Top 4 Weird—But Normal!—Pregnancy Experiences

A woman outdoors in a blue polka dot shirt makes a concerned face during her pregnancy

Top 4 Weird—But Normal!—Pregnancy Experiences

Pregnancy is an incredibly exciting time in a woman’s life, but as we all know, it’s certainly not a walk in the park. There’s all the discomforts you know to expect: morning sickness, back pain, swollen feet. But what if you experience a pregnancy pain or discomfort that you’ve never even heard of before?

It’s normal to be concerned, especially if this is your first baby and everything is new to you! But many of the strange and uncomfortable changes your body is going through are actually completely natural. That’s why we’re here to share a few common pregnancy experiences that are nothing to be afraid of. At Sylacauga OB-GYN, we hope to put your mind at ease by exploring these common issues and what causes them.

Round Ligament Pain

Have you felt pain around your growing baby bump, near your groin, hips, or lower belly? It may feel sharp, aching, or sudden, and come on around the second trimester. Don’t worry, mama—unless the pain is constant and keeping you from walking around, you’re likely experiencing a completely normal growing pain called round ligament pain.

What Causes It?

You have two ligaments on either side of your uterus that hold it in place, connecting to your pelvis. As your baby grows, these ligaments stretch, which can cause painful spasms on one or both sides of your body. Like other kinds of growing pains, they can last a few seconds or a few hours.

What Do I Do?

To ease frequent round ligament pain, you could consider investing in an elastic belly band to take some of the pressure off. You can also try:

  • Daily light hip stretches
  • Avoiding heavy lifting
  • Taking your time to change positions
  • Supporting your bump with your hands when you sneeze, cough, or laugh

Lightning Crotch

Yes, you read that right: lightning crotch. It’s one of the most frequent concerns we hear from new moms that actually isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds (or feels). Lightning crotch is a sudden, intense pain deep within your vagina that feels like an electric shock. It generally lasts only a few seconds, but it comes on without warning and can stop you in your tracks.

What Causes It?

Usually, lightning crotch happens in the 3rd trimester, when the baby drops, moves, or kicks, putting pressure on your pelvic floor nerves. Though it often happens in the lead-up to delivery, it’s not a sign of labor, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your baby!

What Do I Do?

Not every woman will go through this during pregnancy, making it difficult to prevent. Just know that it’s not dangerous in any way! If the pain occurs alongside frequent contractions or fever, though, it’s best to come in and have it checked out.

Losing The Mucus Plug

Ah, the mucus plug. It can be uncomfortable to talk about, and many women are alarmed to learn about it—never mind to see it come out when they use the bathroom. The mucus plug develops in your cervix to seal your baby safely in the womb, keeping bacteria out. Its texture and consistency can vary, but it’s usually thick, jelly-like, odorless, and somewhat translucent. It may be streaked with a small amount of blood—this is normal, too.

What Causes It?

Your cervix softens in the 3rd trimester to prepare for labor. When this happens, the plug comes out, either all at once or slowly over time. It’s normal for women to lose their mucus plug anytime around or after 37 weeks. Contrary to popular belief, though, it isn’t a sign of imminent labor. Some women lose it weeks before delivery, and some during the delivery itself.

What Do I Do?

If the mucus plug comes out very early, before 37 weeks, give us a call. Otherwise, just know that labor isn’t too far off on the horizon! Start packing that hospital bag if you haven’t already, but you don’t have to come in until you experience more pressing signs of labor, like your water breaking and/or regular contractions.

Chadwick’s Sign (A.K.A. Blue Vagina)

Of all the changes that we may expect during pregnancy, looking down and seeing blue certainly isn’t one of them. But if you do happen to notice a more violet or bluish hue to your vulva or vagina, it’s no cause for alarm. It’s called Chadwick’s Sign, and it’s one of the first indicators of pregnancy. And no, it’s not permanent!

What Causes It?

When you become pregnant, your body sends an extra supply of blood flow to your cervix, vagina, and vulva. In fact, your body’s entire blood volume can increase by as much as 50 percent! This extra blood is what gives some women a color change down below.

What Do I Do?

There’s nothing you need to do about Chadwick’s Sign—just get ready for the journey ahead! If you experience any discomfort, talk to your doctor about varicose veins, which are also a common side-effect of increased blood flow. They’re usually a short-term issue that goes away after your baby is born (along with the blue color!).

Still Unsure? Sylacauga OB-GYN is Here

We know that new moms-to-be have lots of concerns, questions, and strange tales to share about the changes their bodies go through during this special time. At Sylacauga OB-GYN, we’ll always be here to put your mind at ease, keep an eye on your baby’s progress, and answer any questions you may have during your prenatal care appointments. If it’s time to schedule your first prenatal appointment, reach out online or give us a call at 256-487-7783 today!

Sylacauga OB-GYN: Obstetrics for Women in the Coosa Valley Area

At Sylacauga OB-GYN, we’re proud to be small town doctors providing big city care to women in Sylacauga, Alexander City, Talladega, and all surrounding areas. When it comes to your journey to motherhood, there’s no need to stress out on the long drive to Birmingham. Get all the expert obstetric and gynecological care you need in your own hometown with us!