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May 24, 2024

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Expecting: Icky Symptoms & Kookie Cravings

Pickles and peanut butter, bleeding gums and gas ... Oh boy! Expecting a baby is a whole lot of fun!

Pregnancy symptoms are so intense! When you are expecting, all kind of strange things happen to your body!        

“You are literally ‘pregnant all over,’” says Stephen M. Staggs, M.D., an OB/GYN with TriStar Centennial Women’s Hospital. “Estrogen and progesterone levels rise and help support a beneficial environment for growing a baby, giving rise to many maternal symptoms that can be at a minimum, unpleasant,” he adds. Of course, if  you experience something that’s “not right,” call your doctor pronto.

When You're Expecting

• Stuffy nose/ Blocked ears This is due to the increased volume of blood in your body according to Pregnancy Day by Day (DK; 2018).

• Vocal changes Your hormonal changes have relaxed your ligaments and your voice is different. Some women say they can’t sing in the third trimester, according to

• Ptyalism Spitting like a sailor? It’s related to your morning sickness and usually subsides after the first trimester, according to What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Workman; 2016). While it’s gross to make so much saliva (keep some kind of spittoon on hand), this too shall pass!

• Sticky Discharge Just keeping it real, here. Because of your increased hormones and blood, a pale yellow or white discharge can appear throughout your pregnancy. It shouldn’t smell bad, and wearing a light sanitary pad can help.

Oh, Gross!

• Toot, Toot Hey, it happens. There will be gas and bloating and sometimes painful cramping that makes you worry. Stay away from foods that cause gas like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, onions and sodas, according to Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy (Holt; 2002).

• Sawing Wood Well, what do you expect? It’s too hard to sleep on your tummy now, so you’re a regular chain saw. It’s those swollen mucous membranes! Try using a humidifier to moisten up the air a bit and make sure your head (and tummy) are well propped in bed. G’night, honey!

• Bleeding gums We already told you: Hormonal changes make more blood pump through your body and that means everywhere, including your gums. Keep on taking good care of your teeth — and that means flossing!

• Blinded By the Light Especially if your eyes are blue, being pregnant makes your eyes more sensitive to light. Practically every little thing is more sensitive now. Good reason for snapping up a new pair of shades.

•Thicker Hair or Hair Breaking Off

How each woman’s hormones play out will be different. If you have thick hair naturally, it may become thinner. If you have thin hair it may get thicker. Hair may break off. Sorry.

• Intense Sense of Smell or No Smell at All

Some women can’t stand the smell of certain things in the first trimester … others can’t stand certain things throughout their entire pregnancy. On the other hand, some women lose their sense of smell! Go figure.

Food Glorious Food!

You may not eat dirt when you’re pregnant, but baby bumps DO change your appetite. The reason? Neuropeptide Y or NPY, according to Psychology Today. NPY is a neurotransmitter in the hypothalamus, and pregnant women make more of it. Cravings can strike at any time and they can change baby by baby. Contrary to some beliefs, your cravings are not related to the gender of the baby you’re carrying.

• SALTY French fries, mixed nuts, different sauces like excess vinegar, chicken tenders.

• SWEETS Chocolate, ice cream, pastries, candy. All of the sudden you can experience a desire for something like this. And it can repeat itself.

• Spicy & Hot Chili peppers, salsa, and cuisines known for their fiery counterparts.

• bizarre combos Pickles and ice cream, pickles and peanut butter, tuna fish and bananas.

MOST Commonly Requested Food Items for pregnant women:

Chocolate, pickles, eggs, cheese, bacon, lemons, ice cream, chili peppers, peanut butter.

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day, Editor

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.