Your Biggest Early Pregnancy Surprises

Woman worried
Ocean Photography/Veer
Whether it was planned or not, your pregnancy is sure to serve up a few surprises! Get a heads up on some of the biggest shockers of early pregnancy here.
Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Surprise! You may still need those pantyliners.

Even in early pregnancy, your uterus starts to enlarge and can press on your bladder, making you feel like you have to pee more often. Some women may even have a little leakage when they laugh hard or cough. If that happens, an ultra-thin panty liner can protect your underwear and clothes just fine. Another reason you might want to stock up: increased thin, milky white discharge that can start early on in pregnancy and continue throughout. Triggered by estrogen, this extra discharge protects the birth canal from infection.

Fancy Photography/ Veer
Fancy Photography/ Veer

Surprise! You might think you're going a little crazy.

Women who get PMS are more likely to have severe mood swings during pregnancy, but most women can expect some level of ricocheting emotions. Swirling and soaring hormones can make you irritable, giddy, or weepy, sometimes all at once! These mood swings are most frequent in the first trimester, and later one toward the end of your last trimester.

What are the five most common early pregnancy symptoms? Dr. Obosa Osawe's here to explain.

Greg Scheidemann
Greg Scheidemann

Surprise! Hot dogs and ham are off-limits.

You may already know that raw milk and raw cheese are off your pregnancy menu thanks to worries about food-borne illness. But did you know that hot dogs and deli meats can cause trouble too? These processed, pre-cooked meats can harbor bacteria like Listeria, which can cause miscarriage. You don't have to avoid them altogether, but you do need to heat them up until they're steaming hot, to make sure any germs are dead.

iStockphoto
iStockphoto

Surprise! Your bra band size is gonna grow, not just your cup size.

The hormones that are preparing your milk ducts for breastfeeding can also make them achey or sensitive -- and bigger. But your cup size isn't the only thing that'll grow during this first trimester and beyond. By the end of your pregnancy, you'll likely need an extender for your bra band, or need to go up a band size or two as your rib cage expands. Why the stretch? Your lung capacity increases so that you can breathe in more oxygen for you and your little one -- plus, your body needs to make more room for your growing baby!

Ocean Photography/Veer
Ocean Photography/Veer

Surprise! You might bleed a little.

Bleeding and cramping happens to up to 25 percent of women in early pregnancy, says Freya E. Marshall, M.D., an ob/gyn at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California. Very early on, spotting can be implantation bleeding, caused by the embryo implanting in your uterus. But bleeding or cramping can also be the first sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, so Dr. Marshall says you should call your obstetrician if you have any spotting or bleeding. Your doctor may want to do an ultrasound to check on the baby's growth, or a blood test to check that your levels of pregnancy hormone are on track, especially if the blood is bright red and you also have bad cramps.

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