Deal with weird (but normal) symptoms.
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.