5. Skin Spots and Patches
During pregnancy, many women get dark spots or patches on their face or other areas of the body. This happens because the increase in estrogen and progesterone throw your melanin receptors into overdrive, causing hyperpigmentation.
A 2007 study published in American Family Physician reports that normal hormone changes during pregnancy may cause benign skin conditions including hyperpigmentation .
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care reports that the most common pregnancy-associated skin changes observed in India are pigmentary changes and pruritus .
There is nothing you can do to stop hyperpigmented skin during pregnancy, but slathering on sunscreen whenever you go out can help prevent it from getting worse. Pregnant moms should stay out of the sun as much as possible.
6. Brain Fog
Many pregnant women can have memory impairment, which some call “baby brain”. It is described as a sort-of escalation of everyday absentmindedness and makes you often forget small things like where you put something or losing track of what you’re doing mid-task.
A 2018 published in the Medical Journal of Australia reports that general cognitive functioning, memory and executive functioning were significantly poorer in pregnant women, particularly during the third trimester.
The study also says that the differences primarily develop during the first trimester, and are consistent with recent findings of long-term reductions in brain gray matter volume during pregnancy .
Experts do not know what causes it. However, it’s possible that pregnancy hormonal changes as well as sleep deprivation or feeling stressed out can impair a woman’s memory.
Although brain fog is frustrating, the good news is that this is all situational, and it will pass eventually.
7. Bad Breath
Few things seem more embarrassing than bad breath.
The hormonal roller coaster that comes with pregnancy can turn your mouth into the perfect breeding ground for plaque, a thin film of bacteria that produce volatile sulfur compounds, which in turn cause bad breath.
Moreover, dehydration during pregnancy can affect your saliva levels and cause dry mouth. This in turn makes it easier for bacteria to grow and cause bad breath. Also, the smell of stomach acids and partially digested food tends to linger in your mouth.
It is important to get rid of odor-causing bacteria or it can lead to pregnancy gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups during this time can help get rid of bacteria and bad breath.
- Measures of Human Olfactory Perception During Pregnancy | Chemical Senses | Oxford Academic. OUP Academic. https://academic.oup.com/chemse/article/32/8/775/583392. Published July 18, 2007.
- Assessing new terminal body and facial hair growth during pregnancy: toward developing a simplified visual scoring system for hirsutism. Fertility and sterility. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26616440. Published February 2016.
- Common Skin Conditions During Pregnancy. American Family Physician. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0115/p211.html. Published January 15, 2007.
- Pregnancy and Skin. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311336/. Published 2014.
- Cognitive impairment during pregnancy: a meta-analysis. The Medical Journal of Australia. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2018/208/1/cognitive-impairment-during-pregnancy-meta-analysis. Published January 15, 2018.