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Unexpected Side Effects of Your Pregnancy

You can read all the pregnancy books on the market today and chances are you may still find yourself with a side effect you didn’t expect. Most women do, because pregnancy affects every woman's body differently. There’s no way to anticipate which side effects of pregnancy one particular woman will experience.

While everyone knows about many of the common side effects of pregnancy – including sore and tender breasts, weight gain, morning sickness, constipation, hemorrhoids and swollen feet and ankles, for example – there are some uncommon side effects you may not have heard of before.

If you have any unexpected side effects, you should always talk about them with your doctor. Don't let cost be a concern. It may be more affordable now due to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the installment of the new health care reform tax credit.

When you’re pregnant, your body has an increased amount of blood and you tend to retain water. This can cause a number of side effects, in addition to bloating and swelling of the hands, ankles, and feet. Fluid retention can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and vision changes. If you’re experiencing changes in your vision, you should consult your health care provider, although these conditions generally resolve after your baby is born.

Pregnant women also are at risk of developing Diabetes. It is a little bit different than the kind of diabetes you can develop when you are older and it is called "Gestational Diabetes". It is important that if you find yourself much more thirsty than normal or using the bathroom more frequently, that you ask your doctor to make sure you have not developed it. Or, if you developed gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy, you are at increased risk of developing it again, so you should make sure you notify your physician.

Other symptoms can be attributed to the increased vascularity you experience during pregnancy – specifically, gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, nose bleeds and nasal stuffiness. Good oral hygiene is essential while you’re pregnant. Keep your dentist appointments – just be sure to tell your hygienist and dentist that you’re pregnant.

Increased hormone levels can cause a number of unexpected side effects as well. These may include night sweats, migraine headaches, unusual hair growth and unusual vaginal odors and discharge. If you’re experiencing vaginal odor or discharge, be sure to talk with your health care provider to rule out any medical conditions such as bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection.

When you’re pregnant, you may also experience popping sounds coming from your hips as you walk. This, along with sciatic nerve pain, can be caused by the hormones that relax the ligaments holding your pelvic bones in place. This helps prepare your body for delivery and also causes your feet to gain about a half to full shoe size. But although it serves a specific purpose, these symptoms can be somewhat disconcerting!

In addition, being constipated while you’re pregnant can lead to hemorrhoids and increased flatulence. Increased flatulence, accompanied by burping and abdominal discomfort can indicate a problem with the gallbladder, something many women experience during pregnancy. Again, if you experience these symptoms, consider a trip to the doctor’s office.

Most women have a few cravings during pregnancy, but some women crave non-food items, like chalk, dirt or egg shells. If you have any unusual cravings of this nature, talk to your health care provider right away. This condition is known as pica and may indicate a vitamin or mineral deficiency that needs to be resolved right away.

Fortunately, few women experience all of these unexpected side effects during pregnancy. Remember that these can all be side effects of a perfectly normal and healthy pregnancy and most – if not all – of the side effects will resolve soon after your baby is born.

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