Before I got pregnant, I often heard about all the glowing and wonderful parts of pregnancy to look forward to. Although I knew there would be some morning sickness and weird cravings ahead, I still felt like not having to deal with a period was going to even the scoreboard. But little did I know just how many gross things about pregnancy that no one ever tells you were lurking right around the corner. While I didn't encounter every gross thing in the unwritten pregnancy book, I sure wished someone had been more open and honest about the things that can occur during those oh-so-wonderful nine months (and more).
Luckily, Romper spoke with several moms to get the reality of what to expect: questionable poops, a bladder that just won't quit, weird rashes, unexpected hair growth and loss, and more. Although there's plenty to enjoy while pregnant, it's definitely not all unicorns and roses and there are a lot of unwanted symptoms you experience too. Knowing about them is a good thing though. It can both help lessen the worry when unpleasantries pop up and give you the forewarning you need to adequately prepare.
So if you're trying to get pregnant, currently expecting, or just want to see if other moms can relate to your off-putting pregnancy experience, check out some of the gross things about pregnancy no one else will tell you.
One of the first major and gross differences I noticed during both of my pregnancies was the change in poop consistencies. I went from what I considered normal, quick, and easy-to-wipe bathroom experiences to using half a roll of toilet paper every time I went number two. Beyond the grossness, it was also insanely frustrating.
Or walk or stand up or don't make it to the bathroom in time — the list goes on. The truth is you'll probably pee so often it will become normal, and you'll start carrying around extra underwear or always wear pantyliners. "I peed a little almost every time I puked ... I peed a little with most things – laughing, coughing, sneezing," Mary, mom of two, tells Romper. "I still can't jump on a trampoline without peeing."
"I was always sweating! I was hot all the time," Melissa, mom of one, tells Romper. And I have to agree that this was a big, off-putting change during pregnancy for me too. To be totally honest, I don't think it's ever gone away either. Sorry.
According to Kids Health, "Many women experience changes in hair texture and growth during pregnancy. The hormones secreted by your body will cause your hair to grow faster and fall out less." Although this is good for the hair on your head, it also means you'll find yourself wanting to shave more and dealing with hair in places you never imagined.
Both Marissa, mom-to-be, and Paige, mom of one, tell Romper that their belly got hairy. Marissa says the hair on her belly came in "like a winter coat." Although, I guess the bright side is you can keep yourself and your baby warmer during cold winter months.
I know – pregnancy is confusing. While a lot of women report extra hair, everywhere, some actually feel like they lost way more hair than normal off of their head. Faith tells Romper, "No one ever told me I'd lose enough (hair) to make a wig or two." But it happens, especially directly after giving birth in many cases.
Alicia, mom of twins, shared that during her pregnancy she noticed brown skin discoloration in the shape of a line forming upwards from her belly button. She says, "it has faded away since," but I can see how it would definitely be weird to experience for the first time. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), the brown line on your baby bump is called "Linea Nigra" and is a totally natural part of pregnancy. So if you do experience this too, there's no reason to be alarmed.
The thing you can definitely look forward to during a pregnancy is no longer having your period, but that doesn't mean you're done dealing with blood altogether. Bailee, mom of one, says that she had nose bleeds all the time during her pregnancy. Unfortunately, with pregnancy, you win some and you lose some (or a lot).
Rachel, mom of one, tells Romper that she experienced unexplained rashes that even drove her to the hospital. For many women who experience this, What to Expect shared it's often called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPP) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (PEP), which is an itchy, annoying, but luckily, benign rash.
Mom of four, Diana, tells Romper that a gross thing that happened to her during pregnancy was the appearance of skin tags. Fit Pregnancy shared that increased hormones during a pregnancy, along with hormonal fluctuations while nursing, can cause them.
I'll be the first to admit that I've woken up in a small puddle of drool after dozing off, but Courtney, mom to one, says "I drooled so much when I slept." Kids Spot shared, however, that increased saliva is actually a fairly common pregnancy symptom. So you might want to stock up on spit-up towels a little sooner than you thought.
For those who are unfamiliar, hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus that cause itching and pain, according to Healthline. Moms Sue and Rebekah share that they were one of the grossest parts of pregnancy. I can't say anyone warned me about hemorrhoids being a potential pregnancy symptom either, and I'm forever cringing.
Mom-to-be, Aryn, tells Romper that she wasn't prepared for how bad the leaking really is during pregnancy. From "both out of your breasts and down there," she adds. And it's true, pregnant moms don't just pee a little when they sneeze or drool all night, but it's also very possible that you leak from your nipples as your body prepares to breastfeed.
Carolina, mom of four, says, "I pooped when I pushed ... another mom had that happen and called it soft-served poop." That's definitely a gross surprise that many moms don't realize could mark the end to their pregnancy, but it happens more often than you may think. And it's totally normal to poop yourself when giving birth.
If you thought your belly and hips were the only things that grow during pregnancy, you're sorely mistaken. Paige, mom of one, shares that her feet unexpectedly grew a size or two during pregnancy as well. According to The Bump, your feet can grow during pregnancy because of the loosening of the ligaments that occurs throughout your body. Weight gain also contributes to growing feet in some women.
"Your lady bit downstairs becomes like a slip-n-slide," says Wendy, mom to twins with one more on the way. "It was so bad for me that I showered at least twice a day." Although it may feel gross, it's completely normal though. Parents shared that after you get pregnant, your body releases extra estrogen and progesterone, which triggers a much heavier flow of vaginal secretions.
Another gross change that happens during pregnancy because of your big baby bump is that it starts to get in the way of everyday things you're used to doing with no problem. Sue, mom of one, tells Romper that, like most moms, she could barely wipe at nine-months pregnant because she was so huge and couldn't move. This is true of trying to shave and putting on your shoes or pants too. Also, don't drop anything, because you're not bending down to get it anytime soon.
To be totally honest, I went through two pregnancies without realizing there was a mucus plug, which is separate from your water breaking. Some moms don't notice it. For those who do, however, Samantha, mom of three, says that the mucus plug passing is one of the grossest pregnancy experiences for her. According to WebMD, the mucus plugs builds at the cervix and discharges when the cervix begins to open wider. Although this is a sign you're nearing the end and can go into labor soon, it generally means you've still got a few days to two weeks before labor starts.
Racheal, mom of two, says that fissures were a gross and uncomfortable experience for her. According to National Childbirth Trust (NCT), constipation during pregnancy can sometimes cause anal fissures – or tears in the skin around the anus – caused by stretching the sphincter muscle.
On top of dealing with more sweat, your sweat smell changes too. According to moms Tiffany and Hannah their sweat smelled "different" and "weird." Tiffany shares, "It was different than regular B.O. but just as gross, and I couldn't do anything about it."
Jhanis, mom of two, tells Romper that all the sickness was the grossest part of her pregnancy. While some moms experience "morning" sickness in their first trimester, other moms deal with nauseas throughout, and it's not fun.
"Baby movement is WEIRD," says Brieanne, mom of two. "And I am fully aware that a lot of women love it and find it magical, but it really is the ultimate invasion of personal space 24/7." Even if you don't find full feet and hands visually moving across your belly off-putting, you'll probably get a cringe from whomever you show a video of it.
According to Heather, mom of three, she experienced a lot of horniness during her pregnancies. Although this is gross to some, it's also quite enjoyable for other moms. So, don't automatically feel you need to shudder at the thought of sex during pregnancy if you notice yourself wanting to get hot and heavy more. But it's totally cool to be grossed out by it too.
Although I'd heard of swelling during pregnancy, I never realized it could happen to the extent I couldn't get my rings off or put shoes on my feet. Every time swelling occurred, especially toward the end, it made me feel so icky and helpless. According to the APA, however, "Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by this additional blood and fluid."
Rebekah, mom of one, tells Romper that one of the grossest experiences of her pregnancy was "smelly magnesium farts." According to Babble, extra smelly farts are pretty normal during pregnancy, considering you produce extra progesterone. This slows your digestion and can cause constipation, food sticking around in your intestine, and extra gassy experiences. Even though it's normal, it doesn't make it any less enjoyable though.
According to Dakota, mom of one, there was a lot of off-putting "skin discoloration under my boobs and a few spots on my stomach." Especially considering your protruding belly and larger-sized breasts, it's totally possible to have skin touching, rubbing, and creating heat or sweat in places your body's not used to it. In my experience, this causes a number of issues like raw skin, discoloration, itchiness, and more.
No one tells you this one because no one wants to be the person to crush your spirit and admit your nipples aren't always going to be the same after pregnancy. Before pregnancy, I had small, light-colored nipples that probably tripled in size and darkened quite a bit during my pregnancy. Although the discoloration has since disappeared, they never went back to their normal size, and I'm still bitter about that. According to Pregnancy Magazine, the extra melanin being produced is to thank for these nipple changes.
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