The things nobody told you about being pregnant

Pregnant woman eating chocolate

Do you know how many babies are actually born on their due date? No, we couldn't have told you pre-pregnancy, either (it's 5%, by the way). Forget the sugar-coating – Mumsnetters are here to tell it like it is

1. The joy can be surprisingly short-lived

Positive pregnancy test

“No-one told me how small the gap is between getting your positive pregnancy test and starting to feel like shit.”

2. The arrival of both heartburn AND morning sickness

Woman over toilet

“Not being able to eat due to morning sickness (at the start) and heartburn (at the end).”

“Spontaneous retching in the gutter when out and about, lending one the look of a street drunk.”

“That even thinking about putting your toothbrush in your mouth will make you violently gag.”

3. The importance of a nearby doughnut retailer


“I was always convinced I would never succumb to the eating for two myth, and that those who ate more than the recommended 200 or so extra calories a day were just being piggy. Nobody ever told me that if I didn't shovel food into my gob constantly, I would feel sick.”

“That my smug ideas of eating healthily would go flying out the window to be replaced by dinners of bread, butter and jam followed by a doughnut chaser.”

4. The brain mush


“Sometimes not even being able to finish a sentence because I couldn't remember what I was going to say.”

“Something mysterious happens to your brain capacity from very early on. The intellect you once relied on vanishes entirely…”

5. The (pre-baby) sleepless nights

woman yawns in bed

“The agonising leg cramps at night.”

“That I would snore myself awake.”

6. The hairyness


“I am sprouting hair all over my bump and belly button.”

7. The bodily excretions and expulsions


“The constant leaking…from everywhere.”

“That you will fart, and they will smell so bad that even you will be repulsed by them.”

“I am sure I never used to wake up in The Pool of Drool that now greets me every morning.”

“The constipation. No desire to go to the loo for days and days on end and then it's like passing nearly set concrete.”

8. All the crying

Crying woman

“The blubbing. All the pathetic, spontaneous, uncontrollable snotty blubbing at every teeny little thing. With a bit more blubbing for afters.”

“My husband came home from work one day and found me wailing in front of Home & Away. I doubt I'll ever live it down.”

“I sobbed for four hours after writing something on the wrong line in my daughter's baby book. My husband was promising to get me a new one, but I kept wailing 'but I will know forever!'”

9. The sensitive nipples

Monkey nipples

“Oh God, the nipples. I remember walking round the fridge aisle trying to buy dinner with both arms folded over my chest and my nips stinging like buggery. I bought a little hottie bottie to shove down my bra but it didn't reach both nips at once. And this was in August.”

“Your nipples hurt if you even look at them.”

“Your nipples can be so sore, they feel like they might fall off when cold.”

10. The constant weeing

dripping tap

“That I'd need to go for a wee before I could leave the house. And then go for another one JUST before leaving just to be sure. And then get five minutes up the road only to need another wee.”

“The location of toilets becomes one's first priority.”

11. The sheer size you become


“That turning in the bed would become a military operation.”

“That it becomes astonishingly difficult to put your knickers on unassisted.”

“That your feet may get bigger during pregnancy and, if they do, may never go back to their original size. None of my lovely pre-baby shoes fit me any more.”

“You lose the ability to judge the size of gap you can pass through – this may seem obvious, but until you've hit your bump with the car door when shutting it, you don't really know.”

12. The odd dreams

Jeremy Paxman

“Crazy dreams. Scary dreams. Sad dreams.”

“I wish someone had told me about the dreams. They are awful. Upsetting, terrifying, creepy and totally surreal.”

“Whoever mentioned pornographic dreams – me too, and with the most random participants. Best = Jack Bauer. Most disturbing so far = Jeremy Paxman.”

13. The enhanced sense of smell

Dog nose

“That I would have the nose of a sniffer dog… and that EVERY smell would make me puke.”

“I can smell an iffy satsuma from another room.”

“I could smell the tap water while brushing my teeth. That bionic nose can stay with you for years after.”

14. The indignities you get used to

Gynecology appt

“I have to stop myself from hanging up the washing and answering the door in only my pants (blush). I'm guessing this gradual decline in dignity is good preparation for labour?”

“That you lose all sense of dignity and, well, sense and get so used to grown men whose first names you don't know shuftying about up your nethers, that you have to chant to yourself, like a mantra, in the dentist's waiting room… 'Don't take your pants off, it's just teeth this time'.”

15. Becoming public property

hands on tummy

“That total strangers would comment on my bump and question my dates.”

“That everyone wants to offer you advice and assumes that you know NOTHING.”

16. The length of it

Woman holding clock

“Not realising that pregnancy lasts ten months (40 weeks) instead of nine – and feeling very ripped off about that.”

17. And the sense of relief… when it's over


“I am sure there were some nice surprises but I can't remember them.”

“That I would feel absolutely amazing after birth, because I wasn't pregnant any more and all my symptoms went away, and food tasted nice for the first time in nine months (even hospital food) and I had a gorgeous baby and best of all I WASN'T PREGNANT.”

In conclusion…

“This makes me want to do it all over again – despite the itching, stretching, insomnia, emotional outbursts, heartburn and constipation… What is wrong with me?”