Pregnancy is like no other time of life, there's little denying that. Yes, some of the things that happen to your body can also happen when you're PMS-ing, when you're stressed, when you're sick, and at other times in your normal life, but, all-in-all, pregnancy can be weird and different in ways that other parts of life just aren't. Even if you talk to everyone you know and read every book there is, you're not always expecting some of the weird things that can happen even though you're pregnant. From "getting your period" to bodily changes and beyond, it's definitely more than just a growing belly, swollen ankles, and morning sickness.
Some of the things that you might experience when you're pregnant are things that you'd never expect would happen while you're pregnant. Instead, they're things that you'd think would either happen before or after your pregnancy or wouldn't be related to your pregnancy at all. Because of that, you might be a little bit alarmed or, at the very least, a bit confused, when you're waking up at the crack of dawn or dealing with a nasty cold when you thought you'd be tired during your pregnancy or that getting sick wouldn't really be something you'd have to deal with (in addition to everything else). Pregnancy is all about expecting the unexpected, but, then again, so is parenthood.
1. Your Dreams Are Pretty Strange
If you're one of those people who never have wild dream stories to share, pregnancy could change all of that. Parents noted that this is a completely normal (and common) pregnancy symptom and that it might have to do with your hormonal changes, but more likely is related to how you're sleeping.
2. You're Body's Getting Stronger, But Also Looser
Your body has to seriously gear up in order to give birth and it prepares by getting stronger, but it also prepares by loosening up the joints, ligaments, and the like in your body. It's weird and definitely can seem counterintuitive. The What to Expect website noted that a hormone called relaxin plays a large role in this, getting your body ready to give birth by making things a bit stretchier than they typically are.
3. Getting Your "Period"
Some pregnant women also report experiencing some bleeding and spotting, like they've gotten their period. There are a number of reasons why you might experience spotting while you're pregnant, including implantation bleeding or first-trimester bleeding (or decidual bleeding), as VeryWell reported. But since bleeding during a pregnancy can be a potential sign of a miscarriage, it's important to tell your doctor about it so that they can figure out what's going on.
4. You're Waking Up Early
You've likely heard that pregnant women tend to be a fairly fatigued bunch (and you may have experienced that yourself). You might also end up dealing with many early mornings where you've woken up and can't go back to bed, Healthline noted. Doing what you can to encourage yourself to fall asleep (or fall back asleep) can help, but it's a struggle, there's no doubt about it.
5. Your Boobs Can Leak
You might think that you won't start lactating until after giving birth, but that's not always how it goes. Writing for BabyCentre UK, community midwife Clare Herbert noted that some women leak colostrum during pregnancy and others don't, but clarified that it doesn't have any real impact on how much milk you'll produce.
6. You Develop Carpal Tunnel
Even if you're expecting the aches and pains that can come with pregnancy, you might not have expected that you'd be dealing with it in your wrists. In a different article, Parents noted that swelling and increased pressure in your wrists during pregnancy can actually lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. If you're struggling with this, talking to your doctor about wrist braces or strategies for handling it can help.
7. Your Immune System Weakens
You may have never given much thought to how pregnancy might affect your immune system, but if you've thought that the pregnant women in your life are more affected by colds and the like, you weren't just imagining it. The What to Expect website noted that your immune system is a bit weaker when you're pregnant than when you're not. Additionally, you've probably heard that the flu can be dangerous for pregnant women. But it might not be because your immune system is lowered, it might actually be because the flu is the exception to that. A 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that you have a stronger reaction to the flu and that's why it can pose a threat to pregnant women.
There are a lot of strange side effects and symptoms that can go along with pregnancy, some of which you'd never expect would be related. Pregnancy is a time of a lot of upheaval, so it sort of makes sense that some of the symptoms would sort of boggle the mind as well. The weird symptoms only last for so long, however, so you won't have to deal with them forever.