Things I didn't expect in pregnancy

Heartburn: It started at Christmas and I put it down to eating too much rich food. Unfortunately, nothing would relieve it and it didn't go until E was born. The relief was immediate and I can't tell you how good it felt not having to chomp on those chalky tablets.

Baby brain: I'm still waiting for it to disappear!  I fear it never will. Cue lots of note writing and reminders jotted about.

Metallic taste in the mouth: Nothing tasted the same and I would carry sweets of some description, chewing gum or a drink to try and dull it.

Stretch marks: Yes, I knew I would end up with them. Even if I did get to six months feeling, dare I say it, smug, that I didn't have any. Then they arrived with a vengeance and boy did they itch.

Hot flushes:  These were horrible! I remember standing in the chilled aisle in Sainsbury's, my head spinning and the heat spreading over me, certain that I would pass out. Luckily they would pass within moments but they weren't pleasant. I suspect this had something to do with being pregnant during the summer! The number of times I would get home and strip off, a glass of ice in my hand and the fan on me! 

Extra saliva: I kept having a lot of coughing fits and couldn't understand why. Apparently, this is one of those weird but common side effects!

Congestion: Every night without fail as I went to bed I would get a stuffy nose. 

Snoring:  It was so bad I would even wake myself up. 

Feet swelling: I knew my feet would swell, I just didn't realise how much! Its a family joke about how wide my feet are but from 7 months onwards the only thing I could get on my feet was a pair of Velcro fastening trainers.

Increased sense of smell & morning sickness: All day, every day until 5 months and even afterward it would pop back to keep me on my toes. At work, I couldn't go into the toilets without taking my toothbrush and toothpaste with me.

Hormones: I had a lot of hysterical laughing fits followed by sobbing. It's always a good look having panda eyes at work. 

Cravings: Over time, mine included fruity sweets (particularly orange), chilli coconut chicken, ice and chocolate milk. 

Random, vivid dreams: The kind of dreams that you jolt awake from and wonder if they were real or not. One morning I woke, convinced that I had gone downstairs in the night and looked out of the back door window to see one of our goats being sacrificed by a group of people wearing white robes and pointy hats by candlelight.

Pelvic Girdle Pain: Oh how I hated you. This is caused by a hormone called Relaxin which makes your joints more supple, particularly the pelvis, in preparation for birth. For some women it doesn't cause any problems and for others, like me it does - pain to sit, walk and generally do anything! (I will be doing a separate post about this in the future). 

There's only so much the midwife will tell you so with every new side effect, I would wonder whether it was to be expected or if I should be worried and I found myself googling each and every one. There are 1000's of sites that pop up with information but the one that I kept coming back to was What to Expect. They also have a free app for the iPhone, which was incredibly useful.

Now, the new UK site has launched and it is jam packed full of useful pregnancy and parenting information. There's also an ovulation calculator and due date calculator as well as a blog, packed full of posts by Mums discussing all sorts of issues. I particularly like the Symptoms and Solutions feature, which does what it says on the tin!

What did you experience during pregnancy that you didn't expect? I'd love to hear from you.

Just to be clear: This is not a sponsored post. I was asked if I would like to take a look at the What to Expect website, which I was more than happy to do as I had found the site so helpful.


  1. Wow - you definitely had a great range of symptons there. Never know about the saliva and I have read a lot of pregnancy posts !

  2. For future reference you can get ranitidine prescribed for the heartburn and it's incredible. I suffered terrible with all three babies but only the last one did I get anything to treat it!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Colette. I was prescribed ranitidine but it didn't touch it!