Most of us know the usual changes that happen during pregnancy — your breasts grow bigger, your hips grow wider, your feet and fingers get swollen. You know, all that fun stuff. But there are a few other common changes that no one really talks about. And we are here to spill the tea.
1. Your Nipple Changes
Not only do your breasts grow, your nipples will also grow - we mean seriously grow. Your breasts and nipples continue to grow through your pregnancy until your milk finally comes in. The areola (area around the nipples) may darken in colour.
You might also notice small, goosebump or pimple-like areas on your areola. They can be flesh-toned, pink, red, white, or yellowish in color, and are usually about 1 to 2 millimeters in diameter. These are called Montgomery’s tubercles and they are actually super helpful. They secrete oil, which helps keep nipples moist and supple for easier breastfeeding. These secretions also contain antibacterial properties that can protect your breasts and your baby from certain infections.
2. Your Vagina Can Also Change
Besides your feet, your vagina might swell too. Yes, you heard us right. This is due to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone, which boost blood flow throughout your body to support your baby — including to your labia.
3. Increased Vaginal Discharge
Most of us know that that increased vaginal discharge (known as leukorrhea) can be an early sign of pregnancy. However, did you know that vaginal discharge continues to increase throughout pregnancy, with the heaviest discharge at the end of the pregnancy? This is your body's way of protecting your baby, by preventing any infections from travelling up from the vagina to the womb. For many of us, this might require changing underwear multiple times a day or wearing panty liners. Totally normal!
4. Bad B.O.
There is actually a good biological explanation to this. It's your body's way of helping your baby find you, since newborns have weak eyesight and hearing, but a fully developed sense of smell. So while you may think you smell bad, your odor is actually what helps you and your baby bond. And there's nothing a good deodorant can't cover ;)
5. Hair, hair everywhere
You may start growing hair everywhere at a pretty alarming rate. By everywhere, we mean on your head (yay to shiny luscious hair!), but unfortunately, it may include places you didn't used to have hair, such as your upper lip, stomach, back and nipples....
Not all these changes may be welcome, but know that most of these changes are temporary! And at the end of your pregnancy journey, you'll have the most perfect little human to love forever.