all know the basics of what happens to your body when you're pregnant: your tummy gets big, you get sick in the mornings, your back hurts, and you crave weird stuff. These are the pregnancy side effects we always hear about and see on TV and in movies. However, any mother can tell you there's more to pregnancy than all that. There are details that are so personal that few people talk about them, and there's a lot of tiny stuff that even mothers might not know is happening to their bodies while they're pregnant. Maybe you're pregnant, or maybe you're just curious, but either way we have some pretty shocking pregnancy facts and weird side effects of pregnancy for you to discover here.
One thing we should probably mention is that things might get a little gross. We're going to go into detail, and we're going to show some pictures. So if you're uncomfortable with all that, now's the time to turn back. Pregnancy is perfectly natural, but it's hard to deny that some aspects of it are pretty unnerving.
If, on the other hand, you're someone who's itching to know more about how your body changes during pregnancy, then read on. We promise, it won't dissuade you from wanting to have a baby... that much.
Your Shoe Size Will Change, Probably PermanentlyPhoto: simoneladybug / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
You may have heard of feet swelling during pregnancy, but you probably aren't aware of how extreme the swelling is. For up to 70 percent of women, their feet get wider, longer, and flatter during pregnancy.Pregnancy causes your body to produce more fluid. You're carrying more weight on your feet. And the aptly-named hormone called relaxin is working to loosen your joints so that baby can come through the birth canal when the time comes. Your newly relaxed ligaments in your feet cause your foot bones to spread apart. All of these changes can actually make your feet hurt - not only because your shoes probably no longer fit you, but also because of the stress pregnancy can put on your legs and knees.
For many, this change in foot size is permanent. You may need to prepare yourself to say goodbye to your beloved pre-pregnancy shoe collection. Many women report that after pregnancy, they still find that their feet are one size larger than they were beforehand.
If You Hear A Random Baby Cry, Your Boobs May Leak MilkPhoto: Keeping Up With The Kardashians / E!
One thing pretty much every woman experiences during pregnancy is swelling of their breasts. This happens because they're getting ready to produce milk for their baby. Well unfortunately, your breasts can (and do) produce milk well before the baby is actually out of you. One thing that happens to some women is if they hear a random baby cry, their breasts start to spontaneously produce milk... enough to soak through a bra and shirt! After you give birth, this can also happen when you hear your own baby cry, think about your baby, smell your baby, or even sit in the chair where you normally breastfeed.
In the first weeks of lactation, your body is still figuring out its "let-down reflex," the reflex that releases milk produced by your breasts. While eventually this reflex will help with breastfeeding, in the beginning it can make for some pretty awkward situations.
Your Nose GrowsPhoto: Cyrano de Bergerac
When you're pregnant, you probably expect your appearance to change to some degree - duh, your uterus is going to expand to 500 times its normal size. But you probably don't consider that a central part of your face could change. Some mothers report that their nose got bigger in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. It's true, we're not lying.The condition is called rhinitis of pregnancy and it's caused by a thickening of your mucus linings in the nasal passages and sinuses. On rare occasions, the changes stick around post-pregnancy, but most likely your body will restore itself after you give birth.
You Might Get Varicose Veins DOWN THEREPhoto: via Veniti.com
Your legs aren't the only body part that'll become vulnerable to bulging purple varicose veins during pregnancy. Because of hormones, an increase in blood flow, and a growing uterus that squishes veins in your pelvis, you may see varicose veins pop up in places you really wish they wouldn't - like on your labia and inner thigh. About ten percent of pregnant ladies report this unfortunate phenomenon, but the good news is that they are likely to go away within six weeks of delivery.
You'll Fart Like An Old Man And Burp Like A DrunkPhoto: The Simpsons
Pregnancy makes you gassy. In your non-pregnant life, you'd probably hold it in until the coast is clear. Unfortunately, during pregnancy, you don't have the same control over your muscles as you used to. That gas is coming out, one way or another. And when it comes it is louder, more urgent, and smellier than you are probably used to. Hey, at least passing gas and belching is a great way to relieve nausea!
Your Skin May Get Dark And SplotchyPhoto: Internet Archive Book Images / flickr / No known copyright restrictions
There's a weird little term called the "mask of pregnancy" and it's fairly common among women of all races and ethnicities, though it happens more often for women with darker skin.As pregnancy progresses, you may notice darker blotches of skin on your upper lip, cheeks, and jawline. You may also notice that your freckles, scars, and around your genitals and nipples. In fact, your entire skin pigment may darken perceptibly. This happens because your body produces more melanin - the chemical that gives your body its pigment - when you're pregnant. Luckily, this skin tone change will likely go away once your pregnancy is over.