Just weird symptoms or danger signs?

Incontinence, enormous nipples, kinky dreams…normal or danger signs (mostly no)?

It’s the only period in your life when you’ll positively relish a growing belly. But your pregnancy is also a time when your body goes completely nuts. Every week brings a different symptom — morning sickness, puffy ankles and backache get all the attention, but there are others that aren’t so easy to drop into conversation at your prenatal class. We’re talking about leaking body parts, gross biological functions and wild mood swings that make PMS look sweet and innocent.

YIKES! My husband made me laugh and I peed on the kitchen floor.
RELAX Laughing, sneezing, coughing — they can all make you lose control of your bladder. 

          “One in three women who go through childbirth suffers some kind of incontinence,” says physiotherapist Professor Kari Bo. “The fact that you’re carrying a growing baby for nine months puts a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor — the muscles that hold up your uterus, bladder and back passage. This can result in some slackening. Keeping active helps, but avoid high-impact exercise like aerobics or running, as these put more strain on the area. Swimming is ideal as the water supports your body.”

          Simple pelvic floor exercises can keep these muscles strong and help you regain bladder control. “Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind and your flow of urine mid-stream at the same time,” Prof Bo says.

          “The feeling is one of ‘squeeze and lift’, closing and drawing up the front and back passages. Don’t pull in your tummy, tighten your bottom or hold your breath. Do these exercises 10 minutes a day during pregnancy and resume them hours after you’ve had your baby.”

YIKES! I’m producing so much discharge I’m getting through two panty liners a day.
RELAX Increased vaginal discharge is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, caused by increased pressure on your pelvic floor and changes to the acidity of your vagina. The normal, harmless kind is watery, odourless and pale-coloured. Many women panic that it’s amniotic fluid leaking from the uterus, but your baby is safely sealed in with a mucus plug.

          Yeast infections, such as thrush, are more common in pregnancy, so if your discharge is lumpy and accompanied by itchiness, see the doctor. It can’t harm the baby while you’re pregnant, but any infection in the vagina can pose a risk at birth.

          If your discharge is bloodstained, has a green tinge or an offensive smell, see your gynae immediately.

YIKES! I’m in my second trimester and having very kinky dreams. Am I turning into a pregnant pervert?
RELAX “Many women report more frequent and vivid erotic dreams when pregnant,” says sex researcher Dr Petra Boynton. “We don’t really know why they happen, but it’s probably the increase of hormones and the extra blood flow to your genitals that are making you think sexy thoughts.”

          Should you act on your fantasies, though? If your gynae has advised that your pregnancy is high-risk and sex is a bad idea, don’t. Otherwise, go for it!