Pregnancy is often described as magical, life-changing, a spiritual awakening, but let's get real for a minute. Bringing a life into this world is an amazing experience, and it will forever leave a mark on your heart, but pregnancy is full of not so glamorous moments.
As a pregnant woman, you are incubating life. Your body is multiplying cells at a rapid rate to form hands, feet, even a brain! It's no wonder that you don’t feel like yourself, sometimes starting from the moment you see two pink lines. Your body is no longer your own, and it shows. Its sole purpose is to now nourish and grow this precious life, and trust me -- your body doesn’t care about your wants or wishes. Do you want to sleep through the night? Eat a meal without feeling nauseous? Laugh without peeing? Denied. This may seem harsh, but that is what the majority of pregnant woman experience on a daily basis.
Maybe you are one of the lucky women that can actually see her feet throughout the entire pregnancy if so, we are extremely jealous!
Trust me, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment, you will get through these nine months. Now, to temporarily distract you from your discomfort, read about the 15 things that annoy every pregnant mom-to-be!
15 Strangers Rubbing Your Stomach
It is a societal norm to give people space. I am sure that all through elementary school you heard “respect your neighbors bubble.” Keeping your distance, especially from strangers is ingrained at such a young age. This instinct however, goes out the window when people see a pregnant lady. I mean, would you walk up to someone on the subway and rub their shoulders? Absolutely not! So why does anyone think that it is okay to rub a pregnant woman’s stomach, especially if they don’t know her?
Not only is this behavior a 10 on the creep factor scale, it is also very rude. Most people don’t like to be touched, and this is especially true when they are pregnant and uncomfortable.
No one knows why people are so completely compelled to touch pregnant bellies. I promise a genie isn’t going to pop out and grant you three wishes. But in any event, this behavior has been happening forever, and while you can't change a person's impulse to touch your belly, you can stop it from actually happening.
If you see them stretching their hands towards your bulging belly, calmly and firmly state your ground. A simple “please don’t touch my stomach” should do. If they don’t respect this, than they have bigger issues than I could have imagined. If they conduct a sneak attack before you can say something, simply respond by patting their belly. I am sure they will appreciate it!
14 All. The. Questions.
Hounding people with questions is generally seen as a rude behavior, especially when they are personal questions. How often do you find yourself asking a new co-worker questions such as “How old are you?” “What’s your favorite food?” “Where did you grow up?” The answer should be never, but if you do ask people these questions in rapid succession, it’s a safe bet that it will make them uncomfortable or offended.
Being pestered by questions is a daily occurrence for pregnant women. Questions range from the simple “When are you due?” to the extremely personal, such as “How dilated is your cervix?” It seems that literally no boundaries exist, and pregnant woman feel forced to answer for fear of appearing rude.
Even though these questions are being asked from a place of caring, they are irritating because everyone asks the same things over and over again.
Pregnant women are simply tired of repeating themselves, and getting personal with a stranger.
The next time you feel compelled to ask a pregnant woman about her bathroom habits, take a second and re-evaluate. Instead, ask her how she is doing. It is simple, and courteous and if she wants to open up and share the ins and outs of her pregnancy she will, in her own way.
And pregnant ladies, don’t feel forced to answer something you're not comfortable with. Feel free to change the topic, and maybe they will get the hint!
13 Other Pregnant Women - Teammates Or Rivals
Have you ever seen Volkswagen people? You know the ones, if they are driving a Volkswagen and see someone else driving a Volkswagen, they honk and wave to each other. It is a show of solidarity, they feel like they are in their own exclusive club. Pregnancy is kind of like that. You see another pregnant woman, and feel bonded because you are undoubtedly experiencing the same cramps, morning sickness, and all consuming exhaustion. However, not all pregnant women are created equal, and sometimes they can be down right annoying.
Everyone carries pregnancy differently, and responds to the hormone surge in different ways. In essence, some women pull it off with so much ease it is enviable.
If you are nine months pregnant and find you are experiencing every textbook pregnancy symptom, i.e. can't fit into your clothes, and generally feel like a troll doll, it can be pretty discouraging. These feelings are then amplified when you see another nine month pregnant woman who has zero symptoms, a glow, and is somehow wearing makeup AND high heels. How does she do it? You will never get the answer to your question, and it all comes down to your individual body, and pregnancy. Your current pregnancy may be the actual worst, but your next one may leave you being the envy of your friends.
Regardless, don’t let other pregnant women annoy you too much. I promise they are experiencing symptoms and may be just as gassy as you.
12 The Super Sniffer Is Not All It's Cracked Up To Be
During pregnancy, you may find that your sense of smell is heightened. Some would think that this is a blessing because you can appreciate the smell of delicious food tenfold. But in reality, nine out of ten scents make you nauseous and most foods and drinks have lost their appeal.
You may not be able to smell coffee, certain perfumes, or even your husband’s scent without your stomach turning. This can be extremely frustrating because it affects your ability to lead a normal life.
Scent aversion may be one of your first pregnancy symptoms, and lucky you, it is tied to morning sickness.
You can thank hormones for you new super sniffer.
Increased Estrogen production amplifies the scent of pretty much everything. This symptom is usually stronger in the beginning of your pregnancy, but it can last the entire nine months.
If you are pregnant, make your scent aversions known, and tell people up front what you can and can’t handle. If you are frequently around a pregnant woman, ask her if the food you are eating, or the scent you are wearing is triggering her in any way. She may be too kind to tell you, and this little act of kindness and thoughtfulness goes a long way.
11 Unsolicited Advice - Please Just Stop
“Oy vey with the advice already! “ Is probably one of the most common things that pregnant women are thinking. Advice comes in many shapes and forms, some is sound and some is crazy, but no matter the content of the advice, the problem lies in it being unsolicited. Sure, if your pregnant friend asks you a specific question, like which car seat is the best to buy, by all means answer her. But please refrain from spouting your ideas on how she should raise her baby. I promise you, it is driving her nuts.
The lists of things you can and can’t do during pregnancy is huge, and, chances are, most pregnant women know these rules by heart. But bombarding an expectant mother with your opinion is not necessary. I promise, she knows not to eat deli meat, or caffeine, or go in a hot tub. She also doesn’t need to hear your theory on attachment parenting, or saving her placenta.
We get it, you're trying to be helpful, and you truly care about her well being, but pushing advice can insult her intelligence, and make her feel that you don’t think she possesses the common sense to keep her baby safe.
Instead of offering your opinion, offer a helping hand. A solid support system is so much more appreciated during these nine months.
10 Post Pregnancy Body Pressure
We live in a world that is obsessed with image. The rise of social media has been both a blessing and a curse. It provides awesome networking opportunities, and chances to connect with people from all over the world, but it also creates unrealistic life ideals. Now, instead of just following celebrities and obsessing over the latest trends, and diet secrets, we have a whole world of “regular people” to idealize.
If you go on Instagram, you are bound to find lifestyle bloggers that document every aspect of their lives, and paint it with a rose colored VSCO filter.
For example, she may look like an average, middle class mom, but her and her children are always styled in perfect clothes, and they live in an expertly designed house. This, in fact, is not reality. As a society, however, we are obsessed with trying to mimic these lifestyles.
This is particularly difficult for pregnant and new mothers. Conducting a simple search of “post baby body” will bring up dozens of images and diet hacks that guarantee you will be smaller than you were before pregnancy. You will see celebrities that lost their baby weight in two months.
These images and articles are detrimental to your mental health. It adds unnecessary pressure to your life, and the fact is, you don’t need to look a certain way.
The bottom line is, celebrities have personal trainers, Instagram personalities only show the highlight reel of their lives, and it took you nine months to grow this life, and it will most likely take you over nine months to get back to normal, if that is even what you want.
9 The Hormone Monster Is The Captain
Ahh, the hormone monster! When you are pregnant it may feel like an actual monster has suddenly taken control of your body. This monster controls your thoughts, emotions, and actions. A monster is not actually responsible for these changes, hormones are, specifically estrogen and progesterone.
These two hormones are responsible for most of the changes that are happening in your body, and are the root cause of the symptoms that drive all pregnant women crazy.
Hormones give you the crazy cravings for pickle flavored anything, frequent urination, morning sickness, fatigue, and extreme mood swings. One minute you will feel completely happy and content, and the next minute, your hormone monster will take the drivers seat, and you will be weeping into your pickle jar.
It is also extremely common to feel depressed and anxious during your pregnancy. You may be constantly second guessing your choices, or even purchases for your expectant bundle. You could feel pressure that you’re not going to be a “good enough” mom, and suddenly you wonder if you are ready for motherhood. Even though these thoughts are common and out of your control, they are probably the most frustrating part of pregnancy, because you just don’t feel like yourself. But fear not, in nine short months your hormones will subside. Your hormone monster will go back to its cave, and you will feel like you again.
8 Constantly Having To Pee
We have all been there. You have lightly woken up from a blissful and delicious few hours of sleeping. Suddenly, you have the urge to pee. Getting up to go to the bathroom would guarantee that you're not going back to sleep for hours. So, what do you do? Wait it out, and toss and turn. Eventually you will go back to sleep.
Pregnant woman, don’t have this luxury. If they have to go, they have to go. No amount of self-talk can erase the urgency. And this feeling doesn’t just happen at night, it happens all the time. Everywhere they go.
As you can imagine, this constant need to pee is extremely frustrating.
It doesn’t even matter how much liquid you have consumed, your bladder is now a faucet.
When you are pregnant, you have an increased blood flow. This extra blood makes your kidneys produce 25% more urine. This increased urine production usually peaks when you are between nine and 16 weeks pregnant. After this time, it tappers off, but as your baby grows, your uterus can put extra pressure on your bladder, causing you to urinate frequently.
Even though the mystery behind your constant urge is solved, it doesn’t make it any easier or enjoyable. Especially when you are in the middle of binge watching Stranger Things.
7 Swollen Feet - Hello, Michelin Man
You may be looking down at your feet and thinking that they may look more Michelin Man than a ballerina. Being pregnant causes a major case of jet-puffed feet, and they are extremely uncomfortable, unavoidable, and irritating.
Swollen feet are a cause of complaint for most pregnant women, and they are largely due to fluid retention. Even though it may be annoying, your body is doing this for an important reason. It is retaining fluid to soften the body, which allows it to expand as your baby develops.
If you find that you can't fit into your favorite shoes, there are some steps you can take to minimize the effects of your newly swollen feet.
The American Pregnancy Association suggests that you:
-Avoid standing for long periods.
-Minimize outdoor time when it is hot.
-Rest with your feet elevated.
-Wear comfortable shoes, avoiding high heels if possible.
-Wear supportive tights or stockings.
-Avoid clothes that are tight around your wrists or ankles.
-Rest or swim in a pool.
-Use cold compresses on swollen areas.
-Drink water, which helps flush the body and reduce water retention.
-Minimize sodium (salt) intake and avoid adding additional salt to meals.
If you take these precautions, your swelling should subside quickly and you can kiss this annoying symptom goodbye!
6 Men - The Lucky Ones In All Of This
Men, can’t live with them, can’t live without them. According to most pregnant women, “can’t live with them” is the more accurate statement. Of course you love your spouse, and couldn’t imagine life without them by your side. Together, you decided to embark on the journey to parenthood, and in reality, life couldn’t be any sweeter. If this is the truth, then why are you so irritated by your husband?
Soon after finding out that you are pregnant, you may find yourself annoyed by everything your husband does. Even his breathing can make your skin crawl.
You might also find men in general to be intolerable.
I mean, how dare your male co-worker microwave his food in your presence! All kidding aside, even though this is an annoying fact of pregnancy, it is completely normal.
Hormones have a lot to do with your change of heart, and they can make you grumpy and resentful of anyone that is not pregnant. Also, as with any life stressor you usually take it out on those closest to you, and, unfortunately, your partner will take the brunt of it.
If you find yourself wanting to scratch the eyes out of every man you see, resist the urge! Just know, it is your hormones doing the talking, and you don’t want to end up in jail because of it!
5 Cravings - You Never Know What Will Come Next
Cravings are probably the most widely mocked hallmark of pregnancy. Everyone knows the timeless joke of pregnant women favoring pickles and ice cream. Or is it pickles and peanut butter? My guess is both! Even though these stereotypes are funny, pregnancy cravings are no joke. They are like a tornado. They hit full force, with little to no warning, and you suddenly find yourself stuck in traffic, salivating over the thought of a corn dog wrapped in bacon.
Even though cravings are harmless, they can be pretty frustrating to deal with on a daily basis. Constantly wanting food that’s not readily available and cravings that change on a whim are annoying symptoms, especially when no two days are alike.
One of the most interesting occurrences is when vegetarians become pregnant. Some vegetarians find themselves craving meat while pregnant! This leads to an existential crisis. If you have committed your life to saving animals, and your baby wants a juicy burger, what do you do? This can cause you extreme exasperation, because you just want to live your life according to your own schedule, and instead you have to answer to the tiny human that now controls all of your wants.
During this time of your life, even if it is frustrating, just give in to those midnight cravings. Your baby will thank you for it!
4 Difficulty Moving Around
Maybe you now find yourself doing the pregnant waddle, or you have a hard time getting up from the couch, or any sitting position really. Difficulty walking and standing are very common symptoms in pregnancy, especially later on when your stomach pops. While this may be a hindrance to your daily life, it makes exercising, or running after an older child, nearly impossible
Your limited range of motion can be attributed to back pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. When you reach the end of your second trimester, and the beginning of your third, you may find that your stomach has doubled in size. All of this extra weight on your front side throws your body out of whack, and it puts extra strain on your back. Your legs can hurt due to swelling and strain, and this can impeded your walking ability.
Shortness of breath is also a reason you may mobility issues. Woman’s magazine says that: “The increase of progesterone early in pregnancy may leave you short of breath. Later in the pregnancy, your uterus grows larger and may press against your diaphragm, making it difficult to breath. You may feel short of breath but you are still getting adequate oxygen.”
The only solution to these problems is to deliver your baby.
In the meantime, take it easy and let your significant other chase after your busy toddler. Or let them go to Crossfit for you, it still counts!
3 People Guessing Your Due Date - They Are Always Wrong
If you are currently pregnant, I am guessing that everyone’s favorite guessing game is now “Let's Guess Your Due Date”. It is a game that is suitable for all ages and is not limited to family. Strangers like to play too!
If this hasn’t happened to you yet, just wait, your time is coming. The second you start to show, expect people to approach you saying things such as “your showing! I bet you are seven months along now!” This is troubling for a variety of reasons. Maybe you're only two months along, or maybe you’re not pregnant at all, and just had a large lunch. Having people incorrectly guess your due date can leave you feeling bad about yourself, frumpy, and irritated. Usually, because they guess that you are way farther along than you actually are.
As a public service announcement to the general public, I beg you, leave pregnant ladies alone! If they want to share their due date, great. If you know them personally feel free to congratulate them. If you have no idea, refrain from speaking. Guessing does more harm than good, and will leave everyone sad and awkward, and you don’t want that, do you?
2 Lack Of Sleep - The Upsetting Preparation For The Next Couple Of Years
In the early stages of pregnancy, you may find that you are sleeping more than normal. The new flood of hormones in your system is responsible for the near constant fatigue, which is so intense it actually makes your bones tired. Yes, that is a thing.
In the first trimester, you can usually succumb to the feeling and relish in a peaceful afternoon catnap. As you progress in the pregnancy, you may find that quality sleep is harder and harder to come by.
If you find yourself wide-awake at 2 a.m. it could be due to heartburn, nausea, indigestion, or frequent urination. This is usually a nightly occurrence that leaves you looking at your husband with envy.
Chances are he is snoozing next to you with the serenity that rivals an angel.
This of course will make you frustrated, and the lack of sleep will leave you angry during the day. Before you fret, and resign yourself to another sleepless night that is filled with terrifying pregnancy dreams (you know the ones I am talking about, the ones where you dream of your baby having spider legs) brush up on some techniques that will help you rest easy.
For starters, exercise before bed. Take a light walk, or do some prenatal yoga. These activities may tire you out just enough, and stretch your muscles, which will help to relax your body for sleep. If heartburn is your problem, watch what you eat before bed. Make sure that you avoid trigger foods and drink plenty of water.
If none of these tips help you, feel free to wake up your husband. After all, misery does love company.
1 Endless Doctor Visits
During pregnancy, you may already feel like your body is not your own. Constant prenatal visits definitely don’t help with this feeling. From weeks four to 28, you will have at least one prenatal visit a month, from weeks 28 to 36 you will go every two weeks, and from weeks 36 to 40, expect to see your OB/GYN every week. This may not sound like a lot, but trust me, it is very wearing on a pregnant woman. Plus, these aren’t “normal” visits with your doctor, at these appointments, everyone is in your business. And yes, even your lady business.
These appointments do bring joy. You get to hear your baby's heartbeat, find out their gender, and see their sweet little face. But you are also getting poked and prodded by everyone. Between blood work, internal ultrasounds, and finally external ultrasounds, the entire staff at your clinic will be very familiar with you. At this point, you won't have any shame, and will literally disrobe for anyone.
In addition to the physical aspect, your doctor will ask you a slew of personal questions. After this, I promise that any shame you may have had will be gone, and your main focus shifts to your baby, and not your modesty.
Even though this is an on-going irritation during pregnancy, you will get used feeling like a test subject. In reality, it is prepping you for the exposure you will feel during childbirth.
References: American Pregnancy Association, Woman's Magazine, Baby Center, Psychology Today