12 Weird Side Effects of Pregnancy

“You’re glowing!” is something most pregnant women hear from time to time. And sure, pregnancy can bring out some lovely traits… along with some, uh, less flattering ones. Say hello to side effects of pregnancy.

We’ve all heard about morning sickness and swollen feet. But how about snoring? I always felt humbled when my husband gently prodded me to use a neti pot and, later, nose strips at night to turn down the decibels. And I’m still wondering how I ever fit into the clown shoes I bought during my last pregnancy.

Although it may seem like some very abnormal things are going on with your body, it’s all perfectly normal. Most of us experience some strange pregnancy side effects.

Here are 12 weird side effects of pregnancy you may experience

Take heart that, if you experience any of these, you are not alone! (I just hope you don’t have all twelve!)

Weird side effects of pregnancy #1. You leak when you laugh (or sneeze)

Might as well get this one out of the way. Fact is, many moms-to-be can leak a little throughout the day.

What’s up: Well, most of us are hydrated to the max. Many doctors recommend that pregnant women drink up to 80 ounces of water each day. Combine that with a baby and placenta resting against your bladder and, well, something’s gotta give.

What you can do: Go when you gotta go. Don’t feel bad about having to pee way more than usual. Also, get going on your Kegel exercises.

How to do Kegel exercises during pregnancy

  • Empty your bladder
  • While sitting or lying down, contract the muscles you’d use to stop peeing. It’s a “squeeze and lift” feeling.
  • Only your pelvic floor muscles should be working. Don’t pull in your tummy, squeeze your legs together, tense your buttocks, or hold your breath.
  • Squeeze for 3 seconds, then relax for 3 seconds.
  • Aim for three sets of 10 Kegels, three times a day.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #2. You sound like the Snuffleuphagus

You’re not sick, but you sure sound like it. And blowing your nose doesn’t help.

What’s up: Your blood supply increases by about 50% during pregnancy. That, along with ramped up hormones in your body can cause your mucus membranes to swell up, dry out, and even bleed.

What you can do: Drink plenty of liquids, run a humidifier, and use a neti pot.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #3. You saw logs all night long

Talk about a role reversal! Your partner, aka Sir Snorealot, now complains about your nighttime noisemaking (when you can sleep).

What’s up: See point #2 above. Those swollen mucus membranes can force you to breathe through your mouth, which often leads to snoring.

What you can do: Using a neti pot at bedtime can help. Sleep on your side, and consider picking up a body pillow as well. Also, try running a humidifier.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #4. Your nipples swell to the size of saucers

The areolas! They’re taking over! Don’t be surprised when your nipples expand in size and grow darker in color. You may also see little bumps appear around the nipple that excrete fluid.

What’s up: Blame it on the hormones. They’re responsible for the “hyperpigmentation” of your nipples. Many people believe that this darker color is nature’s way of helping newborns find the breast (bullseye!). And those bumps are in fact glands that help keep your nipple lubricated.

What you can do: Just sit tight – your areolas will shrink once you finish with breastfeeding. The color will lighten up too – although they may always be a little darker than they once were.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #5. You develop Covergirl hair

Nice mane, mama! But what’s up with the hair on your face, chest, and back?

What’s up: Thanks again to hormones, your hair falls out much more slowly than normal. But those same hormones are to blame for the hair in less desirable places.

What you can do: Enjoy your locks up top, and if you want, wax or tweeze unwanted hairs elsewhere – except your nipples, which can lead to irritation and infection.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #6. You drool like Pavlov’s dog

Strange but true: Some pregnant women create up to four quarts of extra saliva each day.

What’s up: Excess salivation during pregnancy is still something of a mystery. Hormones are at least partly to blame. Hypersalivation is also more common in women who suffer from extreme morning sickness, and therefore swallowing less often.

What you can do: Got a spittoon handy? It ain’t ladylike, but it could help during extreme bouts of hyper salivation. Also, drinking lemon water or lemonade may help you pucker and dry up.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #7. Second trimester randiness

A month ago, you were too exhausted to wash the dishes. Now you’re itching to get down and dirty.

What’s up: For once you can thank those surging hormones. And all that blood in our bodies definitely reaches us “down there.”

What you can do: Make hay while the sun is shining! And encourage your partner to enjoy it too because, just between you and me, there may be a drought toward the very end of pregnancy and early newborn stages.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #8. You’re suddenly wearing clown shoes

Your beautiful shoe collection, knocked outta commission 🙁

What’s up: Remember all that extra blood in your body that we’ve been talking about? Fluid retention is a fact of pregnancy, and it can make us bigger everywhere.

What you can do: Don’t be afraid to buy a larger size shoe during your pregnancy. You may just need it afterward, too, as some women’s feet don’t return to their pre-pregnancy size (sorry). Mine did. My mom’s didn’t.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #9. Hot, hot, hot!

You’re sweating. Roasting. We’re talking Death Valley hot here. Prepare for the battle of the thermostat with your partner.

What’s up: Your metabolism is cranked up to 11. And there’s all that extra blood again; as it pumps through your body, it warms your skin.

What you can do: Dress cool. Use a natural deodorant. And let your partner know that the pregnant women gets to control the thermostat. That’s just a given.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #10. Bleeding gums!?!

You’ve been a meticulous brusher and flosser all your adult life, and now this?!?

What’s up: Its that extra blood again. It can make your gums swell and feel more sensitive.

What you can do: Keep up with your oral hygiene, just be extra gentle. And be sure to make your regular dental appointments, as many women experience more plaque buildup during pregnancy.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #11. Blotches and other skin weirdness

Skin tags, dark spots, stretch marks, PUPPS rash, and spider veins: They happen.

What’s up: The dark spots on your face and skin are sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy.” Cute, huh? This is due to a temporary increase in your body’s production of melanin, the natural pigment that gives color to hair, skin, and eyes.
As for the spider veins, you can thank that extra blood again. And the skin tags are likely due to  friction and hormonal surges. The stretch marks are self-explanatory. Rosehip seed oil and Lavender oil can help reduce or eliminate them all together. And pregnancy acne? Not fun, but there are some natural remedies to get rid of it.

What you can do: Sit tight, most of this goes away (or at least fades considerably) after pregnancy. Oregano oil can remove the skin tags if need be.

Weird side effects of pregnancy #12. Your heart races like a cheetah

Sure, you’re excited about this pregnancy, but this racing heart is ridiculous!

What’s up: Your heart needs to work harder to pump all that extra blood. The average heart rate can increase by 15 beats per minute!

What you can do: Accept an elevated heart rate as normal. BUT, if you experience chest pains or lightheadedness, check in with your doctor or midwife.

Any of these weird pregnancy symptoms sound familiar?

Or did you experience any OTHER pregnancy side effects? Share with us in the comments below!

 

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83 Comments

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  1. I am 4 months and experiencing extremely dry itchy hands. Nothing else is excessively dry but my hands (at the knuckle area). Has anyone else experienced this during pregnancy or is this something totally separate from the pregnancy?

  2. Hello. I have not read the whole website. I wonder if you have wrote something about weird post partum symptoms? Thanks

  3. I’m 28weeks with twins I’m having real bad back pains and cramps but, my doctor said I’m only 2c open. I live 1 1/2 from a hospital that have a labor and delivery

  4. What about postpartum hair loss? My hair has gotten all thick and pretty, I’m scared I’m going to lose it after I give birth! Any advice?

    • Continue with prenatal vitamins after birth and for as long as you breastfeed. And breastfeeding itself is the best way to heal, lose weight and prevent postpartum depression.

  5. Is possible to have different body pregnant symtom at 10days before my period while cervix little and hard a little with milky white discharge with no odour or smell

  6. The hair on my legs stopped growing completely for about 3 months of my pregnancy. My legs felt like I just had them waxed, silky smooth! Now at 7 months it has started to grow back but at a much slower speed. I shave every couple of weeks. Best side effect ever!

    • That sounds awesome!

  7. My ears pop nonstop. I hear myself breathing inside my head all.day.long. Had it with my first, through entire pregnancy, and now again with my second. Anyone else have this?? Any cures??

    • Yes!!! I literally clicked on this link to see if it was mentioned ! You are not alone and it sucks !! Feel like I’m in an airplane all the time

  8. Ugh the excess salivation! Not a huge deal during the day for me, but it seriously keeps me up at night! Usually starting in the second trimester, I spend a couple hours every night *nearly* falling asleep, only to be jolted awake by the feeling of drool. So gross! I haven’t figured out how to deal with it, either… most of the tips relate to daytime salivation.

  9. I have like restless leg syndrome all through out my body 😩And I have metalic taste in my mouth and headaches a lot lately and body temperature has been up some And idk if I’m pregnant or not I need to make a Drs appointment my baby is 6months and idk if I’m ready to be pregnant again 😓😩😅

    • Are you taking any medications?

  10. I was freezing my first trimester. Still cold and halfway through 2nd. Also my tailbone feels like its gonna break and shatter into a million pieces. Acne is awful..i look like a preteen. And holy itchy batman…. everywhere!

  11. Not everyone is the same… I was freezing my first trimester (it was winter but still). Then the second trimester my body temperature is normal.

    My other weird symptom is my back and stomach felt like had poison ivy because they were so itchy during my first trimester. I was low on Vitamin D so they had me taking a supplement which I stopped- I think that was why. My midwife did blood tests for liver… she had no idea why but it did go away after a month. I switched to a natural oil soap and coconut oil as moisturizer. My skin is very sensitive during pregnancy!

    I try not to compare myself if I am or aren’t getting symptoms or how big or small your baby bump is… everyone is different. I was driving myself crazy if I was normal!

  12. I’m super early in my pregnancy (about 7 weeks) but I wake up at 2 and 630 every morning. I have never don’t this before. Why is that? Or does anyone have any tips, I’m so exhausted all the time.

    • Some sources suggest waking up at the same times every night could indicate some issues with particular organs or body systems. For some people the surges in pregnancy hormones can affect liver function (the 2am wake-up call). Usually it is nothing to be concerned about other than the lack of sleep it creates. You might consider looking at your diet to clean out any foods that are a little tougher for your digestive system to process. I’ve been waking up at 2am and 5am for 2 years now since pregnancy with my 2nd child, and he wakes up with me to nurse, which makes it even more frustrating. Other than the sleep deprivation, all is ok with me (and, frankly, I’ve gotten used to not sleeping as much as I would like).

    • Yes I agree. Waking up between 2-4am is “liver time” meaning your liver may not be working that well. Try some pregnancy-safe herbs or supplements to cleanse and support the liver and also try to get rid of any bad foods that can be making it worse. Dandelion tea is great for gallbladder and liver support and can replace your morning coffee 🙂

    • Me too!!!
      It started around 7 weeks for me and now at 9 weeks no matter how exhausted I am, I am up until 5 am almost every morning 😛

  13. With each of my pregnancies my eyes changed enough that I needed a new eyeglass prescription.

    • A change in you glassed rx is normal, your intra ocular lens can change due to hormones and increased fluid in your body. Doesn’t happen alot but it is totally normal. After your hormones normalize it will possibly go back to your previous glassed rx. So don’t spend alot of $ on new glasses!

    • Yasssss! Same here. I’d had the same prescription for years, but while pregnant with my first, I realized my vision changed. (I’d be reading and my eyes would get blurry and achy). I waited until she was several months old and it was still happening, so I went and my prescription HAD changed. She’s almost 2 now and it never shifted back, my eyes really needed new glasses and all the aches and blurs were cured by the new Rx. We were talking about getting me new glasses a few months ago and I told my husband, “Nahh, since I’m pregnant again let’s just wait and see if I have ANOTHER new prescription before we buy glasses!”

  14. You missed the additional discharge down there. It is like I am excited all the time.

  15. How do you use the oregano oil on skin tags?

    • Frankincense can be ideal to conquer skin tags! Most professionals recommend diluting the EO’s during pregnancy, so your progress may be slower than when you apply it directly when not pregnant, (I have experienced this myself). You’ll need to apply diluted frankincense at least once a day. Please use a therapeutic, tested eo, such as those from doTerra. Blessings..

  16. Did anyone experience brown saliva? My toothbrush looks like I have been drinking hot chocolate?? Is this normal?

    • That could be dry blood ?

  17. I went through a voice change during my last trimester I sounded like a teenage boy and now my baby is a year old and my voice is much deeper than before pregnancy

  18. I have the hiccups All. The. Time. I read it’s normal because of the excess oxygen intake but it is so annoying! I will wake up in the middle of the night with the hiccups especially when I’m having one of my crazy dreams!

    • I get hiccups, too! Though, I’ve noticed I get them when my stomach is empty. Especially during my first trimester, as soon as I had a hiccup I knew it was time to eat something again.

  19. I had the most miserable pregnancy ever. From month 3 I got constipated and started spitting cup fulls per day. Seconds after seconds. Could not go anywhere because of this. I gave birth with a it cup in hand.then immediately after it stopped. I had a boy.

  20. Well, something weird that is happening to me right now (starting 3rd trimester) is that I have massive laughing attacks! I mean for no particular reason, I just find something that I think is extremely funny (it’s not!) and laugh like crazy, like I’m getting sillier or something, have you heard about that?

    • Me too today I had one that went on for over an hour my stomach hurt lol but an did it feel great

  21. I have been tomboy-ish my whole life, but on the transition from 1st to 2nd trimester I am feeling ULTRA GIRLISH…like a 14 year-old girlish! I have never spent so much time nor money on natural face masks, natural hair treatment products, face moisturizers, and mineral makeup! I usually keep my natural hair curly, but now I flat iron it after every wash. To me feeling this way is completely freakish, but I am enjoying it! I guess I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts.

    • Me too.. not so much with beauty-flying myself-0just my layed back cool personality is becoming more girly and I’m starting to get annoyed bc i shouldn’t be acting like this lol. Oh well lol.

  22. Restless Legs….I have searched your site to see if you have any solutions for this! Does anyone know if this is related to a certain vitamin deficiency? It’s driving me nuts!! Currently only 16 weeks so I have a ways to go! Any suggestions are appreciated!!

    • I get those with exhaustion. Keep your legs facing up (as much as you can) and get some sleep

    • Magnesium is supposed to help.

    • Have your doctor check your ferritin levels-restless legs can be a sign of low iron.

    • leg massage once a week (if you can afford it) and compression socks fitted to your legs

    • Magnesium can help with that. Babies are also born with stronger muscles because of it, too! You want either lotion or oil. Lots of pros from it. We use Ancient Minerals magnesium lotion or oil. Check out ancientminerals.com (also on Amazon).

    • It’s usually because of magnesium deficiency. Check out the topical one Mama Natural recommends!

    • I read it’s because of iron deficiency but it only happens when your pregnant it happen to me 😩 I had my baby and idk if I’m pregnant but it’s starting to happen again and it feels as if I have restless leg syndrome and this is why I am looking up weird pregnancy symptoms I’ve been getting headaches taste if metalic in my mouth and restless leg syndrome again ffs hate restless leg syndrome but it’s has gotten worse it’s in my legs my arms my stomach but it has said that horomones make your blood pump through your veins a lot faster and a lot more or something like that..but search up rls more

  23. on top of all that, I developed a skin rash called PUPPP. and I got RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome) on my 3rd trimester :'( I couldn’t sleep because of it .
    oh and I had breathing difficulties on my 1st trimester. specially when I go out cuz of the niqab that I had to take it off sometimes . fortunately my husband didn’t mind me doing that cuz he knows I can’t help it.

  24. Can you help me Genevieve?? This is baby #2 and my skin is freaking out! I’m itchy and have a lot of skin irritation; under my arms, on my legs, what gives? Is there anything I can do? Besides try and moisturize more often? Thank you!

    • Me too!!! Itchy all over, especially everywhere hair grows :-/ ha… So irritating

    • every time I get pregnant I itch uncontrollably after I get out of water sometimes it so bad I want to cry. Mostly my legs but sometimes all over for like 20 min. Anyone else have this problem starts first few weeks that’s how I know im pregnant. Happens mostly throughout whole pregnancy nothing I do seems to help.

  25. One of the craziest things has been feeling like you are on fire 24/7. Before I was pregnant I was cold ALL THE TIME. Now I can’t stop sweating. I can’t wait for this part to be over 🙂

  26. Anyone had itchy nipples? Mine were driving me crazy! It’s better now in my second trimester, but in my first, it was uncomfortable (especially out in poublic or at work…). There was good amount of peeling as well.

    • Lavender oil really helps mine itching.

      • Coconut oil helps with itchy dry skin and is especially good for nips. With my second, I used it as a balm when the nursing got intense and I used it as a lube for pumping. Won’t clog the pump or hurt the babe!

  27. I had night sweats with both of my pregnancies! I was always cold but would wake up soaked in sweat! With my first pregnancy I had bleeding gums and heart palpitations. With my second I had restless legs whenever I would sit or try to sleep. Weird!

  28. With my first, the weirdest side effect was that I became claustrophobic! I’d never been before or after she was born, but for those nine months, it was terrible. Not terribly surprising that she’s a bit claustrophobic herself. I don’t know how a child in the womb can make mommy have a phobia she’s never had before.

    • Me too! I am so relieved to hear it isn’t just me. I almost bailed on a crowded Southwest Flight. I just felt trapped between these 2 giant men and there were no more seats on the plane. I’m really hoping this goes away after baby!

    • That happened to me too! At the time I didn’t know I was pregnant yet but we live in a tornado-prone region and were shopping for metal shelters…went inside and freaked out!

    • Suffering from claustrophobia beginning at 29 weeks (am 32 weeks now). PLEASE tell me this stops after giving birth – I feel like i’m going crazy (I’ve NEVER experienced this before).

  29. Ugh. I’m pregnant right now so it’s all fresh. One thing I have when I’m preggers that I never do otherwise is this sensation that something is stuck in the back of my throat. Eating or drinking or gargling don’t get rid of it, it’s just… there. So gross!

    I also have peeling lips and the excess saliva thing too.

    Spray-on magnesium does wonders for the constipation. Thank goodness I discovered that!

    • U have peeling lips as well ?? What to do?

      • Drink more water and I use Vaseline that help she

  30. I had the excess saliva so bad I had to spit every minute in the first couple of months of pregnancy. It got so bad I was critically dehydrated and had no choice but to take a prescription (Zantac) – I tried lemon water, mint, cucumber, everything but no luck. That combined with Hyperemesis Gravidarium I was in and out of hospital. Just glad baby is ok so far (6.5 months) and the sickness is slowly getting better but not gone. The areola thing is so true! I can’t even recognize my own breasts anymore ;p ha ha, and I haven’t been able to breathe clearly the whole time either. And my heart beats so strongly now my breasts jiggle of their own accord – makes the husband laugh. Great list! Things everyone needs to know – though I would add non-stop constipation to the list too 🙁 Ugh!

  31. I developed a weird rash on my arms (not PUPPS) and got heart palpitations. Also, I breathed really loudly! And I snored like a mad woman and was hot all the time!

  32. Ick. Most of these make me not want to get pregnant.

    • Totally agree with you! But some if this stuff NO ONE TELLS YOU, it’s nice to know!!

    • I was literally doing kegels when I read this comment! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad that I don’t have to remember to do them every day now 🙂

  33. I had soooo much saliva all through the pregnangy, I ussually had to change my pillow cover in the middle of the night because it was all wet, ew!

  34. I laughed at, the areolas are taking over! Ugh so true! I was always baffled at breastfeeding tips, that said the baby should take the while areola into their mouth. I’m like…seriously?! That ain’t happening. Even watching bf videos on YouTube, I wonder where they find these women with tiny areolas.

  35. I had a pyogenic granuloma (aka pregnancy tumor – benign but freakish – had me thinking I had skin cancer), a sub chorionic hemorrhage (bleeding during pregnancy – apparently very common) and an umbilical hernia. I think we need a book of “What I Did NOT Expect When Expecting!”

    • Julie, I have a Pyogenic granuloma in the center of my chest, got it a month ago (I’m almost 30 weeks now); what happened with yours? Did it go away, did it have to be removed? I’m scared of having a mark or scar right where any V-necks show it off.
      Would love to know a good natural method for healing it.

  36. I definitely won the battle of the thermostat! My oldest was born in June during a heat wave. I kept the temp at 63. So glad my second was born in April.

  37. I have read that Kegels are actually not as effective as once thought. Squatting is highly recommended instead. What are your thoughts Mama Natural?

    I also get blurry vision with pregnancy that tends to clear up immediately upon birthing bebe. My optometrist said it is normal and she also experienced it with her 2 babies.

    • Hello, my name is Re- Re and I’m going through the same vison problems. This is actually the first time I’ve ever experienced problems with my vision while being pregnant. It’s kinda irritating but all i can do is take it until i have my baby. It’s nice to know that my vision will go back normal after i give birth.

  38. I unfortunately got terrible acne from Week 1 right through to Week 40! It covered my face, neck, upper arms, chest and back. Became very difficult to cover, hide or even treat so I ended up having to just suck it up and embrace it. I had no morning sickness so decided if it was going to be 1 or the other I would take the acne.

  39. I had the excess saliva issue. It was AWFUL. It lasted my entire pregnancy even after the morning sickness was gone. I had to keep a little trashcan nearby at work. Anything that had a strong taste to it like…very sweet, sour, or even minty was just to much for my taste buds to handle. Only thing that didn’t really make it worse was dairy. A day or two after I had my daughter my husband pointed out that I hadn’t had to run to a trashcan all day.

    My voice also changed…it got much deeper…She is almost five months now and my doc says it may never get completely back to where it was. Every now and again my voice fluctuates when I talk lol

    • I’ve heard that about the voice too!!! Wild, isn’t it? Glad the saliva thing went back to your normal.

  40. Sounds about right! None of this stuff has been too weird, thankfully. The excess saliva is only really annoying when I am trying to sleep at night. I’ve taken to sleeping with a washcloth on my pillow because otherwise I have to sleep on a wet pillow! Blech.

    Can you elaborate on the rosehip seed and lavender oil for stretch marks? Just glob some on? If both or just one? Thanks!

    Nicole – you might try lemon juice on your skin. I know that is lightening for freckles. 🙂

  41. The one thing that still hasn’t gone away (and that has actually gotten worse) are the skin spots. I have them alllllllllll over my face now. My daughter just turned a year old and they’re not even close to fading away. Not sure what to do but I wish I could get my skin back! 🙁

    • Yes, lemon and frankincense oil are supposed to help with those.

    • dove body wash is best for hyperpigmentation or dark spots you can use sensitive if you want i should know im irish and get spots bad but it started removing them in one bottles use. if you choose lemon juice never never never wear it in the sun you will end up in the hospital from burns so bad. good luck ladies.

  42. I was JUST panicking about my thumping heart, last night! So glad you included it in this list. I knew everything else, but this definitely calmed my nerves.

    • Oh good! My heart rate was much faster when I was pregnant with Paloma as well.

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