For anyone wanting children, becoming pregnant should be the most joyous time.
You wanted kids and now you have one on the way.
Most of the time it is pretty joyous. You get to show off your growing bump like a trophy. Random strangers stop you in the street to guess how far along you are just by looking at your belly, like your some fairground game. More often than not offending you as they guess you’re much further along than you actually are. You knew you put on weight, but not that bloody much! Friends and family place bets on the size and gender of your little bubba, claiming they found an online Chinese calendar that tells you if you’re having a boy or a girl.
And yes, you give it a go… why not?
As much as this is all heartwarming and fun, you also soon find that pregnancy isn’t easy. Growing a human from teeny tiny cells to a full-grown baby for nine months is really hard work and takes a big toll on your body and mind.
Pregnancy side effects come in all shapes and sizes, with some being worse than others. Some women will experience symptoms much more intensely than others and very few women experience no symptoms at all.
The pregnancy side effects no one talks about
Its clear pregnancy comes with its ups and down’s and every woman has the right to complain when their side effects are pushing them to their limits.
There are some side effects more common than others. For example; morning sickness, sore swollen boobs, hormone-related mood swings, swollen ankles, weight gain, and tiredness, are some of the more talked about side effects.
But what about the ones we don’t really hear about? The ones you didn’t know existed until you, rather surprisingly, experience it yourself.
Those are the side effects, for some reason, pregnancy veterans don’t seem to mention when they are telling you what to expect.
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Painful nipples in cold weather
There’s a reason this one is first on the list, I’m experiencing this side effect now. I also experienced this during my first pregnancy and strangely, completely forgot about it until it occurred again this time. With the weather being the way it has lately, the deceiving sun shining with a bitterly cold wind, my nipples have really let their thoughts be known about that bitter breeze.
While it’s warm in the sun, as soon as you step into the shade, it quickly becomes freezing and as soon as that chill hits me, my nipples start to sting immediately. It then takes what feels like forever to warm them up again, which usually involves me walking around the house like a crazy person rubbing my boobs fiercely to warm them up. I’m so glad the latter part of my pregnancy is during the summer months and hopefully warmer weather.
SPD/PGP or Pelvic girdle pain
Like the nipple situation, I had no idea this was a thing until I asked my midwife about the intense pain I was getting in my groin during my first pregnancy. Some pelvic pain is expected during pregnancy. A hormone called Relaxin causes ligaments to stretch to accommodate your growing baby. So, it’s not surprising you should experience a bit of pain.
But Pelvic Girdle Pain or PGP occurs when the pelvic joints start moving unevenly which can lead to the pelvic girdle becoming less stable and therefore quite painful. If you are one of the unlucky ones to suffer from PGP, unfortunately, there is no quick fix.
There are some things you can do to help ease the pain: Sitting to dress & undress your lower half. Try to keep your legs together when getting in and out of the car or turning over in bed. Using a pillow between your legs in bed to keep a slight gap between your knees.
A simple pillow would do. But there is also a huge range of pregnancy pillows that are tailor-made to support your bump, legs, and back.
Something like this Hometex 9ft ‘U’ Shaped pillow is perfect. What’s even better is that you also currently get a free cover too.
Constipation is very likely
Just when you thought your pregnancy was bopping along fairly symptom-free, your hit with the struggle to poo. Yes, constipation is very common in pregnancy but not often a topic of discussion.
You can blame your pregnancy hormones once again for this one. As your hormones increase your digestive system slows down causing sometimes very painful constipation. There are some things you can do to help you through. Making sure you maintain a varied diet with plenty of fiber is best. However, if you’re still struggling there are some pregnancy-safe over-the-counter products that really help. Here are the some I have used personally and can vouch for both –
Fybogel comes as a powder sachet to create a high fiber drink by mixing with water and comes in a great orange flavour.
Lactulose is a pregnancy safe laxative and comes as a sweet syrup. Your doctor can prescribe it or you can buy it over the counter at any pharmacy.
Say goodbye to a good nights sleep
I’m sorry to say it but your likely to experience many sleepless nights even before the baby arrives. Whether it’s down to stress and worry about bringing a new baby into the world, or if it’s down to little aches and pains and a general feeling of being uncomfortable, especially as your belly grows bigger, sleepless nights are, unfortunately, inevitable.
Okay, so this one is not the most pleasant, that’s probably why no one seems to talk about it. But pregnancy discharge is very common and has a good reason for existing. The discharge protects your softening cervix from infection and is caused by an increase in hormones and vaginal blood flow… Lovely!
Whether you experience every side effect under the sun, or just one or two, remember every side effect is there for a reason.
Yes, most are very annoying and sometimes painful but they are all helping your baby grow and develop until the time comes they can make their way into the world.