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What Pregnancy Is Really Like

What No One Tells You About Being Pregnant

You know about the chocolate cravings and the morning sickness, but here are the pregnancy surprises you may not have heard of that someone needs to tell you about. For first-time moms, pregnancy is a confusing time — a time when you have the questions and you're looking for answers. This is what no one tells you about being pregnant . . .

Eating Like a Bodybuilder

Yeah, yeah, you've heard the phrase "eating for two," but when you're six weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a grain of rice . . . and yet you're starving. Your suddenly ferocious appetite has very little to do with your baby being hungry (and by "little," we mean "absolutely nothing at all") and everything to do with the amount of overtime your body is putting in to actually growing another human being. Consider this: the average woman will increase the volume of blood in her body by 30 to 50 percent during pregnancy. The work required to keep all the blood pumping and moving is hungry work — literally.

Sexy Dreams

Even if you've never been one of those people who can recall their dreams by the time your alarm goes off in the morning, when you're pregnant, chances are you'll find yourself in the fantastical throes of some pretty X-rated dreams. For real. Experts say it's due to the intoxicating mix of hormones galore plus a pretty restless sleep that has the mind racing. You may well find yourself blushing while brushing your teeth in the morning.

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Supersize Feet

You're probably expecting swollen feet and ankles. That bit's no surprise. What can be a little shocking for some women is that their feet can remain a whole shoe size larger — even after baby is born. While most women's feet will return to their original size within a few weeks, some of us will be packing away our beloved favorites for our daughters. It's thanks to the spread of bones in the feet, which flatten out to better absorb the extra weight of pregnancy . . . and then don't quite manage to go back into place. Consider it a free pass to go out and buy a whole lotta new shoes.

Dracula Returns

You may notice a little blood on your toothbrush one morning, or it may be more like a full-blown murder scene when you bite into an apple. No one knows why pregnancy has a tendency to cause temporary gingivitis or sensitive gums, and so it's generally put down to being "just one of those things."

Restless Legs Are a Thing

You've been dreaming about your bed all day. You've showered, you've rubbed oil onto your bump, and now . . . your legs won't go the heck to sleep. Restless legs tend to kick in around midway through a pregnancy and are best described as the inability to relax your legs. Restless legs can be tingly, itchy, or jumpy, and the bad news is that the condition tends to hang around until the end of pregnancy. Ask your doctor about magnesium tablets to dull the intensity of the symptoms.

You'll Feel Your Baby Kick . . . After It's Born

Try not to freak out over this one. Baby kicks tend to be the start of the bonding between mom and her baby. But when that baby has been born, it's not unusual for a woman to continue to feel those little kicks and shoves — and it's all due to muscle memory. It tends to last a few weeks, and if you can get past the weirdness of that, you can get past anything.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lacy Kiernan
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