The side-effects of pregnancy

From bursting into tears at the slightest thing to getting 'baby brain', pregnancy can cause some unusual side-effects...

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The side-effects of pregnancy

Crying all the time

What is it? Bursting into tears for no particular reason: a TV advert, walking past an old person, seeing a beautiful sunset…

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Why? It’s mostly hormone-related, but can also be down to feeling anxious or depressed about the pregnancy, and worried about the future. If it’s really serious, it could be antenatal depression.

Will it go? Most women find that once the baby’s born, and your hormones are back to normal, this type of crying subsides. 

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The side-effects of pregnancy

Darker nipples

What is it? Your nipples get much darker. This can start quite early in the pregnancy.

Why? Progesterone is the hormone responsible. It’s not caused by you carrying a boy, as the old wives’ tale goes. Some people think that the contrast in colour helps a weak-sighted newborn find your nipples more easily.

Will it go? Yes, darkened areas usually fade soon after the birth.

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The side-effects of pregnancy

Cravings

What is it? The desire to eat certain, sometimes rather odd, food. Among the most commonly craved are peanut butter, apples, melon, cheese, eggs, milk, olives or pickles and nuts. Pica is the technical term for wanting to eat non-foodstuffs, such as sand, earth or coal.

What causes it? It may be your body’s way of making you eat the extra you need, and making it nutritious foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Will it go? Cravings may occur infrequently or last the whole pregnancy, but they disappear once you’ve given birth. 

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The side-effects of pregnancy

The ‘glow’

What is it? Many women develop a healthy rosy glow and dewy complexion in the second trimester.

What causes it? That faint blush and great-looking complexion isn’t just because you’re excited. Your body’s increased volume of blood means your cheeks will look a little rosier. The skin’s oil glands also secrete more, which gives your face a hint of a sheen.

Will it go? Yes, your skin will return to normal.

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The side-effects of pregnancy

Linea nigra

What is it? A dark line that appears from your belly button down to your pubes.

What causes it? Some women get it and some don’t. Research suggests it could indicate a folic acid deficiency. So make sure you’re eating plenty of wholegrains, green leafy veg, or take a supplement.

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Will it go? Yes, the darkening will fade within a few months after the baby’s born.

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