We’ve all heard the horror stories about morning sickness, crazy mood swings, and strange food cravings. But did you know that there are a handful of weird pregnancy symptoms no one talks about? Some of these symptoms are embarrassing, weird, or just plain gross. No one likes to talk about the unpleasant – and the downright smelly – aspects of pregnancy. They expect you to think that it’s caviar and roses, and that pregnancy is just the most beautiful thing that will ever happen to you.
But news flash – pregnancy isn’t always kind to you. Weird things will happen to your body. Here’s the skinny on the 10 most embarrassing and weirdest pregnancy symptoms.
1. Metallic Taste in Mouth During Pregnancy (Dysgeusia)
Does your mouth taste like metal? Or does it have an unpleasant sour flavor? Believe it or not, but this is a rather common (albeit lesser known) pregnancy symptom that many pregnant women experience. It’s called “dysgeusia,” and it’s often accompanied by morning sickness.
In the first trimester, it’s normal for some mamas-to-be to walk around with a nasty sour or metallic taste in their mouth. This pregnancy symptom is caused by higher levels of estrogen in your body. (Estrogen is responsible for controlling your sense of taste.)
This metallic taste in your mouth usually goes away on its own in the second trimester (when your hormones tend to level off). Until this weird pregnancy symptom disappears, you can try to mask the sour or metallic taste by eating acidic foods. Brushing your teeth might also help get rid of the disgusting taste.
2. Stress Incontinence (Urine Leaks) in Pregnancy
Does it feel like everything you laugh, sneeze or cough, pee just leaks out? Embarrassing as it might be, this weird pregnancy symptom is called stress incontinence and it’s actually pretty common in the second and third trimester, when your growing uterus and baby presses on your bladder.
Whenever there’s extra stress (like when you’re laughing too hard, coughing, or sneezing), it can be hard for you to hold in that little bit of urine. To control this pregnancy symptom, practice your Kegel exercises. (Practice squeezing and releasing the muscle that you use to stop the flow of urine.) Kegels will tone your pelvic floor muscles, which may help increase urinary control.
If you are leaking urine constantly, try wearing a light pad to avoid getting your underwear wet. Don’t drink less; you need to keep hydrated during the day. Dehydration can make other pregnancy symptoms worse, and it can sometimes put you at risk for premature labor.
3. Hot Flashes During Pregnancy
Do you wake up covered in sweat? Do you find yourself standing over the air conditioning vent, and you’re still hot?
Believe it or not, but hot flashes are actually quite common when you’re pregnant. Many expectant mamas suffer from hot flashes and night sweats. The reason? The fluctuations in hormone levels, especially the drop in estrogen, are to blame. (Low estrogen levels are the same reason menopausal women experience hot flashes.)
Pregnancy-related hot flashes can affect your chest, neck, and head. They can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Sometimes, you can feel hot and sweaty all day long. It can be truly unbearable for some women. This weird pregnancy symptom typically strikes in the second and third trimester, and it can last even after your baby is born. Postpartum hot flashes are normal for nursing mothers, since your hormones stay lower if you’re breastfeeding.
One perk of having hot flashes in pregnancy – you’ll know what to expect when you’re going through menopause!
4. Stuffy Noses and Nasal Congestion in Pregnancy
Do you have a runny or stuffy nose, and you’re not sick? Although it’s really annoying, nasal congestion is actually a normal, but unusual pregnancy symptom. Up to 30 percent of expectant mothers will suffer from stuffy noses in pregnancy, without having any allergies or a viral infection. This weird pregnancy symptom is called rhinitis of pregnancy, and it can start in your first trimester. It typically gets worse later in pregnancy. Fortunately, it goes away completely within two weeks after you give birth.
Like with other pregnancy symptoms, your stuffy nose is due to the higher levels of estrogen in your body, which causes the mucus membranes in your nose to swell and produce extra mucus. And because pregnant women have twice the amount of blood in your body than normal, the tiny blood vessels in their noses can also swell and this can contribute to nasal congestion.
5. Leaky Boobs When Pregnant
Have you noticed that fluid is leaking from your boobs?
This has to be one of the most shocking pregnancy symptoms to experience. No woman expects anything to just leak out of her breasts, but sometimes in pregnancy, expectant mothers can begin to leak out colostrum – a thick, yellowish fluid that will become your baby’s first milk. Colostrum, also called premilk, is full of nutrients and antibodies, which will help your baby’s immune system fight off infection from the germy world we live in.
Colostrum can leak out of your breasts in the late second and third trimesters. Sometimes, it just leaks out on its own. And sometimes, it leaks out when your nipples are stimulated – like during sex. Leaky breasts are a normal pregnancy symptom and nothing to worry about. However, you probably want to start wearing nursing pads to soak up all that colostrum.
6. Gas and Flatulence in Pregnancy
Ewww, did you just pass gas?
Yeah, having gas has to be the most embarrassing pregnancy symptom. Although everyone – non-pregnant people included – passes gas, when you’re expecting, you just tend to have a lot more of it. You may find yourself backing away from your friends, or crossing your fingers that the next fart will be silent (or not smelly). You can blame the higher levels of progesterone in your body for this symptom.
Progesterone relaxes all the smooth muscles in your body – including the muscles in your GI tract. As a result, your digestion is slowed down, which can make you very gassy after eating. And as your baby gets larger in pregnancy, the growing uterus crowds your abdominal cavity, slowing everything down even further. So, you should probably get used to be gassier, and you’ll probably have more flatulence than you’d like.
Passing gas is embarrassing, but it’s all part of being pregnant.
7. More Body Hair in Pregnancy
Have you noticed that you’re growing more hair in areas where you’d prefer not to have hair? Having thicker hair is a common pregnancy symptom, and for most women, this hair refers to a full head of hair. For some unlucky mamas-to-be, they experience more facial and body hair.
More body hair isn’t that bad, since you can always wear long sleeves and outfits to cover it up. But when you have more facial hair, it can be absolutely mortifying. You can blame the increase of hormones – especially androgens – for this weird pregnancy symptom. For most women, this unwanted facial and body hair will go away within three months after they have their baby.
8. Larger Feet in Pregnancy
Are your feet larger than usual? Have you increased a foot size or two?
Unfortunately, your stomach isn’t the only area that’s growing and expanding. It’s not uncommon to find that your feet have increased in width and length by the end of your pregnancy. Some women go up half a size, or even a whole size when they’re pregnant. If you already have large feet, this can be really annoying. This weird pregnancy symptom is due to your pregnancy weight, as well as normal swelling that occurs in pregnancy. Hormonal changes also play a role in your larger than normal feet – especially the hormone relaxin, which causes the bones in your foot to spread.
For some women, their feet will return to their pre-pregnancy size after the swelling disappears. But in many circumstances, you’ll have to wear shoes that are half or a whole size larger than you used to. And sadly, your feet tend to get bigger with each pregnancy that you have.
9. Snoring When You Sleep
Your husband or partner probably won’t complain about your sleeping habits (if he’s smart). But don’t be surprised if he looks tired every morning. You might be a snorer at night. Believe it or not, but some pregnant women do start to snore (and snore pretty loudly too) when they’re having a baby. You can blame those pregnancy hormones – the same ones that cause you to be all stuffed up and congested.
If you’re congested, you probably snore at night, because your stuffed up nose causes you to breath through your mouth when you sleep. To help with your snoring and congestion, you may want to run a humidifier in the room. Use extra pillows to prop up your head, and this may help with this pregnancy symptom.
10. Excessive Salivation in Pregnancy (Ptyalism)
Are you drooling a lot at night? Do you have to constantly spit into a hanky or a glass to deal with all the saliva that you’re producing? Excessive salivation is another weird, but common pregnancy symptom. The condition is called ptyalism, and it often occurs in the first trimester.
Like other pregnancy symptoms, it’s believed that hormonal changes may play a role. Some women produce more saliva to combat morning sickness. Women who are nauseous might try to swallow less, so they end up spitting up their saliva instead of swallowing it. It’s also possible that you’re producing more saliva to decrease your heartburn. Saliva is alkaline, and this may fight against the gastric acid that accompanies heartburn.
Whatever the cause of increased salivation in pregnancy, this weird pregnancy symptom typically disappears in the second trimester.
You May Also Enjoy Reading …
Morning Sickness – Causes, Treatments, and Remedies
Top Tips for Dealing and Surviving Morning Sickness
Fatigue in Pregnancy: 7 Ways and Remedies to Cope
Pregnancy Symptoms: 5 Signs That You May Be Pregnant