Perhaps considered the hallmark of pregnancy, morning sickness is a common complaint amongst pregnant women and, worst of all, it’s often not restricted to just the morning! While morning sickness is often worst in the first trimester, it can continue later into pregnancy as well. Generally, morning sickness causes nausea and vomiting anywhere from mildly irritating to truly dangerous, even requiring hospitalization – though this is uncommon. While no one knows what causes morning sickness, experts hypothesize that it may have to do with fluctuating hormones and an increased sense of smell.
In the Bathroom – Constantly.
Many pregnant moms become very familiar with bathrooms during their pregnancies due to the frequent urination which often accompanies pregnancy. It is one of the most common and persistent symptoms of pregnancy because hormonal changes increase blood flow to the kidneys making the bladder fill faster. Additionally, as the uterus grows, it puts more pressure on the bladder.
Vaginal discharge isn’t in your imagination. It’s likely leucorrhea, which is an odorless, milk discharge. While all women have leucorrhea, the body produces much more of it during pregnancy, making one more likely to notice it a lot more often and to find it in greater amounts. The increase is caused by extra blood going to the vaginal area and increased estrogen levels.
Gas and bloating is certainly a problem for pregnant moms, who may feel as if they could beat a teenage boy in a burping contest. Why does this happen? The body also has higher levels of progesterone during pregnancy. This hormone relaxes all the smooth muscles – including those in your digestive tract. Often, this relaxation leads to gas, bloating, and heartburn.
If a pregnant mom is finding blood in the sink when brushing her teeth, this isn’t uncommon. The gums are much more likely to bleed during pregnancy because the hormones are fluctuating and making the gums more sensitive to the normal bacteria in the mouth. While the condition affects up to half of pregnant women, it goes away on its own after hormone levels return to normal.
This is the other reason new moms may feel like they’re spending more time in the bathroom – they are. That increased level of progesterone also slows down everything in the digestive tract when those smooth muscles are more relaxed. This can be compounded by the pressure of the uterus on the rectum.
This unpleasant condition can go hand in hand with constipation and is caused by unusually swollen blood vessels in the rectal area. Many women experience hemorrhoids for the first time during pregnancy, but if you’ve had them before, you’re likely to have them again. Hemorrhoids may be merely itchy, but they can also become downright painful.
Lots of Saliva
Many women in pregnancy notice a sensation of having excess saliva in their mouths. This is not uncommon and is made worse during periods of nausea, which can cause excess salivation. The excess saliva can even become so bad that moms will need to find somewhere to spit.
Itchy and burning skin is not uncommon during pregnancy, especially in areas where the skin is doing a lot of stretching, such as on the belly. Itching can be especially problematic for moms-to-be who had conditions which made them prone to feeling itchy even before they were pregnant like eczema or allergies. Pay attention, however, because serious itching could signal a problem.
During pregnancy, the body has an increased blood supply to help the fetus grow and attend to its needs. Because of this, blood vessels all over the body are more expanded than usual. The increased blood supply puts pressure on the more delicate vessels, such as in the nose, making them more prone to rupture.
Swelling, medically called edema, is fairly normal in the extremities during pregnancy because the body retains more water. Likewise, body chemistry changes cause fluids to shift more into the tissues, so some swelling is normal. That said, swelling should be reported to a doctor because it can be a sign of a serious condition like preeclampsia
Those burning, itching infections are likely to bother a woman during her pregnancy. While there is always a certain amount of yeast in a woman’s vaginal area, it can grow faster during pregnancy and overwhelm the microorganisms that generally keep it under control. Estrogen produces a favorable environment for yeast, so increased growth that may cause an infection is more common during pregnancy.