30 Women Share the Most Surprising Things That Happened to Their Bodies During Pregnancy

30 Women Share the Most Surprising Things That Happened to Their Bodies During Pregnancy featured image
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For many women (myself included), pregnancy is a wild ride. There are so many changes to the body, and often even the mind, too. A friend of mine calls it “the most beautiful sacrifice.” She’s not wrong, though everyone’s journey is different. Here, 25 women open up about their personal experiences and the most surprising things that happened to bodies during pregnancy, from nosebleeds to new allergies.

Things That Can Happen to Your Body During Pregnancy

“During pregnancy, my nails broke constantly. I had to carry a file on me. This baby took all of my nail nutrients! I was surprised by it.” —Amber K.

“The edema! My hands and feet. It started around 27 or 28 weeks. I could barely fit my feet into shoes. By the end, I could only wear flats and not even my sneakers. It took weeks to get back to normal post-delivery.” —Katy E.

“My really bad stretch marks scared me and I thought it was not possible that they could ever go away, but they’re barely visible now.” —Sophie B.

“I was surprised by how intense the foot tingling pain was. It was like needles on the bottoms of my feet. I still walked every day, but it was wild.” —Leah V.

“So far, the weirdest thing has been how big my boobs have gotten. I went from an A cup to a DD! Also, nosebleeds, specifically in the middle of the night, even with the humidifier on.” —Britta S.

“Third trimester carpal tunnel as you sleep! My hands fall asleep and then they are numb, stiff and sore when I wake up. It just started happening at 34 weeks—so weird. Thankfully it’s only while I sleep and not all day, but it’s freaking weird. I wake up and I have to shake my hands out.” —Angie P.

“My feet got bigger—half a size—and never went back! It’s so annoying that I can’t fit into my sevens anymore! None of my nice pre-baby heels fit.” —Sherri C.

“I have been active my entire life. Played sports my whole childhood and high school career. As a result, I have had achy knees since I was a teenager. When I became pregnant, I continued to workout five days per week. Barre and HIIT classes until 37 weeks—my last class was 12 hours before my water broke. I NEVER experienced knee pain! It was amazing! Was it the prenatal vitamins or the fish oil vitamins I was taking? I still haven’t figured it out.” —Kelsey K.

“My nails grew so fast, like I had to clip them every few days. It was probably from my prenatal vitamin.” —Alissa G.

“Honestly? How good and beautiful I felt. I had a really amazing pregnancy. Obviously that’s not always the case. But I felt glowy, full of energy and just great. So great that I didn’t know I was pregnant for 12 weeks!” —Vanessa V.

My nose got fat and wide, like flared-nostril wide. I felt fat because it was noticeable. Thank god it went back after birth.” —Catherine M.

“The belly hair growth was bizarre! My hair legit didn’t grow on my head and my nails were breaking, but my belly hair was thriving!” —Amanda M.

“I developed a severe almond allergy! It’s still here after giving birth. The doctor said you can get new allergies during pregnancy.” —Andi H.

“Nosebleeds! I had crazy, crazy nosebleeds during pregnancy.” —Katie B.

“I got stretch marks like two days before giving birth, but I thought they would happen earlier on. And I still have them six years later! I’ve done a few RF microneedling sessions on them and it’s helped a little. I think it would help more if I were more consistent with it.” —Kimberly R.

“I was itchy all over. It kicked in after 20 weeks.” —Sam D.

“The most surprising thing for me was the pelvic floor concerns I had. I had no idea that pregnancy had such a huge effect on your pelvic floor, and what your pelvic floor consisted of. There was pain and weakness in my lower back and hips. Going to the bathroom at times felt so uncomfortable, I thought I had a prolapse. I didn’t, but everything just felt weird for lack of better words. And the discomfort during intimate times with my husband. I wasn’t prepared for that. I ended up starting pelvic floor therapy while I was pregnant and continued it afterwards. It really helped.” —Courtney B.

“The severity of heartburn. I had experienced heartburn before, but in each pregnancy, I slept upright on the couch for months because it was so bad. I never would have imagined that.” —Marisa P.

“My areolas grew to the size of desert plates. My boobs were 90 percent areola.” —Jasmin M.

“I was actually shocked that I didn’t get stretch marks! I was pregnant with twins and everybody said that I would, but I got very lucky! —Cheryl K.

“The insane sense of smell! Literally every smell was so bad, I couldn’t even be around coffee when I was pregnant. It was so gross. I feel like I’m still sensitive to random smells, too.” —Sophie B.

“Pregnancy was such a wild ride! I had heard your feet swell, so I was ready for it to be temporary, but my feet grew 2.5 sizes. All the shoes in my collection that I can never enjoy again was something I had to come to terms with.” —Qandeel S.

“Neck pain! It was so bad at the end—I think my spine got misaligned. I couldn’t sleep the last few weeks because of it, which was so frustrating because all you want to do is sleep while you still have the chance!” —Bridget O.

“The growth of weird neck hair and skin tags, and also pregnancy carpal tunnel.” —Annie M.

“My nails grew at the speed of light. Sounds great, but I hated it. They got SO long and I had to groom them often. Ugh! Manis grew out so quickly.” —Brittany E.

“Pregnancy caused a flare-up of erythema nodosum, an autoimmune disorder that I was diagnosed with in high school. It causes painful red nodules—imagine a goose egg if you hit your head—on your legs, mainly your shins. Mine were always pretty bad and required treatment with oral steroids and cortisol injections directly into the skin. I got a flare-up during pregnancy, but I couldn’t take any ibuprofen or steroids for it obviously, so it took two months to go away. Thankfully it was only two nodules on one leg, but not ideal when you can’t take anything to make it go away!” —Leah S.

“During pregnancy I was no longer lactose intolerant, but it returned after I finished nursing. My doctor said the body sometimes alters itself to protect the fetus. I also got seasonal allergies, which I still have years later.” —Kristen B.

“My sex drive went crazy! That immediately changed after having the baby though.” —Abbie G.

“Pelvic floor issues! I felt like my daughter was going to fall out of me.” —Samantha C.

“My body odor pretty much disappeared. It was wild! I think I put on deodorant like three times in nine months. But in the weeks after birth, oh my gosh. It was as though all the odor had been trapped and came out at once. It was so bad. I’ve heard this from so many other mamas, too!” —Britt F. (me)

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