Purple butt-prints and other pg mysteries babycenter blog gas after eating red meat


So when I wrote this thing about my pregnant drooling and restless leg syndrome, I thought I might get some fun comments. But I never expected to get so many, articulately explaining problems that are so bizarre as to be sci fi. I simply had to revisit a few of them.

Christine’s comment takes the (butt-shaped) cake: “I have turned the toilet seat in my house purple! This also happened with both pregnancies and it’s a butt-shaped purple mark. I can’t bleach it out either. We’ll just have to replace the seat after the baby is born. (Replaced it twice with my first and then realized it would keep happening.)” What on God’s green earth? Yes. This happens to some pregnant women, they stain toilet seats, and sometimes sheets, pink, purple or blue, leaving a distinct butt-shaped or body-shaped mark. Oddly, this only seems to happen with porcelain toilet seats. Not plastic ones.

I mentioned this to two doctors I know. One of them started laughing and said “Really? Really?” before theorizing that it was “some kind of strange ph thing.” The second doctor, who sees pregnant women in her practice, said she’d heard about the toilet seats from one of her patients, and then again from a colleague, but had no idea what might have caused it. “Some kind of strange ph thing?” I suggested. “Who knows?” she shrugged. So there you go. No answer, but you are not alone, Christine, in your magical color-changing powers.

Yep, supernumerary nipples are not at all uncommon in men and woman in the general population (Mark Wahlberg, Lily Allen, and Tilda Swinton all reportedly have them), but the fun pregnancy hormone circus can make them pop and develop more. You can have one, or a whooooole bunch. They usually show up down the line of your belly (a.k.a. the “milk line”) just like, as Stacy says, a dog or a cat, but supernumerary nipples have been known to show up as far as on people’s feet (!!!).

They can show up as anything from an almost unnoticeable patch of hair or a mole lookalike to what looks like a lil breast…that sometimes can even lactate. Good times. Have yourself a litter! In medical literature, supernumerary breasts are sometimes called “polymastia” or “accessory breasts.” I like the sound of that. Because just two breasts can get lonely, your body wants to accessorize.

Christine also has another, slightly more common problem: “heat makes my forehead ache. The ache goes away as soon as my forehead is not directly exposed to the heat. This has happened in both pregnancies every day from about 5 weeks to delivery. I hate rinsing my face in the shower or leaning over a stove and summer was awful!”

Yep, several commenters mentioned this problem. I bet this is a particular joy when you’re working on your second (third, fourth, etc.) pregnancy and not making dinner for the family isn’t really an option. It is well known that extremes of heat can cause headaches during pregnancy, and there’s not much you can do once the headaches start. Prevention is your only hope. Tuna salad for dinner?

Many other commenters wrote about changes to their hair. Of course, most people get shiny thick hair during pregnancy, and it falls out afterwards, but some people experience other changes. Curly hair gets curlier, wavy hair transforms into tight frizz, curly hair suddenly goes straight. Hair can even go curly or straight on only one side, or curly on top and straight on the bottom and vice versa. Who does your hair? My four-month-old, you got a problem with that?

I will leave you with one final anomaly. Many women find that their vulva and nipples darken with pregnancy, and changing from a belly-button “innie” to an “outie” is similarly common. But I’ve never heard of shellbell239’s problem before. Have you?

“One of the weirdest things is that with my second pregnancy is not only did I get the black line down the middle of my stomach, but my whole belly button turned black,” she writes. “Now, almost three months after giving birth the line is still there, my belly button is still black, and it is all funny and stretched out looking.”

Wow. Our bikini modeling days are beyond most of us once we’ve given birth, but shellbell, you and your black button deserve a special mothering commendation for service above and beyond the line of duty. Well done, exhausted button. Well done.