Pregnancy is a joyous time and with it comes unexpected pregnancy symptoms that not even your close friends may have told you about. It’s something that many of us spend years striving for and that hopefully, many couples will get to experience. It’s a time of great excitement and expectation. You’ll enjoy the kicks, the scans and the feeling of your baby growing inside of you.
Most women that are trying to conceive, or in the early stages of their pregnancy do their research. You might have asked friends what to expect, read books and looked for advice online. You might even have an app on your phone that lets you know what’s going on with your baby and your own body, every step of the way. But, somehow, some things seem to get missed out. We all know about morning sickness and swollen ankles, but there are many, many other elements of pregnancy that seem to get glossed over. So, here is a look at some of the more unexpected pregnancy symptoms that you can start looking forward to.
You’ve probably heard of baby brain? Most women find that they become strangely forgetful after having a baby. A lack of sleep, and lots of important new things to think about, something has to give, and most women find themselves forgetting mundane details of life.
But, you might not be expecting this to start before the baby is born. Or to last for many years afterwards. Babies and children can age you, physically and mentally, and forgetfulness is a common side effect.
We’ve all come to expect the sleepless nights that come with having a newborn baby around the house. You might even be ready for frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom towards the end of your pregnancy. But, you might find that you start to lose sleep much faster than that. Changes to your body and hormones can mean that you struggle to sleep all through pregnancy, despite being more tired than you’ve ever been.
Your hips are going through a lot. Your bone structure starts to change as soon as you conceive, widening to house, and birth a child, slowly but surely. Many women don’t notice this until much later on, as the pressure becomes harder to bear. But, your hips and lower back might ache all the way through. Not one of the most pleasant unexpected pregnancy symptoms!
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Not all pregnant women get cravings. In fact, most of them don’t. Many do however face appetite changes of some kind. You might find that foods that you’ve always loved turn your stomach, that textures feel different in your mouth or that you’ve got a metallic taste that puts you off many of your favourite foods. The great thing is that your body knows what it needs. Craving salad? Go for it. Love milk all of sudden? Your body knows best, indulge.
I think this was the one that surprised me the most when I was pregnant. Suddenly my body craved certain foods. Not weird like pickles and ice cream, but a strong desire for something specific like cheese or cucumbers.
Change in Sex Drive
Your sex drive is likely to be up and down throughout pregnancy as your hormones change. Some women report an increase in drive at certain stages of their pregnancy. Be honest with your partner and explain your feelings to avoid awkwardness.
Most of us know that a little bleeding is normal. But, did you know that you might get period like cramps on and off all the way through? This usually is just because of changes to your uterus, but if you are worried, or the pain becomes more intense, seek medical help.
Your emotions are going to be all over the place as your hormone levels fluctuate. You might find yourself crying over the slightest thing, changing between excitement and fear at the drop of a hat, and generally unable to control your feelings. It’s best to stop trying. Feel what you feel and stock up on tissues. Its ok and its going to be ok.
Changes to Your Inner Thermostat
Another symptom that seems to get overlooked is the change to your internal thermostat. When you become pregnant, your basal body temperature might increase a degree or two. This often drops back to normal in a few weeks, but not always. You might find yourself experiencing hot flushes all of the way through.
While you are pregnant, your centre of gravity will be slightly off, your blood pressure can fluctuate, and your bloody itself can become thicker in your veins. All of these things can lead to dizziness. You might even find that you become clumsier as you adjust to the changes. Yet another one of those unexpected pregnancy symptoms that might effect you.
The critical thing to remember is that just like every woman is different, so are their pregnancies and so are the unexpected pregnancy symptoms. A lot of symptoms are common, and many women experience them. But, that doesn’t mean that you will. You may have a completely different experience to your friends, or even to your own previous pregnancies. It’s usually nothing to worry about, and you should just try your best to enjoy the ride. But, if you are concerned about any of your symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or midwife for advice and help.