Deal with weird (but nor­mal) symp­toms.

Preg­nancy

Parents (USA) - - Contents - By ALESANDRA DU­BIN il­lus­tra­tion by ROBIN ROSEN­THAL

Nurse your nose.

Con­ges­tion, post­nasal drip, and an oc­ca­sional bloody nose are all com­mon. Your in­creased blood vol­ume puts more pres­sure on del­i­cate ves­sels like the ones in your nose. Hor­mones (es­tro­gen, in par­tic­u­lar) can also make blood ves­sels di­late, which con­trib­utes to swelling of the mu­cous mem­branes. Much of the dis­com­fort can be re­lieved by ex­er­cis­ing, us­ing a sa­line spray, or wear­ing a nose strip at night.

Pay at­ten­tion to tingly feel­ings.

Numb­ness, tin­gling, or even pain on the out­side of your thighs or through­out your body is nor­mal. All that blood you’re pump­ing can put ex­tra pres­sure on the sur­round­ing nerves—es­pe­cially late in preg­nancy. To al­le­vi­ate those strange sen­sa­tions, try a ma­ter­nity sup­port belt, which can lift your belly up. Talk to your doc­tor any­time you have pain in your lower ex­trem­i­ties to rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of a blood clot.

Take care of your wrists.

That same swelling and pres­sure can lead to carpal tun­nel syn­drome, painful com­pres­sion of one of the main nerves as it trav­els through your wrist. A wrist brace can help sta­bi­lize the area and min­i­mize move­ments that cause ir­ri­ta­tion. The is­sue should re­solve after preg­nancy, so tell your doc­tor if it per­sists.

Check your eyes.

Vi­sion is­sues are an­other side ef­fect of fluid re­ten­tion. Your lenses and corneas may be­come thicker, and the pres­sure in­side your eyes may change. But fuzzy vi­sion isn’t al­ways a nor­mal preg­nancy symp­tom, so men­tion it to your doc­tor to make sure it’s not a sign of preeclamp­sia. If it checks out, your vi­sion should go back to nor­mal after de­liv­ery.

Chill about skin changes.

Those new fleshy pro­tru­sions you see are called skin tags. They’re caused by surg­ing hor­mones and fric­tion, and can ap­pear in un­fa­mil­iar places, like un­der your breasts. Other skin is­sues in­clude chloasma, tan or brown blotchy patches on the face, and a deep­en­ing of the linea ni­gra, the dark ver­ti­cal line on your ab­domen. These marks of­ten go away, but there’s no guar­an­tee.

Man­age mouth is­sues.

Chang­ing hor­mones may make your gums swell, bleed, and trap food, lead­ing to ir­ri­ta­tion and in­fec­tion. Some women get small bumps be­tween their teeth, which can also bleed and hurt. (They should go away about a month after child­birth.) Gum dis­ease can in­crease your risk of pre­ma­ture birth, so be sure to go to the den­tist while you’re preg­nant. Sources: Nathaniel Deni­cola, M.D., as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy at the GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences, in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.; Chris­tine Greves, M.D., an ob-gyn at Win­nie Palmer Hos­pi­tal for Women & Ba­bies, in Or­lando.

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