Today we’re talking all about the things that no one tells you are normal in pregnancy. This post is not sponsored, does not constitute medical advice (talk to your doctor!), and may contain affiliate links.
We asked over 100 women to tell us something they didn’t realize was “normal” in pregnancy until they actually got pregnant.
Pregnancy is a bizarre (and exciting!) time as your body literally grows another human being from a microscopic egg. It means lots of changes, big and small. Some of these you’ve heard before (and someone of them you’ll be amazed people haven’t) but many of them might be new!
Here are the top answers from the 100 women we surveyed. They are listed in no particular order but I have gone through and included product recommendations for a few sections where the original woman surveyed recommended something or I have used a product during pregnancy that helped with one of the issues.
Please note, I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. If you are experiencing anything you are concerned about, please consult your doctor.
28 Things No One Tells You Are Normal In Pregnancy
Congestion can be common in pregnancy and occurs for many women in the first trimester. You might not have a perpetual cold, you might just be pregnant.
2. Nose Bleeds:
Many women who had never experienced a nose bleed before report regular nose bleeds in pregnancy. Some women said this is how they realize they’re pregnant because they never have nose bleeds outside of pregnancy.
Often as a result of the increased iron consumption thanks to prenatals, many women report struggling with constipation throughout pregnancy.
hint: Go order some fiber gummies right now to combat this issue. These are the ones I have on hand.
And simultaenousnly, women report struggling with the alternate problem as early as their first trimester.
5. Food aversions:
This is totally normal (and I don’t know how you got to pregnancy without realizing this is totally normal?). These are going to differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy (with my first I couldn’t stand sweet things in my first trimester but wanted all the chicken – second time around protein made me gag).
6. Overly emotional:
Increased hormones during pregnancy can result in a lot of emotions. Be prepared to cry more than often and have stronger reactions than you might regularly have to just about anything.
7. Cervical mucus:
It is normal to have more vaginal discharge in pregnancy. Interestingly, this helps prevent any infections traveling up from the vagina to the womb. How cool is the female body?
Your body is working hard preparing your uterus for a growing baby and developing this new life. You’ll probably find yourself exhausted and easily sleeping a few more hours per day than you were before.
Many women report increased headaches during pregnancy, starting in the first trimester. In addition to hormonal changes, headaches in the early stages of pregnancy can be caused by an increase in the volume of blood your body is producing. You might also be experiencing headaches because you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going through a caffeine withdrawal, you have low blood sugar, or you’re dehydrated.
10. Spotting and cramps
Vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramps are not always a cause for concern during pregnancy. They can also happen due to processes that the body goes through during a healthy pregnancy (such as implantation). But, as always, if you’re concerned about something, call your doctor.
11. Tender or painful breasts
Breast tenderness is often the first symptom of pregnancy, occurring as early as one to two weeks after conception (which is technically weeks three and four of pregnancy). That sore boob sensation peaks in the first trimester because your body is flooding with hormones but the discomfort may continue as your breasts grow throughout pregnancy. It is time to find a really good body moisturizer!
12. Slower digestion
Pregnancy hormones can affect the digestive system. The hormone progesterone, which causes smooth muscle relaxation, often causes relaxation and slowing of digestion in the stomach and the small and large intestines. Fascinating, right?
Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is unfortunately quite common in pregnancy. Heartburn can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach.
Need some relief? You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and there are medicines that are safe to take in pregnancy. A lot of women reported keeping Tums on hand.
14. Round ligament pain
Round ligament pain feels like a deep, sharp, stabbing or stretching sensation that begins or worsens with movement. Some triggering movements may include rolling over in bed or taking a step. The pain may travel upward or downward, from the hips into the groin. It can be particularly bad after not moving for awhile but should go away in a few seconds to a minute.
15. Skin tags
Skin tags during pregnancy are a relatively common skin change. Weight gain or hormonal changes are a few possible causes of skin tags during pregnancy. Don’t worry;There are several at-home and in-office treatment options for skin tags that do not go away after pregnancy.
16. Lower back pain
It is very common to get backaches or back pain during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the ligaments in your body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare you for labour. This can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain. Some women report back pain in the first trimester and many women struggle with it in the third trimester because they’re carrying so much weight in the uterus.
What can help: Cat & Cow Yoga stretches and a good belly support band
Insomnia can result from hunger, nausea, anxiety, or depression. Levels of the hormone progesterone are high during the first trimester, and this can cause sleepiness and napping during the day which could disrupt your sleep at night.
18. Having to pee all the time
What makes you need to pee more is often in the first trimester the increased amount of blood in your body. To process this blood flow, your kidneys need to produce extra fluids, which then end up in your bladder. As you get into the third trimester the baby can put pressure on your bladder which also means you’ll need to pee.
19. Constantly thirsty
When you’re pregnant your body needs more fluids than usual to support baby’s blood circulation, maintain a healthy level of amniotic fluid and keep up with your own higher blood volume. Another possible reason for your thirst is you might be feeling hotter and sweating more these days—both common side effects of growing a tiny human.
A new water bottle is great gift for a mom-to-be or something to pick up for yourself on your next Target run.
20. Out of breath
In the first few weeks of pregnancy, a normal increase in the hormone progesterone causes you to breathe more often. This can look and feel like shortness of breath. This hormone expands your lung capacity, allowing your blood to carry large quantities of oxygen to your baby.
21. Constant nausea WITHOUT throwing up
You’ve seen the scenes in tv shows when the woman throws up and realizes she’s pregnant… but did you know you might be extremely nauseous without ever throwing up? The cause of severe morning sickness isn’t known but it is likely related to the hormone changes of pregnancy. A hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, might be to blame because severe morning sickness most often happens when HCG levels are at their highest in a pregnant woman’s body.
Every woman is different and some throw up daily for all of pregnancy while some report no nausea at all.
Hormonal changes can make you feel faint while pregnant. Fainting happens if your brain is not getting enough blood and, therefore, not enough oxygen. You are most likely to feel faint if you stand up too quickly from a chair or out of a bath, but it can also happen when you are lying on your back.
23. Strong metallic taste in your mouth
Having a metallic taste in your mouth (dysgeusia) is common in the first trimester. Blame it on pregnancy hormones (more specifically a surge in estrogen). You can’t prevent the sour taste in your mouth, but you can combat it by eating tart, acidic foods and gargling with a mild solution of water with salt or baking soda. Good luck!
During pregnancy, your hormonal changes can send mixed signals to the scalp to increase oil production and to generate new skin cells. This excess oil can cause the fungus to grow, and when combined with the older skin cells that are replaced, it leads to hair dandruff. Grab a new shampoo and be sure to give your scalp a good rub in the shower
25. Swollen labia
Many women experience swollen labia during pregnancy because of the increased blood flow to the area. You might develop blue or purple veins on your labia, also known as vulvar varicosities (thanks to the growing uterus compressing the veins in the pelvis).
26. Vivid dreams
The vivid pregnancy dreams start in your first trimester. It is completely normal to find that your dreams change during pregnancy. During the early first trimester, women tend to notice that their dreams get more vivid and that they are able to remember a lot from their dreams when they wake up. A few women noted that they realized they were probably pregnant after a few repeat nights of crazy dreams.
27. Increased sweating/ body odor
During pregnancy you may sweat more as your body tries to keep you cool. This can make you prone for more body odor (especially in areas where you have more sweat glands, like the armpits and groin). It might be time to step it up in the deodorant department.
During pregnancy, your blood flow increases to your baby and is slower to return to you in your veins. Add this with changes in position – like standing for too long, lying down or quick movements – and you may be more susceptible to feeling dizzy or lightheaded during pregnancy.