Guest Post: Pregnancy Oddities

What your Mother Never Told you: Pregnancy Oddities

Kristen Hurst is a stay at home mother of three who enjoys blogging.  She received her bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing, and writes often about <a href=””>maternity swimwear</a>.  When she’s not trying to juggle the lives of Casey, Austin and Ben, she enjoys painting and catching up with a great Jane Austen novel.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I appeared to have every weird pregnancy trait known to womankind; I had developed an odd line down the middle of my belly, from the moment that the pregnancy test came back positive I developed ‘cloasma’ otherwise known as ‘pregnancy mask’ where my face was excessively splotchy.  I gained weight not just around my belly, but all over my entire body.  At night I couldn’t sleep due to the severe heartburn I got from the first month and never subsided until I actually gave birth, weird dreams and then there were the emotions that ranged from anxious to insane. Little did I know that all these physical and emotional changes were preparing me for the wild world of parenting, but if I‘d known a little more, it might have saved me some sanity or at least reduced my anxiety levels.

Thank goodness, none of my curious pregnancy symptoms were serious, and yes my belly line eventually disappeared, yet, it was odd that I knew nothing of these things.  Here are some additional pregnancy oddities:

  • Skin Tags: It seems that skin is a likely victim of our over-flooded hormones, these seems to be a relatively common occurrence and appear in areas that have a lot of friction.  They are annoying but completely harmless and can be safely removed by a dermatologist with a snip of scissors or by freezing or cauterizing it.
  • Red Palms: Again, blame those raging hormones.   “Palmar Erythema” is its official term and it is caused by the women’s increased blood volume.  It  seems that being pregnant can affect many parts of the body you wouldn’t necessarily expect to have an association with, this includes your hair, your vision and your fingernails.
  • Appetite cravings/aversions: Yes, we know all about the stereotypical image of the husband rushing out at three-o-clock in the morning to satisfy his starving wife with an emergency gallon of ice cream and a jar of pickles, but truly a woman’s appetite is absolutely affected by the many changes that are occurring.  For others, their appetites become nonexistent, avoiding food to the point of weight loss and vomiting.  This condition is known as “hyperemesis gravidarum” and the newly pregnant Duchess of York gained global headlines after being hospitalized for suffering from this condition.  Some women experience pica, which can range from eating odd combinations of food to actually consuming things like rocks and metal, which of course, can be extremely dangerous to mother and child.  Most doctors will determine that in the case of extreme pica symptoms it is generally attributed to anemia.
  • A heightened sense of smell: Some women swear that their abilities to detect odors (usually unpleasant ones) was heightened during their pregnancies, of course, I have a personal theory about this, that when the baby comes, she’ll be fine-tuned for knowing exactly when that diaper needs changing.
  • Unable to swallow: Another oddity is the taste or feeling of saliva in a woman’s mouth, some women have kept bags with them so that they can spit into it, again, it appears that once the baby is delivered this symptom also disappears.

It’s true, pregnancy is a life-altering process and of course the events leading up to your birth are even more incredible.  Every woman has a different experience and tolerance.  Mine were unique to me, I guess and so were friends of mine who shared their oddities.  At the end of the day, even though pregnancy can be difficult and at times, unpleasant, the rewards are too innumerable to mention.

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