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15 Weird Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Morning sickness, sore breasts, food cravings are all popular symptoms of pregnancy. They are commonly discussed too. But there are a few symptoms that do happen during pregnancy, but people find them a bit weird. They might look peculiar, but let us tell you that these so-called weird pregnancy symptoms are as normal as any other pregnancy symptoms.

Read this MomJunction post to know some such strange symptoms of pregnancy.

15 “Weird” Pregnancy Symptoms

  1. Bigger feet: Hormones during pregnancy might cause the ligaments to stretch and relax, which may cause your foot to increase in size (1). This is produced by an impedance of venous return. Elevation of the legs especially in the lateral decubitus position will improve the circulation. Diuretics are contraindicated.
  1. Pregnancy brain: It is a type of memory loss starting early in pregnancy. You tend to forget things. A study has found that pregnant women may witness reduction in gray matter, which may cause cognitive impairment (2).
  1. Fuller hair: Hormones, primarily the high levels of estrogen during pregnancy, may extend the growth phase for your hair and prevent hair fall. Thus, your hair might become fuller or thicker (3).
  1. Heightened sense of smell: Increased estrogen levels could heighten the sense of smell during pregnancy. Researchers at Stanford hypothesized that morning sickness could be associated with this heightened sensitivity in some (4).
  1. Metallic taste: The elevated estrogen levels in early pregnancy might cause a strange metallic taste in the mouth. It may aggravate symptoms of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), leading to aversions to certain types of foods (5). The nausea probably results from rapidly rising serum levels of human chorionic gonadotropin
  1. Acne: You may notice acne breakouts during pregnancy due to the surge in hormonal levels.
  1. Nightmares: You may have strange, frightening, or beautiful dreams that might feel realistic, and you might recall those dreams throughout the day (6).
  1. Rumbling stomach: Your stomach could produce noisy or gurgling sounds, which could develop when you stay without food or water even for a short duration. You may also find yourself frequently hungry, and your appetite may increase.
  1. Tiny bumps around the areola: As your pregnancy progresses, the Montgomery glands that are present around the areola become more pronounced and the areola darkens. The Montgomery glands may appear as tiny bumps and become more visible on stimulation (7). Enlargement of these glands occurs at 6-8 weeks of pregnancy and is due to hormonal stimulation.
  1. White discharge: You might notice a whitish or yellowish discharge in early pregnancy. This is an increase in vaginal discharge consisting of epithelial cells and cervical mucus resulting from hormone stimulation. This could be due to hormonal changes or yeast infections that are common during pregnancy (8). A vaginal culture is necessary to exclude pathogenic microbes like streptococcus group B.
  1. Retching while brushing the teeth: Some women report of retching while flossing or brushing their teeth, particularly the molars (9).
  1. Sensitivity to certain colors: Some women might feel nauseous when exposed to certain colors.
  1. Skin tags: These are small flaps of skin that form due to surging hormonal levels. They develop anywhere in the face, armpits, neck, breasts, or groin. Skin tags are harmless most of the time (10).
  1. Rise in body heat: Your body temperature is likely to rise 24 hours after you ovulate and remain high for several days after ovulation (11).
  1. Pain around the navel: A growing uterus may sometimes put pressure on the abdominal wall, causing the “innie” belly button to turn into an “outie.” It is sometimes painful and usually becomes an innie after delivery (12).

Most of these weird signs and symptoms of pregnancy are based on speculations and cannot be used as signs to diagnose a positive pregnancy. Taking a home pregnancy test could help you know whether you are pregnant. You can raise your concerns with your healthcare provider if you experience any of these unusual early pregnancy symptoms. Your doctor might take a blood or urine pregnancy test for pregnancy confirmation.

References:

1. Why your feet get bigger as you age; Harvard Health Publishing
2. Elseline Hoekzema, et al.; Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in human brain structure; Nature Neuroscience; Volume 20 (2016).
3. Hair Changes in Pregnancy and Postpartum – What’s Going On? Lamaze International
4. New evidence connects nausea to sense of smell; Stanford University
5. Neda Ebrahimi, Caroline Maltepe, and Adrienne Einarson.; Optimal management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy; International Journal of Women’s Health (2010).
6. 5.4 Strange dreams and nightmares; The Open University
7. The Breasts; UCSB SexInfo
8. Yeast Infection; Millersville University Health Services
9. Pregnancy and teeth; BetterHealth Channel; Department of Health & Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia
10. Skin Changes During Pregnancy; Health Sciences Library Upstate Medical University
11. Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Charting; Regents of the University of Michigan
12. Postpartum Pooch – Why Sit-ups Aren’t Cutting It; ISSA