Things like morning sickness and the burning desire for pickles and ice cream are like the A-list of pregnancy side effects. Everyone’s heard of them, many women experience them.
But there are other side effects that many pregnant women experience, although they might not realize they’re pregnancy-related since they’re not as high profile.
Check out 5 common, if not under-discussed, pregnancy side effects:
Pica 1 of 5Sure, you're craving fresh fruit, M&Ms or salty olives. But are you craving ice, laundry starch, wax, coffee grounds, chalk or dirt? If so, you might have pica. In some cases, pica is linked to an iron deficiency (even though there's no correlation between iron and these weird cravings). Talk to your doctor if you're having non-food cravings.
Stuffy Nose 2 of 5Never had allergies but suffering from a stuffy nose while pregnant? Twenty to 30 percent of women experience some kind of congestion while pregnant. It's called rhinitis of pregnancy and can last from the second month until after the baby is born. It's partly due to higher amounts of estrogen, which leads to swelling in the mucous membranes lining the nose. Add to that the increased blood volume in your body, which can cause swelling in the tiny blood vessels in the line of the nose. Gesundheit.
Excessive Salivation 3 of 5Do you feel like a baseball pitcher on the mound or any athlete on the field with how much you've been spitting? You're not alone. It's call ptyalism or sialorrhea. It's not fun, but it's not dangerous to you or your baby, either. Hormonal changes in your body are probably the reason you're wishing you had dry mouth. It's most closely associated with morning sickness. Be aware that excess saliva can also be related to heartburn.
Shortness of Breath 4 of 5If it seems like you've just run a marathon but have only gone from sitting to standing, welcome to the club. Pregnant women need more oxygen, and so your body adjusts accordingly. A hormone surge affects your lungs and notifies the respiratory part of your brain to the extent that the amount of air you inhale shoots way up. Also — as the baby grows, your diaphragm gets a little less effective as it gets a little smothered, particularly if the baby is riding high or you're carrying multiples. When you're almost ready to deliver and the baby drops into the pelvis, you might experience some relief. From the shortness of breath anyway.
Dizziness 5 of 5Are you so excited about having a baby that you're feeling dizzy? The dizziness might be because of the baby, but not in the way you think. Your cardiovascular system and blood pressure in pregnancy go through a lot of changes, and sometimes it's hard for your body to keep up. Your heart will pump more blood per minute, and the amount of blood in your body expands by nearly half. Feeling dizzy is normal, but if you faint, be sure to call your doctor and make sure something else more serious isn't going on.
Images: Wikimedia Commons + Creative Commons
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