As you probably know by now, there are a lot of changes that happen during a pregnancy, and while some are miraculous (hello, there's a baby in there!), others are downright embarrassing. Here are a few of the top offenders that moms-to-be may have to struggle with, as well as ways you can alleviate the issues.
1. Excessive burping. Even if you were raised with impeccable manners, you might find it difficult to stop yourself from unleashing loud belches after a meal. Lots of the healthy foods you've started to eat now that you're expecting are known to cause gas, like veggies and whole grains, and since there's less space in your stomach, the extra gas can build up and eventually try to escape. Try remedying this by eating smaller meals and avoiding those foods that you know cause problems. Taking your time eating can also prevent you from swallowing extra air.
2. Incontinence. It's one of every pregnant woman's worst nightmares – being in public and peeing your pants over the littlest thing, like a sneeze or a sudden laugh. It might only be a couple drops, but it's still unpleasant. This tends to occur later in pregnancy, when your baby is growing and pressing harder on your bladder. You can reduce your chances of leakage by going to the bathroom frequently and wearing panty liners.
3. Swelling. You may have noticed that suddenly you have fingers like sausages, or that your feet are practically bursting out of your shoes. It's normal to experience swelling while you're pregnant, as your body has a lot more blood to spread around. But you might be able to help the problem by drinking more water, decreasing the amount of sodium you eat and wearing looser clothing.
4. Excess hair. Yeah, this one's a problem. Those darn hormones are at it again, causing hair to start sprouting in places where you definitely don't want it. While the hair on your head is likely shinier and thicker (yay!), the hair on your nipples, arms, legs and even face is also growing. Waxing, tweezing or shaving are your only options.
5. Hemorrhoids. Constipation is an issue that most pregnant women face at some point or another, especially in the beginning stages, and that tends to come with hemorrhoids if you're straining to produce bowel movements. Help avoid constipation by drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fiber. If those dreaded red lumps do develop, anti-inflammatory creams can help.
6. Acne. If the last time you had a serious pimple was in your high school years, you're probably not going to enjoy the acne that might start popping up on your face and body. Progesterone and estrogen are the culprits here, making your oil glands hyperactive. This can be good news for those who have dry skin, but if you're usually a bit oilier, you'll get even worse. Topical creams and gels with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help, but if it's severe, you might need to ask your doctor for a safe prescription.
7. Discharge. Increased vaginal discharge is common during pregnancies because of the higher levels of estrogen. There's nothing you can do to prevent this or limit the amount that you're producing, but there are ways to make it more comfortable for yourself. Wear cotton underwear, which is more breathable and absorbent, and consider panty liners (changed often) if you're really concerned.