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11 Surprising Things About Pregnancy

What the books and your friends won't tell you


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©istockphoto.com / RyanJLane

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We all know the signs: your cup size increases, you get that unmistakable (read: radiant) baby glow and then, of course, there’s the morning sickness. But in reality, there’s a lot more moms are keeping mum about. Here’s what you (might) have to look forward to during pregnancy:

1. Your favorite foods might gross you out.

Coffee, peanut butter, chocolate…some of your faves may be major turn-offs once you’re with child. Food aversions are common and personal, so don’t be surprised if your go-to becomes a hell-to-the-no.  

2. Your nose knows.

Your sense of smell is heightened during pregnancy, but that’s not why you’re constantly sniffing yourself. Your raging hormones will affect pheromones (a chemical we release) that makes us smell differently. Some women can even tell they’re pregnant from their new odor. 

3. Everything tastes like metal. 

At first, you’ll think that metallic taste in your mouth means you need to floss more (and you do, actually), but it’s common for mommas-to-be. Metal mouth typically passes after the first trimester along with morning sickness.  

4. You pee when you sneeze.

Or cough. Or laugh. Or jump. Or because you couldn’t get to the bathroom fast enough. Thanks to your growing bundle, every bump, contraction and kick causes your crowded bladder to give out. But don’t worry. It goes away or at least happens less frequently after baby is born.

5. You might want it…bad.

You’d think being swollen, uncomfortable and constantly kicked from within would dampen your mood for love. Nope. Vivid dreams and increased amorousness are surprisingly common thanks to a massive surge of hormones. 

6. You and your partner will become more intimate in...other ways.

Hell’s swollen grapes of wrath (aka hemorrhoids) arrive just as you’ve become too big to reach around to your backside. You’ll need help. And it’ll be mortifying the first time he slathers on the Prep-H. After that…well, relief knows no shame. 

7. Your skin will break out like a teenager’s.

Some moms-to-be luck out with a complexion boosted by enhanced blood flow and circulation. Others will enjoy the sort of breakouts last seen in high school—you gotta love those hormones. 

8. Then there’s the gas issue.

Thanks to slowed digestion and relaxed muscles and ligaments, you’ll experience a little more, er, gas from both ends. Blame the dog.

9. You’ll actually waddle.

One day mid-pregnancy, you’ll subtly thrust your pelvis out a bit and think, “Huh, this feels good. This feels right.” Eventually you’ll be walking like a penguin.  

10. You’ll cramp up in new and unusual places. 

There you are, enjoying a mid-slumber stretch when WHAM—your calf or foot involuntarily seizes up in a sudden, excruciating charley horse. Why? No one really knows—leg cramps are just one of the many joys of impending motherhood.

11. But your hair will look AMAZING!

Surging hormones, enhanced blood flow and powerful prenatal vitamins result in thick, bouncy, bombshell hair. It’s SO great! If only it lasted.

 

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