Weird pregnancy symptoms can happen from early pregnancy all the way through L&D. And, while less common, some moms even experience the leftovers of some of these symptoms through the 4th trimester.
Aren’t I supposed to be glowing?
Isn’t this supposed to be the most wonderful time of my life?
Didn’t my friends say their pregnancy was a breeze?
Weren’t my symptoms supposed to be fleeting?
Pregnancy can be wild, my friends (please note, “can be,” not all pregnancies are created equal). And strange.
When you think about pregnancy and its associated symptoms, we tend to think about morning sickness, tender breasts, swollen ankles, stretch marks, cramps, and sore hips and back. But what about the unexpected, weird pregnancy symptoms that no one really talks about until they happen? While not uncommon or anything to be concerned about, many of the following ailments may come as a surprise to pregnant women, whether they’ve been pregnant before or it’s their first time.
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With my first pregnancy, I feel like I experienced every issue under the sun. Nothing wildly extreme or potentially harmful to me or my baby; no recurring monitoring needed by my OBGYN, intervention, or hospitalization. I was lucky. But I had some weird issues that turned out to not be very weird at all – if you consider how common they are, that is.
Here are some of the unusual pregnancy symptoms that your doctor may not have mentioned.
Weird Pregnancy Symptoms
No, your stuffy nose may not be a sign that you’re sick. Instead, you may have pregnancy rhinitis, which has got to be one of the most obnoxious weird pregnancy symptoms that I have personally dealt with.
This nasal congestion results from hormonal changes, which increase blood volume and estrogen, leading to swelling in your nose and excess mucus. It’s a relatively common pregnancy symptom, with some mamas dealing with it as early as their first trimester. The bad news is that it can last your entire pregnancy. Joy to the world, amiright? Learn how to deal with pregnancy congestion here.
2. Itchy Nipples and Breasts
Throughout your pregnancy, your breasts and nipples prepare themselves for breastfeeding. And they grow, which stretches the skin. These hormonal fluctuations and rapid changes to your already sensitive skin are common, but can cause both itchy nipples and breasts.
My recommendation is to moisturize in the same way you’d care for your growing belly. You can use cocoa butter, vitamin E lotion, or even a lanolin cream, which you’ll likely have a surplus of if you end up breastfeeding your baby for any period of time.
3. Vivid Dreams
Hormones and heightened levels of stress and anxiety can exacerbate your late night dreams and nightmares. So, if you’re already feeling anxious or someone who tends to have dreams about losing your teeth or forgetting your lines, don’t be surprised if they become more frequent and believable!
I am already a busy dreamer when I’m not pregnant, but MAN are my dreams weird and extremely vivid when I am pregnant. Not only that, but they are almost too realistic; like the scenarios playing out in my dreams actually happened, and I have to slap myself around to remember it wasn’t real.
4. Excess Saliva
This symptom tends to occur in the first trimester and is most often experienced by mamas who are also going through morning sickness. It, like many of the items in this post, are a result of changing hormones. If you have a sensitive gag reflex, excess saliva can be particularly bothersome.
5. Hairy Tummy
Don’t worry… you’re (most likely) not going to get a freaky fur coat, but you may notice that the baby hairs on your belly look darker and more noticeable with pregnancy. This was one of the weird pregnancy symptoms that I personally couldn’t stand during my first (I’ve yet to experience it with my second pregnancy). I felt like my normally fair blonde baby hairs were so obviously dark and even a little thicker that I hated when people had to see my bare belly!
6. Nose Bleeds
This is both common and normal in pregnancy, as scary as it might be! Nose bleeds are, again, a result of hormonal changes, and occur for the same reason that congestion occurs. The combination of swelling and dryness can trigger nose bleeds.
Dealing with Pregnancy Congestion
7. Carpal Tunnel
Holy ouch! Pregnancy carpal tunnel was one of the worst weird pregnancy symptoms my first time around. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a consequence of swelling and pressure (a natural part of pregnancy), which causes tingling, loss of feeling/numbness, and discomfort around your wrist.
The best way to care for carpal tunnel is by wearing a wrist brace to help stabilize the area and minimize movement. Be sure to wear it at night if you can tolerate it as well.
8. Numb Shoulders and Fingers
The later you get in your pregnancy, the more you will find yourself sleeping on your left or right side. Makes sense, and may be no problem for you if you normally sleep this way. But, have you woken up only to find that whichever side you are laying on is numb and/or in pain? This symptom is like carpal tunnel in that it is a result of swelling and pressure.
Along with my carpal tunnel, I would lose feeling from my shoulder, all the way to my fingertips. It never went away after I gave birth, and now that I am pregnant a second time, it’s just another one of those pesky symptoms that I can’t seem to shake.
Wait, hemorrhoids before I give birth? Errm, yup, sorry.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around your anus and lower rectum that can be internal or external. Three of four adults will experience them at some point in their lifetime, including expecting mamas. They itch, they burn, and can even bleed.
Hemorrhoids are an extremely common result of childbirth… I mean, think about how hard you’re pushing to get that giant out of your belly. But they can unfortunately make their mark while you’re pregnant. This can be due to a number of factors, including constipation and the baby’s head pressing on veins in your groin. If you’re experiencing this dreaded weird pregnancy symptom, load yourself up with witch hazel wipes and consider investing in a Tushy bidet system (trust me, it’s saved my butt on more than one occasion).
10. Bladder Control Issues
Imagine sneezing and taking pause because you realize you may have leaked a little. Or, in my case, throwing up so violently that you grow to expect a little pee each time. Nice, right?
It’s not uncommon to experience pelvic floor issues while pregnant. This is because your pelvic floor is working overtime to keep that baby where they’re supposed to be for the greater part of a year! At the same time, your hormones are telling your muscles to relax in preparation for your labor and delivery. Add in training your bladder to know that it doesn’t need to release every time it’s kicked or punched and you may start defaulting to a panty liner each day.
11. Hypersensitive Gag Reflex
Even brushing teeth or taking your prenatal can make you gag and/or feel like you’re going to vomit. Keep the toilet lid up!
12. Body Temperature Fluctuations
Of course we know that hot flashes are a part of womanhood at some point in our lifetimes. However, did you know that your body temp can go from one extreme to another on a regular basis? One day you may feel completely overheated, sweaty underboobs and all, and other days you may have cold chills in a temperature you’d normally be comfortable in. It’s great.
13. From Innie to Outie
Is your notoriously deep innie belly button now popping out with no end in sight? This usually happens late in the second trimester or into the third, as your belly stretches to make room for the baby, and as your baby applies pressure to the front-most part of your belly.
What weird pregnancy symptom did you not expect?