As an expectant mom, you’ve probably heard that pregnancy is one of the most exciting and beautiful times of your life. And while there’s no denying that it’s an exciting time, there are a few times during your pregnancy when you might feel, well, not so beautiful.
“Your body is going through so many changes, both physically and hormonally, during pregnancy,” says Catherine Bernardini, DO, chief, obstetrics and gynecology at Bryn Mawr Hospital. “There might be times during your pregnancy where you’ll experience some symptoms that you weren’t warned about.”
Below, Dr. Bernardini outlines some commonly reported embarrassing pregnancy symptoms, and whether or not they’re cause for concern.
Bleeding gums: Thanks to increased levels of progesterone and estrogen, your gums will begin to swell, and sometimes bleed. These hormonal changes can increase your risk for periodontal disease and pregnancy gingivitis. Schedule a dental cleaning and check up. If you notice a lot of bleeding, make an appointment with your dentist.
Leaking: With all that extra weight on your bladder and the demand for extra fluids throughout the day, it’s normal to leak a little when you laugh or sneeze. If you’re self-conscious, use a thin maxi-pad or keep a spare pair of underwear with you.
Gas / constipation: It’s typical to feel this way after a big meal, but during pregnancy you’ll probably feel bloated, gassy, or constipated more often. That’s normal. Pregnancy hormones slow digestion, which can make you feel gassy and bloated. The extra iron in prenatal vitamins can also cause these symptoms. Avoid trigger foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, and carbonated beverages. Eat small, frequent meals, drink lots of water, and exercise. A stool softener can help ease symptoms.
Snoring: Even if you didn’t snore before your pregnancy, there’s a chance you might now. Sleep and rest on your side once you are 20 weeks pregnant. This will take the pressure off key blood vessels and improve circulation. Place a pillow in the small of your back to prevent you from rolling onto your back.
Enlarged nipples: Your hormones are going through a lot during pregnancy, and it’s typical for your nipples to be darker and larger during pregnancy. They’ll begin to shrink in size once you’ve had the baby and begun nursing.
These are just a few of the stranger symptoms you might experience during pregnancy. Other common, but slightly less surprising, symptoms include frequent headaches, nasal congestion, and skin changes.
If you have questions about what’s normal and what’s not, or if something doesn’t feel right to you, talk to your obstetrician about your concerns.
Main Line Health’s team of obstetricians offer complete, family-centered care for women with normal and high-risk pregnancies, which includes monitoring and testing during pregnancy. Visit our website to learn more about our OB/GYN services and find a physician in your area.