20 Surprising Perks of Pregnancy

pregnant woman

Tetra Images / Getty Images

Pregnancy is different for all of us, but it’s almost always a profoundly transformative experience. Within a matter of weeks, your body is converted into a vessel for your baby to gestate and grow. At the same time, your body is doing the difficult work of preparing for the intensive experience of giving birth, as well as feeding your newborn. 

Your identity is changing too. If this is your first baby, you are experiencing the psychological transformation of becoming a parent—of your life suddenly being about much more than your own well-being. If you are expanding your family, you may be feeling anxiety about sharing your heart with a new little one. You may be worried about finances, family structure, childcare options, and so much more.

It’s no wonder that pregnancy can be a taxing experience—there are so many highs and lows throughout the 40 weeks of pregnancy.

Sure, you might experience physical and emotional challenges like morning sickness, sciatica, round ligament pain, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, heartburn indigestion, and mood swings, to name a few. But don't lose sight of all the awesome perks that pregnancy offers too.


Stay Calm Mom: The Perks of Pregnancy

The Best Perks of Pregnancy

Here's a closer look at the positive side of pregnancy so you might appreciate that what you are experiencing is nothing short of miraculous. Now, obviously, not everyone experiences all of these. But many of us experience them at one point or another. And they are worth noting—and definitely worth celebrating.

Relishing Comfy Clothes

No more skinny jeans, heels, stiff fabrics, or tight tops. Soft, comfortable clothes with elastic waist bands for the win.

Being Able to Cancel Plans

If you are an introvert who is happy to stay home and read, your time has come. Not looking forward to hanging out with the in-laws this weekend? Blame pregnancy fatigue and you’ve got a free pass. There are really so many opportunities to become a homebody during pregnancy.

Having Others Give Up Their Seat for You

Not everyone is going to be as gracious as they should be, but most people who notice your protruding belly will offer up their seat for you on the bus or the park bench. And if your partner is taking up too much real estate in bed? Move over, because you're sleeping for two.

Reminders of What Matters Most in Life

Pregnancy is the perfect time to take stock of what really matters. And it’s not that job promotion or how much money is in the bank. It’s the people you love. It’s family. Being reminded of that is a blessing.

Feeling Your Baby Move

Hands down, there is nothing more amazing than the first time you feel your little one swimming around inside you. Honestly, it never really gets old throughout pregnancy. Well, except when your baby starts punching you in the bladder. Or the ribs. Sigh.

Feeling Empowered by Your Body

Even if your road to pregnancy was bumpy, you did it. You were able to make a baby, and you should feel proud of what your body can do. Honor it.

Some Physical Conditions May Improve

It’s not an across-the-board experience but some pregnant people actually notice that certain medical conditions get better during pregnancy. These include migraines, acne, and even food intolerances.

Lush Hair and That Pregnancy Glow

You will never have as thick a mane as you do when you are pregnant. And pregnancy glow is a real thing. Enjoy it all!

All the Naps!

There is always an excuse to nap when you are pregnant. You’re making an entire human being and it’s an exhausting experience. Even if you don’t think you’ll fall asleep, make sure you take opportunities to rest. You deserve them.

Second Trimester Hunger Fest

You never really need an excuse to eat whatever you want. But if you are a food lover, you will really get to enjoy yourself during the second trimester when pregnancy makes you super hungry. It’s a welcome relief after the first trimester when food may have been a total turn off.

An Opportunity for Body Positivity

Many people feel that they finally understand what their curves were for when they become pregnant. Now is a time to appreciate every inch of your strong, healthy self.

Exciting Events in the Future

If you are a planner, you are in luck during pregnancy. There is so much to plan for—and it can be a truly exciting time. Is there anything more enjoyable than shopping for baby items, designing a nursery, or imagining what it will be like to finally hold that bundle of love?

Never a Dull Moment

Pregnancy is never boring, that’s for sure. Pretty much every week, you feel a little bit different, inside and out. Yes, these changes may go hand in hand with some discomforts and stresses. But you can’t say being pregnant is an unexciting experience.

One of the Most Intimate Experiences You’ll Ever Have

There is really nothing more loving and intimate than having a little person growing inside you. Not all parents bond with their babies while pregnant (and it’s OK if you don’t!), but most feel that carrying their babies with them is when their unwavering love and protection for their children started to blossom.

An Opportunity to Slow Down

Many of us still have to work or care for our other children while pregnant. But if there was ever a time to slow down, take a load off, and put your feet up, it’s when you are pregnant. Be sure to accept any offers of help and pampering.

A Pause on Your Period

Going without a menstrual period for nine months can be a real benefit for many of us, especially if we experience intense discomfort from hormones fluctuations, PMS, migraine, cramps, and more.

No Waits in Public Restrooms

Long line at the bathroom? Changes are, if you’re visibly pregnant, you will be able to cut the line. Pregnancy makes us all have to go much more often than we used to—and when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Being the Center of Attention

This one is admittedly not a perk for all of us. But if you like having attention lavished on you, now’s the time to partake. Do remember that personal boundaries come in handy here. No one can touch your belly without your permission, and what you’re planning to name your baby is no one’s business if you want to keep it private.

Expanding Your Palate

Many of us crave the weirdest things while we’re pregnant. Foods we never used to even consider may be exactly what we can’t get enough of. We may want the strangest food combinations as well—pickles and ice cream are just the tip of the iceberg.

New Appreciation for Your Mother

You will likely appreciate your mother more than ever when you are pregnant—and just wait until your baby arrives. You’ll finally understand the sacrifices your parents made and the intensity of their love.

What to Do If Pregnancy Joy Is Elusive

It goes without saying that not all of us will be able to notice or appreciate all the perks of pregnancy all the time. There will be days and even weeks where we are so uncomfortable and stressed by our pregnancy, that it will be hard to even fathom the joy inherent in being pregnant with a precious little one.

It’s normal to have your ups and downs, but if your feelings of stress and unhappiness seem to dominate, you may be experiencing a condition called prepartum depression, or depression during pregnancy. It’s actually a common condition, affecting as many as 17-25% of pregnant moms.

Symptoms of antepartum depression include:

  • Anger
  • Anxious, racing thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling hopeless or overwhelmed
  • Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Suicidal thoughts

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911. 

If you think you are experiencing prepartum depression, talk to your healthcare provider. The good news is that it’s treatable and can be managed with therapy, medication, and/or lifestyle modifications.

A Word From Verywell

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the physical and emotional stresses of pregnancy—and there are many. For most of us, acknowledging the hard parts of pregnancy can be healthy, because it doesn’t make sense to pretend that the experience is only sunshine and rainbows. It’s healthy to vent sometimes—and it’s definitely healthy to be honest about our feelings and experience.

But it’s also easy to fall into the trap of only being able to see the negative when you are expecting, and that can be harmful too. Taking stock of what you are grateful for during pregnancy is a wonderful way to stay emotionally balanced, and to make it through the exhaustion, fatigue, and emotional rollercoaster of the experience.

Maybe you’ll be able to relate to some or all of the perks we listed above. Either way, consider starting a list of your own. Ask yourself:

  • What are the perks that have surprised you the most?
  • What are you most grateful for during pregnancy?
  • What will you miss most when your pregnancy is over?
5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sacco S, Ripa P. Migraine in pregnancyJ Headache Pain. 2015;16:A24. doi:10.1186/1129-2377-16-S1-A24

  2. Chien AL, Qi J, Rainer B, Sachs DL, Helfrich YR. Treatment of acne in pregnancy. J Am Board Fam Med. 2016;29(2):254-62. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2016.02.150165

  3. Gizlenti S, Ekmekci TR. The changes in the hair cycle during gestation and the post-partum period. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014;28(7):878-81. doi:10.1111/jdv.12188

  4. Pearson RM, Carnegie RE, Cree C, Rollings C, Rena-Jones L, Evans J, et al. Prevalence of prenatal depression symptoms among 2 generations of pregnant mothers: The avon longitudinal study of parents and children. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(3):e180725. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0725

  5. American Academy of Pediatrics. Depression during and after pregnancy: You are not alone.

Additional Reading
  • Muzik M, Borovska S. Perinatal depression: implications for child mental health. Ment Health Fam Med. 2010;7(4):239-247.

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.