Kicks and Cankles: Embarrassing Pregnancy Symptoms

Kicks and Cankles: Embarrassing Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy is beautiful and miraculous, but it can sure bring with it a whole slew of awkward or embarrassing symptoms! Below are 11 commonly reported or complained about issues that come up while a bun is in the oven!

Bowel Issues

Many organs in the body suffer a bit from having to share so much of their space with a growing uterus. The bowels get a good amount of grief thrown their way because they’re at the bottom of the food chain, if you will. Whether this is displayed by constipation (typical from dehydration) or diarrhea, bowel movements and inopportune instances involving number 2 are no fun and can certainly lead to embarrassment.


The more progesterone in your body, the more the muscles relax. The more the intestinal muscles relax, the more digestion slows down. The slower the digestion, the more time gas has to build up. And it’s just a fact that all of the air in the abdomen has to go somewhere, whether up or down!


Often related to constipation and common in pregnancy due to added pressure on the bum, hemorrhoids are swollen veins in or around the anus. I guess technically this isn’t embarrassing as much as it’s super painful and unfortunate.


Not only is the bladder obviously being smashed a bit, but also the muscles around the bladder are likely weaker than normal during and after pregnancy. Because of this combination of events, a little bit (or sometimes a lot) of urine leaking may happen during some women’s pregnancies.

Pregnancy Mask

It’s a tricky task for skin to remain perfectly normal while pregnant. Chloasma or melasma is also called “pregnancy mask” because the skin on the face becomes darker due to an imbalance or excess skin pigment. These dark spots aren’t just limited to the face; another common place you’ll find this darker skin is in a straight line down the pregnant belly called Linea Nigra. Pregnancy makes for some funky skin pigmentations, so sunscreen is especially important during those nine months, as getting sunburn is super easy!


Hormones, hormones, hormones. There are so many new and extra hormones coursing through the body that it’s not unlikely that some acne may be the result of this.

More Hair

Hair all over! Darker, thicker hairs are common on the face, belly, and other places along the body due to, again, more hormones.


Itchy belly, itchy boobs, itchy nipples…all the itches! This itching is caused by the stretching of skin and isn’t necessarily embarrassing but can be inconvenient at times!

Breast Leakage

Yes, this happens to many women while still pregnant! This is due to the ever-increasing numbers of the hormone prolactin, preparing the breasts to be milk suppliers. Luckily, this can be hidden easily by using nursing pads.

Popped Belly Button

Personally, I think a “popped” belly button is adorable! My mom said that she was so embarrassed about her belly button while pregnant that she would put Band-Aids or tape over it to cover it up as much as possible. One thing’s for sure; I know I’m getting really close to delivery when my belly button pops! Kind of like a turkey timer at Thanksgiving!

Varicose Veins

Two good friends of mine experienced varicose veins when they were pregnant. And while I can see this being embarrassing for them, my biggest takeaway from varicose veins is how painful they are, so perhaps these don’t belong in the embarrassing category at all, but in the “things that really suck about pregnancy” category.

Thankfully, many of these symptoms go away within a few months of delivery, and some don’t even last the entire duration of pregnancy! It’s a good idea to keep your head in a good spot and remember the big picture of what’s happening. The “extra” stuff isn’t always fun, but the outcome of a precious baby is certainly worth it!

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