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Pregnancy: What they Don't Tell You

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I believe in being truthful with people, and every woman who is pregnant for the first time deserves to know what she will be facing: the wonderful and the unpleasant.

I think if we all share reality with each other, we can save ourselves a lot of scary moments. We've all had them during pregnancy, right? We say: How did this happen? What does this mean? What is going on there?

Then there are the beautiful times of pregnancy that everyone needs to know about. Feeling maternal starts as soon as you know you are pregnant, and it can be really magical and exciting.

There is plenty I don't know, so I hope you ladies out there will chime in and help me out.

1. The nose knows. The nose tends to go a little haywire during pregnancy. I remember during my first pregnancy that I smelled some honey suckle and couldn't find where it was coming from....until I got about 1/4 mile up the road. Yes, I smelled it that strong. It can be your enemy. You may find that smelling coffee sends you to the toilet (or the sink, since it may be closer). Even your husband's smell can be repulsive. Also, the nose congests easier and runs more, thanks to swelling of the membranes and an increase in mucous throughout the body.

2. Teeth. Your teeth may change color slightly. Your gums may also bleed.

3. Melasma. A dark mask on your face is melasma, a response to hormones. They say it goes away after pregnancy, but for many women it does not (they just don't want to tell you that), so see a dermatologist if it persists.

4. Don't dare touch the breasts. Don't dare go near them. They look almost alien, with the swelling and the blue lines. And you definitely don't want anyone hugging too tight.

5. Colored and lined belly. The belly can look blue or red from the increase in circulation, and can have a long vertical line through it.

6. Vericose veins. Many women get spider veins suddenly when they are pregnant, even before they start really getting bigger, and they can become a serious vericose problem later on. I've been told that they go away after pregnancy, but I have yet to see any fading. I think they're here to stay.

7. Your feet grow.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.