Pregnant for the first time? Prepared? Well, there’s nothing that can fully prepare you for pregnancy – it’s impossible to explain how it feels and more importantly, it’s different for everyone. Some may experience terrible morning sickness, others may breeze through that but then suffer from terrible hip pain in the third trimester. Some may feel amazing and others may wonder if that ‘pregnant glow’ that was promised to them will ever arrive.

 

There’s no doubt that your body will go through significant changes and we’ve highlighted some of the more surprising.

 

You may get clumsier

If you’re normally sure-footed as a goat, be sure to watch your step… as well as your grip. You may find yourself dropping things or falling more easily. And there’s several reasons for this. Firstly, during your first trimester the body releases a hormone called relaxing which prepares your cervix and ligaments for birth and can make your grip less secure. It peaks in your second trimester and remains elevated until after birth. And then there’s your growing bump. Many women can find the added weight affects balance, especially when going up or down stairs or carrying large items. Take your time and be sensible, especially on uneven ground.

 

Stock up on panty-liners

If you’ve never used panty-liners before, then now is the time to add them to your next shop. Almost all women experience more vaginal discharge during pregnancy and it’s perfectly normal. Hormonal changes soften the cervix and vaginal wall and increases vaginal discharge.

 

You’ll also notice that your discharge changes just before labour – it can contain more mucus and even blood. This mucus normally sits around your cervix and is called a ‘show’ when it starts leaving the cervix. Your baby will arrive soon!

 

The ‘line’ may appear

During pregnancy, you may notice a dark line that appears, usually running from your belly button down. It may even appear above your bellybutton and often appears after 23 weeks. It’s called the linea nigra and it’s actually always there (but known as the linea alba) –but it’s only during pregnancy that it shows due to hyperpigmentation. This can also cause freckles and the area around your nipples to become darker too. Don’t worry though, it’ll fade after birth.

 

You may develop the nose of a bloodhound

A lot of women develop a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy, especially in the early stages. Some say it’s because there’s an increase in blood volume which means signals to the brain can be faster and more intense and others say it’s just mother’s nature way of ensuring you don’t inhale anything toxic. Whatever it is, be prepared to suddenly be repelled by your favourite perfume, your husband’s aftershave and foods. Every woman is different so it’s hard to predict what you may suddenly find unappetizing. If you’re struggling with your skincare, the TEN Skincare range for Mums & Babies has a neutral scent which often means it doesn’t upset your olfactory senses and looks after pregnancy skin at the same time.

 

Hello Hair

If you’re sprouting hair left right and centre and finding that you’ve got to shave your legs more regularly, it’s ok, it’s just your hormones playing havoc with your body. Some women even notice that they grow hair on their belly!

 

Bigfoot

As well as swollen ankles and feet, many women can go up by a shoe-size during pregnancy and remain that way! Whilst water retention will eventually dissipate swollen feet (lying down with your feet up helps) some women can experience flat-footedness due to the additional weight placed on their feet and unless regular exercises are undergone, feet may remain flat. So how can you prevent this? Whilst you’re waiting in a queue or are brushing your teeth, raise up on tiptoes and gently lower yourself down or try balancing on one leg. These exercises will help keep your foot muscles strong.

 

Beware nosebleeds!

As your body prepares for pregnancy, blood volume increases (between 30-50%) and this can put pressure on delicate veins in your nose causing them to rupture and bleed more easily. Be gentle when blowing your nose.

 

Tastes like metal

Some women can’t shake a metallic taste in their mouths and this is specific to early stages of pregnancy. You’ve not been chewing tinfoil in your sleep, we promise! It’s just a condition called dysegusia, which again, is due to hormonal changes. You can help mask the taste by drinking cold drinks or eating spicy foods.

 

-TEN- Sound Skincare Science supports mums and babies during and after pregnancy.

What weird pregnancy symptoms did you experience? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.