We weigh in with the full scoop on what nobody […]
We weigh in with the full scoop on what nobody really tells you.
Ashley Janes was seven months pregnant with her first son when she walked by a full-length mirror after her shower and burst into tears. “My body just was not my own anymore. And it wasn’t the huge stomach—I could handle that. It was everything else going on that freaked me out.”
Yep, a woman’s body goes through strange changes while she’s pregnant, and they don’t all center around the belly. From head to toe, every part of your body is affected. Here’s the scoop on what weirdness is totally normal.
Got some extra skin? Skin tags, or tiny folds of extra skin, are a side effect of pregnancy. They’re typically found in high friction areas and are easy to remove after your baby arrives.
You know about stretch marks—but did you know that your thighs, breasts, and even your butt are just as likely to get them as your tummy? Stretch marks usually start out a shocking red or purplish hue and eventually fade to a less-noticeable silvery sheen. Moderate weight gain and good health might reduce marks, but it’s largely genetic—if your mom has stretch marks, it’s likely you will too.
As if stretch marks weren’t enough, you may get a nasty rash in them—little itchy, pimply looking bumps in the stretched area.
Hyperpigmentation, commonly referred to as “the mask of pregnancy,” can discolor your face, leaving dark marks on light-skinned people and light spots on those with darker skin. These spots clear up eventually and can often be masked by good makeup.
Not only are your breasts larger, your nipples will grow, too—huge, dark nipples are another sign of pregnancy.
If your face suddenly resembles a teenager’s, you’re not alone—many expectant moms suffer from acne due to hormonal changes. Not all acne medications are safe during pregnancy, so talk to your doctor about treatment.
Feeling a little hairier than usual? Rapid hair growth is great when it’s the hair on your head getting thick and long, but when it’s your pubic hair? Not so great. You’re also more likely to develop facial hair and find stray hairs around your nipples. The dark line that stretches from your belly button to your pubic hair is known as the linea nigra and is another one of those weird skin things that strangely pops up during pregnancy but eventually fades back to normal.
You might notice that your veins are suddenly a little more prominent—you can see pale blue lines under the skin on your breasts and abdomen, or spider veins on your legs. A step further are varicose veins, which can be painful and require extra attention. Things usually return to normal, though, after your baby arrives.
Red, itchy palms are normal in pregnant women. Like everything else you might experience, they’re caused by hormones and only around for a short time.