5 Bizarre Things Your Body Does While Pregnant

No more pregnancy photos please

No more pregnancy photos please

I couldn’t wait to be pregnant… That cute little bump, feeling the baby move, and all those adorable little side effects you see in movies like snoring and craving ice cream and pickles.

Bull shiitake.

I felt a little betrayed by all my mommy friends (and a few books as well) that had failed to mention some of the less-charming symptoms of pregnancy. Sure, I was ready for an achy back, swollen ankles, and fat face. I’d seen that before.

Maybe no one tells women these things because we might rethink pregnancy if we knew. Maybe I’m breaking some kind of mommy code by letting you in on some of this stuff. But I think you deserve to know a.) that this stuff exists, and b.) you aren’t some kind of pregnant freak.

1. Your gums bleed like a stuck pig every time you brush your teeth (and forget about flossing… you’re gonna look like you stepped off the set of True Blood)
Reason: Hormones. Shocker, right? Hormones wreak havoc on the whole pregnant body and your gums are no exception. About half of all pregnant women experience red, swollen or bleeding gums while pregnant.
What to do: Be sure to keep brushing and flossing twice a day. And keep your regular bi-yearly dental cleanings. You should still be visiting your dentist while you’re pregnant.
Silver lining: Pretending you’re a cast member of [insert vampire series of your choice here] in the mirror when you floss every night before bed.

2. You grow skin tags and moles on your nipples
Reason: Hyperactive growth of a superficial skin layer. These can appear anywhere actually. Taking up residence on your nipples is just the icing on the cake that is your changing boobs in pregnancy.
What to do: Not much. You can try to scrub them off with a loofah, but be careful not to irritate them too much. You can actually make them grow by messing with them too much.
Silver lining: None. But they do fall off after you give birth.

3. Your leg hair stops growing
Reason: No clue. Some people speculate that all the nutrients in your body are going to your baby, so you don’t have any leftover nutrients to spend on non-essential body functions like leg hair. Others use leg hair growth as yet another ridiculously incorrect way to determine gender.
What to do: Enjoy. The fuzz returns pretty soon after your little one makes his or her appearance.
Silver lining: You don’t need to worry about shaving those legs you can’t reach for the sex you aren’t having.

4. Flaking nipples
Reason: Your body has begun to produce colostrum, the super-thick, super-powered liquid that your body produces before producing breast milk. However, you aren’t producing much of it (since it’s not needed yet) and it dries and flakes.
What to do: If peeling or flaking nipples feel itchy or painful, apply a nipple cream or lanolin. Might as well stock up now; you’re gonna need it in those first few weeks of breastfeeding. (My favorite nipple cream is Motherlove.)
Silver lining: Your milk-making hormones are in good order. This is not to say that if you don’t see colostrum before giving birth that something is wrong. It’s presence just means your body has already begun preparing for breastfeeding.

5. The “snee-pee” – peeing a little when you sneeze (otherwise known asĀ urinary incontinance. Snee-pee just sounds less… old lady-ish, right?)
Reason: Increased pressure on your bladder (surely you’ve noticed that being that’s supposedly the size of a grapefruit playing the bag pipes with your kidneys, yes?). Increased pressure means less room to store pee.
What to do: Keep calm and wear pantiliners. Go to the bathroom often, like every 30 minutes. Drink lots of water so you don’t get a urinary tract infection. Call your doctor if you think it could be leaking amniotic fluid – that’s a slim chance, but I think we all worry about it at some point.
Silver lining: None. And without some kegels, it could stick around post-pregnancy.

Feel free to add your own freaky-ass pregnancy symptoms in the comments!


  1. No one gave my legs the no leg hair memo! I was robbed! Instead I was blessed with burping every time my baby kicked in an upward direction… classy, right?

  2. Cristal says:

    Hip pain. Especially if you work on your feet. My hips and thighs absolutely kill me after a hard day.
    You can wear a support belt, it doesn’t completely releave it, but it does releave it some and evens it out so its not all on one hip.


  1. [...] realized after writing my ode to all things wacky in pregnancy that I needed to even the score on pregnancy symptoms a bit. Along side all those tiny little evils [...]

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