9 of The Grossest Pregnancy Secrets No One Talks About

Anne Radcliffe
Written by Anne Radcliffe

Before you ACTUALLY were pregnant… did you look forward to getting pregnant? Being told that you glow? Did you buy into this vision that being pregnant would make you an angelic round lump of contented domesticity with a perfect bun in the oven and out of it? 

I hope that, by now, you agree with me that we’ve all figured out this is a bunch of bull. 

I posed a simple question to the BLUNTmoms writer group: what happened that you weren’t expecting? What followed was a giant Facebook thread (vomited out in a huge rush of pent-up rage) of every gross, unbelievable, obnoxious symptom and weird thing that nobody told us can happen during pregnancy, labour, and even afterwards (there’s almost enough stuff here to write a book).

Why did no one tell us this? One can only presume that people tried to keep us in the dark because if we knew what we were in for, we’d never have let a guy within half a mile of our hoo-has. Humanity itself might have gone extinct. Once we do this thing, however, we discover that miracle-making has some dirty little secrets, but this is real life, and it’s awesome… even when it’s not (obviously so, because a lot of us get back in line to do it all over again in spite of being forewarned). 

Motherhood is a joy, but it sometimes comes covered in snot, bucket sweat, and poop. It also comes with lots of groping from strangers, in case that floats your boat.

There was only one thing to do about it: we had to organize the list of “What Weren’t You told to Expect When You’re Expecting” and ask the rest of you… are we wrong? And more importantly–did we miss any of your personal “favourites”?

The Grossest Pregnancy Secrets No One Talks About - being groped by strangers.1) The Worst, Most Painful Acne You’ve Ever Experienced – Your teenage years have nothing on the cystic acne that might develop. On your neck. Behind your ears. All over your chin. Even on your back and chest. It’s that, or you’ll have fabulous skin your entire pregnancy only to blister up like you jammed your head in a beehive immediately after giving birth. What the heck, hormones? Cut a girl a break.

2) Your Nose Is Your Enemy – Nosebleeds? Yup. Constant running nose? Check. Buy stock in Kleenex? No? Better get stock trading, girlfriend. Also – you might just discover that your nose has become super-powered. You’ll be able to identify what others ate for lunch in the smell of their urine, which may cause marital strife when you realize your hubby’s been sneaking the good stuff you’ve sworn to abstain from. You will also be convinced you stink. You might have to ban certain types of foods for the duration of your entire pregnancy, because these foods smell like crap. Literally. No there will be no rhyme or reason. It might be chicken. It might be cooked broccoli. 

3) All-F***ing-Day Sickness – Sometimes it ends. Sometimes you will vomit your entire way through pregnancy to the delivery room. Sometimes you might even find yourself hospitalized for dehydration because of it. Cupcakes, I wish I could tell you that it’s extremely rare that morning sickness lingers. It’s not.

4) Your Body Flakes Out – Inexplicable, random numbness; painful sciatica; back aches; headaches; killer heartburn–the kind that makes you convinced you have your kid’s hair crawling up your throat; stabbing pains in your groin; feeling like you’ve got a cannonball sitting on your perineum; constant Charlie horses in the soles of your feet; passing out every time you have a warm shower… all this and more can be yours. Find a chiropractor. And one of those old-person shower stools.

5) Your Mouth becomes Devious – You don’t snore? Now you do. You will snore so loudly sometimes that you’ll even wake yourself up, likely with an open mouth and drool soaking your hair and pillow. Speaking of drool, you might drool everywhere at all times. You could spray drool when you eat and salivate like a rabid dog. Also, everything tastes wrong. Weird. Sometimes like metal. 

6) You Become a Sweaty, Hairy She-Beast – Your body responds to hormones like you’ve become Teen-Wolf. You will sweat at all times, and you will probably leave a body-shaped sweat-stain on your mattress by the 40th week. Your nipples become dark, weird pebbly things. You will sprout hair. Randomly. Everywhere. Pubes will begin to traverse down your thighs and even come out of your nipples. Even from out of the sides of your nose? What??



7) Mom-nesia and Other General Dementia – You will cry over commercials. You will cause international incidents over what time McDonald’s opens. You will become convinced everyone is stupid. You will spend months with irrational anger and just wanting to punch people in the face. You will become stupid and suddenly be unable to spell your name or complete a sentence. You’ll forget where you’re going, open the fridge door and forget what you opened it for, lose your car keys 12 times a day. You will become paranoid and be convinced that the baby will suffocate and die if you sleep on your back. Or develop ADHD if you drink half a cup of tea.  

8) Going to the Bathroom is Your Worst Nightmare – You will have to pee every time you stand up (also sit, twist, shift, or answer the phone), and also possibly every 15 minutes. You could leak pee even when you don’t mean to. And let’s not talk about pooping… because of those prenatal vitamins, you will be so constipated you’ll convince yourself you are dying. Every bathroom trip is like its own little mini-delivery preparatory scenario, complete with bucket-sweat, grunting, and pushing. Hemorrhoids may develop. They will itch and bleed. You may even find yourself discreetly “tucking your anus back in” every bathroom break by the time you take your last prenatal vitamin pill. 

9) Farting Becomes a Free-for-All – Forget it, princesses. By about month 5 or 6, you begin your glorious physical transcendence into a gaseous, waddling rhino. You will fart.  You will be accompanied by a melodious trumpeting symphony whenever you walk. Your hubby will Google those carbon-lined toot-diapers to protect himself from the massive collateral damage caused by your booty-bombs. You will have gas pains so bad you might think you’re having false labour or placental abruptions. You will have to sneak away from polite company to find a closet to hide in while you try to rearrange your innards enough to eke out a few squeakers. At least, because of the prenatal vitamins, sharting isn’t a problem. Buuuuut… cause you always gotta go, they will smell worse than usual.

The Grossest Pregnancy Secrets No One Talks About - Farting

Don’t we have an interesting mix of pregnancy experiences? Now how about you? Shout it out: which of these things did you endure, mommies? Anything we missed?

About the author

Anne Radcliffe

Anne Radcliffe

Anne usually speaks in memes and SAT words, and she frequently attempts to explain the laws of physics and high school chemistry according to the kitchen via her home blog FoodRetro. If you want to know why ice melts or pretzels turn brown, and you want to make food that you never imagined could be made from scratch in the process, she's your blogger. Her friends describe her as "hilarious when you get to know her," but it could be that they are just amused by the way she gets riled up when reading the paper. She can also be found playing the part of community editor and grammar nazi here on BLUNTmoms.

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74 Comments

  • Thank you for this. Fortunately, my kids are 12 and 9, unfortunately, the memories remain. All day sickness, check. The only thing that helped was shoving food in my pie hole and then feeling sick after, and then more food. Preferably really bad for you food like Pop Tarts, something I’d never even eaten. Ever. Also, I spent half my pregnancy sitting on the toilet, just in case I had to pee, because I felt like I had to all the f&^king time. And, the beauty of it is, that after you have the baby, if it all goes according to plan, you’ll have a prolapsed something or other and still feel that way. Never, ever sneeze again, that’s all I’m saying. Great, hilarious post. Women need to know this. I’d still do it. I love my kids, but I’d love to have known I’d be changing my pajamas twice a night because I would sweat the bed like a drug addict.

    • I might have to assemble a second and even a third post then from the rest of the thread about things in labour and delivery and then birth to 12 months 😉 Like x-ray techs asking me how I know I’m in labour, having newborn poop leak out of the diaper all over my shirt every time kidlet nursed, and milk shenanigans. Stay tuned!

      • Ya I remember putting the cutest onesie on my daughter, winnie the pooh disney, only to have a bad diaper that stained the bottom of her onesie green.We try to make our little bundle of joy look as cute as can be only to have the outfit get messed up, oh this goes for my kids even now and they are 7 and 4. My first pregnancy was so emotional because I was living in a new place and my husband was working a lot, I figuratively bit his head off one day because I couldnt handle it. Oh onething you forgot to putup there is the fact that you feel like you are in an alien movie at times whenthe kid gets active. I dunno how many times I ended up seeing a limb move along my belly, depending on a song or the food I ate usually told me if I was going to have a night of jungle gym moves or just a slight shift.

      • Right?!? And who mentioned the mind blowing amount of fluid that rushes out of you when your “water” breaks?! Its literally buckets! And it feels so weird and icky, especially if you’re sitting when it happens and it gushes out of you and pools around your butt and thighs as it waterfalls to the floor… Craziness!!?

        • Totally missed out on that. My OB popped my water and only a tiny bit came out. When I shot my little rocket man out, startling my OB, all the water followed and flooded the instrument table and the OB!!! It was all stick behind my son!!

  • Water retention. My hands and fingers were so swollen, I felt like the Stay Puft marshmallow man most of the time (and yes – the dental floss method of wedding band removal DOES work for getting a ring to come off of a fat, sausage-like finger).

    And the cankles. Oh my gods, the cankles. My lower legs turned into solid logs of dough during both pregnancies. My older daughter was born at the end of July, so I wore adjustable sandals (at their widest setting – they were the only footwear I was able to stick on my mammoth hosebeast feet). My younger daughter, well, she was born in April and the weather was unfortunately far too cold for those sandals. So I wore fuzzy, rubber-soled slippers everywhere I went. Including the grocery store. I had zero fucks left to give at that point in my life.
    Alison recently posted…Knee-Deep In The Bowels Of ResearchMy Profile

    • I only had massive cankles after my son was born and they stopped all the meds and iv fluids. I swelled up so bad I couldn’t walk. One nurse finally turned my bed basically upside down so I could get the fluid out. It was horrible.

    • I also had massive cankles! My mom felt sorry for me so she bought me a couple of fuzzy lined crocks a size larger than I actually wear to hold my hugely swollen feet! I felt like my legs and feet were the size of an elephants! I had a January baby! I was constantly trying to avoid snow piles in my crocks, as if the regular waddling around wasn’t enough! I gained like 70lbs most of that water weight! Another thing I experienced was hip seperation early. Any time I would twist or roll over my muscles in my groin would pull apart. It was excruciating!

  • I wanted to have a baby so bad I thought, “I can do this if it means getting what I want!” HA! Someone must have heard me and decided to bring it on. Sick all day for most of my pregnancy, bleeding scare, blood clots, polinoidal (sp) cyst (which had to be surgically removed at 32 wks), then he decided to come 4 weeks early, just in case we weren’t freaked out enough. I have to say I am still haunted by those days but I will never go through that again. I had my tubes tied in February. I will always be grateful to have had this chance and love my little guy with all my being, but when people ask me when I am going to have another I politely laugh in there face.

  • While I’m currently only 20 weeks with my first child, besides still continuing morning sickness, my favorite by far is the urine leakage that occurs while I’m vomiting. I have to sit on the toilet with a garbage can so I don’t go through 5 pairs of pants a day lol. So far, it has been worth it though!

  • So I guess I’m one of those weird people who had next to no problems with my pregnancy… All I had was a tiny bit of heartburn during the last month. And with my new one on the way (5 months) I just have really tender breasts

    • My pelvis completely separated during my second pregnancy and it was the worst pain I’d ever been in I was stuck in a hospital bed for months and did nothing but shove food in my face. I still blame my now 3 year old for making mommy fat lol needless to say I can’t have any more babies but I think I’m ok with that.

    • I am there with you Stef, I had a little water retention, tender breasts, and i cried a lot…wasn’t until I was induced almost two weeks after my due date anything seemed over the top uncomfortable. I literally was in labor for 2.5 days but when he was ready he came out in less then 15 min. Optimistically Hoping for my second any day now.

  • In addition to the constant Buddah-style belly rubs from absolute strangers, I did not expect the well-meaning but extremely rude comments and advice! Yes, I’m drinking coffee while pregnant, and no, I’m not carrying twins, but thanks for pointing out how ‘enormous’ I look!

  • I had eczema before I got pregnant. It stayed localized to the crooks of my elbows and the backs of my legs. Then the hormones kicked in and it went crazy! I had rashes all over my legs, thighs, stomach, arms and under my eyes. It was awful!

  • I have a breast feeding story. I had to sleep on towels for the whole duration of breast feeding. Four towels thick! One night my 3 month old daughter woke me crying. It was feeding time. I got up (topless) and decided to use the bathroom before nursing. When I was done, I fed the baby and went back to bed. In the morning I notice a whitish spray pattern across the walls and shower door of the bathroom. I had been spraying milk!!!!

    • Haha.. now thats one I can relate to..I have sprayed milk everywhere multiple times.. all over the car trying to pump coming home from work had to have been the best one though.. hubs response was can u keep it on your side of the car, its kinda hard to see the speedometer thru milk haze… lmao

  • you forgot to add leaking nipples. Any time after like 20wks mine will leak and at the wrong time like when trying to get intimate with my husband. If I don’t wear a bra while just resting at home I will soon feel a cool wet shirt against me and sure enough I need to change.

  • I had a decent time until halfway through my 2nd trimester. I developed a rash along my large stomach, the dr called it a PUPS rash. If was horrible and itched so so so bad!the itching never stopped. Nothing would help it. In fact many helpful products to stop itching (what little I could take/use while preggo) didn’t work at all. The PUPS rash lasted until my daughter was born. Then disappeared without a trace! With my 2nd pregnancy I made it through my 2nd trimester with a cocky attitude but was cursed yet again with the same type of rash around the beginning of my 3rd trimester. I don’t think I’d ever had anything as itchy and uncomfortable as that rash!!!’ All in all I missed being pregnant. I was able to eat without worrying about weight issues. 🙂

  • Varicose veins. That go ALL the way up. And my last pregnancy gifted me with a condition i had never heard of called Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel which basically made my hands painful claws. Good times.

  • Three vaginal births-the last one 10 years ago-and I still cannot sneeze, laugh, or cough without possibly peeing on myself. I also still get unbelievable heartburn. With my second pregnancy I couldn’t gas up my own car because the slightest whiff of gasoline made me vomit like I was possessed. I totally sympathize with the poster that peed when she vomited though I really can’t blame pregnancy for that because I have done that since childhood. Though I can blame pregnancy for adding blackouts to the vomit episodes. Try waking up to being covered in vomit and pee!

  • I had all day sickness through my pregnancy. I was also put on bed rest because I was getting dizzy and passing out and having seizures. Don’t forget the weird cravings too. My biggest one was fruity pebbles cereal on toast with peanut butter. Thank you for this. Women need to know this.

  • Yes yes yes! And not being sure if braxon hicks is actual labor! And the doctor checking you and the words that fly when you are at pushing stage? Oh the memories…. And having the doc say baby isnt dropping get mom prepped for emergency c-section….

  • I’m on my third currently and I thought remembered….but I didn’t remember so clearly!
    All day sickness (with two kids to care for), I get dandruff like a crazy person and I never wanna leave the house, crazy pastey mouth and everything tastes weird, everything smells so extreme, gassy, exhausted, and so much more… man so much fun we have!
    I though I sort of enjoyed being pregnant (there are about 2 months in the middle that I feel pretty good usually) and the baby kicking etc….not sure what I was thinking, it’s been 3 yrs since I was pregnant last, must have been memory loss! ^_^
    Thanks for this post, I love it! Happy to know I’m not alone in the lack of the “pregnancy GLOW”!!!

  • I’m so glad I read this, I’m at 16 weeks right now and I have the worst gas I ever have in my life! I’m looking forward to the gas wars I’ll have with my fiancee in the months to come! lol
    Thinisha recently posted…16 weeks todayMy Profile

  • You totally forgot vaginal varicose veins…we call them “grape clusters” hanging from your vaginal walls. They are so miserable to walk much less have sex during pregnancy…awful

    Or kidney stones!! If you produce as much calcium as my body did you will have enough stones to build a fort!!!

    The older you get the worse the symptoms seem to get also…Happy alone time…LOL

  • I threw up during the whole 9 months of all three of my pregnancies and while I was in labour and no one bothered to tell me about pooping during labour. My daughter is now 13 and I’m still too embarrassed to talk about the pooping!!!!!

  • the worst thing for me that I didn’t know about was pushing out the placenta afterwards. You think thank god it’s finally over I just pushed a 8lb baby out of me with the worlds biggest head. Oh but you’re not done, oh hell no you still have to push like your life depends on it with no energy or strength to push. Even more so 24 hour labour with being induced ? Throwing up during labour etc. and now you want me to keep pushing??? I could have killed the doctor in the moment.

  • Birth of the second child: Well into labor and vomiting into the toilet at each contraction while husband stood behind me with a large mop for the waters squeezing out at the same time. The indignity!

  • This is freaking hilarious. I about peed in my pants laughing. I am 5 1/2 months and the GAS is horrible. I feel so sorry for my husband. No one informed me of the gas I wish they had of.

  • Considering having strangers grope your stomach is one of the top complaints pregnant women have, I do not understand why there are still people out there who think it’s OK. I’ve never been pregnant (though this is hilarious–my husband and I have been talking about trying to have kids and I love honesty. So tired of women who want to tell me it’s 100% wonderful and perfect), but I’m mean enough as I am that I’m fairly sure my response would be, “Step away or I will drop kick you in the face, Grandma.”
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    • Being petted like a cat was not one of the things I had to deal with too often, fortunately. And anybody who tells you that it’s likely the worst thing you’ll have to deal with is a liiiiiiiar. 🙂 May you be one of the ones who just sails right on through.

  • Vulvar varicosities! Yes, I mean like VARICOSE VEINS ON YOUR VULVA!!!! First pregnancy I felt like my hoo-ha was dragging the ground and making me walk like an old cowpoke. Second pregnancy it got so bad I bought a sexy undergarment I named the “va-jock strap”. Basically compression socks for your crotch. I named the condition “bratwurst crotch”, much to the delight of my German OB. My labia would swell to sausage size if I was on my feet too long. Thank god the doctor wasn’t lying – it didn’t cause any problems during delivery and it went away as soon as I gave birth.

  • The baby put so much pressure on my rib that she snapped it. Then 4 weeks of her continuing to push and kick a broken rib. I’m so pleased she came on her due date!!!