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Pregnancy. A time of witnessing the true power and magnificence of your body—and just how weird it can be.


The truth is that while your body is doing the hard work of growing a baby, it’s also doing some pretty strange things in the process. While it can feel odd to be in a body that’s changing so much, trust that much of it is normal, and you are not alone in what you’re feeling.

Here are 10 pregnancy symptoms you may have never heard of:

1. “Lightning vagina”

What it is: Sharp pains in your vagina, especially toward the end of pregnancy.

Why it happens: As baby’s head is getting lower and bigger, it’s putting more pressure on your pelvis and all the nerves in it.

What can help: Staying active (especially doing activities where your hips move around) can help because it opens up your pelvis giving the baby a little more room. Yoga, dancing and swimming are great!

*If you get this pain over five times in an hour and you are earlier than 37 weeks pregnant, call your doctor or midwife to make sure it’s not preterm labor.

2. Unusual cravings

What it is: This is called pica—craving things with little or no nutritional value. Specific cravings can include (but are not limited to) ice, dirt, mothballs, toothpaste, cigarette ashes, wall plaster, paper towels and charcoal.

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Why it happens: We don’t know for certain, but many experts suspect that pica develops when a woman is lacking certain minerals or vitamins in her diet.

What can help: Eating the above mentioned substances can be harmful to you and your baby, so it’s important to seek help if you find yourself craving or eating them. Speak to your provider right away. They may prescribe you extra iron supplement. In the meantime, when a craving strikes, try chewing a piece of gum instead.

3. Stuffy nose

What it is: Otherwise know as pregnancy rhinitis, it’s basically feeling like you have allergies or a cold—all the time. You may have a stuffy/runny nose and sneezing.

Why it happens: During pregnancy, more blood flows to your mucus membranes (areas like your vagina, mouth and nose). This can trigger your nose to run.

What can help: Talk to your provider to make sure it’s not something more serious first. If you’re having difficulty breathing because of it, get medical treatment right away. Otherwise, nose strips can help open up the nasal passageways, while saline nose sprays and cool mist humidifiers can help moisturize things so it feel less irritating.

4. Leaking breasts

What it is: Breastmilk that leaks from your nipples while you are pregnant.

Why is happens: As your breasts prepare to make milk for your new baby, you may find that they start to leak, while you are still pregnant. This doesn’t happen to everyone, and it doesn’t seem to have much significance in terms of breastfeeding ability—if you are not leaking now, it does not mean that you won’t have enough milk when your baby is born.

What can help: As long as it’s not bloody, there’s usually nothing to worry about it (and no way to prevent it). Just make sure to carry breast pads with you, in case it starts to happen in the middle of a meeting.

5. Changed sex drive

What it is: Suddenly wanting to have sex way more than usual, or much less than usual.

Why it happens: Fluctuating hormones can have a real impact on your libido, as can your level of exhaustions, nausea and back pain—all this can of course put a damper on feeling romantic.

The good news is that hormones can also increase your sexual desires. And, all that increased blood flow to your pelvis can make you feel extra in-the-mood, can increase vaginal lubrication and can make sex feel better.

What can help: Listen to your body. If it’s telling you it needs a break, sleep. If it’s telling you it needs sex... well... have fun! As long as you’ve gotten the green light from your medical provider to have sex, enjoy this time of feeling extra connected to your partner—you just may need to get a little creative as your belly grows.

6. Bleeding gums

What it is: Called pregnancy gingivitis, it’s when your gums bleed easily, especially when brushing your teeth.

Why it happens: Can be caused by increased blood flow to your gums, or changes in your body that make your gums more sensitive to bacteria.

What can help: Take great care of your teeth and gums, and get to a dentist. Dental hygiene is always important. and in pregnancy it’s even more so. Routine dental care is safe, and can contribute to many health benefits for you and your baby (including improving those pesky bleeding gums). Just make sure to tell your dentist if you are (or could be) pregnant.

7. Morning sickness is really all-day sickness

What it is: Many women, especially before week 14, feel nauseous all day long, not just in the morning.

Why it happens: Pregnancy-induced nausea is caused by the high levels of a hormone called HCG in your body (the same hormone that pregnancy tests detect). In addition, when you’re pregnant, your body is more sensitive to the changes levels of glucose (sugar) in your body—women often find that when they are hungry, they get nauseous (a totally unfair combo, we know).

What can help: Eat. One of the best ways to curtail nausea in pregnancy is constantly eating small amounts of food. Keep crackers with you at all times and pop a few every hour. Keep crackers in the bathroom and have a few every time you get up in the middle of the night to pee. Make sure to sip on water or juice as well.

(Psst: check out this list of snack ideas too.)

If you spend 24 or more hours without eating or drinking, or throwing up, head to an emergency room—it’s easy to get dehydrated so they’ll likely give you IV fluid (and some medicine to make you feel better).

8. Extreme emotions

What it is: Waves of emotions that are stronger than you’re used to—happy, sad, crying, happy...

Why it happens: Hormones again, for the win. Also, your body is working extra hard growing your baby, and you are anticipating a huge change in your life, all things that can contribute to your emotional state.

What can help: Be gentle on yourself, and allow yourself to feel the emotions you have. Explain to your partner, friends and co-workers what’s going on and let them know how to best support you.

Also, it’s important to know that prenatal (not just postpartum) depression and anxiety exist—if you’re feeling very sad or worries, let your doctor or midwife know, or consult a therapist. And if you feel like hurting yourself or others, get to an emergency room right away. Remember, it’s not your fault and you are not alone.

9. Constipation

What it is: Difficulty having a bowel movement (pooping), hard bowel movements, or infrequent bowel movements.

Why it happens: Hormones that relax the muscles and tissues in your body during pregnancy can also s-l-o-w everything down in you digestive tract. Sometime this can also be caused by the iron in your prenatal vitamins, or by not eating enough fiber.

What can help: Water, water, water. Make sure you’re staying very well hydrated—about 10-12 cups of fluid per day. And eat lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as prunes, bran. and high fiber cereals.

Exercise can also help you get things moving again.

10. Drooling

What is is: Ptyalism, or hypersalivation is an increase in saliva production.

Why it happens: Sometimes it can be in response to all the nausea and vomiting. The hormones of pregnancy can also increase the amount your saliva glands produce.

What can help: If it’s caused by nausea, see # 7 above. Make sure you’re getting regular dental care too. Beyond that, you can try chewing sugarless gum or sucking on candy. Take heart, this often resolves by the end of your first trimester.

Hang in there, mama. We know it’s hard, but you are already rocking it. You’ve got this.

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If there's one thing you learn as a new mama, it's that routine is your friend. Routine keeps your world spinning, even when you're trucking along on less than four hours of sleep. Routine fends off tantrums by making sure bellies are always full and errands aren't run when everyone's patience is wearing thin. And routine means naps are taken when they're supposed to, helping everyone get through the day with needed breaks.

The only problem? Life doesn't always go perfectly with the routine. When my daughter was born, I realized quickly that, while her naps were the key to a successful (and nearly tear-free!) day, living my life according to her nap schedule wasn't always possible. There were groceries to fetch, dry cleaning to pick up, and―if I wanted to maintain any kind of social life―lunch dates with friends to enjoy.

Which is why the Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller was such a life-saver. While I loved that it was just 14 pounds (perfect for hoisting up the stairs to the subway or in the park) and folds down small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment (you know, when I'm brave enough to travel again!), the real genius of this pint-sized powerhouse is that it doesn't skimp on comfort.

Nearly every surface your baby touches is padded with plush cushions to provide side and lumbar support to everything from their sweet head to their tiny tush―it has 40% more padding than other compact strollers. When nap time rolls around, I could simply switch the seat to its reclined position with an adjustable leg rest to create an instant cozy nest for my little one.

There's even a large UV 50 sun canopy to throw a little shade on those sleepy eyes. And my baby wasn't the only one benefiting from the comfortable design― the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany, meaning mamas get a much-needed break too.

I also appreciate how the Metro fits comfortably into my life. The sleek profile fits through narrow store aisles as easily as it slides up to a table when I'm able to meet a pal for brunch. Plus, the spring suspension means the tires absorb any bumps along our way―helping baby stay asleep no matter where life takes us. When it's time to take my daughter out, it folds easily with one hand and has an ergonomic carry handle to travel anywhere we want to go.

Life will probably never be as predictable as I'd like, but at least with our Metro stroller, I know my child will be cradled with care no matter what crosses our path.

This article is sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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After quite a wait (he was born last week) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have finally revealed their baby boy's name and it isn't what the internet was expecting.

While Kim had previously hinted at the name Robert, after her late father and her brother, the couple went with a name that makes sense given Kanye's new Sunday Services.

Baby number four for the Kardashian-Wests is called Psalm West, his mom announced via Instagram.

Psalm is the fourth child for Kim and Kanye, who are already raising 5-year-old North, 3-year-old Saint and 1-year-old Chicago.

Welcome to the family Psalm!

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Back in the day, when I saw my mom sporting a fanny pack, I cringed. I was a tween, and my mom was utterly embarrassing with her nylon belt bag. Flash forward a couple of decades and as I juggle four kids at a playground while my tote keeps slipping off my shoulder, I find myself thinking, "Maybe, just maybe, my mom was onto something."

And I'm not the only one. That's right friends, fanny packs are BACK. Why? Well, for celebs and fashion-types, it's because everything that was once old must always be reincarnated.

But for us mamas, there is one simple resounding answer: The bag is incredibly convenient. It allows us to have our hands free—to, ya know, change a diaper or put a bandage on a knee—and it also forces us to pare down the litany of items we'll throw into our purses before we head out the door. Like, those ten extra snacks or a juice box or a coloring book — the items that result in your purse suddenly weighing 50 pounds.

Oh, and this just in: You can also sling a fanny pack around your body, now. We've got options!

Is it the ultimate mom bag? Listen, we're not going to say it is. But we're also not going to say it's not. Catch our drift? And if you see yourself in a mirror while sporting your new belt bag, we dare you not to start singing, "I'm too sexy for… my fanny pack."

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Shop our favorite patterns and styles below, some of which start as low as 6 bucks.

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack, $85.00

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack

This just in: We all need more neoprene in our lives! We're loving the yellow lace design detail, and the fact that this one has a key clip and card holder inside, too.

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Pam & Gela Leopard Print Belt Bag, $105.00

Pam & Gela Leopard Print Belt Bag

We're just going to say it: One can never have too much leopard in their closet. This one will definitely spice up your daily jeans and t-shirt outfit.

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Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Belt Bag, $30.00

Herschel Supply Co. Fifteen Belt Bag

Durable? Check. Fun colors? Check. Cute Herschel logo badge on the front? Check.

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Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L, $38.00

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L


Yes, you need a sporty fanny pack, too. This one is perfect when you're heading to Saturday morning yoga.

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Sun Squad Cooler Fanny Pack, $6.00

Sun Squad Fanny Pack Cooler Grapefruit

A insulated fanny pack that keeps snacks cool? Amen!

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State Crosby Fanny Pack, $42.00

State Crosby Fanny Pack

Proof that fanny packs can be uber-hip (and sleek!) at the same time.

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No Boundaries Fanny Pack, $5.97

No Boundaries Fanny Pack

This sweet-pea pattern screams, "Spring!" and at this price, we might buy two.

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Lola Los Angeles Moonbeam Belt Bag, $28.00

Lola Los Angeles Moonbeam

We're loving the nylon fabric and cool Lola badge on this one, which also comes in black, red and maroon.

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Tee Shirt and Jeans Janie Fanny Pack, $11.99

Tee Shirt and Jeans Janie Fanny Pack

This one had us at pompoms. Oh, and that price. Sold!

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MZ Wallace Metro Belt Bag, $145.00

MZ Wallace Metro Belt Bag

Moms everywhere love MZ Wallace for their crazy parenting-friendly totes, and turns out they make an equally utilitarian belt bag in a variety of fun hues and patterns.

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Gucci Ophidia Small Suede Belt Bag, $1,390.00

What's that? You only wear designer bags? Fear not, they've adapted to the fanny pack trend (except they refer to the style as a "belt bag,") and this Gucci stunner will transition seamlessly from the park to date night.

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Clare V. Perforated Leather Fanny Pack, $299.00

Clare V. Perforated Leather Fanny Pack

The epitome of cool-girl bag brands, Clare V. has brought its chic aesthetic to the fanny pack category, and we couldn't be happier about that. We adore the perforated leather of this bag, as well as the high-contrast zipper.

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Jansport Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack, $17.00

Jansport Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack

If we're going to go the fanny pack route, we might as well go the whole way, right? Right. And nothing screams "90s!" like a Jansport bag. The good news is they haven't raised their prices too much in the past two decades.

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Nike Benassi Just Do It Fanny Pack Slide Sandal, $50.00

Nike Benassi Just Do It Fanny Pack Slide Sandal

Okay, okay, this isn't a true fanny pack per se. It's better! It's actually two amazing '90s trends packed into one perfect product. We give you... the fanny pack slide!

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Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Mornings can be so rough making sure everyone has what they need for the day and managing to get out the door on time. A recent survey by Indeed found that 60% of new moms say managing a morning routine is a significant challenge, and another new survey reveals just why that is.

The survey, by snack brand Nutri-Grain, suggests that all the various tasks and child herding parents take on when getting the family out the door in the morning adds up to basically an extra workday every week!

Many parents will tell you that it can take a couple of hours to get out of the house each morning person, and as the survey found, most of us need to remind the kids "at least twice in the morning to get dressed, brush their teeth, or put on their shoes."

According to Nutri-Grain, by the end of the school year, the average parent will have asked their children to hurry up almost 540 times across the weekday mornings.

We totally get it. It's hard to wait on little ones when we have a very grown-up schedule to get on with, but maybe the world needs to realize that kids just aren't made to be fast.

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As Rachel Macy Stafford, the author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, writes, having a child who wants to enjoy and marvel at the world while mama is trying to rush through it is hard.

"Whenever my child caused me to deviate from my master schedule, I thought to myself, 'We don't have time for this.' Consequently, the two words I most commonly spoke to my little lover of life were: 'Hurry up.'" she explains.

We're always telling our kids to hurry up, but maybe, maybe, we should be telling ourselves—and society—to slow down.

That's what Stafford did. She took "hurry up" out of her vocabulary and in doing so made that extra workday worth of time into quality time with her daughter, instead of crunch time. She worked on her patience, and let her daughter marvel at the world or slow down when she had to.

"To help us both, I began giving her a little more time to prepare if we had to go somewhere. And sometimes, even then, we were still late. Those were the times I assured myself that I will be late only for a few years, if that, while she is young."

It's great advice, but unless we mamas can get the wider world on board, it's hard to put into practice. When the school bus comes at 7:30 am and you've gotta be at the office at 8 am, when the emails start coming before you're out of bed or your pay gets docked if you punch in five minutes late, it is hard to slow down.

So to those who are making the schedules the rest of us have to live by, to the employers and the school boards and the wider culture, we ask: Can we slow down?

Indeed's survey suggests that the majority of moms would benefit from a more flexible start time at work and the CDC suggests that starting school later would help students.

Mornings are tough for parents, but they don't have to be as hard as they are.

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If you've ever shopped at Vineyard Vines you know two things. One, it's simply adorable. Like, the stuff that Nantucket dreams are made of. Stripes, checks, plaids and pinstripes in soft pastel hues for the entire family. Even the dog.

And second, you know that in order to achieve such a crisp, cool East Coast vibe that will look oh-so-perfect in your professionally-shot family photo you'll have to pay. Nope, that wee whale logo is not cheap, folks. How much are we talking? In the range of $50 for a boys button-down shirt or $70 for a girls madras dress (to be fair, it does have flutter sleeves and holy cannoli it might just be worth the price tag!). The good news is that we can verify the quality is top notch—my two sons regularly receive my nephews' hand me downs and even after being worn by four boys, they're still in top-notch condition.

Needless to say, for those of us with a penchant for prep on a tighter clothing budget, the news of Target's Vineyard Vines collaboration was music to our ears. We've actually tried the product and we're drooling... over the styles, the quality and the prices! Comprised of more than 300 pieces, the collection is priced from $2 to $120, with most of it costing below $35.

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Let's say it together, friends: Yassss!

Check out our favorite pieces for the whole family below.

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Sleeveless Ruffle Tie Waisted Midi V-Neck Dress

Price: $35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Baby Ruffle School of Whales Sleeveless Bodysuit

Vineyard Vines for Target Baby Ruffle School of Whales Sleeveless Bodysuit

Price: $12

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Vineyard Vines for Target  Boys' Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

Vineyard Vines for Target  Boys' Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

Price: $16

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Vineyard Vines for Target Men's Striped Swim Trunks

Vineyard Vines for Target Men's Striped Swim Trunks

Price: $25

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Vineyard Vines for Target Girls' Striped Scoop Neck Romper

Vineyard Vines for Target Girls' Striped Scoop Neck Romper

Price: $20

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Vineyard Vines for Target Toddler Boys' 1/4 Zip Pullover Sweatshirt

Vineyard Vines for Target Toddler Boys' 1/4 Zip Pullover Sweatshirt

Price: $16

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Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Blue One-Piece Swimsuit

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Blue One-Piece Swimsuit

Price:$35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Women's Gingham Long Sleeve Shirtdress

Vineyard Vines for Target Women's Women's Gingham Long Sleeve Shirtdress

Price: $35

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Vineyard Vines for Target Throw Blankets & Pillows

Vineyard Vines for Target Throw Blankets & Pillows

Price: $25-$30

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Vineyard Vines for Target Pet Accessories

Vineyard Vines for Target Pet Accessories

Price: $6-$11

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