Things that may surprise you during pregnancy

Things That May Surprise You About Pregnancy

Pregnancy is filled with so many dramatic changes that your health care provider may not have mentioned the following changes since they tend to be less dramatic in nature.

Things that may surprise you during pregnancy


Pregnancy does not just change the obvious physical parts of your body and hormonal system, it also affects the intellectual and emotional parts of your being.  Any concerns you have about your or your baby's emotional or physical health, regardless of how unrelated or minor they may seem, should be discussed with your health care provider. Your health care provider has seen many pregnant women and can reassure you.

Some of the less talked about changes, adapted from the Kids Health website, are discussed below.

1) Difficulty with Concentration

In the first trimester the presence of fatigue and morning sickness can wear you out both mentally and physically and you may experience an inability to concentrate and periods of forgetfulness. Hormonal changes, an understandable preoccupation with your body and the baby, and fatigue are the probable causes.

2)  Bra Size

An increase in the size and firmness of your breasts are one of the early signs of pregnancy. Breasts usually begin to enlarged in the first trimester and can continue to swell throughout your pregnancy.  It is important to have a well fitting support bra throughout your pregnancy and to recognize that you may need to replace your bras several times over the course of your pregnancy. 

3). The Nesting Instinct

Many pregnant women develop a strong urge to prepare their home for the baby by cleaning and decorating. You may find yourself cleaning cupboards or washing walls, things you never would have imagined doing in the final months of your pregnancy. 

4). Mood Swings

Mood swings are very common throughout pregnancy but tend to occur more frequently in the first trimester and toward the end of the third trimester.  You are very likely to have severe mood swings during pregnancy and approximately 10%-15% of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy. If you have symptoms such as sleep disturbances, a complete lack of appetite or an inability to stop eating, or extremely exaggerated mood swings for longer than a few weeks, you should review the situation with your health care provider.

5) Skin

You may be one of the many women who develop a special healthy glow to your skin. You may also discover that the stretching of your skin over your growing abdomen may cause itchiness and flaking.  An increase in oil gland secretions may result in acne.  You may develop brownish or yellowish patches on your face and you may see a dark line on the midline of the lower abdomen as well as darkening of the skin of the nipples and vulva. 

6) Hair

The hormones secreted by your body will cause your hair to grow faster, fall out less, have a different texture, and to grow in places where it has not grown before. 

7) Increased hormone production can result in your nails growing faster and become stronger than before your pregnancy but some women, actually find that their nails tend to split and break more easily during pregnancy.

8) Shoe Size

You may be one of the many pregnant women who have swelling in their feet to the degree that you will need a larger shoe size. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes with good support.

9) Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, which are usually found in the legs and genital area, may develop or become more pronounced during your pregnancy.  You can lessen them by avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time, by wearing loose-fitting clothing, wearing support hose, and elevating your feet when you sit. Varicose veins in the rectum (hemorrhoids) frequently occur during pregnancy as well.

10)  Constipation is common throughout pregnancy. Constipation can contribute to hemorrhoids because straining may enlarge the veins of the rectum.  Eating a fiber-rich diet, drinking plenty of fluids daily, and regular exercise can help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.

Remember that your health care provider is usually the best source of information on the above since they can taylor their knowledge to the uniqueness of your pregnancy.

Additional Information

Kids Health: Things that may surprise you about being pregnant


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