As I started to write this post on weird pregnancy symptoms, I thought sure the internet would be inundated with posts just like it. I was going to write the article based on personal experience, and then thought I should do some research to see the other weird pregnancy symptoms that should be out there, and I was surprised to find little to nothing. So I turned to real people and real experiences, and thus this list was born.
As with any medical issues, please consult your doctor with any symptoms or complications you may have during pregnancy. This post is simply a list of symptoms that are weird, but are actually symptoms of pregnancy.
Pregnancy can be confusing. There’s so many unknown details that make it difficult to know when, or if, something is an actual symptom of pregnancy, or is a result of something else. I am the type of person who asks lots of questions, but if you don’t know what questions to ask, and information isn’t offered freely, then how do you gain new information?
I remember being so afraid of every symptom, every ache or twinge of pain, because I was worried that meant something was wrong with my baby. I also remember having some symptoms, that older experienced moms knew were symptoms, that could have been easily avoided or solved had I known they were just weird pregnancy symptoms.
I’m not a medical expert, but I hope this list helps you in some way. Some of these are more common than others, but I found when I presented my symptoms to my doctors they shrugged and explained they were fairly common symptoms of pregnancy, and I had no idea. Even with my second baby, there were some crazy symptoms that popped up that I didn’t even know to look for or watch out for so they scared me. Maybe by reading this list of weird pregnancy symptoms I can save you some discomfort, and can alleviate some worry during your pregnancy.
Weird Pregnancy Symptoms
I’ll never forget the time this happened to me during my second pregnancy. The all-day (not morning) nausea had finally worn off enough that food didn’t totally repulse me, and I went to steal a bite of my husband’s sausage link. I took a bite of the sausage and started to chew, and my jaw locked up. I couldn’t open or close my mouth, and the partially chewed sausage was still trapped inside. It was ABSOLUTE panic to have no control over opening or closing my mouth! It only lasted a few seconds, but it was terrifying! I had pain in my jaw after that for quite a while, so I messaged my doctor about it. Turns out, TMJ is pretty common for women to develop in pregnancy. Most doctors attribute this condition to stress, and if bad enough, you can get a mouth guard to help.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
This one is a mouthful, but was THE WORST symptom I had with my second pregnancy (in a long line of symptoms) and isn’t as uncommon as you would think. Only 1 in 300 women are diagnosed with it, but doctors think that up to 25% could have it and be undiagnosed. Basically what happens with SPD, is that the hormone Relaxin is released too soon in the body, and causes the pelvic joint to become loose and unstable. That doesn’t sound too terribly awful, but the implications of that happening are far worse than they sound. This causes severe pain in the pelvic region, and sometimes can reach as far as the upper thighs. This can cause incredible pain when walking, standing up from sitting, rolling over, weight bearing and more. Basically, you will be very aware of how often you use your pelvic muscles on a daily basis. For me, this only allowed me to walk a combined total of 10 minutes a day. If I tried to push through the pain, I would literally be incapable of taking steps, and sometimes it would cause contractions to start up. The only thing that fixes SPD is birth. Symptoms from SPD can disappear immediately after birth (like they did with me) or can last for up to 6 weeks after. Belly bands are supposed to help, but didn’t help mine.
I know it’s gross, but so is 90% of pregnancy, so we’re gonna talk about it. This is another that I wouldn’t have expected, but is crazy common. I had debilitating constipation in my second trimester, and it turns out a lot of women do. Hormone fluctuation can screw with your digestion system causing constipation. I remember calling my midwife with my first pergnancy and timidly asking if there was anything I could do, and she acted like it was something everyone should know (first time mom, and I had no clue) and said that I could start taking a gentle stool softener (NOT A LAXATIVE) or that I could wake up each morning and drink a warm glass of water with some lemon juice first thing to get things moving naturally. I recommend doing either of these as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, because it’s awful, but again, just one of the weird pregnancy symptoms.
Round Ligament Pain
This was the first pregnancy symptom I remember having, and was totally convinced if I hurt, that meant the baby was also hurting. It would come and go with certain positions at first, and mostly when I was laying down. Eventually it would happen when I would sit down, or turn a certain way. It’s like a sharp pain in your side that comes on fairly quickly and almost feels like a bad muscle cramp. If you move to a new position, it generally helps. I was a drummer in a rock band, and I remember before a show that every time I sat down on my drum throne to try and play that it would flare up badly and I would have to stand back up. Luckily it subsided so I was able to play without issue. The Round Ligament runs from your back to your uterus, and your growing womb will cause issues with that causing Round Ligament Pain. Ask your doctor if you experience severe sharp pain, but don’t automatically freak out like I did assume you’re killing your baby by crushing it in bed with your fat body – haha!
As if sleeping while the size of a beached whale with a permanent beach ball on your stomach wasn’t hard enough, let’s throw Insomnia into the mix. For me this hit toward the end of my third trimester with my first pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about a sleep-aid that’s safe during pregnancy if it gets out of control. I basically assumed this was my body’s way of preparing me for the fact I would never sleep again, but I really like sleep so I found ways to help me get to sleep and stay asleep until baby came.
Speaking of insomnia, another one of the weird pregnancy symptoms are crazy dreams. I have a friend who had terrible, horror-like dreams while she was pregnant. Other people will remember every detail of what they dream, and it’s always vivid and intense. Again, blame hormones and stress for the cause of crazy dreams.
Apparently this one is also incredibly common, but also not talked about. All the normal symptoms of pregnancy (like stress, heartburn, frequent urination at night, and lack of good sleep) are all the things that can trigger sleepwalking. Even if you’ve never experienced sleepwalking in your life, you very well could during pregnancy. I have a friend who had never had trouble with sleepwalking, but experienced it while pregnant – even to the point of sleepwalking out to her car and getting in at one point! When she talked to her doctor about he, she was told that it was common during pregnancy. Turns out, it is. Hormonal changes alone are enough to trigger sleepwalking, and pregnancy is nothing but hormonal changes.
During the first trimester, tooth rot is more likely. As the baby develops and grows, it’s using your body’s nutrients to create organs and bones. As a result, if you don’t consume enough calcium in your daily diet, your body will pull it from other sources to provide for the baby, hence the tooth rot. A lot of women don’t know about this, and aren’t told, and as a result end up with very poor dental health. The simple solution to this is to drink enough milk, eat enough cheese, and consume plenty of dairy in your pregnancy and you won’t run into any tooth rot. If you’re allergic to dairy, you may need to take a calcium supplement. Talk to your doctor about your concerns as soon as you find out you’re pregnant for the best advice.
Similar to puberty, increased hormonal changes will also increase the likeliness of developing acne. Nothing is worse than already feeling like an overweight Polar Bear and then getting acne on top of it, but it’s just part of the weird pregnancy symptoms caravan. Welcome aboard, you’re 14 all over again.
While you’d expect to begin lactating a few days before delivery as your body prepares to feed your baby, that’s not always the case. It turns out, you can start lactating as early as 12 weeks pregnant. While this is weird, it is just a pregnancy symptom and doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong or that it’s a sign of pre-term labor. You can always buy some breast pads to wear if this starts happening to you, to absorb the liquid, as it shouldn’t be a significant amount.
Crushed Ice Cravings
Crushed ice cravings, or just ice cravings in general are a really common pregnancy craving. It’s technically a form of pica called Pagophagia. Basically a fancy way of saying you’re craving something weird, and ice is the craving. A lot of times it can be a signal for an iron deficiency, which is pretty common in pregnancy, but doesn’t have to be. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned.
Vagus Nerve Complications
If you’re like me, you’re probably never heard of the Vagus nerve. Or maybe you’re really smart and informed and totally know what it is. Either way, the Vagus nerve can be problematic during pregnancy. Without going into a ton of medical explanation, complications like dizziness or fainting can come from your Vagus nerve. A friend had both of her babies push on that nerve (which happens to run through your whole body) and it caused her to randomly faint during pregnancy. Fainting or dizziness can also occur during bowel movements, with gas, or during eating. While it’s not common for this to happen, it is normal. If you’ve had trouble with any of these weird pregnancy symptoms, talk to your doctor about how to manage them safely and some steps you can take to help.
More than one of my friends experienced blurry vision during their pregnancies. While it can just be a result of swelling due to pregnancy, it can also be a result of a more serious condition like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. If you’re experiencing blurry vision during pregnancy that you didn’t experience before pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor about it. At the very least, you should check your blood pressure or your sugar levels.
Pregnancy in general is going to be full of weird pregnancy symptoms. Ask questions, talk to experienced moms, don’t be afraid to bring things up to your doctor. No two pregnancies are the same, and even if you’ve had multiple births, this one could be completely different. The list above doesn’t include every pregnancy symptom, just the weird pregnancy symptoms I thought important to list so help ease some anxiety or to get you some help.