10 Things No One Told You About Having A Baby

Ah, pregnancy – that glowing marker of womanhood that turns every average lady into a glowing female goddess. But wait, what’s that smell? Is it you … or the neighbor’s dinner next door? Hold on – now your nose is stuffed up and you can’t smell anything. Those donuts sure look good though, and you can have as many as you want because you’re eating for two … right?

As it turns out, pregnancy isn’t the cakewalk most people portray it to be. In fact, it can be downright weird and disgusting at times. That’s OK, though; we’re here to tell you the truth about pregnancy so you know what to expect over the next nine months:

1. You shouldn’t eat for two

If you’re concerned about your post-pregnancy body, it’s not a good idea to eat without limits. Most women struggle to shed the baby weight, no matter how strict their diet and exercise regimes. Plus, pregnancy cravings may lead you to overload on unhealthy foods full of salt, cholesterol and empty carbs, which is never a good idea.

A dinner of mushrooms and spinach.No, pregnancy doesn’t mean you’re eating for two.

2. You may be constipated

Your progesterone levels increase during pregnancy, relaxing your muscles. This is both a good and bad thing; relaxed uterus muscles mean you won’t have early contractions, but it also means your intestines don’t work as efficiently. Boost you fiber intake, drink lots of water and eat small meals to get things moving again.

3. You may get congested, or worse: nosebleeds

Estrogen is also coursing through your body during pregnancy, which causes the mucous membranes in your nose to swell. This, of course, leads to excess mucus and possible congestion. You might even experience a few nosebleeds here and there.

4. Your gums might bleed

This is also a side effect of progesterone, but it’s a relatively harmless one. Brush your teeth, avoid sweets and rinse your mouth after throwing up to keep your gums healthy. If you decide to go to the dentist, tell them you’re pregnant so they don’t perform an X-ray.

5. You’ll probably get gas

Progesterone is the culprit yet again! By slowing down your gastrointestinal muscles and thereby your digestive system, the hormone allows gas to build up in your belly. Our advice: lots of air fresheners and scented candles, plus a private room for when you really need to let one out.

6. You might get superhuman smell

Pregnancy might be the closest idea you get of what dogs go through on a daily basis. Estrogen can enhance your sense of smell or make some things smell differently. Sounds nifty, until you realize it also worsens your morning sickness. Your favorite foods may suddenly seem absolutely disgusting, and your co-worker’s deodorant may drive you crazy.

7. You might hate being pregnant, and that’s OK

Many people describe pregnancy as the best time in a woman’s life, but this isn’t always true. A lot of women hate the experience. Remember Kim Kardashian’s breakdown during her first pregnancy? Preeclampsia, followed by placenta accreta, a condition where the placenta stays attached to the uterus, made her prenatal journey not so magical.

Of course, you don’t have to have a high-risk pregnancy like Kim’s to be upset. Even simple swelling and discomfort make some women hate the experience. Be a grouch if you want to, and warn anybody who tries to touch your belly without asking first.

Asian pregnant woman has headache sitting on her bedDon’t feel like you have to love every moment of being pregnant.

8. You may make a mess on the delivery table

And no, we’re not just talking about regular birth material. Many women defecate during delivery, which can mortify them during the experience. The muscles you use during labor are the same ones you use when on the toilet. Similarly the hormones that initiate your labor also trigger bowl functions. Couple this with your baby adding extra pressure on your colon, and it’s only natural you might have an accident. Don’t worry, though; your doctor is completely used to this type of thing.

9. You will still look pregnant after giving birth

You might expect your belly to return relatively back to normal after giving birth, albeit with some loose skin. In reality, it can take two months for your stomach to shrink. During pregnancy, your uterus expands to make room for the baby, and it takes time to return to normal. Some women continue to look pregnant even after delivery.

10. You want to prepare for the baby ASAP

Given the swelling, cravings, flatulence, bleeding and other symptoms of pregnancy, chances are you won’t feel like doing much as the months pass. As such, you’ll want to grab your baby gear as early as possible. That way, you can focus on relaxing during the final months.

These pregnancy confessions reveal something many women don’t want to acknowledge or admit: Carrying a child can be uncomfortable, messy and downright embarrassing. Yet it’s also a chance to bring unparalleled love into your life. Try to relish in that idea, and your little one will be here before you know it.

Autumn Green is an artist-turned-writer who traded the sweet tea of the south for the deep dish pizza of Chicago. Her favorite subjects include art, culture, design, small business/entrepreneurship and healthful living.