When you’re pregnant, your body can do some weird and wonderful things… that people forget to mention. To give you a heads up, we’ve rounded up 6 pregnancy surprises you probably want to know about…
When it comes to pregnancy, we’ve all heard about morning sickness, weight gain and cravings, but there are a lot of things people forget to mention. Whether that’s because people don’t want to put you off or because people’s brains forget once their beautiful baby arrives, we’re not sure, but whatever the reason, we’re blowing the lid off some of those lesser-known pregnancy truths.
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1. Your boobs will produce milk before your baby’s born
Yes, it’s true. For most pregnant women, their breasts can start leaking colostrum, your baby’s first breast milk, a few days before the birth. But for some women, this can happen weeks or even months before your due date. Weird, eh? But don’t worry, it’s all completely normal and nothing to worry about!
2. Your legs might feel uncomfortably tingly before bedtime
If you feel like you need to keep moving your legs, especially in the evenings, or have this tingly, creeping sensation on your calves and ankles, you’ve probably got restless legs, folks. It’s pretty common, affecting one in five pregnant women, and can be a particular bugbear in the last three months of your pregnancy, according to the NHS.
It’s not yet fully understood what causes restless legs syndrome, but theories include changes in blood circulation in pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies or a rise in the hormone oestrogen. Try stretching out your leg muscles before bed to soothe the irritation.
3. You’ll need to wee all the time
Well, that’s what it feels like anyway – especially in the first and third trimesters. Why? In the first trimester, a load of extra hormones, like progesterone, are swirling around your body – and these make you need to wee more frequently. On top of this, you’re carrying extra fluid in your body when you’re pregnant, so your kidneys are busy working overtime, processing it.
When it comes to the third trimester, you’ll be having more wees because of the pressure of your baby against your bladder. Basically, expect to live in your loo!
4. Certain smells might make you want to puke
Usually love the smell of tea or coffee? You might need to bury those tea bags in a distant cupboard when you’re pregnant. A heightened sense of smell is a common side-effect of pregnancy and it can make you loathe the scent of your favourite food, drink, perfume or toiletries so much that you can’t bear even the teeniest whiff of them. One theory is that it’s an evolutionary ‘disgust sensitivity’, designed to make sure you avoid potential dangers.
5. You may end up a shoe size bigger afterwards
Ok, this one probably sounds crazy but, if you’ve had your baby and your shoes are now pinching, you may not be imagining it – your feet really can grow in pregnancy. And, what’s even weirder, they’re likely to stay bigger for good! In a study, around two thirds of the women ended up with longer feet after having a baby. The scientists found that, on average, women’s feet grew by 2-10mm, with some going up a whole shoe size. It’s thought the weight of the baby places extra stress on the feet, widening and lengthening your feet.
6. You may feel super-sexy in the second trimester
Chances are you’ll go off sex in your first trimester – blame morning sickness, tiredness and breast tenderness for that – and you might not fancy it much in the third trimester either. But the second trimester is when the va va voom can return to your sex life! A combo of more energy and less morning sickness definitely helps, but also look out for the ‘interesting’ effects on your sex drive of higher levels of the hormone oestrogen – not only increasing vaginal lubrication but also boosting blood flow to the vagina. Quick, book that babymoon!