10 Real Women Share Their Uncensored Pregnancy Experiences
If you’ve seen a pregnant woman or experienced it on your own skin, you definitely know that it’s a long and transformative journey. It’s filled with joy and many ups and downs that can challenge the moms, but it proves how strong and brave they are in the end.
1. “Pregnancy is beautiful they said, you’ll glow they said.”
Swelling, especially in the legs, ankles, and feet, is a common occurrence during pregnancy. This condition, known as edema, is caused by the accumulation of fluid in the tissues, predominantly water, and is considered normal, particularly during the third trimester. The swelling is often worse at the end of the day and can be exacerbated by factors such as hot weather or prolonged standing.
While gradual swelling is usually not harmful, a sudden increase in swelling, especially in the face, hands, or feet, can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. To alleviate mild swelling, pregnant women are advised to take regular walks, do foot exercises, rest with their legs elevated, wear elastic support stockings, and avoid clothing that restricts blood flow, particularly in the legs.
2. “Excess Belly Skin / Skin texture.”
Pregnancy hormones and the stretching of the abdominal muscles are the main contributors to the development of loose skin post-pregnancy. During pregnancy, the body releases a specific hormone called Relaxin, which serves to relax the abdominal ligaments and create additional space for the baby’s growth. However, this natural process can lead to the presence of loose skin after childbirth.
3. “Pregnancy changing my hair color! I dye it platinum, it normally grows back dark blonde, but now it’s growing back platinum.”
In specific cases, women may notice a darkening of their hair color, irrespective of their natural shade, either during pregnancy or post-childbirth. This alteration is linked to hormonal fluctuations, which, much like various other changes associated with pregnancy, contribute significantly to this occurrence.
4. “My toenail grew in extra thick during my pregnancy, then abruptly stopped growing thick once I gave birth to my son.”
Pregnancy can result in deficiencies in your body, impacting the texture and hardness of your nails due to the increased nutritional needs of your developing baby. It is crucial to maintain a well-balanced diet that fulfills all the necessary nutrients for both you and your baby.
5. “Pregnancy acne is the worst!”
During the first two trimesters of pregnancy, your body produces elevated levels of reproductive hormones, particularly progesterone and androgens. This heightened hormone activity increases oil production in your skin, leading to more clogged pores. As a result, you may notice the emergence of pimples in different areas, including your face, neck, chest, or back.
6. “I’ve developed stretch marks post-pregnancy.”
- This has been on the underside of my left wrist for the past 2 weeks. I think it’s from carrying my son(1yr old) predominantly on my left arm and his weight squishing my skin together for long periods of time every day, leaving groves. I’ve been trying to drink more water for the past two weeks, and it still won’t go away. tweetybean / Reddit
Stretch marks arising during pregnancy resemble scar tissue, manifesting as indented streaks on the skin. These marks can present in various colors such as pink, red, black, blue, or purple. Initially, they may feel slightly raised, but over time, they tend to evolve into subtle depressions in the skin.
7. Pregnancy edema is a crazy thing.
Edema, a frequent phenomenon during pregnancy, involves the buildup of body fluids necessary for the nourishment of both you and your baby. Due to the usual changes associated with pregnancy, your body’s water content increases by around 6.5 liters or up to 15 pounds by the end of the term. This surplus of water is vital for supporting the growth of the fetus, placenta, amniotic fluid, and maternal blood volume.
8. “I used to be a 1c/2a hair type. Couldn’t hold a curl for more than an hour, but with lots of thick hair. After my kids, my hair is now 2c, I think.”
Hormones’ impact goes beyond hair strands and can extend to muscles, including the occipitofrontalis muscle in the scalp responsible for moving the scalp and eyebrows. Changes in muscle tone can consequently affect the shape of hair follicles and the direction of their growth.
9. “6 years struggling to lose the weight from my latest pregnancy, but I’m still not where I started.”
Losing weight after pregnancy can be more challenging than expected, with factors like sleep problems, breastfeeding, and hormone imbalances playing a role. A realistic timeframe to target for returning to your pre-pregnancy weight is within 6 to 12 months after delivery. Usually, around 6 weeks post-childbirth, most women lose about half of their weight, with the remaining weight gradually coming off over the subsequent months. Given the numerous changes the body undergoes during pregnancy, it’s important to feel proud of yourself, irrespective of the outcomes.
Losing weight can be challenging with the various changes your body undergoes. It’s essential not to stress over it, since everyone is different. Most importantly, love yourself, take pride in becoming a mom, and cherish every moment with your little one.
10. “Pregnancy brain is so real. My daughter’s daycare lady sent me this. I’m so embarrassed.”
“Pregnancy brain” is a term used to describe forgetfulness and absentmindedness experienced by pregnant women. While some studies have shown that pregnancy can affect memory function, not all parts of memory are affected, and the differences are usually small. Hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and stress are some of the factors that can contribute to pregnancy brain.
During pregnancy, the body sends a flood of fluctuating hormones throughout the body, which can affect all kinds of neurons in the brain. The brain’s priorities shift to focus on the growing baby and preparing for the arrival, making it difficult to focus and remember anything else. Fortunately, pregnant women who experience brain fog typically have minor, manageable forgetfulness, and it is only temporary. To cope with pregnancy brain, pregnant women can use lists, play brain-boosting games, and try not to be too hard on themselves.
As we close the chapter on the real consequences of pregnancy experienced by our eight brave contributors, a new story emerges—one that transcends conventional timelines and defies expectations. Join us in our next installment, as we unravel the extraordinary tale of a woman who chose to embark on the adventure of motherhood at the age of 70.