I would be willing to bet that you would be embarrassed if you peed on yourself or puked unexpectedly right now in the company of others. Of course you would. I would be embarrassed, too. Unfortunately, these are very real examples of the embarrassing but normal things that happen when you're pregnant.
Most of these embarrassing pregnancy symptoms have to do with the myriad of hormone changes that your body goes through while your baby is growing inside of you. Basically, they're just part of the incredibly amazing pregnancy process, and they're probably going to happen, so talking about them can help to normalize the situation. If you read that other women also have horrendous gas and unexpected hair cropping up all over during pregnancy, you might not feel as embarrassed.
As always, if any of these symptoms are bothering you, please discuss them with your doctor. They may seem embarrassing, but I promise, your doctor has heard it all and keeping your health in check is more important than forgoing the feeling of your cheeks flushing hot with embarrassment — especially when it comes to your health during pregnancy. Besides, a nurse will be helping you put on mesh underwear before you know it, so you may as well get the embarrassment factor out of the way now.
1. All The Gassiness
Burping, farting, perpetual bloating — if it has to do with gas, you're probably going to experience it during pregnancy. According to a report by Healthline, your body produces more progesterone when you're pregnant, which leads to relaxed muscles and slowed digestion, which can cause extra gas to build up.
And unfortunately, you may not be able to control when or where you let one rip when you're pregnant. Full confession: I farted so loudly and unexpectedly when pregnant with my youngest that I scared my husband. I was just reaching up into a kitchen cabinet and it happened out of nowhere. Stinky, but totally normal for pregnant ladies.
2. Extra Vaginal Discharge (Yes, I Said Discharge.)
Talking about this might be uncomfortable, but you've got to hear it from somewhere. Your vagina could create more discharge when you're pregnant. It's science, people. According to What to Expect, you may notice an increase in mild smelling vaginal discharge that is thin and milky in texture during pregnancy, and it's totally normal. Anything foul-smelling or discolored should be discussed with your doctor. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can wear panty liners to help keep you feeling dry.
3. Nasal Congestion Like No Other
If you're perpetually snotty and feel like you should buy stock in Kleenex while pregnant, you're not alone. Your mucus membranes swell during pregnancy due to an increase in progesterone and estrogen according to What To Expect, which can lead to swollen nasal passages and an increase in mucus within your nasal cavity. All of that frequent congestion can also lead to nosebleeds, which are ridiculously inconvenient and pretty disgusting, but normal if they occur occasionally during pregnancy. Your doctor can suggest safe over-the-counter remedies if your congestion gets to be too much of a nuisance.
4. You're Gonna Pee Yourself A Bit
At some point during your pregnancy, the tiny human growing inside of you will grow and expand your womb to the point where your bladder is compressed, which according to WebMD may lead to urinary incontinence. Basically, your bladder can't handle the pressure (literally) of your growing baby and some of your pee will be forced out involuntarily.
As gross as it sounds — and feels — it is completely normal. Wearing a panty liner when you know you'll be more active or when you're in the very late stages of your pregnancy can help keep you feeling dry and prevent having to go through the hassle of changing your pants and underwear frequently.
5. Constipation, Diarrhea, Or Both
Those lovely hormone changes you'll experience during pregnancy can wreak havoc on your bowels, so it is not uncommon to have toilet troubles throughout your pregnancy. Hormones that relax your muscles and slow your digestion can lead to constipation and according to the Mayo Clinic, the extra iron in your prenatal vitamin can also contribute to constipation during pregnancy.
Experts at Healthline report that diarrhea can happen anytime during pregnancy, but is most common during the third trimester as your body gears up for labor. If you experience the unsightly, yet common, occasional bout of diarrhea due to the stress of pregnancy, it is important to remember that diarrhea can dehydrate you, so replacing the fluid and electrolytes lost is key to staying healthy.
6. SO. Much. Puking.
During both of my pregnancies, I kept a bag of crackers on my bedside table. Why? Because if I didn't eat within the first few minutes of waking up, I would vomit. The Cleveland Clinic reports that approximately 70 percent of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, which can be severe in about 3 percent of women. And I for one (along with many other women) can tell you that morning sickness does not just happen in the morning. It can strike at any point in time, leading to a surprise puke-fest in your car, at work, or even in the middle of the night. The act of vomiting can be embarrassing, but when you're pregnant, it really is normal.
7. Boob Leakage
I bet you thought you didn't need nursing pads until your baby is actually born and nursing, right? Well, not exactly. Some women experience fluid that leaks from the breast during the later part of pregnancy, Parents reported. This is completely normal. Your body is gearing up to make milk to feed your baby and fluid could leak from your breasts during this process. It can happen anytime, but breast stimulation (like during sex) can increase the chances that it happens. Luckily, wearing some thin nursing pads inside of your bra can prevent potentially embarrassing leakage from showing through your top.
8. You May Snore... Loudly
This one may not be all that embarrassing if you are already a person who snores, but for some demure sleepers, it may be startling. Remember those swollen mucus membranes due to hormones that can make your nose stuffy? They can also cause pregnant women to snore. According to What To Expect, excessive weight gain that restricts your breathing can also be to blame, so make sure that you let your doctor know if your partner notices your snoring getting out of control.
9. Bloody Gums & Bad Breath
Hormonal changes that cause excessive plaque can lead to temporary gingivitis during pregnancy, according to Baby Center. You may notice your gums bleeding when you brush or floss, or that plaque builds up more quickly than usual for you despite your oral health routine being unchanged. This plaque build-up can lead to occasional stinky breath that may be embarrassing or uncomfortable. Be sure to follow up with your dentist if you experience excessive gum bleeding, pain or swelling of your gums, or loosening of your teeth, as poor dental hygiene could pose health risks.
10. Excessive Saliva
When you're pregnant, you may notice that your mouth gets filled with a greater amount of spit than usual. This happens due to hormone changes that cause your body to produce more saliva during pregnancy than normal and muscular changes that cause you to swallow less often, according to Baby Center. Drinking small sips of water throughout the day can help you swallow this excess saliva, as can chewing gum or hard candy. However, you may still notice a puddle of drool on your pillow when you wake up in the mornings. Embarrassing, but normal.
11. Unwanted Body Hair In Unexpected Places
I bet you didn't enter into pregnancy thinking you would wake up one morning with hairy nipples. That could be embarrassing, right? Sure, but it is also totally normal to sprout a few random hairs in unexpected places during pregnancy. According to Kids Health, pregnant women can grow body hair on their face, belly, and even nipples due to increased hormone levels that accelerate hair growth. The good news is that this hair usually goes away a few months after giving birth.
12. Hemorrhoids Are Literally A Pain In The Butt
WebMD reported that hemorrhoids are a common occurrence during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester or if you have experienced constipation throughout pregnancy. Straining during bowel movements and weight gain are both contributing factors when it comes to pregnancy hemorrhoids. While they can be uncomfortable and definitely embarrassing to discuss, unless you experience bleeding or intense pain, hemorrhoids during pregnancy are usually normal.
13. Teenage-Like Outbreaks
Feeling like you're a teenager again while you're pregnant is probably not something you expected. However, if you are one of the women who happen to experience acne outbreaks during pregnancy, you may find yourself having flashbacks to your teen years. According to a report by Healthline, pregnancy hormones can cause the glands in your skin to produce an excess of sebum, the oily substance that clogs your pores and causes pimples to pop up.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version