5 unexpected things that can happen to your body during pregnancy

5 unexpected things that can happen to your body during pregnancy

If swelling ankles, fatigue, and weird cravings weren’t enough, apparently there are even more unusual things that no one tells you about pregnancy.

While chapped lips, swollen fingers, skin tags, pigmentation and snoring are also on the cards, changes in your hormones during pregnancy can result in unusual side effects that you should really know about.

Here are seven unexpected things that can happen to your body while pregnant.

1 Bleeding gums

As scary as this might sound, this symptom is surprisingly common. If you experience this, it will most likely be when you brush your teeth.

The culprit? Changing levels of the hormone progesterone, which can cause a build-up of bacteria in your mouth that can leave your gums inflamed and showing signs of gingivitis.

Don’t despair though, this usually reduces once you have given birth and your hormones return to normal levels. 

In the meantime, it’s important to keep up with your oral health to minimise the amount of plaque and food on your teeth.

2 Tooth wear and decay

Speaking of teeth problems, tooth decay is another that can occur during pregnancy.

There is a higher risk of tooth wear and decay during pregnancy as a result of gastric acid from morning sickness, combined with cravings for sugar.

Again, brushing and flossing regularly can help you keep your teeth as healthy as they can be.

3 Excess saliva

Feeling like you have extra saliva is another common one. Ptyalism, the condition describing excess saliva, can strike during pregnancy and commonly affects those who also suffer from extreme nausea and morning sickness.

While the culprit isn’t clear, it is thought that hormones are the main reason behind this symptom.

Sufferers from ptyalism deal with a large amount of saliva too, with research finding that symptoms of ptyalism can include saliva volumes of up to two litres a day.

4 Incredibly realistic dreams

The symptoms don’t just affect you while you’re awake. Experiencing vivid dreams and nightmares is common during pregnancy, even for those who don’t usually remember their dreams.

Researchers think that dreaming is how our subconscious works through issues. During pregnancy, a time of excitement and stress, the hormonal changes that make you more emotional during the day are still there while you sleep, making your dreams more vivid and often pregnancy-related.

5 Bigger feet

As crazy as it sounds, some people find their feet grow during pregnancy.

Some research suggests this is due to the production of relaxin, a hormone that loosens your pelvic joints and the ligaments in your feet, which could allow them to stretch. Other research has found a permanent loss of arch height because of additional pressure on your foot arches.

According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, between 60 and 70 per cent of pregnant women found their feet became wider and longer.