Pregnancy is an exciting yet often confusing time. After all, it’s like nothing else in life! A tiny, new human being has taken over your body, and it’s amazing how your body adapts, changes, and nurtures this growing person. It’s something I am so thankful to have experienced a few times already and now again with my fourth child.
However, as with any big life change, there are usually a lot of questions that need to be answered, but in pregnancy it can be a little different. Remember when you were a teenager and going through embarrassing body changes due to puberty? Well, pregnancy can be a bit like that with things happening that you’ve not experienced before, but you can’t get away with some of the same things you can when you’re younger.
From gas to hair growth, to awkward questions about your growing baby, many of us have questions about our pregnancy that can be, well, embarrassing. Just know that the questions you may have are not limited to you — surely others are wondering the same things.
To clear the air, I thought I would get that shyness out of the way and answer those big, embarrassing questions before you even have to ask!
Scroll down for all the answers to your 20 most embarrassing pregnancy questions!
1. WHY DO I FEEL SO CONSTIPATED?
Constipation is not something anyone wants to deal with, but when you’re pregnant it really is the worst. It’s common, according to the MayoClinic, and it’s another unfriendly side effect of all those surging pregnancy hormones. My advice: Don’t wait to worry about it until you get it — drink water and eat lots of fiber-rich foods. Trust me, you don’t want to experience this one!
2. WHY AM I LEAKING VAGINAL FLUID?
It may not be pretty to talk about, but starting early in your pregnancy, things down there begin to feel more wet. The increase in vaginal discharge during the first trimester can be attributed to the hormone progesterone and can leave you feeling like you’re leaking. Later on, you may rush to the hospital thinking your water broke only to be told it was, well, pee. That happens thanks to baby’s pressure on your bladder.
For more info on vaginal fluid, read: Vaginal Discharge and Leaking Fluid on WebMD.
3. WHY DO I KEEP HAVING SEXY DREAMS?
If you’re having dreams like this, my advice is not to question it! Just go with them, and maybe sneak in an extra nap or two during the day. It’s not uncommon for me to experience them a few times a week, and it certainly makes a great reason to sleep in a little extra. According to Parents.com, sex dreams during pregnancy are all thanks to “extra blood flow to your genitals, raised estrogen levels that increase vaginal secretions, and sensitive, enlarged breasts mean your sex drive may be raging.”
4. WHY IS MY VAGINA SWELLING?
I am sure you anticipated some changes in your vagina after birth, so you’re taken by surprise when you realize it goes through changes before birth as well. But rest assured: These changes are not uncommon! They’re a result of the extra blood flow surging through your body (also giving you those sexy dreams) and your pelvic joints preparing for the delivery day. It can also be thanks to all the pressure your baby is putting on your pelvic area.
5. CAN BABIES FART IN UTERO?
It’s a good thing you can’t hear what’s going on in there because if they could fart, that would be an interesting thing to try to explain to people. I don’t think growing babies in utero can fart — they do urinate, but that’s about it. What I do know is if you’re gassy, the baby can hear that because they’re so close to all your intestines, and new research reported by WebMD says they can hear noises from within at around 10 weeks.
6. WHY DO I GET CONTRACTIONS AFTER SEX?
When it happens for the first time, it may take you by surprise, but it’s not totally uncommon. Contractions during pregnancy (especially if you’re not near term yet) can be alarming, but many times it’s not something to worry about. According to Parents.com, these cramps or contractions can be a result of an orgasm and/or prostaglandins in semen. Put your feet up, and have a glass of water — usually they’ll calm down on their own. If you are at risk of pre-term birth, your doctor may ask you to restrict sex because it can cause uterine contractions.
7. WHAT IF MY WATER BREAKS IN PUBLIC?
It’s like a scene right out of a movie, isn’t it? If you’re like me, you’ve had a nightmare or two about this very scenario — and I have a feeling we’re not alone in that. TV shows and movies always show the woman in a dress, standing in the grocery aisle and suddenly flooding the whole floor while looking like she’ll die of embarrassment. While it can happen that way, oftentimes when your water breaks, it will just be a continuous trickle of fluid so you can just calmly walk out of the store and head to the hospital. If it does happen like the movies, pretend you’re a star and walk calmly away.
8. WILL I POOP DURING DELIVERY?
Well, yeah, it could happen, but if you have a good nurse, she won’t bother you with that detail while you’re busy in labor. If you’re naturally going into labor, you body can go through some changes in pre-labor including mild to moderate diarrhea, which kind of clears it all out. Don’t sweat too much about it though! If it happens, it happens, but you’ll be too busy with other things to even give it a second thought.
9. WILL GROOMING MY PRIVATE PARTS AFFECT BABY?
…Probably not. While I don’t recommend grooming yourself when you’re in the later second trimester or third trimester of pregnancy (you won’t be able to reach!), the spa is still a good choice for waxing the private areas and/or legs. One BabyCenter Canada expert says while spa treatments like waxing are likely just fine, you’ll want to be wary of your skin, which can be more sensitive during pregnancy. Your baby is happily unaware — waxed or natural.
10. CAN YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM WHEN YOU’RE IN LABOR?
Yes! But honestly, going to the washroom when you’re in active labor seems like a question now, but trust me, when you’re in that situation, you won’t be giving it any thought. My longest labor was 15 hours long, and not once did I find myself needing to use the washroom. I don’t know if things slow down or what, but yes, you will have access to a toilet if you need to use one.
11. HOW DO I HANDLE VOMITING IN PUBLIC?
Ah, this is something I’ve had a lot of experience with, and you know, just go with it! I have been so sick that I’ve had to carry (waterproof) bags with me and just heave it when I need it. I felt so miserable, I didn’t care if I was in the middle of the park or the grocery store — it was that or the floor. If you have time to make it to the washroom, by all means try, but a bag in pocket is better than the floor for the employees to clean up.
12. WHERE DID MY SEX DRIVE GO?
Some women find their sex drive increases during pregnancy, and others lose it and wonder if it’s gone forever. Of course, it’s hard to get in the mood, feel sexy, and have the energy for it when you’re pregnant. The fatigue, nausea, gas, hormones, and stress can dwindle the sizzle a little bit for some women — and you’re not alone. There are other ways to increase the intimacy with your partner if you want to run away when he looks at you in that special way.
13. WHAT’S WITH ALL THE GAS?
This is another one of those things about pregnancy that people like to avoid talking about, but yeah, it can happen. According to BabyCenter, it’s all thanks again to that hormone progesterone that likes to slow things down and build up bloating and gas. My advice? Just blame it on the dog!
14. WHY IS MY FACE BROKEN OUT LIKE A TEENAGER’S?
I bet you’re wondering what the deal is because all you’ve heard about is the “pregnancy glow” you’re supposed to get. However, we all know not everyone is the same, and it can go the total other way for some women. Just like when you’re a teenager going through puberty with a surge of new hormones, the same thing happens when you’re pregnant. WhatToExpect.com says that acne during pregnancy is a result of not only the hormones, but the extra fluid in your body as well.
What to do about it? Read Acne During Pregnancy from WhatToExpect.com.
15. WHY DO I GET SHOOTING PAINS IN MY VAGINA?
Oh, you’ve never been more aware of what’s going on down there than when you’re pregnant, and those shooting pains you’re feeling can be very strange. You can blame it on the weight of your uterine inhabitant, the relaxed joints and ligaments, and not that you haven’t gotten out of bed today.
Check out BabyCenter’s forum topic Sharp shooting pain in vagina during 3rd trimester to see that you’re not alone.
16. DOES BABY GET SQUISHED WHEN MY BLADDER’S FULL?
I don’t think baby gets squished, but baby is likely going to kick your full bladder, just because that seems to be how things work out. Later during my pregnancy, I would get cramping and mini-contractions when my bladder got too full, and I always had a feeling it was the baby telling me to give him more room!
17. CAN THE BABY FEEL WHEN I HAVE SEX?
Baby can’t feel the act of sex, but baby may be able to feel some of your reactions to it. According to BabyCenter, you can’t harm your baby during sex, but you may find that s/he moves a lot more thanks to the increase in your heartbeat. Unless your doctor said to cool things down, if you’ve got the drive to do it, get to it.
18. WHY ARE MY BREASTS SO ITCHY?
In general, itchy skin during pregnancy is not uncommon, and especially so in the areas that expand (like your tummy and your breasts), according toBabyCenter. It may be hard to avoid the scratching, but it’s not good for your skin (though it may feel good). There are ways you can decrease the itch, including using special creams or coconut oil to make sure your skin stays well hydrated.
Want to know more? Read Itchy Skin During Pregnancy on The Bump.
19. WHAT’S WITH ALL THE BODY ODOR?
Stocking up on more and more deodorant lately? It can all be traced back to pregnancy hormones, the increase in body fluid, and increased metabolism —all cause odor and extra sweating. It won’t last forever, and until then, just take more showers. I also blame the odor on the extra strong smelling abilities when pregnant.
20. WHY DO I HAVE HAIR GROWING EVERYWHERE?
Finding yourself shaving every day and maybe in some places you’ve never needed to before? Perhaps you’ve been looking forward to thicker hair during pregnancy, but had no idea that could also mean thicker hair on your breasts, stomach, legs, and maybe even the face. It’s not a fun side effect, but just make sure you know where your tweezers are, and you’ll be covered!