Pilates, Epping, Pregnancy, Ante Natal
After 15 years of teaching ante natal Pilates, I’ve heard about some weird pregnancy symptoms. During my Pilates classes I encourage my mums-in-waiting to ask questions. It’s an ideal opportunity to put to bed any worries or perhaps recommend a referral.
It amazes me that after all these years and over 300 pregnancies (not all mine), I’m still learning! Lightning crotch (also mistakenly called – by me – dagger fanny) is one of the more recent weird pregnancy symptoms I’ve learned about. This led me to investigate and summarise some of the other weird pregnancy symptoms out there.
1. Lightning Crotch.
Whilst this sounds like something rather exciting in the bedroom department, it’s actually a very uncomfortable sensation during pregnancy where the pressure on your pelvis sends shooting pains into your crotch. It can come and go. Unfortunately it often comes when your walking around. Pains could be in your vagina or your rectum.
Causes: The discomfort is likely to be a combination of factors including baby’s position, pelvis position and the force of baby’s movements becoming stronger towards the end of pregnancy when lightning crotch is most common. It’s also more common as baby drops towards the end of the last trimester.
Remedies: There isn’t much that can be done long term to help although I’ve found helping pregnant women to tip their pelvis slightly can help in the short term. So where the pressure might be bearing down, if you can tip your pelvis by dropping your tail bone down and lifting your bump up, you’ll often feel relief. Gentle massage or a warm bath/compress can also help. Although if it’s Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) rather than a simple case of lightning crotch, you’ll need ice packs to reduce inflammation.
Intermittent deafness during pregnancy is uncommon but I’ve had a couple of participants experience this. One cause is otosclerosis, a condition which isn’t caused by pregnancy but can be worsened, when the bones of the inner ear don’t vibrate sufficiently. There are other conditions which could cause temporary deafness related to congestion and changes in blood coagulation due to increased blood volume and decreased ratios of red blood cells to plasma (blood is more watery). For all inner ear conditions it’s vital to keep checking with your GP and if you’re at all worried, get a referral.
3. Blocked or swollen nose.
According to health line pregnancy rhinitis affects 18-42% of pregnant women. It can feel like you have a permanent cold but it’s actually just another of those weird pregnant symptoms made worse by hormones.
Causes: Oestrogen is responsible for increasing mucus levels during pregnancy. Add this to the way the hormones oestrogen and progesterone affect all your blood vessels and tissues, including the delicate membranes in your nose and you can end up with a permanent stuffy nose. This can lead to swelling and of course, that classic pregnancy symptom: snoring.
4. Pigment patches.
Dark patches or the mask of pregnancy (chloasma or melasma) affect more than 50% of women during pregnancy. It could just be patches or often a darkening of the linea alba (the line that runs from navel to pubic bone). Many women develop patches around the hairline, temples and cheek bones, hence it’s referred to as a mask. Sunlight increases the risk of dark patches forming as does having darker skin.
Causes: Oestrogen is the dominant force behind this one as is exposure to sunshine.
Remedies: There’s little you can do to avoid darkening although wearing high protection sun cream, covering up in the sun and staying in the shade will help avoid pigmentation in areas frequently exposed to sun, like your face.
5. Excess hair.
‘Whoah there … what’s with all the hair?’ You probably already knew about changes to the hair on your head before pregnancy – that it gets really thick, falls out after birth and then grows back with a new character. You didn’t? Well it’s a thing. From unruly tufts, to grey or curly, your head hair will transition to mum hair along with the unexpected changes to your personality. But what about weird hair? Some women will grow excess hair in strange places. Shoulders, chin and most commonly, the linear alba. If you’re really lucky it will get dark and hairy.
Causes: Hormones! And you don’t technically lose hair after pregnancy, it’s just that your hair doesn’t shed during pregnancy so it all falls out afterwards. If you are noticeably thinning do get checked out since it can be a sign of other underlying health conditions such as low iron.
Remedies: A good blow dry or beautician! Or just rock the new locks.
That’s all for now. But if you’ve got some weird pregnancy symptoms I haven’t heard of, do get in touch!