The transformation your body undergoes during pregnancy is nothing short of a miracle. While you may have a basic understanding of what’s in store, there will no doubt be a few surprises along the way. To avoid a panicked moment of ‘No one told me this would happen!’ we’ve got all the answers to some of the stranger questions about your body during pregnancy.
Will I pee my pants?
Thanks to increased pressure on your bladder during pregnancy, holding on may not always be possible. A sneeze, cough or giggle could cause leakage, which is less than ideal! The good news is that this shouldn’t be forever. The pelvic floor muscles around your bladder are relaxing to prepare for childbirth. To try and avoid leakage, adopt pelvic floor exercises as your new religion – these will help strengthen the muscles and give you more control.
Why are my nipples leaking?
In preparation for the arrival of bub, your breasts may start leaking a thin, yellowish fluid called colostrum. This is your body preparing for the production of breast milk. Leaking nipples are totally normal, and the only thing you can really do is use nursing pads to prevent wet patches.
READ MORE: Has anyone told you about pelvic pain?
How do I avoid getting stretch marks?
Most pregnant woman will get stretch marks on their belly, breasts, thighs or butt. There are plenty of creams and oils that claim to prevent or treat stretch marks, but the reality is, nothing has been proven to get rid of stretch marks completely. Avoiding excessive weight gain during pregnancy can minimize your risk of getting stretch marks however, excessive dieting or exercise is not the answer. Talk to your GP about how to maintain a healthy weight during your pregnancy.
Is it normal to have so much discharge during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, vaginal discharge often increases. This is due to changes in the birth canal and cervix. Normal discharge is clear, white or sticky. If your discharge smells bad, changes colour or is accompanied by itchiness or pain, this could be a sign of an infection, so be sure to consult your health care professional.
Is pregnancy making me gassy?
Most pregnant women experience gas, bloating or indigestion at some stage of their pregnancy. The increase in progesterone (one of many pregnancy hormones) slows down digestion so your body has more time to absorb nutrients. Unfortunately, this also means more time for your body to produce gas. On top of all this, the muscle-relaxing effect of pregnancy hormones leaves you less able to control the passing of gas.
Why am I itchy?
When you’re pregnant, an increased blood supply to the skin can make you itch. Most of the time feeling itchy is nothing to worry about. However, if the itching becomes severe it can be a sign of a relatively rare liver condition, so be sure to check in with your health care professional. Some women are known to develop an itchy rash in their third trimester. It can cover the belly, thighs, and arms. Again, this is totally normal, can be soothed with moisturiser and will eventually clear up.
Why do I have acne?
Unfortunately, breakouts don’t necessarily end when your teenage years do and while you may have enjoyed clear skin up until now, pregnancy could change that. So what’s to blame? Pregnancy hormones of course! Hormonal acne is likely to be worst during your first trimester, and will likely clear up or even disappear by your last trimester. In the meantime, clean your skin with a gentle cleanser, keep your hair and hands off your skin and avoid processed foods.
What’s this weird line running down my stomach?
Say hello to the linea nigra — the dark line running down your belly. Early in your pregnancy, the line is white but as you progress into your second trimester pigmentation turns the line dark. The linea nigra won’t hang around forever, and usually fades a few months after you deliver.
READ MORE: Linea Nigra: What you need to know
Will I poop during labor?
Yes, no, maybe. For some women, the thought of pooping during delivery is more terrifying than the pain. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is another reality of pregnancy. The good news? It’s totally normal. During the ‘pushing phase’ of labour you will feel pressure and a strong urge to go to the toilet. It doesn’t happen to all women, but if it happens to you the doctors and nurses won’t bat an eyelid, and neither should you.
You might not believe us now, but leaking nipples, pooping during labour, acne and rashes will all be a distant memory once your baby arrives. More often than not, all the changes your body goes through during pregnancy are normal and when you think about it, they’re pretty amazing too!