Ok, so the picture is a little bit of a clickbait….As a certified nurse midwife, I get asked questions by women certain they are no longer in control of their pregnant body, and something MUST be wrong. Certainly one of your mommy girlfriends would have mentioned this kind of stuff in passing over wine; or would have been written in one of the 6 pregnancy books you’ve been reading page by page, right? Or not. Seriously, all of this happens to us all, and there are truly few things that would ever catch me off guard.
Here’s a few potential awkward moments in pregnancy, you’re likely to experience.
- Leukorrhea. Noticing an increase in general wetness in your underwear? You may be thinking “seriously, what IS this stuff?” Plainly speaking, leukorrhea is an increase in vaginal discharge. Due to your new levels of pregnancy hormones, it is normal to have an increase in thin, white vaginal discharge – even to the point of having to wear a panty liner (tampons not allowed). Discharge that has a strong fishy odor, or is thick and white should be checked out by your doctor or midwife.
- Peeing on yourself. Yep, that just happened. Laughed a little too hard? Yep a little dribble. Cough or sneeze? Gonna happen then too. Line in the Target bathroom? Of course- because why wouldn’t your little ninja give you a few good jabs when you’re staring at an occupied stall! Again those panty liners come in handy!
- Constipation. Oh.My.Gosh. The constipation. Feeling an entire trimester further along than what you actually are? Between the change in your body’s hormones, the semi-relocation of your bowels due to a growing baby, the prenatal vitamins, and possibly that new iron supplement you’ve just started- you may be wondering if you’ll ever poop again. You will. Good water intake, a mix of prune juice and apple juice, and maybe a stool softener will help get things going again.
- Sex. Well here’s an interesting one. Sex for women typically improves for women starting in the second trimester (thank you hormones!). Many times it’s like a joke Mother Nature is just sitting back and giggling at- because as a woman’s interest continues to increase, her partner’s interest usually changes into fear. Really guys, unless your doctor or midwife has specifically told you to abstain from sex, it’s ok. You will not poke the baby in the head.
- Everything gets bigger. Even “down there”. A little bit of swelling and pregnancy go together like peas and carrots, thanks to almost a 50% increase in your body’s blood volume during pregnancy. So it’s natural to notice a little enlargement and swelling in your lady bits. Some women will even develop varicose veins on their labia (called vulvar varicosities), which can be uncomfortable. If you think you are starting to develop vulvar varicosities, let your provider know. Many times we can suggest a pregnancy belt that will offer perineal support.
- Body hair. Sure, the hair on your head may be thick and healthy looking; but odds are, you’ve probably got hair coming in on other places. Belly hair is a super common occurrence that most women just weren’t ready for. Some women leave it alone, some shave it, and others wax it. Let me tell you – by the time we have finished listening to your baby’s heartbeat and help you sit up – we have no memory of your belly hair status. The same goes for pubic hair. There are so many “varieties” of grooming preferences, it all just kind of blurs together. BUT, remember that increase in vaginal blood volume we talked about previously? That translates into an increase in discomfort when getting that area waxed. Proceed with caution.
So really, most awkward things you’ll experience during your pregnancy are things many women will experience during their pregnancies as well. Have an embarrassing issue not discussed? Tell us about it! We’d love to hear!