Mother shares the side effects of pregnancy including varicose veins, melasma and mouth tumours

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An ex-Big Brother contestant and pregnant mother-of-two has detailed the ‘not so wonderful’ side effects of carrying a child, including varicose veins, sciatica, psoriasis and swollen feet.

Krystal Hipwell, 34, is 39 weeks pregnant with her third child and has been updating her 150,000 Instagram followers regularly with photos of her bump, doting husband and sweet children, Sunny and Nakoda.

On Sunday night, the Sydney mum lifted the lid on her seemingly ‘perfect life’ and offered an insight into the harder parts of being pregnant, with a reminder ‘not to be fooled’ by images of ‘sunshine and rainbows’. 

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Krystal Hipwell is 39 weeks pregnant with her third child (pictured here at 19 weeks along)

Krystal Hipwell is 39 weeks pregnant with her third child (pictured here at 19 weeks along)

She has been updating her 150,000 Instagram followers regularly with professional photos of her beautiful bump, doting husband and sweet children, Sunny and Nakoda

She has been updating her 150,000 Instagram followers regularly with professional photos of her beautiful bump, doting husband and sweet children, Sunny and Nakoda

‘As much as I think pregnancy is beautiful and is such a blessing I do think it’s also important to keep it real and share the weird and sometimes not-so wonderful side of carrying a child,’ Krystal said.

‘I remember when I was pregnant with Sunny I felt there was a lot of unrealistic expectation surrounding pregnancy and no one seemed to be sharing these things on social media.’

Krystal acknowledged that while these ailments were ‘superficial’ by nature and ‘insignificant’ compared to what other women go through, it was still worth documenting.

In a series of photos she showed the psoriasis she developed on her scalp, varicose veins behind her knees, extra cellulite around her glutes, melasma on her face, swollen feet and even ‘pregnancy tumours’ in her mouth that made her mouth bleed and ‘made her look like a vampire’.

Krystal has suffered from melasma - or skin pigmentation - while she was pregnant

Krystal has suffered from melasma – or skin pigmentation – while she was pregnant

Her varicose veins and extra cellulite

Krystal's psoriasis flared up on her scalp

In a series of photos she showed the psoriasis she developed on her scalp (right), varicose veins behind her knees, extra cellulite around her glutes (both left), melasma on her face, swollen feet and even ‘pregnancy tumours’ in her mouth that ‘made her look like a vampire’

What are some of the most common pregnancy side effects? 

Psoriasis in the scalp: It’s a chronic skin condition that can cause red, scaly patches of skin to appear and is thought to be related to an immune system response. Topical ointments are the easiest way to treat it. 

Varicose veins behind the knee: They are an extremely common – albeit harmless – part of pregnancy for some women. They form when the uterus applies pressure to the inferior vena cava vein that carries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs.

Extra cellulite: A woman’s pregnant body has a tendency to store excessive volume of bodily fluids. This extra water retention can indirectly cause ‘cellulite pockets’ which will be visible in the later stages of pregnancy. For Krystal, they have appeared behind the back of her legs and on her glutes.  

Swollen ankles: This extra fluid is also to blame for her swollen ankles, which will usually be worse on warmer days or towards the end of a day. 

Melasma on her face: Often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’, melasma – or skin pigmentation – is caused by increased estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels during the second and third trimester. Melanocytes are cells in the skin that deposit pigment.

Sciatica: It is a condition that can lead to pain in the back and legs. It occurs when pain travels along the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in your lower spine, and travels through your hip and buttock and down the back of your leg to your foot.   

Pregnancy ‘tumours’: The website mouthhealthy.org described it as an overgrowth of tissue that appears on the gums, most often in the second trimester. It’s not cancer-related but just a swelling that happens between the teeth and gums. They tend to bleed easily and have a red, raw-looking raspberry-like appearance.

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According to Healthline up to 60 percent of women will see their psoriasis symptoms improve during the nine months of pregnancy because of a rise in the hormone progesterone.

It slows down the overactive immune response that triggers the dry and flaky skin symptoms associated with psoriasis.

But unfortunately for 10 to 20 per cent of women, pregnancy makes their symptoms worse – a result Krystal has experienced.  

Varicose veins are an extremely common – albeit harmless – part of pregnancy for some women. They form when the uterus applies pressure to the inferior vena cava vein that carries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs.

A woman’s pregnant body also has a tendency to store excessive volume of bodily fluids. 

Finally, most women were shocked by Krystal's image of a blood-filled sink, which she said was the result of a 'mouth tumour' (pictured)

Finally, most women were shocked by Krystal’s image of a blood-filled sink, which she said was the result of a ‘mouth tumour’ (pictured)

This extra water retention can indirectly cause ‘cellulite pockets’ which will become visible in the later stages of pregnancy. For Krystal, they have appeared behind the back of her legs and on her glutes.  

This extra fluid is also to blame for her swollen ankles, which will usually be worse on warmer days or towards the end of a long day.

Often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’, melasma – or skin pigmentation – is caused by increased estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels during the second and third trimester. 

Melanocytes are cells in the skin that deposit pigment.

Krystal, who has been open about her miscarriages in the past, was not lamenting each of these issues but rather bringing attention to them

Krystal, who has been open about her miscarriages in the past, was not lamenting each of these issues but rather bringing attention to them

Finally, most women were shocked by Krystal’s image of a blood-filled sink, which she said was the result of a ‘mouth tumour’.

The website mouthhealthy.org described it as an overgrowth of tissue that appears on the gums, most often in the second trimester.

It’s not cancer-related but just a swelling that happens between the teeth and gums.

They tend to bleed easily and have a red, raw-looking raspberry-like appearance.

'I know it is the biggest gift to even be able to carry a child and whatever my body endures I know it is ALWAYS worth it for what is waiting for me at the finish line,' she said

‘I know it is the biggest gift to even be able to carry a child and whatever my body endures I know it is ALWAYS worth it for what is waiting for me at the finish line,’ she said

Krystal, who has been open about her miscarriages in the past, was not lamenting each of these issues but rather bringing attention to them.  

‘I know it is the biggest gift to even be able to carry a child and whatever my body endures I know it is ALWAYS worth it for what is waiting for me at the finish line,’ she said.

Hundreds of women praised the 2001 Big Brother contestant for being so open about the ‘hectic’ side effects, many of which they had experienced themselves. 

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